Main Session: Emma Bragdon, PhD

Compassionate Care and Feeding of STE in Brazil: A 130 Year Old Tradition


In the 1850’s a branch of Spiritualism, called Spiritism, was born in Paris, France. It’s based on the merging of: religion, philosophy and science and emanated from the channeling of hundreds of independent mediums, organized and collated by Allan Kardec (an academic).

Spiritism soon found its way to Brazil and has thrived there, spawning 12,000+ community centers and 50 psychiatric hospitals that attend to 20-40 million Brazilians. In the hospitals psychiatrists collaborate with medical intuitives and spiritual healers in diagnosis and treatment. The centers provide learning to nurture well-being (pre-birth to elders). Medical intuitives and spiritual healers join with teachers. All engage in charitable giving in a comprehensive and companionable path to spiritual evolution. Each center is ultimately guided by highly evolved spirits who “sit” in Board meetings.

Spiritists welcome people of all religious and cultural backgrounds. They recognize that many people suffer from “repressed mediumicity” because we are all mediums who need to harness our gifts. Spiritism represents a way of life—not a religion! All of their programs are free and they operate on donation basis. We have nothing to compare it to…and it just may have something to offer our ailing healthcare system.


emmabragdon_wbEmma Bragdon, PhD. (PhD in Transpersonal Psychology, Sofia University, 1987) spent 6 months each year from 2001-2012 in Brazil studying the workings of Spiritist community centers and Spiritist psychiatric hospitals. Deeply impressed, she produced two documentary films and published four books to share what she had learned and compare the Spiritist system to what we have in the USA. Having previously been deeply involved in the Spiritual Emergency Network, she was particularly impressed to witness how successfully Spiritists manage and encourage spiritual development. Dr. Bragdon coordinated two invited conferences in 1985 at Esalen for attending psychologists, psychiatrists, and spiritual teachers of various traditions to discuss Spiritual Emergency. This led to the publication of “A Sourcebook for Helping People in Spiritual Emergency” and “The Call of Spiritual Emergency.” Since 1988, she has been in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist, led seminars internationally, and been a guide to those seeking healing and more knowledge of Spiritist healing traditions in Brazil. Currently she is coordinating the Integrative Mental Health University ( to inform the general public about the wide range of options for managing and optimizing mental health, and update/train health professionals in relation to these options.

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