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The Psychedelic Therapy Podcast

The Psychedelic Therapy Podcast

By Maya Health
A weekly conversation series with leaders in the psychedelic community. Designed in service of therapists, healers, retreat leaders, and passionate enthusiasts. Presented by Maya, the psychedelic therapy intelligence platform and hosted by Eamon Armstrong.
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Aaron Paul Orsini & Justine Lee: Autism, LSD, and Appreciating Neurodiversity
Can psychedelics be considered a “neurological contact lens” for those on the Autism spectrum? Today’s guests Aaron Paul Orsini and Justine Lee are determined to find out and are sharing their findings with the world. On the podcast, we discuss how experimenting with LSD helped Aaron understand and appreciate his Autism as a kind of altered state and led to his book Autism on Acid. We cover seven key takeaways for using psychedelics to work with autistic populations. Justine shares how connectivity works in neurodiverse brains. Finally we talk about the weekly gathering, the Autistic Psychedelic Community, and how psychedelic therapists can get involved. Aaron and Justine are cofounders of the Autistic Psychedelic Community, a peer support group for neurodivergent individuals interested in discussing psychedelics. Aaron is the author of Autism On Acid: How LSD Helped Me Understand, Navigate, Alter & Appreciate My Autistic Perceptions and is currently editing his second book, a neurodiversity-minded anthology of psychedelic essays that is now available for preorder. Justine is a graduate student in pharmacology at University of California, Irvine. She is investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds with respect to autism and other neurological conditions. Links Autistic Psychedelic Community Autism on Acid: How LSD Helped Me Understand, Navigate, Alter & Appreciate My Autistic Perceptions Preorder the book 7 Essential Takeaways for using psychedelics to work with Autistic populations NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity Timestamps :04 - How experimenting with LSD awakened Aaron to interoception and led to him writing the book Autism on Acid :16 - What is Autism and how does that express for Aaron :24 - 7 Essential takeaways for using psychedelics to work with autistic populations :39 - Justine describes the connectivity in neurodiverse brains :46 - Aaron suggests a peer-supported retreat or ceremony model for working with autistic populations with psychedelics :57 - The Autistic Psychedelic Community and how psychedelic practitioners can get involved 1:09 - Aaron and Justine speak directly to psychedelic practitioners
January 19, 2021
Thank You Psychedelic Practitioners: A 2020 Retrospective
While 2020 has been difficult in so many ways, this year brought psychedelic medicine further ahead by leaps and bounds. At Maya, we were honored to share the wisdom of 25 healers and leaders in the psychedelic world through this podcast. Today we are sharing their advice to practitioners. On the show, our guests offer advice and perspectives to the therapists doing this important work. Their wisdom is at times simple, profound, and even controversial or contradictory. They speak of how to approach clients of specific demographics, how therapists might relate to themselves in this work, and what our collective responsibility is to the psychedelic movement as a whole. Most of all, across the board, our guests have expressed their gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you, psychedelic therapists! You can hear more from each of our guests in a full episode at Timestamps :02 - David Rabin :07 - Irina Alexander :09 - Tony Moss :11 - Erica Siegal :13 - Dick Schwartz :14 - Akoni Anthony :18 - Maria Theresa Chavez :20 - Charles Flores :24 - Kevin Franciotti :25 - Bia Labate :29 - Lauren Taus :31 - Bessel van der Kolk :33 - Jesse Gould :34 - Florie St. Aime :37 - Belinda Eriacho :39 - Lynn Marie Morisky :41 - Deanne Adamson :47 - Veronika Gold :49 - Jessica Cadoch :51 - Darragh Stewart :52 - Ronan Levy :53 - Jonathan de Potter :56 - Molly Maloof 1:00 - Jonathan Sabbagh
December 31, 2020
Jonathan Sabbagh (Journey): Supporting Independent Psychedelic Practitioners
Jonathan Sabbagh is building a space and solution for independent therapists who want to provide Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) by offering a prescription service, a medically supervised location, and a community. On the show, we talk about Jonathan’s startup Journey and the tools he is creating to democratize access for independent psychedelic practitioners. We discuss set and setting and the Journey space. We talk about vetting and training psychedelic therapist and how Journey endeavors can create community. We also go over concerns around the medicalization of psychedelics. Jonathan is the Co-founder and CEO of Journey Clinical Inc and is currently studying to be a psychedelic therapist himself at The New School. After 20 years in finance and entrepreneurship, he is bringing his skills and passion into the psychedelic community with the support of his own deep medicine work. As the adoption of psychedelic therapy grows worldwide, support services for independent practitioners, like Journey, will be invaluable. Links Journey Jonathan Sabbagh Fluence - Psychedelic Training Timestamps :03 - How Jonathan went from working in finance to going to school to become a psychedelic therapist :11 - How Journey is creating the spaces and tools for independent psychedelic therapists to thrive. :18 - The set and setting of the Journey space will be designed as a crystal :23 - Therapist vetting and training :28- Democratizing access for independent practitioners :31 - Concerns about the medicalization of psychedelic medicine :42 - How Journey plans to foster community for psychedelic practitioners
December 21, 2020
Molly Maloof MD: Dr. Molly’s Ketamine Protocol
