“Working Through Psychosis and Extreme States: An Alternative to Suppression”

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Suppression is often inadequate: learn how people can instead “work through” extreme or psychotic experiences, resulting in personal growth.

Mainstream mental health treatment for “psychosis” in the US focuses on the suppression of non-ordinary experiences, which are framed as symptoms of illness. But is this the most helpful approach?

Using drugs, denial, and distraction to suppress experiences does seem to help some people some of the time; but many find these methods don’t work at all, or they may seem to work for a time but then cause troublesome experiences to re-emerge with more intensity later. Unfortunately, as many therapists have noted, when we resist something in our mind, “it goes to the basement and lifts weights!”

But what else is possible? Often, it may seem that the only alternative to suppression of “mad” experience is to be consumed by madness, and to have one’s life be ruined by it!

In this webinar, Gogo Ekhaya Esima and Emma Goude will discuss the very different possibility of “working through.” Instead of suppressing them, Gogo and Emma have found ways to engage with their extreme experiences, to find constructive meaning in them, and then to rebuild their lives in ways that are enriched by all that they have gone through.

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