Psychedelics Today

Psychedelics Today

  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    PT516 – Embracing the Mystery: Making Psychedelic Literature Engaging, with Sean Lawlor

    In this episode, Joe interviews Sean Lawlor: writer and therapist specializing in ketamine-assisted therapy at Reflective Healing in Fort Collins, CO.

    His first book, Psychedelic Revival: Toward a New Paradigm of Healing, will be released on June 4. Written as somewhat of a primer for psychedelics and psychedelic therapy, he talks about how he decided to write the book, how Michael Pollan was an influence, and the importance of making psychedelic literature not boring: Research and statistics are important, but how does one relate to data points when trying to understand something so rich and weird?

    He discusses:

    • Studying philosophy, from Nietzsche and Freud to Jung and William James
    • When a clinical frame or license is important (but can you always trust a license?)
    • How context and interwoven culture matter when differentiating between plant medicines and man-made psychedelics
    • Brian Muraresku’s The Immortality Key and research into ancient Greeks using psychedelics: Why do we place so much importance on proving this?
    • The importance of community, rituals, shared meanings, mythology, and rites of passage and more!

    For links, head to the show notes page

    28 May 2024, 6:39 pm
  • 1 hour 9 minutes
    PT515 – The Economics of Psychedelics, with Elliot Marseille, DrPH, MPP

    In this episode, Joe interviews Elliot Marseille, DrPH, MPP: founding director of UC Berkeley’s Collaborative for the Economics of Psychedelics (CEP), a network of health economists and researchers analyzing the economics behind emerging psychedelic-assisted therapies.

    In the early days of drug research, efficacy was the leading factor in decision making, but as time has gone on, people are looking much more into the economics of everything: If a government is granted X amount of money, what should they spend it on that will be the most beneficial to the most people? How do you create models for future research and regulations based on the data we have now? Can there be a time in the near future when someone sits before Congress and says, “This is the exact societal cost of not making psychedelic therapy accessible”?

    He discusses:

    • His early work with the SEVA Foundation, studying at the economics behind HIV/AIDS treatments in developing countries
    • His experiences working with Ram Dass and having a big psychedelic journey with Leo Zeff
    • His issues with the recent ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review) report which said they couldn’t endorse MDMA-assisted psychotherapy
    • Why we need more studies tracking people for long periods after psychedelic therapy, specifically analyzing their healthcare utilization over time

    and more!

    For links, head to the show notes page

    24 May 2024, 3:41 pm
  • 58 minutes 53 seconds
    PT514 – Breaking Through Bureaucracy: Can D.C. Embrace Evidence-Based Drug Policy?, with Senator Tom Daschle and Charlie Panfil

    In this episode, Joe interviews two members of The Daschle Group: Founder and CEO, Senator Tom Daschle; and Public Policy Advisor, Charlie Panfil.

    As Senator Daschle served in the House of Representatives for eight years (starting in 1978) and the Senate for 21, he was deep in the War on Drugs at its peak, and thankfully, as seen with so many of his constituents in recent years, the data and personal stories of so many healed people has broken through the propaganda and made him a strong advocate for psychedelic-assisted therapy. While minds are changing and progress is happening before our eyes (the majority of substances the FDA is currently researching for psychiatric indications contain some form of psychedelic ingredient), government bureaucracy, a severe lack of communication between the FDA and DEA, and decades of lies are still massive roadblocks. How do we address all of this while advancing research?

    They discuss:

    • The need to develop a partnership between the public and private sectors, mostly for the cost of treatments
    • The DEA’s place in all of this: If they’re essentially a law enforcement agency, why are they involved in the safety and efficacy of medical treatments?
    • The STATES Act, the Breakthrough Therapies Act, and how they can affect research
    • Why we need to move past relying on opioids, and instead, embrace a science-based drug policy

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    21 May 2024, 6:37 pm
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
    PT513 – Depth Psychology, Archetypal Energies, and How Psychedelics Reveal the Soul, with Simon Yugler

    In this episode, Kyle interviews Simon Yugler: psychedelic-assisted therapist, educator, and author of the book, Psychedelics & the Soul: A Mythic Guide to Psychedelic Healing, Depth Psychology, and Cultural Repair, which comes out this fall.

    He digs into depth psychology and why it’s a beneficial framework for navigating non-ordinary experiences – a practice he believes will be the next focus in psychedelic education and understanding, alongside more analysis into the archetypes and myths that reside within (and all around) us. In an age of hyper-individualism and isolation, the stories and archetypal energies we share (which can be brought more to the forefront with psychedelics) can be incredibly healing and connecting.

