Solidarity Fridays – Week 20

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle talk about recent items in the news and dive deep into Stan Grof’s work, different types of therapy, and the way touch comes into play in the therapeutic world. 

They first discuss Wisconsin-based non-profit medical research institution, The Usona Institute, and their recently published new method for synthesizing psilocybin, and how great this is for the community. There is a danger to locking away ideas, and new methods of synthesis could lead to monopolization of the market, but publishing their findings means this can be available to all. 

They then talk about re-reading Grof and the concept of the body’s inner radar bringing forth what the inner healer needs to work on, and the idea that hyperventilation could be the body trying to heal itself. This leads to discussion of Kyle’s time at a Soteria-inspired house in Burlington and their method of simply sitting with people and being there through difficult times. They then discuss different types of therapy, from how traditional talk therapy seems to be more of an art form rather than a measurable methodology, to Grof’s Fusion Therapy (which is a type of therapy involving touch that may be over the line by today’s standards), to new sex therapies that are starting to make headway. The main threads through this discussion are touch: when can touch be used safely, the dangers of touch being perceived as sexual, and the importance of communication and boundary-setting before sessions, and distraction vs. work: when is a participant wanting to talk about things during a session part of the work and important to respect, and when is it simply a distraction and a way to avoid the work?

Lastly, they remind us that seats are still on sale for the 2 new rounds of (now CE-approved) Navigating Psychedelics (beginning on September 17th), “Psychedelics and the Shadow: The Shadow Side of Psychedelia” is on sale, and there is a new class developed with Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen called “Imagination as Revelation,” focusing on Jungian psychology and how it can be applied to understanding psychedelic experience.

Notable quotes

“A corporation finding a new synthesis and being able to patent that and then kind of locking it away and saying ‘It stays within our corporation and we’re the only ones that can produce this in this way’ doesn’t mean that other people can’t find other ways.” -Kyle

“In holotropic breathwork, Stan [Grof] talks about how if someone doesn’t land by the end of the workshop and get somewhat settled and resolved, a traditional psychiatrist might say ‘ok yes, this is a psychotic break.’ And what do we do? You do your normal interventions. So, optimal for the breathwork and psychedelic world would be to have a place where folks could go and be for days to months to settle and kind of reorganize. That’s the model of spiritual emergence, I think, that Stan talks about. You have to have really careful discussions and criteria for: psychotic break? Or possible spiritual emergence? Or, what’s the real difference?” -Joe 

“I definitely saw some magic, by just being with people, not trying to really change their experience.” -Kyle

“I think delaying is really undervalued. You want to do just the right thing at just the right time. Well, what if you do the wrong thing? Why not wait, so you don’t do the wrong thing?” -Joe


Usona Institute Publishes Breakthrough Development in Scalable Psilocybin Synthesis

Direct Phosphorylation of Psilocin Enables Optimized cGMP Kilogram-Scale Manufacture of Psilocybin (scientific breakdown)

Psychedelics Today: “Spiritual Emergence or Psychosis” Webinar

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