Today on the podcast, I'm speaking to Dr. Molly Maloof, a concierge and lifestyle medicine practitioner who has developed a comprehensive protocol for Ketamine-assisted therapy. On the show, we talk about Molly’s professional journey from burning out in residency to concierge medicine to Stanford professor and Ketamine practitioner. We discuss her protocol in detail and why one shouldn’t try to treat their own depression with street Ketamine. Finally, Dr. Molly gives her advice to new practitioners especially regarding creating a brand in the psychedelic space. Dr. Molly is a physician, an entrepreneur a medical advisor, a Ketamine practitioner, and a Stanford lecturer. She has advised over 42 companies throughout the world and has lectured extensively. You can catch her with Dr. David Rabin on the Psychedelic News Hour on Fridays on ClubHouse or in the Apple Store as a podcast in January. Healing is holistic, and it seems like Dr. Molly has thought of everything. NOTES Dr Molly’s Website Dr Molly on Instagram Dr Molly on Linkedin Dr. Molly on Twitter The Psychedelic News Hour The Ketamine Papers Third Wave Psychedelic Support Website TIMESTAMPS :07 - Dr. Molly’s first experience with psychedelics and her professional journey :23 - Incorporating spirituality into a medical practice :30 - Dr. Molly’s ketamine protocol :41 - Why shouldn’t people use street ketamine to treat their own depression? :48 - Dr Molly’s advice to upcoming practitioners :53 - Providing equal access to psychedelic medicine and other issues and opportunities in the Psychedelic Renaissance
December 14, 2020
Jonathan De Potter (Behold Retreats): Bringing Plant Medicine to Asia
Today on the he Psychedelic Therapy Podcast I’m speaking to a man who is changing the narrative around plant medicine in Asia. Jonathan de Potter, founder of Behold Retreats has big visions for the region and it starts with helping business leaders awaken. On the show, we talk about the challenges of addressing mental health issues in Asia. Jonathan shares his perspective of what makes a great psychedelic practitioner from his own experiences. We discuss Behold Retreats and why Jonathan is focusing on healing leaders in the business world. We also review medical screening and onboarding of patients. Finally Jonathan shares his predictions for the future of plant medicine in Asia. Prior to launching Behold Retreats in March, Jonathan directed business strategy for Accenture in Hong Kong. His personal experience with plant medicine radically altered the course of his life, and he spent 5 years working with medicine before launching his retreat company. Behold has held retreats in Mexico, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, and is planning to expand to Peru, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Before we get started, a word from Maya, the platform designed to help psychedelic practitioners track, measure, and illustrate the health outcomes of their work and the organization that makes this podcast possible. Maya is currently working with individual ketamine practitioners in its pilot program called the Council of Guides. If you are interested in being a part of this group, helping to co-create the Maya platform and getting first access, please visit the Council of Guides page on the Maya website at LINKS Behold Retreats Behold Retreats on Facebook Behold Retreats on Instagram Jonathan de Potter on Linkedin TIMESTAMPS :06 - How Jonathan is changing the narrative about plant medicine in Asia :13 - How does a westerner bridge the gap around psychedelics and mental health in Asia :21 - What makes a great psychedelic partitioner :25 - The structure of Behold Retreats and why Jonathan focuses on clients from the business world :31 - How Jonathan tracks the impact his retreats are having in the world. :36 - Medical screening and patient onboarding at Behold Retreats :48 - Jonathan’s predictions for plant medicine in Asia.
December 4, 2020
Ronan Levy (Field Trip): The Promise and Peril of Industrialized Psychedelics
Today I’m interviewing Ronan Levy, co-founder of the psychedelic healthcare company Field Trip. The company includes Field Trip Health Centers for ketamine-assisted therapy, Field Trip Digital (including the apps Trip and Portal), and Field Trip Discovery, which amongst other pursuits is developing the novel psychedelic FT - 104. On the show we talk about Ronan’s experiences with psychedelics and meditation and the business of Field Trip in detail. Ronan shares his perspective on the modernization and industrialization of psychedelics and addresses the concerns of the existing psychedelic community on the impact of big business on the community. We also talk about the role of therapists, equal access to medicine, and whether it would be a good thing to get mental health benefits without the trip. As one of a few large organizations hoping to industrialize psychedelic medicine, Field Trip is controversial within the psychedelic community. While Maya Health and I personally don’t endorse all aspects of the Field Trip model, Ronan is a thoughtful person and was gracious in inviting a nuanced conversation about these issues. During the interview, we discuss the North Star psychedelic ethics pledge, of which Maya is a signatory, and the cautionary fable We Will Call It Pala about unforeseen consequences in the rush to psychedelic medicalization, which I would recommend reading prior to listening to this conversation. Ronan is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Field Trip. He is also a partner at Grassfed Ventures, a cannabis and biotech VC firm, and Chief Strategy Officer for Trait Biosciences. He co-founded Canadian Cannabis Clinics as well as CanvasRx Inc. Originally a lawyer, Ronan holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. You can hear Ronan on The Field Tripping Podcast, a place for epic personal, spiritual and business journeys on — and in — psychedelics. Links Field Trip Website The Field Tripping Podcast Field Trip Instagram Field Trip Twitter Field Trip Facebook Ronan on Instagram Ronan on Twitter We Will Call It Pala North Star Pledge Timestamps: :05 - Ronan’s describes his first experience with psychedelics and his meditation practice :12 - Ronan describes Field Trip Health Centers and Field Trip Digital :19 - Ronan describes Field Trip Discovery, including the development of a novel psychedelic molecule called FT-104 :23 - Ronan shares his perspective on the industrialization and corporatization of psychedelics and Field Trip’s place in that process :33 - How Field Trip approaches the therapists who work at their clinic :37 - Field Trip has not signed the North Star psychedelic ethics pledge but they did apply for B-Corp status :44 - I suggest Ronan get input for Field Trip by sitting in a traditional ayahuasca ceremony :51 - Would it be good thing to get mental health benefits without the trip? :58 - The question of equal access to psychedelics 1:08 - Ronan speak to psychedelic therapists
November 13, 2020
Darragh Stewart (Inwardbound): My Psychedelic Irish Brother
