Therapist Safety Prerequisites
Professional Therapist Training


Course 190 Safety Prerequisites
            This set of non-Institute courses are designed to fill in the gaps for students who have not gotten this formal training as a therapist. It is also designed to increase the background of therapists in areas that are not normal covered in their training, such as information in spiritual emergency. Most of this course is taught by organizations other than the Institute - however, specialized treatment for spiritual emergencies are also taught by the Institute.


Safety Courses

  • Spiritual Emergency
  • Mental Illness Diagnosis
  • Suicide
  • Optional courses (first aid, sexual abuse training, TIR therapy)

Course #190 Prerequisites
  • Completed courses #100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150.

Spiritual Emergency Coursework
            This requirement can be met by reading and taking a test, or taking a workshop.

            After our professional training is finished but before we will certify a therapist, we require the student know about spiritual emergencies. This is important because the therapist needs to be able to recognize the difference between spiritual emergencies and mental illness, as they have very different kinds of treatment.

  • The required reading is Stanislav Grof's Spiritual Emergency (1988) and Emma Bragdon's A Sourcebook for Helping People with Spiritual Problems (2002). There is an essay test to help anchor the material. (Optional reading is Grof's The Stormy Search for the Self, Bragdon's The Call of Spiritual Emergency, and Yvonne Kason's A Further Shore: How Near Death and Other Extraordinary Experiences Can Change Ordinary Lives.)
  • Spiritual emergency training along with PeakStates techniques for healing specific spiritual emergencies, Course #160, is occasionally offered via the Institute. Ask your student coordinator. This covers treatment from a subcellular psychobiology viewpoint. It has its own manual, but reading Grof's book Spiritual Emergency before class is highly recommended.
  • For students who need additional background, we recommend the web based course "DSM-IV Religious and Spiritual Problems" at www.spiritualcompentency.com. There is now a Polish translated version at www.peakstates.pl. The course "Ethical Issues in Spiritual Assessment" is also useful.

Suicide Training Classes
            In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, UK and the USA we highly recommend the two day "Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training" (ASIST) workshop to meet our certification requirement about suicide. It has proved excellent, being a type of 'suicide first aid' course. Information is available at www.livingworks.net, with a list of upcoming dates at www.livingworks.net/AS.php. We also recommend the book Therapeutic and Legal Issues for Therapists Who Have Survived a Client Suicide: Breaking the Silence (2005) by Kayla Weiner (ed).
  • In Australia, see www.livingworks.org.au. ASIST is often offered through Life Line, which lists contacts in each area at www.lifeline.org.au, at approximately $175AU. You might also want to contact Choose Life Support (CLS) at 1300 132098.
  • In Scotland, ASIST schedule can be found at www.chooselife.net/Training/InYourArea/InYourAreaMap.asp.
  • In the UK and Wales, go to www.asistcommunities.co.uk; or contact the ASIST Project Manager Alan Briscoe at 01654 702759 or 07525 933815, or email him at a.briscoe at mind.org.uk.
  • In the USA, go to www.pesi.com for information on other suicide training classes. Locations have included Charleston WV, Cincinnati OH, and Columbus OH.


Mental Illness Training Classes
  • In the USA, a one day class called 'Emergency Mental Health: Assessment and Treatment is available in Columbus, Cleveland, and Canton (approximately $149US). It meets both the crisis and suicide requirements for certification. The sponsoring company is Cross Country Education at 1-800-397-0180, at www.crosscountryeducation.com.
  • n Australia, www.mhfa.com.au gives a two day course in 'mental health first aid' (approximately $120AU includes manual). The Red Cross also runs mental health workshops, www.redcross.org.au. You might also contact the Mental Services help line at 1800 332388.
  • In the UK, go to www.mentalhealthfirstaid.csip.org.uk - a two day course in 'mental health first aid'.

Other Recommended Training (not required)
  • Standard First Aid certificate - useful for therapists, to be able to discriminate between heart attack symptoms (or other acute medical problems) and client regression symptoms.
  • Sexual Abuse Training - this is specifically for therapists who intend to either work in this field, or to meet the sexual abuse 'scope of practice' requirements of the Institute, and is ethically required for therapists who plan on working with this client group. In the USA, we highly recommend the Braddock Body Process Training for Professionals Working with Sexual Trauma: Specific Tools for Self Care. Ojai, California. 805-640-3744. www.braddockbodyprocess.com.
  • To greatly increase skill in working with clients (and to learn another powerful PTSD therapy), we recommend the Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) workshop at www.tir.org.

Course length
  • 7 days (cumulative)



Revision History
1.3 Sept 16, 2014: Changed the requirement for spiritual emergencies by dropping the DSM-IV online course.
1.2 Jan 30, 2014: Added a link to the TIR training for therapists.
1.1 Nov 20 2009: Changed the title from Mental Health for Therapists #150 to Safety Training #160.
1.0 July 7, 2009: First description of this course.