The psychological distress and impacts of Spiritual, Psychedelic or Personal Growth exploitation and/or abuse
What is spiritual trauma?
Experiencing exploitation or abuse by religious or spiritual figures, psychedelic gurus and facilitators, or human potential celebrities, organizations and their groups can result in psychological wounding that impacts existential beliefs, values and views of relationships.
Walking away from a situation where you experience spiritual exploitation and abuse is not easy. Not only do you leave behind a group of friends, but you also walk away from all your dedicated hours of investment in money, time, reputation and energy towards your personal growth and efforts to reach your human potential. Sometimes people sacrifice their jobs, families and friends in the process, or volunteer their free time to be activists for the group’s cause. Instances occur where deep and intimate relationships are cultivated – often directly with the leadership.
With the rise of the psychedelic industry, an increasing number of people are also seeking guidance in this new marketplace of spirituality, wellness and personal growth. In such a fast growing market there is a higher risk of being at the receiving end of non-ethical practices – and currently little access to accountability and remedy.
Some people who grew up in a very strict religious environment that was toxic with an overbearing interpretation of that religious belief, find the courage to leave it behind to find their own spiritual path. Without a good foundation in understanding a healthy spiritual self and what a wholesome community experience should be, they can end up in a pattern of repeated exploitation and abuse.
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to simply walk away from such abusive situations. Often these groups start with online or even also offline abuse and threats after you left. That is part of the effort to keep other members compliant, not questioning the doctrine and dogma of the leader, keep them from leaving and importantly – cut you off from communication with them by branding you as a traitor, as being unable to become enlightened, not having the capacity for the teachings, and more.
The outcome of these experiences are not only psychological wounding, but also causes moral injury, a deep sense of betrayal, loss in self-belief, grief about the losses, and unexpected requirement to make a comprehensive change in your worldviews, self-care practices and rebuilding your life – sometimes from the ground up and with loss of income.
People struggling with spiritual trauma are also re-traumatized when they encounter similar spiritual teachings or are being told to follow the very spiritual worldviews, practices and tools that caused the original wounding in the first place. This includes having to participate in business leadership or personal growth training where self-help and spiritual practices such as meditation, can trigger the trauma experience. Popular psychology also incorporated many spiritual concepts and practices in their therapeutic approach, making it challenging to find a therapist.
The need for spiritual belonging is an essential part of healthy human experience. Eventually people who experience spiritual trauma can feel that there are no alternatives and feeling hopeless about experiencing true spiritual fulfillment.
How I help
I offer a non-spiritual, future looking, positive and creative approach to support you in casting toward post traumatic growth.
Offering you brain empathy, non-conventional knowledge, role models, practices and tools, you find your own way to gain agency in crafting a new meaningful life path while repairing and restoring your sense of goodness, soul essence, confidence and ability to have enduring and positive relationships with others.