Before today’s conversation I didn’t know much about Celtic Shamanism. Today’s guest, Darragh Stewart is a shining beacon of knowledge and joy. As a PhD in plant molecular biology, he has gone all in on plant medicine to support his psychedelic Irish brothers and everyone else who needs to break through the blockages in their lives. On the show, we talk about how Darragh blends science and spirituality. We get into the origin and structure of Inwardbound Psychedelic Retreats, which take place legally in the Netherlands. We talk about Darragh’s passion for men’s work including the integration group he co-founded called the "Psychedelic Brothers of Ireland." Finally, we get into Celtic Shamanism and efforts to heal the broken lineage of holistic and ancestral healing in Ireland. One important note: At Inwardbound, all clients go through a strict pre-screening process. In order to attend the retreats, participants cannot have a diagnosed psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar, clinical depression or a personality disorder. Similarly, Inwardbound is not able to  accommodate participants dealing with serious addiction, substance abuse issues, or who have a personal or family history of psychosis. If this is the case for you, it is recommended that you apply for a clinical research trial. Links Inwardbound Retreats Darragh Steward on Instagram Email Darragh: Timestamps :06 - How Darragh came to plant medicine from a scientific background :14 - The origin and structure of Inward Bound retreats :27 - Men's work with the Psychedelic Brothers of Ireland :33 - Typical male wounds that come up in psychedelic healing :41 - Celtic Shamanism and healing broken lineages on the Emerald Isle. :55 - Darragh speaks to psychedelic therapists
October 30, 2020
Jessica Cadoch (Maya): Changing Paradigms on Psychedelics and Addiction
Today on the Psychedelic Therapy Podcast, I am interviewing my colleague at Maya, Jessica Cadoch, our Research Manager for Public Health.  On the show, we discuss Jessica’s master's research in psychedelics and addiction. We talk about the paradigm shift in care she sees between the concept of the "powerless addict" and the idea of the empowered inner healer. We also discuss psychedelic societies, of which Jessica is an Executive Director in Montreal. Finally we touch on psychedelic ethics, a passion Jessica and I share. Jessica is currently completing her master's degree in Medical Anthropology at McGill University. She is the Executive Director of the Montreal Psychedelic Society, and is our Research Manager at Maya. Her master’s research explores the implications involved in a shifting paradigm around psychedelic substances, particularly relating to twelve-step-based models of recovery from addiction. LINKS Montreal Psychedelic Society: TIMESTAMPS :08 - How did friends’ issues with addiction brought Jessica to study psychedelic medicine from the perspective of medical anthropology. :15- Jessica’s research around addiction and psychedelics :26 - A paradigm shift in addiction treatment :31 - Psychedelic societies :38 - Considerations for psychedelic ethics :43 - Jessica shares her gratitude with psychedelic healers
October 24, 2020
Veronika Gold (Polaris Insight): Creating a Ketamine Clinic
Have you ever wondered what it would take to create a psychedelic therapy clinic? Today’s guest, Veronika Gold, co-founder of Polaris Insight Center in San Francisco has done just that. Our conversation starts with Veronika first meeting Stanislav Grof at 16 years old in the Czech Republic and we follow her journey from studying at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) to founding Polaris. We cover the challenges she has faced from battling misconceptions, to therapeutic transference, to providing equal access. We also discuss the efficacy of different therapeutic modalities as well as different molecules. Veronika is has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the Charles University in Prague and an M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology CIIS. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with certificates in EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and Realization Process. She is a Sub Investigator and a co-therapist in MAPS Clinical Program for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and has trained in Ketamine-assisted therapy with Dr. Raquel Bennett at Kriya Institute, and Dr. Phil Wolfson, and Julane Andries at the Ketamine Training Center. Healthy therapeutic relationships are a cornerstone of creating a good set and setting for psychedelic-assisted therapy, and Veronika clearly has what it takes to help her clients heal. A note from Maya who presents the Psychedelic Therapy Podcast: As a practitioner with a leading psychedelic practice, Veronika has been a part of helping Maya co-create our software platform designed to help psychedelic practitioners track, measure, and illustrate the health outcomes of their clients. If you are an individual ketamine practitioner interested in being a part of the foundation of this platform, please visit our Council of Guides page on the maya website: LINKS Veronika Gold Polaris Insight Center TIMESTAMPS :05 - Veronika’s interest in psychedelics was sparked by meeting Stanislav Grof at 16 :10 - Veronika’s journey in starting a ketamine-assisted therapy clinic :15 - Challenges from combating misconceptions to transference and countertransference :23 - Which therapeutic modalities are most efficacious when working with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy :33 - Choosing different psychedelic molecules for healing and how healing can turn into psychospiritual development. :43 - Helping clients get access to psychedelic therapy :49 - Veronika speaks to psychedelic practitioners
October 9, 2020
Deanne Adamson (Being True To You): The Art of Integration