    He discusses:

    • The challenges of reintegrating to reality after the classic Hero’s Journey, and how some people don’t want to
    • The time he ate 7 grams of strong mushrooms and nothing happened, confirming to him the omnipresence of trickster energies
    • Jung’s theory on individuation, and how true individuation actually creates deeper engagement with the world
    • How myths offer windows into deeper realms, and a breakdown of his Mythopoetic Integration Method
    • How psychedelics show us our souls, and how so much of the chaos in the world can be related to a denial of the soul

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    17 May 2024, 3:53 pm
  • 1 hour 21 minutes
    PT512 – RIPPLES of Hope: Psychedelics as a Tool for Peacebuilding and Collective Healing, with Sami Awad and Leor Roseman, Ph.D.

    In this episode, David interviews Sami Awad: Palestinian peace and nonviolent activist and founder of Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem; and Leor Roseman, Ph.D.: Israeli neuroscientist, researcher, and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter.  

    They talk about Roseman's 2021 paper, "Relational Processes in Ayahuasca Groups of Palestinians and Israelis," which looked at what happened when people with fiercely different opinions moved beyond fear, anger, and othering, and sat together in a safe container and drank ayahuasca with the purpose of healing collective trauma. When the focus of the participants moved toward understanding each other, Roseman and Awad saw a unity that gave them a lot of hope, leading to the creation of their nonprofit, RIPPLES, which is focused on using psychedelics for peacebuilding – first in the Middle East, and hopefully soon, everywhere. As Awad says, "If it can happen here, it can happen almost anywhere."

    They discuss: 

    • The efficacy of psychedelics as a tool for nonviolent activism, building peace, and recognizing – and healing – collective trauma
    • The balance between the idealistic and the practical, or 'the irony of harmony' – if you focus too much on the connectivity of psychedelics, do you actually exclude voices?
    • The concept of "my liberation depends on your healing and your liberation depends on mine"
    • The challenge in doing something with the hope and enthusiasm that comes after a powerful experience: How do you make sure that wave of hope continues rippling through choppy waters? 

    Click here to head to the show notes page.

    14 May 2024, 5:42 pm
  • 1 hour 59 seconds
    PT511 – The Other Side of Veteran Healing: Secondary PTSD and Post-Retreat Family Dynamics, with Allison Wilson & Dr. Grace Blest-Hopley

    In this episode, Joe interviews two members of the Heroic Hearts Project team: Director of Donor Development and founder of The Hope Project, Allison Wilson; and Director of Research and founder of Hystelica, Dr. Grace Blest-Hopley.

    They discuss how The Hope Project – a nonprofit that supports spouses of veterans, Gold Star Wives, and female veterans with scholarships to psychedelic healing retreats, integration, community, etc. – merged with Heroic Hearts Project, and why this is such a necessary part of the veteran healing story: How does a family hold space for a vet returning to a suddenly alien civilian life (especially after a psychedelic journey)? How does a spouse deal with their own trauma from constant worry and isolation? Wilson and Blest-Hopley are learning that, for many spouses, having their own experience (and with other spouses) has been incredibly beneficial.

    They talk about:

    • The concept of secondary PTSD (often referred to as ‘compassion fatigue’) and the many ways it can manifest
    • How Heroic Hearts is working with Imperial College London to use veteran retreats as real-world observational research
    • The importance of involving family in the healing process, and how positive outcomes can trickle down to children
    • The need for more research into how PTSD and the effects of psychedelics are different in women based on their unique physiology (as most studies have focused on men)

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    10 May 2024, 5:22 pm
  • 1 hour 21 minutes
    PT510 – Early Research, Psychedelics in Palliative Care, and the Intersection of Science and the Sacred, with William Richards, STM, Ph.D.

    In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview William Richards, STM, Ph.D.: senior advisor at Sunstone Therapies, psychologist at the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, contributor to Vital, and author of Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics & Religious Experiences.

    He talks about the first time he experienced psilocybin in a research study in 1963, his early studies on the psychology of religion, working with Abraham Maslow, how he became one of the early psychedelic therapists, and what it was like for all of that to disappear when Nixon came into office and shut everything down. He discusses his move into psychedelics and end-of-life care after seeing patients’ fear of death completely disappear, and contemplates whether psychedelics could help people prepare for death – how would we live if we no longer feared death?

    He also discusses:

    • How the integration of psychedelics into palliative care should be a huge step in cultural acceptance
    • How psychedelics could be used for education and boosting creativity, problem solving, and even new perspectives on history and classic works
    • The study of comparative religion and the potential for psychedelics to find the connections and commonality between seemingly disparate religions
    • The impact of psychedelic experiences on the perception of the sacred
    • How fascinating it is that the same substance, dose, and set and setting can create such incredibly different experiences

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    7 May 2024, 5:05 pm
  • 1 hour 8 minutes
    PT509 – Music for Psychedelic Exploration, and the First 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Album, with Shahar Amit

    In this episode, Joe interviews Shahar Amit: psytrance musician who has created what may be the world's first modular album for psychedelic exploration under his project, Held By Sound. 

    He talks about his background in the rave and festival scene, the moment he realized he wanted to make music, and the realization that he could create soundscapes specifically for journeys into non-ordinary states. And he digs into the 'choose your own adventure' framework of the free album: how he actually recorded 3 different albums and figured out how to transition into different moods based on which direction the listener wants to go – from more still to more expansive, to darker or more bittersweet. He has also created music for DMT trials in the UK, and talks a lot about the potential in extended-state DMT experiences.

    He also discusses: 

    • How he came up with the flow of the album related to phases of the trip
    • How much of a catalyst and safe container music can be, with or without a complimentary substance
    • How psychedelics in a fun, festival experience with lots of laughter can be extremely beneficial – you don't need to do them the 'correct' way
    • Graham Hancock, Donald Hoffman, and the concept of consciousness as the building block of all reality
    • Psytrance, classical music, traditional Bwiti music, Lady Gaga, and what music he feels is best for exploration 

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    3 May 2024, 4:06 pm
  • 1 hour 13 minutes
    PT508 – The Veteran Community and Operator Syndrome: Psychedelics and Redefining Pain Management, with Tommy Aceto

    In this episode, Joe and special guest, Court Wing, interview Tommy Aceto: former Navy Seal and trauma medic, NCAA athlete, Michigan State Champion Wrestler, and now, psychedelic advocate and ambassador for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition.

    He discusses his journey from childhood to wanting to become a SEAL, and the toll that military life and its programming can take on a person: how a life built on high levels of endurance, deprivation, and constantly surviving in a fight-or-flight mindset often manifests in Operator Syndrome, chronic pain, depression, and addiction. Veterans are seeing the potential of psychedelics to rewire their brains and allow them to process pain differently, by allowing them to feel emotions they were trained to turn off: “You’ve got to feel to heal.”

    Aceto discusses:

    • The affirmation and approval many who join the military seek, and how that often translates into needing to stay at certain levels of risk to truly feel alive
    • The similarities between soldiers and professional athletes and high performers
    • Dealing with chronic pain, and how forcing movement is often the best tactic
    • The Controlled Substances Act and how opioids became a business
    • Why the most important thing vets can do today is to tell their healing stories

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    30 April 2024, 5:07 pm
  • 55 minutes 20 seconds
    PT507 – Psychedelic Education: Insights, Advice, and Where to Start, with Johanna Hilla & Kyle Buller

    In this episode, Kyle and Johanna catch up, interviewing each other about psychedelic education and what they’ve learned, the biggest challenges, and what advice they would give to anyone looking to get involved in the psychedelic field.

    They discuss:

    • How sometimes it’s not about the substance: If you want to be a psychedelic therapist, do you see yourself doing therapy without the psychedelics?
    • How no part of education is exempt, and becoming truly psychedelically-competent can involve studying psychology, neuroscience, somatics, religion, history, etc.
    • How people’s experiences are evidence – it doesn’t have to come from a research study to be valid
    • The importance of figuring out what your gifts are and how you could best contribute to progress, and then finding the job that matches it

    and more!

    The next round of our year-long training program, Vital, begins in September, but for those who feel that that may be too much of a commitment, our most popular course – the 9-week Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Wellness Practitioners, LIVE – begins on May 8. Head to the Psychedelic Education Center for more details! Click here to head to the show notes page.

    26 April 2024, 3:33 pm
  • 1 hour 42 minutes
    PT506 – Decolonization, Difficult Conversations, and the Challenge of Merging Spirituality and Science, with Philip Wolf

    In this episode, Joe interviews Philip Wolf: writer, member of Rolling Stone's Culture Council, founder of Cultivating Spirits (the first company in the U.S. to offer legal culinary cannabis experiences), and founder of CashoM, an education company offering a certificate in cannabis stewardship.

    He discusses his recent Rolling Stone article about the need to divorce ourselves from the colonial mindset that pervades the psychedelic movement, and he talks about the difficult conversation that came about when he asked a very critical group of psychedelic leaders how they felt about the article, and how it taught him just how powerful having these difficult conversations can be. 

    He also discusses: 

    • The importance of asking questions and not making assumptions
    • Why we may need to abandon the "no justice, no peace" attitude if we ever want to move forward
    • The idea that instead of endlessly battling the establishment, maybe it makes more sense to change our consumer mindset and allow capitalism to do its thing
    • The importance of reaching out to local Indigenous tribes and allocating resources to go to them, not make them come to you
    • The challenge of merging spirituality and science, especially for a regulatory model focused on profit

    and more! For links, head to the show notes page

    23 April 2024, 9:17 pm
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