Mike Rush

PhD Student


Mike Rush is one of the Directors of the Spiritual Crisis Network, a Trustee of the Alister Hardy Trust (which supports the work of the Religious Experience Research Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David), and a member of the BPS Transpersonal Psychology Section Committee.

Mike has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from Keele University, an MA in Religious experience from the University of Wales, Lampeter, and a PGDip in Consciousness & Transpersonal Psychology from Liverpool John Moores University. He is also a qualified hypno-psychotherapist with a diploma from the National College of Hypnosis & Psychotherapy, and registered with the CNHC and National Society of Talking Therapies.

Currently Mike is studying for a PhD investigating the empirical basis for interventions into spiritual crisis/emergency at Christ Church Canterbury University, supported by the Professional Development Foundation and the Alef Trust.

In his spare time Mike has a full-time job working as an ICT Service Desk Manager in local Government.

PhD research

Mike’s PhD research is on spiritual crisis, also known as spiritual emergency. He defines spiritual crisis as any self-identified spiritual or unusual experience that causes concern or distress to the experiencer, or others around them, and which can result in growth and transformation if responded to appropriately.

His main aim is to investigate the empirical basis for interventions into spiritual crisis in order to support therapists and experiencers. After reviewing the literature to identify empirical studies on spiritual crisis Mike undertook an evaluation study of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network (SCN). The SCN is a non-profit organisation that provides peer-support to people affected by spiritual crisis. He asked whether people who had contacted the SCN found it helpful or unhelpful, why they found it helpful or unhelpful, and how contacting the SCN compared to the mental health services.

Mike is now working on an IPA study to explore the meaning and lived experience of “grounding” in the context of spiritual crisis. He is interviewing participants to find out what grounding means to them, how it feels to be ungrounded and grounded, and also what practices, attitudes, and behaviours facilitate grounding.


Rush, M. (2013). Spiritual Crisis in the UK. Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 3(2), 168-171.

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