Wise psychonauts have long known that the real work of psychedelic healing is in the post-experience integration and there is no one more renowned in this field than today’s guest Deanne Adamson, founder of Being True To You. We spend the first third of our conversation discussing preparation for psychedelic healing, including how to anchor an experience as it happens. We talk about integration as a long road of cultivation and explore when to invite more medicine work as part of that process. Deanne describes her technique of using an integration wheel for tracking outcomes. Finally we talk about integration coaching itself and the particular value of the exhaustive training provided by the Being True To You program. Deanne is the founder of Being True To You, a certification program and network that provides one-on-one coaching to help people integrate transformational experiences. She developed the Transformational Recovery Model based on her extensive work supporting families through ibogaine and helping to facilitate the natural recovery process. She has a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, and her academic background is based in spiritual psychology. Integration leads to cultivation which leads to transformation. Today on the Psychedelic Therapy Podcast, Deanne shows us how to support this powerful healing process. But first, a quick word from us at Maya. If you are a psychedelic practitioner, please consider taking 10 minutes to complete our Psychedelic Practitioners Survey. By gaining insight into psychedelic therapy practices, Maya aims to shed light on the amazing work that’s happening in this space. We believes the world of psychedelic medicine needs more data to develop best practices and help practitioners provide safe and effective services at scale. By contributing to this survey, you can also sign up to be amongst the first to get access to the Maya platform designed specifically for psychedelic practitioners. LINKS Being True To You Psychedelic Practitioners Survey TIMESTAMPS :10 - Using “anchoring” to transition out of a psychedelic experience to maximize integration :13 - Integration starts with preparation :26 - Integration leads to cultivation which leads to transformation :32 - When should someone move from integration to new medicine work :38 - Using an “integration wheel” to consider the most salient things taken from an experience :46 - How are integration coaching working with therapists? :53 - The Being True to You coaching program and the issue of bias in psychedelic practice
October 2, 2020
Lynn Marie Morski: Introducing the Psychedelic Medicine Association
How will doctors who don’t know about psychedelic therapies, learn to be receptive to these innovative compounds as valuable tools for their patients? Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, host of the Plant Medicine Podcast, has a brilliant idea–to form an association dedicated to educating medical practitioners about psychedelics. On today’s episode, we discuss why Lynn Marie created the Psychedelic Medicine Association. We talk about what it means to create a coalition of ethically aligned actors and how to advance equal access to entheogenic compounds. Lynn Marie shares her entrepreneurial challenges and her dreams about where this association could go in the next 5 to 10 years. As you’ll learn on the show, Lynn Marie has quite an impressive background. She is a physician, an attorney, a podcaster, and the author of Quitting by Design. She works with the Veterans Administration and hosts the Plant Medicine Podcast. LINKS Psychedelic Medicine Association Psychedelic Medicine Association Virtual Launch Event Plant Medicine Podcast Quitting by Design TIMESTAMPS :06 - How psychedelic medicine can change the way we believe we must achieve to be loved :14 - Lynn Marie’s successful Plant Medicine Podcast :23 - Why Lynn Marie created an association to educate doctors on the value of psychedelics :29 - Creating coalitions of ethically aligned actors and equal access to psychedelic :40 - Where Lynn Marie sees the Psychedelic Medicine Association in 5-10 years :45 - Founding members, Lynn Marie’s team, and how you can get involved. :53 - Lynn Marie speaks directly to psychedelic practitioners
September 25, 2020
Belinda Eriacho: Psychedelic Healing for Native Peoples
This week’s guest, Belinda Eriacho, brings powerful insights from her lineage as a Native American woman and her life experience as a powerful healer and public speaker. We start the show with a land acknowledgment honoring Indigenous land rights, before exploring key aspects of Belinda’s worldview, including the importance of humor and the principle of "hózhó," which means to walk in harmonious relationship with everything around you. Belinda shares her own intergenerational trauma and her sacred corn pollen path. We end our conversation with important considerations for psychedelic therapists who wish to help heal Native Peoples. Belinda is a healer and leader from the Dine’ (Navajo) and Zuni lineage. She is certified in Integrated Energy Therapy and has advanced degrees in Health Sciences, Public & Occupational Health, and Technology. Through her personal practice and her leadership as a public speaker, Belinda supports the healing of Native Peoples and is helping to guide the Psychedelic Renaissance towards a more holistic perspective. Also, if you're a psychedelic practitioner, please take 10 minutes to complete our survey. Your contributions will help shed light on psychedelic-therapy practices around the world. LINKS Belinda Eriacho Considerations for Psychedelic Therapists when Working with Native American People and Communities Guidelines for Inclusion of Indigenous People into Psychedelic Science Conferences App for Land Acknowledgements Video on Intergenerational Trauma: Native American Legacy at MAPS POC Workshop Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist TIMESTAMPS :05 - Belinda educates us about land acknowledgments :13 - How Native People use humor as a form of resilience :18 - The principle of hózhó,: Walking in harmonious relationship to everything around you :21 - Belinda shares her own story of intergenerational trauma and her personal Corn Pollen Path :29 - The Native American worldview, the western medical model, and the Decriminalization Movement :44 - Considerations when working with Native American people :53 - Belinda speaks to psychedelic therapists
September 18, 2020
Florie St. Aime: The Importance of Ritual
