labyr.gif (10121 bytes) Temenos

A Soul-centred Therapeutic Community for Persons Undergoing an Acute Schizophrenic or Psychospiritual Crisis

The Name . . .

Temenos is a Greek word which refers to a universal instinct to create a protected, safe space in which to heal, reorganize and regenerate the fragmented personality. In a 'soul-centred' medical context, for individuals in crisis the temenos - which often takes on the circular, or square forms of the mandala - provides an enclosed, self-rebirthing place, akin to a garden, piece of sacred land, guarded castle, or maternal womb.

For victims of abuse, the temenos provides a refuge in which often frightened, frail and childlike 'multiple personalities' can find safety, mutual support and contentment. For persons in psychosis, the temenos provides limitation, ritual, focus, protection, meaning and order, which compensate the potentially explosive, chaotic, frightening and shattering experience of psychosis.

Temenos incorporates the following networking Infrastructures and Soul-centred Medical Approaches:

* Temenos Trauma & Crisis Centres [urban & metropolitan]
* Soul-centred, Psychoshamanic & Jungian Psychiatric Approaches
* Natural, Nutritional, Orthomolecular & Homeopathic Medicine
* Schizophrenia Drug-free Crisis Centre [Australia]

Rationale & Vision

* There is no such objective, medically verifiable fact as 'mental illness' and no proof that any (so-called) 'mental illness' is caused by biologic, or genetic factors.

* Persons who have become 'multiple personalities', or who suffer from chronic depression, manic-depression, schizophrenia or psychosis in the majority of cases are not 'mentally ill' (that is, brain-diseased), but are responding in a natural, self-protective way to an acute personal trauma, conflict, grief, loss of soul, or crisis.

* There is a growing, urgent need to establish - as a non-authoritarian, healing alternative to drug-based 'biologic' psychiatry - a new 'working vision' for genuine 'mental health' reform, a vision which can offer safe, compassionate, healing and re-empowering support, self-help skills, re-education and wholistic, natural therapies in a nurturing, caring, home-like and soulful environment.

* There is an equally urgent need to denounce the human rights abuse and damage inflicted by biologic psychiatry through forced treatment with toxic psychiatric drugs, incarceration, involuntary commitment and unwanted 'shock treatment' [ECT].

Residential Crisis Care:
General Therapeutic Approach & Overall Goals

* Persons working through severe trauma and abuse will be helped - in the context of 'residential crisis care' - through one-to-one therapeutic dialogue which applies the principles of guided visualization, art therapy and psychosynthesis to help the fragmented 'multiple personality' become re-integrated, or restored into a 'composite one.'

* Persons in an acute schizophrenic, or psychospiritual crisis will be welcomed and befriended by a trained 'companion' and provided with 24-hour 'being with'*** help, again through residential crisis care. Since the person in crisis is (usually) undergoing a 'dis-integration' and self-rebirthing process, the companion's role is mainly a non-interventional 'midwifing' one that ensures physical and emotional safety (for the person in crisis and for fellow residents), non-judgmental acceptance, friendship and a safe 'sacred space' in which the crisis can be acted out and/or worked through.

* In addition, one-to-one soul-centred psychiatric care will be offered by those who are experienced, trained and qualified in other (e.g. Jungian) approaches which deal - without resorting to damaging psychiatric drugs - with psychosis, acute depression, manic-depression, schizophrenia and psychospiritual crises.

* 'Being with' crisis care, Jungian and shamanic therapies will be supplemented by a broad range of soul-centred psychospiritual and physical therapies, such as massage, Chinese medicine, therapeutic touch, homeopathy, naturopathy, dance, vocal, art and drama therapy, meditation, creative visualization, astrology, medicine wheel work, psychosynthesis, iridology, yoga, foot reflexology and nutritional medicine. Persons seeking to withdraw safely from toxic psychiatric drugs will be referred to a caring, supportive GP, who will gradually replace psychiatric drugs with nutritional, or orthomolecular medicine as a wholistic complement to psychospiritual therapies.

* Crisis Care residents will have access to a healthy diet, which will include fresh fruit, vegetables, free-range eggs, vitamins and mineral supplements. Other natural remedies will be available, including Bach Flower remedies, herbal supplements, crystal essences, essential oils and homeopathic medicine. Residents will be encouraged to exercise regularly, e.g. to take walks, do gardening, chop wood, or go on bike-rides.

The Soul-centred Therapeutic Environment

Soul-centred therapies, nature and the caring, healing environment form an inseparable unity when seeking to meet the needs of the whole person. The farm-like, urban Temenos Centre (ideally located within 50km of the metropolitan area) will feature:

* A large vegetable and flower garden, to be tended by residents and staff. (Workshed for tools, potting mix, seedlings etc. outside)

* An indoor and outdoor fireplace (and wood pile), to be tended by staff and residents

* A 'stillness-oriented' art, craft, rest and reading room

* A resource library and discussion room, focused on reference books and reprints devoted to self-help skills, re-education about 'mental health' (from a soul-centred medical perspective), psychospiritual development, quality literature, Internet sources, a referral list of soul-centred practitioners, and psychiatric human rights issues

* A 'movement-oriented' dance, yoga, shamanic work and vocalization creative space

* A massage, foot reflexology, acupuncture, crystal and shamanic healing room

* Centre pets, chickens (for eggs), pot-plants, stones and crystals

* Musical instruments, e.g. drums, tambourines, sticks, bells, rainsticks, guitars, whistles, didgeridoos

* A small indoor fountain and access to water (river, creek, ponds, or sea) outside

* A 'rage room' (with lots of cushions, tissues, old cloth and paper), and an outside 'old-plate-smashing' area

Outpatient Crisis Care, Education & Support

* Metropolitan Temenos Centres will offer a range of services, including one-to-one crisis help, soul-centred psychiatric re-assessment, informal re-educational forums, support, information and human rights advocacy.

