The ‘gnarly and painful’ therapeutic potential of ‘magic mushrooms’ (excerpt from LA Times article)

“Rosalind Watts, a clinical psychologist and the former lead clinician of the psilocybin trial at Imperial College London, wrote last year that the “greatest threat to a healthy psychedelic future is the fetishizing of just the drug alone.” She’s working to dispel what has become a dominant narrative — “that all you need to do to change your mind is eat something.” In fact, putting the brain in a malleable state without proper therapy protocols could even cause someone’s symptoms to worsen, according to experts.

My greatest take-away from microdosing with psychedelics since 2016 is that psychedelic is a state of mind, not an ingredient.

Psychedelics don’t fix, solve or make things disappear. Psychedelics shed light. When the pupils dilate, we get a bigger picture.

“Psilocybin-assisted therapy is a long, carefully curated process that involves weeks or months of unstructured talk therapy to help people untangle and integrate what came up during the five-hour psychedelic experience, which Watts describes as often “gnarly and painful.”

In the wrong hands, psychedelic therapy has the potential to harm vulnerable people. Last year, New York Magazine and psychedelic watchdog nonprofit Psymposia unraveled sexual abuse that took place in psychedelic clinical trials in an investigative podcast called “Cover Story: Power Trip.”

Fred Barrett, a neuroscientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research said he truly believes that “when all is said and done, we will be able to help a lot of people if we do so carefully. But we have to be mindful of overblown rhetoric.”

“A Johns Hopkins Medicine study in 2020 showed that only two doses of psilocybin, given with psychotherapy, could produce rapid and large reductions in depression symptoms. A follow-up study concluded that those benefits were effective for up to a year. Just 24 people participated in that research, though, a small sample. In November, the largest trial to date — with 233 participants across 10 countries — showed that a single dose of psilocybin significantly reduced symptoms of depression in participants for whom other treatments didn’t work.

Compare those effects to antidepressants, which must be taken every day and for about a third of people don’t work at all. If researchers can produce these results in a large-scale study, it could mean significant relief for people with treatment-resistant mental health conditions.”

What 3 items would you put in a magic circle if you wanted to summon a psychedelic state of mind?


If there were 3 verbs I would include:


When you step out of the box of medical model you enter discovery mode. Now instead of solving a problem, fixing something broken, or making something go away, you are giving yourself some breathing room to explore what’s ‘right’ with you.

Psychedelic state of mind includes awe, wonder, going out on a limb to discover you are part of a grove. You are not alone.

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