Today on the show, I am honored to be speaking with a healer and guide who is deeply steeped in ritual, magic, and the wisdom of her Haitian ancestors, Florie St. Aime. On the show we discuss how growing up in Brooklyn of Haitian descent informed Florie’s perspective on psychedelics. We talk about psychedelic medicine as ancestral healing and justice work. Florie shares her experience on MAPS’ first training for communities of color in Kentucky and what she learned from her cohort there. Finally, we discuss the importance of ritual and the influence of the regal Haitian lineage Florie holds. Florie is a radical social worker and a graduate of MAPS’ 2019 training for communities of color. If you are interested in learning more about her work, you can email her at If you are inspired by her work, consider contributing to her gofundme - linked in the show notes. Finally, a message from Maya, the psychedelic practitioner platform that makes this show possible: If you're a psychedelic practitioner, please take 10 minutes to complete our survey. Your contributions will help shed light on psychedelic-therapy practices around the world: LINKS Email Florie: Contribute to Florie’s gofundme MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color and Psychedelic Medicine and Cultural Trauma Community Workshop: 8-Day Conference Maya Practitioner Survey TIMESTAMPS :08 - How the D.A.R.E. program and Florie’s Haitian background influenced her perspective on psychedelics growing up :13 - Psychedelics first came into Florie’s life as medicine :24 - For Florie, psychedelic work is ancestral work in the service of justice :31 - Learning across the cohort at MAPS’ first BIPOC training :36 - The importance of ritual and the influence of Florie’s Haitian ancestry :46 - How to be a good ancestor :53 - Florie speaks to psychedelic practitioners
September 11, 2020
Jesse Gould (The Heroic Hearts Project): Ayahuasca Healing for Veterans
MDMA therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD has gotten a lot of attention in the world of psychedelic medicine lately. Meanwhile, Jesse Gould is bringing veterans to South and Central American retreats for ayahuasca healing with his nonprofit the Heroic Hearts Project. On the show, Jesse explains how psychedelic therapists and healers should think about working with veterans. He describes his own experience with PTSD and ayahuasca as well as the details of the Heroic Hearts program—from funding—to integration coaching. Jesse gracefully responds to the delicate question of how U.S. foreign policy plays into healing veterans in Latin American countries. Jesse Gould is a former Army Ranger who founded the Heroic Hearts Project in 2017 to connect military veterans struggling with mental trauma to ayahuasca retreats and other psychedelic medicine resources. Heroic Hearts is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit that has raised over $350,000—all of which goes directly to supporting veterans. Jesse speaks about psychedelics and mental health around the world and his work has appeared in the New York Times as well as numerous podcasts and conferences. Ayahuasca is a profound medicine that has the power to positively influence veterans’ lives, so to truly support our troops, we must also support psychedelic medicine. LINKS: Heroic Hearts Project: TIMESTAMPS :05 - Jesse shares his stereotypes left over from growing up in the D.A.R.E. generation and the complexity of trauma and addiction :17 - How to psychedelic healers should approach working with veterans :23 - How the experience of a “dark cloud” after his military service brought Jesse to ayahuasca :29 - Why ayahuasca instead of MDMA or other psychedelics? :37 - The process by which veterans can work with Heroic Hearts and how is it funded? :50 - What about the way that US foreign policy has negatively impacted Latin America, where these medicines originate? 1:01- Jesse speaks to psychedelic healers 1:04 - How we can support Heroic Hearts
September 4, 2020
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score): A Revolutionary Treatment for Trauma
Today I am speaking with trauma specialist Bessel van der Kolk, best-selling author of The Body Keeps the Score, a beloved book about healing our deepest wounds. On the show we discuss Bessel’s work with MDMA therapy for trauma. We dispel the myth that PTSD is only something experienced by soldiers returning from war, and discuss how early attachment wounds can actually be more intractable to traditional treatment than acute trauma. We talk about why we get addicted to our own trauma and we review other psychedelic compounds like ketamine and ayahuasca. At the end of the interview (after the outro music), Bessel generously addresses the unfortunate circumstances that lead to him being fired by the Justice Resource Institute, answering a question suggested by our Psychedelic Therapy Facebook group. Bessel is an author, researcher, and sought after public speaker. In addition to founding Boston’s Trauma Center and his popular books, Bessel is also the Principle Investigator for MAPS’ MDMA trials at its East Coast hub in Boston. LINKS Bessel van der Kolk The Body Keeps the Score The Faces of Phase 3: Principal Investigators in MAPS’ Clinical Trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD TIMESTAMPS :04 - Bessel’s first experience with psychedelics :09 - The iconic American image of the veteran with PTSD :13 - Why psychedelics and trauma. :18 - How psychedelic practitioners can work with trauma :26 - Psychedelics and ancestral trauma :31 - How we get addicted to our trauma :35 - Attachment wounds vs acute trauma :43 - MDMA therapy and psychodrama therapy :55 - Ketamine as a trickster molecule 1:07 - Bessel speaks directly to psychedelic therapists 1:10 - Bessel addresses his termination from the Trauma Center he founded
August 28, 2020
Lauren Taus (INBodied Life): Tales of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Today I’m speaking to Lauren Taus, a licensed psychotherapist and a yoga and meditation teacher based in Venice Beach, California. In addition to modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems work, mindfulness, and somatic techniques, she also offers ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP) when she feels that it’s appropriate for clients. On the show we discuss Lauren’s background with MAPS MDMA protocols and the tutelage of her mentor Phil Wolfson, editor of The Ketamine Papers. We talk about equal access to psychedelic medicine and her advice for young practitioners. Lauren also has her own podcast, INbodied Life with guests like Rick Doblin, Rachel Yehuda, and Camille Barton so we share a few podcasting tips as well. So prepare for a journey and may we all return with a little more softness. LINKS Lauren Taus, INBodied Life The Ketamine Papers TIMESTAMPS :08 - First psychedelic experience. :13 - How Lauren started working with ketamine :18 - How Lauren works with ketamine :29 - Lauren’s mission and starting a podcast. :35 - Advise for young practitioners :40 - Equal Access :50 - MDMA vs ketamine for trauma therapy :54 - Lauren speaks to psychedelic practitioners
August 16, 2020
Bia Labate (Chacruna): Psychedelic Healing is Political
