Interviews

044: Interview with Dr. Rosalind Watts, Clinical Psychologist in the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London by Joe

Rosalind Watts photo.jpg

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It’s April 2, 2017, and we are talking with Dr. Rosalind Watts, Clinical Psychologist at Imperial College London, working alongside Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

  • Joe’s story of psilocybin on his first “date” with his now-wife, and psilocybin’s role in their engagement

  • The Couples Using Magic Mushrooms as Relationship Therapy

  • Kevin’s regular practice of taking psychedelic medicine with his wife

  • How Ros came to study psychedelic therapy after initially becoming disillusioned with the limits of talk therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression; her initial skepticism about psychedelics based on their negative legacy

  • The importance of the patient-therapist relationship

  • Some guidelines from one of the father figures of psychedelic therapy, Bill Richards: “We prepare people to welcome whatever they may encounter – no picking and choosing. Sometimes you have to go through the dark night to get to the top of the mountain and the sunrise. If the inner dragon or monster appears, look him in the eye – go straight towards him. If you look the monster in the eye and go towards it, ask it what it wants – there’s always resolution, transformation, and new knowledge. When you run from it, you get into panic and paranoia, like a typical nightmare – and then you say, ‘I’ve had a bad trip.’”

  • Although psychedelics including psilocybin tend to be considered non-addictive, there are examples of people using them habitually

  • Ros mentions some examples of people in the psilocybin study for depression giving up addictions and habitual behavior

  • To help fund this important research, visit the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London

042: Interview with Dr. Neal Goldsmith on Psychedelic Healing by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

It’s March 12, 2017, and we are discussing psychedelic healing with Dr. Neal Goldsmith.

Topics:

  • Neal’s book Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development provides copious discussion points for our conversation today.

  • Neal's therapy practice, and how his use of psychedelics has informed his practice of psychotherapy

  • Imago therapy

  • LSD is a tool: Charles Manson becomes more Charles Manson; Richard Alpert becomes Ram Dass.

  • The substitution of the eucharist as a proxy for the original psychoactive sacrament. Can we please go back to the active version? What are the consequences of inactive substitutes in religious ceremonies? How have alternative spiritual practices sprung up in the absence of sanctioned Entheogenic rituals?

  • George Carlin’s Modern Man.

  • Are we in the midst of McKenna’s Archaic Revival? Is this another way to internalize the unfolding ecological apocalypse?

“If we’re going to be post-post-modern, if we’re going to be integral, we can’t have a fight between tribalism and modernity. We can’t have a fight between spirituality and the material world.”

  • Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, breathing…

  • Deep breathing to expel carbon dioxide in addition to inhaling oxygen.

  • McKenna’s conjecture that it’s possible to get to the same state of consciousness that psychedelics provide access to, using meditation or chanting or drumming, but who has time for that?

  • What do you recommend to listeners who might be interested in some form of psychedelic therapy, present company included?

  • The dichotomy of tribalism vs. modernism: our human ancestors living naturally but for shorter time, vs. modern humans living longer but disconnected from nature. Spiraling up vs. retreating to tribalism.

  • Spirituality vs. science. The concept of rational mysticism. Einstein quote via Rick Doblin: “There's no real conflict between science & religion; there's a conflict between bad science & bad religion.”

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to EntheogenShow.com and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

040: Checking in with Kirk Rutter, Psilocybin Research Participant by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to EntheogenShow.com and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

It’s February 26, 2017, and we are checking in with Kirk Rutter, who joined us for Episode 025: Psychedelic Medicine Trials with Participant Kirk Rutter.

Topics:

  • Kirk’s Organizational Upgrade
  • Ganesh Chant/Mantra (108 times)
  • Barack Obama’s “Fired up, ready to go
  • The zoo
  • Ecological mindset
  • Vegetarianism
  • Hanlon's razor
  • Burning Man changed Brad’s life

038: Interview with Alasdair from Bluelight.org by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is December 4, 2016, and we are talking with Alisdair from BlueLight.org.

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Topics:

  • BlueLight.org was founded in 1997, and Alisdair has been a member since 2002.
  • What is BlueLight.org?
  • Why “bluelight”? Is there significance to that?
  • How did you get introduced to BlueLight?
  • Legal considerations?
  • Relationship with MAPS
  • Donate to BlueLight

037: Dr. Sarah Mennenga from NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory on Using Psilocybin to Treat Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is December 18, 2016, and we are discussing the recent publication of studies from NYU and Johns Hopkins showing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients, and we’re pleased to be joined by Dr. Sarah Mennenga from the NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory.

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Your pledges make the show possible! We're trying to cover expenses by asking our fans to pledge at Patreon.com/Entheogen. We really appreciate your support!

Topics:

  • We are grateful to be joined by Dr. Sarah Mennenga, Doctor of Neuroscience, NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory

  • NYU and Johns Hopkins just released studies showing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients

  • 80 percent of participants showed significant reduction of anxiety and depression

  • “One theory is that psilocybin interrupts the circuitry of self-absorbed thinking that is so pronounced in depressed people, making way for a mystical experience of selfless unity” i.e. interrupting or disrupting the Default Mode Network?

  • What is the neurological basis for the geometric shapes and auditory effects that characterize the psilocybin experience. What part does suggestibility play in the experience?

  • The “intensity of the mystical experience described by patients correlated with the degree to which their depression and anxiety decreased” – Why is that? What is it about the nature of the psychedelic or mystical experience that does this?

    • Octavian Mihai “saw black smoke rising from my body”

    • Kevin, a participant in the Johns Hopkins study saw “spirals of iridescent spheres that folded in on themselves”. “But you have to approach the session with the right intentions of why you’re doing it. Because you’re going to meet yourself.”

  • Study protocols, and the unique considerations for psychedelic session
    • “seven-hour music playlists.[...] N.Y.U. leaned toward New Age and world music — Brian Eno; sitars; didgeridoos. Johns Hopkins favored Western classical.”

    • Chalice

    • Buddha statue

  • Collaboration among the few institutions doing psychedelic research
  • Criticism from the academic/scientific community?
  • Political concerns; safety concerns around legalization

  • Stigma in the academic community?

  • fMRI scanning during a psychedelic experience?

  • NYU seeking participants in two upcoming studies:

  • NYU seeking $10 million funding for center to study psychedelics

How to Help:

Further Reading: