Main Session: Frank Pasciuti, PhD
A Chrysalis Crisis: Within Its Danger Lies the Opportunity for Transformation
For many years now we’ve been hearing reports of exceptional experiences where individuals encounter phenomena or manifest abilities that fall outside what might typically be considered normal. While these experiences may baffle the individual, when they’re felt to be positive, as in the case of blissful, ecstatic, or peak experiences, they may be more easily integrated and transitioned. However, if these exceptional experiences are perceived as threatening, accompanied by physically discomforting symptoms, or generate phenomena that are so foreign to the individual that they engender fear, the person is usually considered to be undergoing a spiritual emergency. But what is it that is emerging and from where does it arise? And what is the process that facilitates these phenomena coming into awareness?
Dr. Pasciuti prefers to refer to these negatively experienced spiritual emergencies as Chrysalis Crises. In his opinion, they mark critical junctures in an individuals’ ongoing psycho-spiritual awakening. He defines a Chrysalis Crisis as a critical developmental episode that occurs when an unprepared individual experiences physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual phenomena that are manifestations of expanded consciousness. When understood and integrated, such a crisis may provide an opportunity for personal growth and spiritual transformation.
Dr. Frank Pasciuti is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Throughout his 37 years of providing psychotherapy, he has worked with a number of individuals presenting clinical issues related to exceptional and anomalous experiences. Many of these clients have been referred to his practice by the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies which investigates NDEs, mediumship, survival, and other paranormal anomalies. In addition to the unique phenomena these clients present, Dr. Pasciuti has had a number of his own exceptional experiences. His attempt to understand these experiences has provided the ongoing motivation for his research. This work has enabled him to achieve a more knowledgeable perspective on how one might explain these experiences, and how to counsel others who undergo these phenomena. The primary objective of his research and clinical work is to help individuals delineate and discern these experiences so they may be optimally integrated and employed to facilitate any psychological or spiritual transformative potential they may offer.
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