Today I am speaking to Bia Labate, the Executive Director of Chacruna, a popular psychedelic website and research institution. She is the Public Education and Culture Specialist at MAPS, adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and author of over 20 books. On the show we discuss the mission of Chacruna--to give a voice and platform to people who have been traditionally excluded from the field of psychedelic science. We discuss how psychedelic therapists can become more engaged with the movement and give back to the community. We explore topics of social justice in the field and Bia’s own personal journey coming to California from Brazil. Finally, we highlight how psychedelics can be used for collective and how psychedelic healing is inherently political--from queering psychedelics--to Black Lives Matter. Bia is a huge proponent of including more diverse voices in the psychedelic community, especially of queer, women/non-binary, Latinx, and indigenous folks in these important and societal-shifting conversations. LINKS: Bia Labate: Chacruna:  TIMESTAMPS: :05 - The goal of Chacruna is to give voice and platform to the people that have been traditionally excluded from the field of psychedelic science. :15 - A PhD Anthropologist, Bia loves psychedelics because they are “mega cool.” :21 - How should new psychedelic therapists acquaint themselves with the movement? :25 - How can individual therapists give back to the psychedelic community? :36 - How Bia’s understanding of social justice, and her own personal liberation came from moving to California from Brazil. :41 - Psychedelics are political, from queering psychedelics to Black Lives Matter :54 - Psychedelic healing is collective healing :59 - Bia speaks directly to psychedelic therapists
July 30, 2020
Kevin Franciotti: Psychedelics in Recovery
Today I am speaking to Kevin Franciotti, founder of Psychedelics in Recovery, a fellowship of individuals in 12-step programs who wish to use psychedelics and plant medicines as part of their recovery. A passionate enthusiast of psychedelic medicine, Kevin’s work is informed by his own relationship to addiction. On the show we discuss Kevin’s experience using ibogaine as a treatment for his own opiate addiction and how his work in recovery helped him become a leader in the community.. We talk about the history of Alcoholic Anonymous and other 12-step programs. We explore recovery with a harm-reduction ethos and finally how psychedelic therapists can collaborate with the recovery community. Kevin is a journalist, a psychedelic researcher, a harm reduction educator, and a substance use recovery advocate. LINKS Kevin’s Website: Psychedelics in Recovery Kevin on Twitter: TIMESTAMPS :05 - The history of Alcoholic Anonymous :13 - 12 step groups beyond AA and Psychedelic and Recovery :21 - Kevin’s personal experience with opiate addiction which led to ibogaine treatment :28 - How ibogaine works for opiate addiction :37 - Kevin’s experience with 12 step programs and other accountability after his ibogaine treatment. :46 - The creation of Psychedelics in Recovery, a 12 step community with a harm reduction ethos :53 - How do psychedelic therapists collaborate with this community and others like it
July 24, 2020
Dr. Charles Flores: Psychedelics and Addiction
Are you curious about psychedelic medicine for addiction and people in recovery? Today’s guest, Dr. Charles Flores (Vital Puma Integral Recovery), has spent 25 years exploring transpersonal psychology and substance abuse disorders. On the show we discuss how psychedelic medicine can facilitate breakthroughs in addictive patterns. We talk about “process addiction” and the default mode network and we do so through the lens of pornography and internet addiction. Dr. Flores cautions against seeing psychedelics as a silver bullet for substance abuse issues and that the integration process must be longer and more skillful. Dr. Flores is a nationally certified psychotherapist and advanced drug and alcohol counselor. He is a professor of Chemical Dependency Studies at Cal State, East Bay and is also the new Psychedelics and Addictions Fellow for the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. There are no simple answers in addiction treatment, but over the next hour, Dr. Flores helps us better understand the landscape. LINKS Vital Puma Integral Recovery: TIMESTAMPS :05 - How Dr. Flores’ childhood inspired him to study addiction :11 - What is addiction? :18 - Psychedelics for process addictions - for example addiction to internet pornography. :26 - The default mode network and patterns of addiction :29 - If you remove the trauma do you remove the addiction? :35 - Can psychedelic use itself become an addiction? :44 - Working with addiction requires skill and longer integration practices :50 - Resources for psychedelic therapists working with patients in recovery.
July 10, 2020
Maria Teresa Chavez (Sacred Earth Warriors): The Way of the Spiritual Doula
Today I am speaking to a Spiritual Doula, Maria Teresa Chavez. The former Therapeutic Director of Crossroads Ibogaine Treatment Center has gone all in on integration. On the show we talk about her work at Crossroads, which is now closed, and the particular therapeutic qualities of ibogaine (from the west African Tabernanthe iboga plant) and 5-MeO-DMT (from the Sonoran Desert Toad) which were administered at Crossroads in tandem. We discuss Maria’s own story of healing including the psychedelic San Pedro cactus and the purgative kambo frog. Most importantly we talk about the healing power of nature and meditation and the profound importance of integration. Maria is a transformational and spiritual doula, a holistic health coach, and an educator with 16 years of expertise in the metaphysical and holistic lifestyle fields. In addition to her work at Crossroads, she is the founder of Sacred Earth Warriors, a transformational healing event and retreat company. Pairing her Peruvian and Venezuelan heritage and background of shamanic plant medicine work, she brings a reverence for the land and aspects of ceremony into all of her offerings. LINKS Crossroads Ibogaine Treatment Center (now closed): Sacred Earth Warriors: Instagram: TIMESTAMPS :04 - Crossroads Ibogaine Clinic :11 - How Iboga works both neurologically and psychologically to reveal maladaptive coping skills :17 - How nature, meditation, and mindfulness set a foundation for Maria’s future psychedelic healing :22 - Integration and the role of the spiritual doula :38 - Maria’s first experiences with Kambo medicine and Wachuma (San Pedro) the medicine of her Peruvian ancestors :48 - How to be better stewards of the psychedelic renaissance in terms of sustainability and marginalized people. :54 - Maria speaks to psychedelic practitioners
