In this episode of Vital Psychedelic Conversations, Kyle interviews clinical psychologist and integration facilitator (and now 3-time guest), Dr. Ido Cohen.
The topic of integration sits center stage for this discussion, as the two peel back all the nitty gritty and nuance of this psychedelic cornerstone, breaking down why integration is so important, where it stands currently, and where it needs to go as psychedelic-assisted therapy grows. They discuss the importance of taking it slow when it comes to exploration of these non-ordinary states – something that can be so difficult for us in our fast-tracked, clock-watching, Western culture, where it’s quite common for people to get blasted into inner-space on a Saturday, be shaken and perplexed by the experience on Sunday, and then have to go back to work and act like it never happened by Monday.
He discusses the value that both individual and group integration holds; what happens when you sit in groups of the same people over time; why Carl Jung never tried psychedelics; and the importance of tolerance, trust, and critical thinking when processing peak experiences.
And he raises some important questions like: What does long-term care in psychedelic-assisted therapy look like? What frameworks can be experimented with and implemented now to offer real movement from peak experiences to sustainable change? What is that bridge between peak experience and long-lasting change which allows us to become the insight? Is every insight true? Where does trauma work fit into this treatment? And what is the difference between symptom reduction and real healing?
“My mission has been: what does that bridge [look like] between experience and the steps that we have to take to really integrate in a deep embodied way to move from, ‘Oh, I can become this thing’ or ‘I have this insight’ to becoming the insight or becoming the thing?”
“I always use this catchphrase because I don’t like it, but it sells the psychedelic science: ten years of therapy in one session. I always say if you get ten years of therapy in one psychedelic session, then you had really bad therapy.”
“The psyche has an organic life. It opens up in the way it opens up. You can bathe yourself in ayahuasca and eat fifty grams of mushrooms per week [but] there are certain processes you can’t rush.”
“It’s funny how when we slow down, things become clearer faster.”
About Dr. Ido Cohen, PsyD
Dr. Ido Cohen, Psy.D, serves individuals, couples, and groups in San Francisco. As part of his practice, Ido works with a diverse range of challenges – childhood trauma, inner critic, relational issues, as well as integration and preparation sessions with individuals and groups. His doctoral dissertation was a 6-year study of the integration process of Ayahuasca ceremonies, while applying Jungian psychology to better understand how to support individuals in their process of change and transformation. He is also the founder of The Integration Circle and facilitates workshops on the different dimensions of integration and the intersection of mental health, spiritual health, and the entheogenic experience. Ido is passionate in supporting individuals to create longterm, sustainable change leading to vibrant, authentic, expressive, and love-filled lives.
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