* A Crisis Helpline will answer crisis calls and requests for information. (There is already a Schizophrenia Drug-free Crisis Helpline in SA).

* Home, Guardianship Board and hospital visits (offering crisis help and moral support for folk who cannot attend the Centre) will be met by Centre 'crisis and support teams'.

* Outpatients seeking soul-centred therapies (as alternatives to hospitals and psychiatric drugs) will be referred to a broad range of reputable, experienced and caring practitioners.

* Staff will offer talks and information sessions to schools, radio stations, hospitals, mental health forums, community health centres and rural centres.

Management Board, Committee, Patron, Advisors & Staff

* Ideally, staff and residents requiring 24-hour intensive care are in a 1:1 ratio, e.g. 7 residential staff (operating in shifts) and 7 'acute' residents.

* Management Board [suggestions]: Chairperson, Secretary, lawyer, Treasurer, Centre Director, Centre Administrator, Marketing Consultant, Aboriginal Representative

* Supporting Committee: public liaison officer, one media and one political representative, one youth and one indigenous persons representative, one GP representative (for 'nutritional medicine'), others committed to 'the vision'

* Patron: Open to discussion.

* Soul-centred Psychiatric/Medical Advisory Board

Training to Work in Soul-centred Trauma & Crisis Care

All persons wishing to work as staff (paid and/or voluntary) will firstly be interviewed, in order to assess whether they have the desired personal qualities, i.e. empathy, non-judgmental, non-authoritarian acceptance, compassion, open-mindedness, soulfulness, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, ability to befriend and 'be with' folk in crisis and trauma situations. If accepted, they will then be required to train in the following:

* Basic understanding of the structure and dynamics of the psyche and the ‘psyche in crisis’

* Residential Crisis Care (or 'psychospiritual midwifery'**) for non-violent persons in an acute schizophrenic, or psychospiritual crisis

Additional Training in Jungian & Shamanic Work

* Persons wishing to work in the field of Jungian psychiatric 'trialogue'** (one-to-one-to-One) will be required to undergo an extensive and intensive 'journey' of inner work and education, which will require a) a supervised, in-depth study of Jung's Collected Works, a study of comparative religion, symbology and mythology, and referral to an experienced, qualified and mature Jungian therapist (or analyst) in order to embark on a 'training analysis' (usually for around 2 years).

* Persons genuinely called to a shamanic vocation (either through a schizophrenic initiation, psychospiritual crisis, or 'voluntary quest'), will be apprenticed to a shaman-teacher. Since absolute dedication and a sense of 'sacred responsibility' is required for this demanding and potentially hazardous work, only those demonstrating initiative, innate skill and unwavering commitment will receive ongoing training.

* Some psychoshamanic** skills will be taught to anyone wishing to use them for (e.g.) guided visualization, distance healing, protective rituals, working with animal guides, drum-work, and healing work with crystals, fire and plants.


* Residents will pay whatever they can afford (scaled to income and/or financial support) and will be expected to eliminate (e.g.) alcohol and cigarettes in order to redirect money spent there toward the Centre - and to thus heal/help themselves. Financially stable relatives will be asked to contribute to relatives' fees. Low-income residents will be allowed to work off part of the fee through (e.g.) gardening, cooking, cleaning, chopping wood, caring for fires and pets, etc.

* The Temenos organization will actively seek funding from a range of private, Government and community-based sources, e.g. Rotary, Community Benefit scheme, Bill Gates, Dept of Human Services, the Catholic Church, Foundation Membership fees and donations, money obtained through accreditable forums, workshops, seminars and training courses, business sponsorship by manufacturers of health-promoting, natural therapies.

* Temenos will actively seek Medicare and Private Health Cover reimbursment as a longterm, near-future goal.

** The terms 'self-rebirthing', 'psychospiritual midwifery', 'mythocentric', 'soul-centred psychiatry', 'trialogue', 'psychoshamanic' and 'psychospiritual crisis' were coined by MBR/'The Dark' Nathair.
*** 'being with' is a term coined by psychiatrist Prof. Loren Mosher, who founded the US 'Soteria Project', a residential, therapeutic community for schizophrenic and non-violent psychotic persons, which operated in California from 1971 - 1983.

TEMENOS Vision Statement
c. 2009 by Dr Maureen B. Roberts
BSc, BA(Hons), PhD
Director: Schizophrenia Drug-free Crisis Centre [Australia]
Co-founder: Mental Health ReEducation & Human Rights Network [Aust.] Inc.
PO Box 7205 Hutt Street, Adelaide SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5000
Int. Phone +61 8 8362 0980 E-mail <>




updated 2 March 10

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