June 25, 2020
Akoni Anthony (Maya): The Science and Art of Psychedelic Medicine
Psychedelic medicine is both a science and an art, and Akoni Anthony, co-founder of Maya Health finds his joy at their intersection. On the podcast we discuss Akoni’s personal relationship to psychedelics including how he connected with his name. We talk about barriers to psychedelic medicine for the Black community and what white healers need to understand to better serve people of color. We talk about measuring the ineffable and why we need to collect data about psychedelic experiences. Finally Akoni emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between science and spirituality. Akoni is the co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Maya Health, a psychedelic software company that presents the Psychedelic Therapy Podcast. He previously worked in the cannabis sector, leading data for Baker Technologies. Akoni has also served as the Chief Technology Officer for Realm of Caring, a nonprofit in cannabinoid education and research helping over 55,000 families world-wide through observational data. Maya Health: TIMESTAMPS :05 - The origin of the name “Akoni” :18 - How psychedelics entered Akoni’s life :19 - The barriers to approaching psychedelic medicine in the Black community :28 - Why do we need data about psychedelic experiences? :33 - How do we measure the ineffable? :40 - How can white psychedelic healers support the black community? :46 - The balance between science and spirituality
June 18, 2020
Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D (Internal Family Systems): IFS & Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
Richard C. Schwartz, is the founder of a style of psychotherapy called Internal Family Systems. IFS is based on the idea that the mind is made up of discrete subpersonalities and that healing occurs when they are brought into harmony. Dick is bullish about psychedelics as a way of accessing and understanding these different subpersonalities or “parts” and believes that IFS can be a helpful topography for anyone doing psychedelic-assisted therapy. On the show we discuss the IFS system and why it’s particularly good for working with trauma. Dick shares his personal experiences with psychedelic medicines and Eamon shares his own spontaneous IFS work during his iboga journey. We talk about how IFS can inform psychedelic-assisted therapy and why a knowledge of parts is important for the therapist. We talk about indigenous wisdom traditions and the spirit guides of the DMT world. As always, we conclude with Dick’s specific advice to the aspiring psychedelic therapist. It is an honor to speak to such an affable and studied luminary in the field of Psychology and we are excited to bring you other perspectives beyond the psychedelic community moving forward. One important note: This podcast, Maya, and I personally support the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize that the Psychedelic Renaissance has challenges with diversity and we commit to continuing to platform the enormous gifts of BIPOC communities as well as subjects like equal access to psychedelic medicine, healing ancestral trauma, and social justice on this podcast. There are many brilliant melanated voices carrying psychedelic wisdom, if you’d like to nominate a guest for this show, please let us know in the Psychedelic Therapy Facebook group. LINKS IFS Institute: Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D: “MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy: How Different is it from Other Psychotherapy?” By Michael Mithoefer, MD: TIMESTAMPS :09 - Forthcoming Studies with Internal Family Systems and MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine. :12 - What is IFS and why is it so good for dealing with trauma :22 - Dick’s personal experiences with ketamine and MDMA :28 - Eamon shares his spontaneous IFS experience during an iboga journey :33 - The IFS map of parts including protectors, managers, firefighters, and exiles :41 - How a psychedelic therapist can better hold space by being aware of their own parts. :47 - The importance of safety for IFS & psychedelic healing :54 - IFS through the lens of Ayahuasca and other indigenous wisdom traditions :59 - Dick Schwartz’ advice to aspiring psychedelic therapists
June 9, 2020
Erica Siegal (NEST): An Inside Look at Clinical Trials for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Today’s guest is Erica Siegal a co-investigator and psychotherapist for MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 Clinical Trials for MDMA-assisted therapy. On the show we talk about Erica’s background in social work and how someone interested in psychedelic therapy can get started in the field. We discuss the MAPS protocol for MDMA-assisted therapy including the cost for treatment. We discuss psychedelic integration and whether coaching is a viable path to becoming a psychedelic-assisted therapist. Finally we discuss Erica’s work with harm-reduction from her time with the Zendo Project, MAPS psychedelic peer support organization to her current project NEST: the Network of Emotional Support Teams. Erica is a a co-Investigator and psychotherapist with New School Research, a sub-investigator on the MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 Clinical Trials. In addition to her work in harm reduction at events, during the COVID-19 Crisis, she is facilitating psycho-educational workshops on trauma and providing low-income crisis support to first responders and essential workers. LINKS Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - MAPS: The Zendo Project: NEST Harm Reduction: TIMESTAMPS :04 Erica’s background in social work and MDMA clinical trials :08 How should someone interested in psychedelic therapy start? :13 The MAPS protocol for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy :25 What integration is offered? Are psychedelic integration coaches helpful? :31 Erica’s experience as a recipient of the MAPS MDMA protocol :39 How do practitioners measure their success with MDMA-assisted therapy? :43 NEST and Erica’s work with harm reduction at events :50 Erica addresses aspiring psychedelic therapists
May 26, 2020
Tony Moss (I.AM.LIFE) | So You Want to Be an Ayahuasca Shaman?
