Joe was recently interviewed over at No Simple Road. Check it out!
EP.52-BREATHING DEEP WITH JOE MOORE FROM PSYCHEDELICS TODAY PODCAST
Joe Moore, Host of Psychedelics Today Podcast, hangs out with us and discusses his journey into the realm of Holotropic Breathwork. He gives us an education on Dr. Stanislav Grof, the methods and meaning of these techniques, why he personally gravitated to breathwork as a healing method, the means of the inner revolution, and how we need to still have fun while taking psychedelics.
About No Simple Road
We are more than just a Grateful Dead Podcast, more than a music and culture show, something other than a Deadhead family of cosmic wanderers…. we’re real people living a life uncommon. I know it helps me when I see people I listen to and realize they are flesh and blood, and it’s cool to have faces to put to the voices. So here we are in all our groovy glory.
During this episode of Psychedelics Today, your hosts Joe Moore and Kyle Buller interview Dr. Monnica Williams from the University of Connecticut and Dr. Will Siu a psychiatrist in private practice based in Manhattan, and a therapist on MAPS’s MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD clinical trials at the University of Connecticut. They join us to discuss race-based trauma, people of color in psychedelics, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
About Dr. Will Siu
- He’s a psychiatrist and therapist on the MDMA for PTSD clinical trials with the supervision of Dr. Monnica Williams.
- Based in NYC and has a private practice.
- Does some work in emergency psychiatry at a local hospital.
About Dr. Monnica Williams
- Associate professor at the University of Connecticut.
- Does graduate teaching and multicultural psychology and research in the health center.
- Currently doing a study on MDMA assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
- What is race-based trauma?
- There had been some studies previously.
- When people become traumatized by experiences of racism, oppression, marginalization based on their perceived identity.
- Often because of ongoing experiences, like microaggressions
- Eventually, people have so many of these experiences that they start to have symptoms of PTSD.
- People get so distressed and afraid that they act in a way that might harm them.
- You have to think about trauma in a non-single event way.
- Exploring the topic epigenetics.
- Trauma has been passed down from generation to generation.
- Layer epigenetics on top of what’s currently going on and trauma is understandable.
- How has recruiting been going for the MDMA study?
- It’s challenging, they’re not drawing from the same population the other sites are.
- They’re creating a culturally safe, welcoming environment for people of color.
- There is fear and misinformation that requires them to do a lot of education on the front end.
- Research abuses haven’t stopped, they’re still continuing today.
- Psychedelic drugs are almost exclusively used by white people.
- Are there any big problems you’re trying to tackle now in prepping the study?
- Traditionally there has been no compensation for study participants, but it’s needed for this study.
- Another layer is paying via direct deposit vs. cash and getting the university on board.
- How do you send someone back into the trauma you’re trying to heal.
- How do you support people in the study?
- Support them as much as possible during the study.
- Continue to follow-up with people after the treatment is over.
- There is a lack of people of color in the therapy field, especially MAPS.
- Often people of color don’t have a good experience with white therapists.
- Why do you think there aren’t very many people of color in psychedelics?
- People of color haven’t had the same advantages to become therapists.
- It’s not safe to talk about substances when your license is on the line.
- Culturally, psychedelics haven’t played as big of a role with people of color.
- What does an ideal training model look like for you?
- Watching the videos of people getting well was a big game changer.
- The training needs a fuller understanding of what people from other ethnic and cultural groups need.
- Monica is altering the training to be more relatable.
- Talk about enrollment.
- They have people at all different stages right now.
- They have about 18 people total who have gone through the stages.
- They still have to follow the guidelines of an indexed trauma to be accepted.
- How big is your team right now?
- Three therapist pair teams.
- A few other people who assist in various ways.
- Several people are doing double-duty.
- How can the psychedelic community be more inclusive of people of color?
- Make some close friends who are not white.
- Do you have any fantasy projects you’d like to see play out?
- Start a master’s program with a specialty track in minority mental health and psychedelic therapy.
