MEDIA & EDUCATION
I didn't realize how much I misunderstood (and was misinformed) about psychedelics until reading How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan and subsequently having my first experience with a psychedelic medicine at the end of 2020. After this life-changing introduction to the profound power of these molecules, I've been on a mission to learn as much as possible about the subject and share with others. To consolidate that journey, I've included several links below so we can continue learning about this fascinating topic together.
If you'd like to scroll ahead, this page is divided into the following sections:
Here are some personal videos, interviews, and writings, all in one place. Please note that some things I've previously said may be outdated, as I'm always learning and revising to offer the best services possible.
Below that are recommendations for books, podcasts, movies, and more!
MEDIA • EDUCATION • RESEARCH • ADVOCACY • ETHICS
Ketamine in Psychotherapy
Ketamine is a versatile tool, and using it in a therapeutic context amplifies its potential for deep psychological and emotional benefits. There is a huge difference between taking Ketamine as a drug to adjust brain chemicals (in settings that lack thorough preparation, emotional support, and integration support) and engaging in the Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy process, which amplifies the potential of this approach for lasting change.
Ketamine: Benefits and Risks for
Depression, PTSD & Neuroplasticity
Dr. Andrew Huberman, PhD, is a neuroscientist and tenured professor at Stanford, and here he talks about some of the science behind Ketamine.
Dosed 2: The Trip of a Lifetime
Psilocybin Assisted Therapy has been shown to help with end-of-life anxiety for those struggling with cancer, and this film follows a woman seeking this approach for her own diagnosis. It's a powerful and emotional movie that the whole family could watch together to learn about the value of these medicines when used intentionally.
MDMA Could Help Cure PTSD
This is a powerful firsthand look at what psychedelic assisted therapy can look like. While MDMA, Ketamine, and Psilocybin all feel very different, the sessions can look quite similar on the outside (i.e., comfortable and supportive environment, music, eye shades, and discussions around novel emerging insights).
Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Using LSD, MDMA, and Psilocybin to Treat Mental Health
This offers a great snapshot of what psychedelic therapy can look like. Due to legal restrictions that are widely known to be unscientific, as well as unethical, many practitioners do this work 'underground.' As our culture learns about these tools, this work will be increasingly accepted and integrated in our culture, and my goal is to help educate others during this transition. The comments on this video are also encouraging, as many YouTube users share their healing journeys with these medicines.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Research on Ketamine's effects have often centered around administration in a clinical setting to determine the chemical benefit this medicine can provide. Even though it can be dangerous to experience this molecule at dissociative doses without adequate psychological preparation and emotional support, the results of taking Ketamine by itself for its pharmacological properties at a range of doses have been impressive.
Meanwhile, the need for additional support in this powerful process is beyond important, as we know that this medicine can bring about delicate emotional, psychological, and spiritual content. Having a safe context to anticipate, experience, interpret, and integrate this material can be instrumental in maximizing the benefit of this medicine and sustaining its positive effects.
There's no data yet comparing IV or at-home Ketamine use without therapy support to outcomes from those who engage in true Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). However, this article tracks several KAP clinics engaging in this approach, which could be viewed as a more holistic option for working with this medicine.
The Ketamine Breakthrough by Dr. Mike Dow and Ronan Levy centers around Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, specifically, and is the most practical book I know of that best describes this process and how it differs from other uses of Ketamine for mental health.
It articulates why someone might want to engage with this medicine in a therapeutic and/or holistic context, with a psychotherapy-trained practitioner, and how this approach may offer different benefits than other applications.
Another resource is The Ketamine Papers by Phil Wolfson and Glenn Hartelius, which is more like a textbook with contributions from many authors, covering extensive clinical data and annecdotes about various applications of Ketamine. And finally, Ketamine for Depression by Stephen Hyde, which advocates for low-dose-at-home use (which is not my specialty and may carry various risks). I mention this because it offers an incredible reader-friendly review of all of the Ketamine literature prior to the book's publication and would be great to read for anyone who wants to know the hard data about Ketamine.
Additional Ketamine Resources
Clinical Data & Podcasts
Doing your own research is important to make an informed decision about your own mental health. If you're interested in a deep dive, some fantastic resource lists have already been created by several clinics conducting Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and clinical research on psychedelic medicines. I highly recommend checking them out and learning more!
MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy
Clinical Trial / Phase 3 Results
MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy has shown the best clinical results of any known treatment for PTSD. These outcomes are the result of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials and provide the necessary evidence for pending FDA approval. Integrating this powerful tool into our mental health system will mark a new chapter in effective, efficient, and holistic options for the general public.
Psilocybin Assisted Psychotherapy:
The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin
The number of research findings demonstrating the positive effects of this medicine is staggering. This article provides a general overview of how this molecule can be used therapeutically, and how this invaluable tool may become increasingly incorporated into our culture.
Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration
If the goal of a therapist is to help others navigate matters that impact their mental health, it only makes sense to discuss safe practices for engaging in psychedelic work, as well as any content that may have emerged from using these powerful mind-and-heart-opening molecules, in a professional setting. This clinical model provides an evidence-based foundation for this approach.
Local efforts are underway to expand access to these invaluable medicines. If you would like to help, learning more about these tools and sharing positive word of mouth about this approach would be a major contribution towards the larger cause of creating opportunities for individuals who may benefit greatly from the intentional use of psychedelics.
MEDIA • EDUCATION • RESEARCH • ADVOCACY • ETHICS
Our local Psychedelic Practitioner Community of fellow therapists and providers of psychedelic assisted therapies, along with other professionals and engaged members of the community, has formed an organization to advocate for increased research around these important medicines, as well as urgent change to our laws so that local individuals can access these life-saving technologies.
Alabama Entheogen began formal efforts with local legislature in early 2023 and is eager to see positive changes soon.
Our advocacy group seeks to expand access to effective tools that are currently restricted. These tools include entheogens, empathogens, and other psychedelic medicines that, when used intentionally and cautiously, can alleviate and assist PTSD, depression, anxiety, community violence, addiction, and other pressing concerns. We seek to shift the policy landscape and educate our community to increase access to these invaluable tools and their well-researched benefits.
By reducing misinformation, miseducation, and stigma, we hope to help create pathways for research, access, and harm education relating to the therapeutic and spiritual use of entheogens, empathogens, and other psychedelic medicines.
The importance of intentional and ethical conduct when working with psychedelic medicines cannot be overstated. As a clinician in this complex and evolving field, I am not perfect. There will continue to be steep learning curves in exploring urgent, effective, and ethical avenues to increase accessibility to these powerful tools. Your compassion for practitioners like myself who are diligently navigating this uncharted territory during a global mental health crisis – in a country whose laws are both unethical and detached from overwhelming scientific research – is much appreciated. Meanwhile, I wanted to include several ethics-related resources to transparently illustrate my commitment to providing this work at the highest standard possible.
MEDIA • EDUCATION • RESEARCH • ADVOCACY • ETHICS
Ketamine Research Institute
KRIYA released their code of ethics, which outlines best practices for Ketamine clinicians. It underlines the importance of 'specialized psychological care before, during, and after receiving Ketamine,' which is a foundation of true Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Polaris Insight Center
To get trained in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, I completed every available all-day module, as well as an in-person experiential retreat, from this outstanding organization. They also offer an all-day ethics module that I would highly recommend for any clinician looking to do this work.
Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics
Dr. Cedar Barstow's instructive book is a must-read for any clinician, and especially those looking to practice in this space. Psychedelic therapy is a powerful and complex approach that must be handled with the utmost care and consideration.
I'm continually learning what it means to be a psychedelic therapist and how to engage in this work as thoughtfully and ethically as possible, and will continue to do my best to navigate this work in a way that hopefully empowers anyone seeking to work on themselves in a significant way.
Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund
As the intentional use of psychedelic medicines becomes more common around the globe, we need to remain highly aware of the cultural, environmental, and ethical implications of the medicines we are using.
Supporting organizations like the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund and learning what they have to offer would be a huge contribution to their important goals.
An Urgent Plea to Users of Psychedelics: Let’s Consider a More Ethical Menu of Plants and Compounds
As exciting as the potential is for a wide range of psychedelic medicines, they are not equally environmentally friendly. Sourcing of some of these powerful molecules can cause serious and unethical harm to animals, communities, and the Earth itself.
Fortunately, Ketamine is a sustainable medicine, and other psychedelic therapy tools nearing FDA approval, such as MDMA and Psilocybin, can also be sourced sustainably.