Today’s guest is Tony Moss, a respected teacher and plant medicine advocate who has been working with Ayahuasca for over 25 years. On the show we discuss the concept of shamanism, as well as issues with ego and integrity that accompany that title. We talk about how someone can become an ayahuasca ceremony leader through apprenticeship and Tony shares his approach to handling “freakouts.” I ask Tony whether it’s better to experience Ayahuasca in the Amazon and we go deep on the importance of integration. Tony is a musician, artist, and founder of I.AM.LIFE, a non-profit event production project focused on interconnectivity. Tony is a public advocate for the decriminalization and responsible use of all plant medicines and is passionate about the synthesis of indigenous and modern world views. Tony Moss has lead enough ceremonies in legal jurisdictions to see the patterns that aspiring facilitators must be aware of. There’s no substitute for practical facilitation experience, no matter how much you’ve studied, which is why we need elders like Tony Moss to continue to guide the movement of psychedelic medicine. Links Tony Moss: I.AM.LIFE: Timestamps :04 Is Tony a Shaman? :09 Does Tony train other facilitators? :13 Handling freak outs :22 How folks can apprentice with Ayahuasca :27 Is it better to do ayahuasca in the Amazon? :37 Ego and shamanism and the authentic wanting to be seen :46 Why does Tony work with Ayahuasca :56 Without integration you’re just tripping :59 Tony speaks to therapists
May 15, 2020
Ian-Michael Hébert (Holos) | Psychedelic Healing is Holistic Healing
My guest today is Ian-Michael Hébert, co-founder Holos, an organization of holistic healing centers and communities, launching first in Costa Rica. On the show we discuss a holistic approach to psychedelic medicine. We talk about the retreat model and Ian-Michael’s recommendations globally. He shares his perspective on psychedelic ethics and why it’s so important to be in integrity with local communities. Born in Alaska, Ian-Michael is the former Director of Projects at Esalen Institute at Big Sur, he holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and he is co-founder and CEO of Holos. Psychedelic healing is holistic. Let’s take this movement forward in a way that best honors the places, people, plants, and practices that make this work possible. Links Ian-Michael Hébert’s Website Holos Esalen Institute CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research:  The Canadian Psychedelic Association Retreat Guru The Temple of the Way of Light Nihue Rao Synthesis: Legal Psilocybin Retreat in Amsterdam Timestamps :04 Buckminster Fuller’s "trim tab" and Stan Grof’s Holotropic Paradigm :12 Ian-Michael’s Alaska upbringing :16 Are personal psychedelic experiences necessary to be a psychedelic therapist? :21 Ian-Michael's training in psychedelic psychotherapy and where he sees his own blind spots :27 Where does Ian-Michael go to get answers to his questions about psychedelic medicines? :34 Why he chose the retreat model and other retreat centers he recommends :39 Which jurisdictions are amenable to psychedelic medicine :44 What challenges does Ian-Michael face as a retreat leader and for individual therapists? :49 The importance of working with local communities :58 How can people work with Ian-Michael and Holos
May 7, 2020
Irina Alexander (Sage Institute) | Psychedelic Medicine For All
My guest today is Irina Alexander, co-founder of Sage Institute for Integrative Health, a new psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic and training center that prioritizes equal access to psychedelic therapy. On the show we discuss the Sage model which provides access to psychedelic medicine for underserved communities, training for therapists from diverse backgrounds, and psychedelic research. We discuss Sage’s perspective on psychedelic ethics, and how to orient oneself towards social justice. Finally, Irina explains the journey of recruiting Sage interns- from community outreach in the Bay Area, to how you, the listener, might apply to the next cohort (applications are due May 15th). Irina has a background in drug policy reform and harm reduction as Chair of the Board of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and supervisor in psychedelic peer support with the Zendo Project. She is also an adherence rater for the MAPS Phase 3 MDMA clinical trials. She studied Marriage and Family Therapy at University of San Francisco and is now a therapist at the Harm Reduction Therapy Center and at Sage Institute which she co-founded with Genesee Herzberg, Heather Valdez, and Shanna and Jason Butler. If psychedelic healing gives advantages in life and it’s only available to the most fortunate, then this powerful movement of healing might only serve to increase inequality. Sage is on a mission to make sure that doesn’t happen. Links Sage Institute for Integrative Health The Zendo Project Harm Reduction Therapy Center SSDP | Students Sensible Drug Policy‎ Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - MAPS Blinded by the White We Will Call It Pala Timestamps :04 Irina’s background in drug policy reform through the Zendo Project to Sage Institute :11 Sage Institute: Therapy, Training, and Research :16 Additional barriers to access and how Sage addresses them :20 How Sage recruits from different communities :23 Sage’s philosophy of psychedelic ethics :37 So you want to be a psychedelic intern? :46 Irina’s personal orientation towards social justice :52 Irina addresses the psychedelic therapist
May 2, 2020
Dr. David Rabin MD, PhD | Creating Safety for Psychedelic Healing
My guest today is Dr. David Rabin, a psychiatrist, PhD neuroscientist, inventor, and avid proponent of psychedelic medicine. On the show we discuss the neuroscience behind the inner healer and how in the correct setting, psychedelics can help to repattern trauma. We talk about how the attachment to an identity of depression can actually create depressive symptoms. Dr. Rabin shares his work with Modern Spirit who is helping to organize the largest epigenetic study of psychedelics, and we go deep on the default mode network. In addition to his psychiatric practice, Dr. Rabin is the chief innovation officer, co-founder and co-inventor at Apollo Neuroscience, a scientifically-validated wearable system to improve focus, sleep and access to meditative states. He is helping to organize one of the largest epigenetic studies of psychedelic medicines in collaboration with colleagues at Yale, USC, Mt. Sinai, Modern Spirit, and MAPS. He is also the co-founder and executive director of the Board of Medicine, a nonprofit focused on improving the safety and effectiveness of medication-based treatments for patients and healthcare providers. If you want support your client’s inner healer, the most important thing is to make them feel safe. Listen in, as Dr. Rabin shows us how. Links Dr. David Rabin's Website Apollo Neuroscience Modern Spirit Timestamps :06 When Dr. Rabin first became aware of the healing power of psychedelics :12 How psychedelics work to repatterning trauma :16 Creating a set and setting of safety which allows the inner healer to work :24 Techniques does Dr. Rabin use to create safety for his patients :36 How attachment to an identity of depression creates depressive symptoms :43 Default mode network :47 Dr. Rabin and Modern Spirit’s epigenetic psychedelic study :55 Dr. Rabin addresses psychedelic therapists
May 1, 2020