- All scholarships for people of color.
- Any advice you’d give to a young person or professional?
- There’s a lot of work to be done and we need enthusiastic minds.
- Change won’t happen overnight or be easy, but it’s worth it.
- Be involved in the community
The psychedelic community is a very, very white community – most people of color haven’t had an experience with psychedelics.
Ultimately, psychedelics and psychotherapy will be an accepted, licensed form of treatment.
About Monnica Williams
Monnica Williams, Ph.D. is a board-certified, licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapies. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the Laboratory for Culture and Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, LLC in Mansfield, Connecticut, and she has founded clinics in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Will Siu, MD, DPhil
I grew up in southern California, where I completed college at UC Irvine and medical school at UCLA. Midway through medical school, I pursued research interests at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC and ultimately completed a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford. After finishing medical school I moved to Boston to complete my psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals, after which I continued to work for two years while faculty at Harvard Medical School. I moved to New York City in 2017 where in addition to having a private practice, I am a therapist on clinical trials using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD.
In this episode of Psychedelics, Kyle and Joe talk with Daniel Greig. Daniel is a student at the University of Toronto and psychedelic community organizer working with CSSDP and the Toronto Psychedelic Society.
We go all over the map but some notable things discussed in this episode include:
- Measuring wisdom
- The promise of psychedelics
- Future research opportunities
- How friendly the University of Toronto is to psychedelic research
- Interesting philosophical overlaps with psychedelics and occultism
- and much more!!
- How did you get involved in researching psychedelics?
- He never had to hide or be discreet about his research interests.
- People are actually interested in his research work.
- Canada just legalized marijuana countrywide.
- He started experimenting with psychedelics when he was around 18.
- He was able to feel positive emotions again after psychedelics.
- Are there any recent studies that have you excited?
- There was a publication in 2017 that looks at the role of mental imagery under the influence of LSD.
- Daniel is interested in “what is the function of the imagination.”
- What you get on LSD is similar to what happens during REM dreaming.
- We’re not very in touch with our imaginative experiences.
- How are you viewing mystical experiences?
- Mental imagery is just reverse perception.
- Mental imagery begins in higher processes and sends information down.
- We share the faculty and functions of imagery with other animals.
- How can you engage in some of this mental imagery?
- There’s a process called active imagination.
- Practicing active imagination helps you make the most of imagistic experiences.
- It can be helpful to have someone else guide you through the images.
- The most important thing is – is it effective?
- Do you think what’s happening on the physiological level in the mind is a therapeutic part of psychedelics or imaginative?
- It’s different for everybody.
- For people with depression, it’s important to get the physiological tuned up.
- For others, it’s the imagination that unlocks other things.
- The developmental line we should all be orienting ourselves toward is wisdom.
- The relationship between rationality in psychedelics.
- You have to ask is psychedelics make you more rational?
- Mindfulness can be seen as a form of rationality that makes you open to information.
- Daniel talks about the computational mind, the algorithmic mind, and the reflective mind.
- Authoritarianism is related to people’s fear.
- Can psychedelics promote irrational thinking?
- Yes, it’s one of the dark sides of the unitive experience.
- There’s the feeling that you really know what’s true, but you can’t really articulate it.
- Don’t try to annihilate yourself so nature can flow through you, elevate yourself.
- How can people get involved?
- Follow your heart and don’t disguise what you want to do.
- Be enthusiastic and also correct.
- Try to emphasize academic rigor.
We’re very much detached from our own traditions here in the west.
Just imagining practicing something can have just as much of an effect of your performance than actually practicing it.
You have to bring your insights back into the community to be an effective member of society.
There’s a strong relationship between wisdom and psychedelics.
Without intervention, life will tend toward suffering.
About Daniel Greig
Daniel is a student of Cognitive Science and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. His focus is on mysticism, magic and the psychedelic experience through the lens of psychology and neuroscience. Daniel also works with the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP). He has also spoken at a number of conferences and educational events in Toronto on the subject of psychedelics and philosophy.