How to Become a Psilocybin Therapist with Dr. Erica Zelfand

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How to Become a Psilocybin Therapist with Dr. Erica Zelfand

 

Oregon was the first state in the United States to legalize psilocybin for medical use. We sit down with Dr. Erica Zelfand, the lead educator in the nation's first HECC-licensed training program for psilocybin facilitators to talk about what it actually takes to become a trained psilocybin therapist.


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TRANSCRIPT
Unknown Speaker 0:11 Welcome, welcome you are listening to the mushroom revival podcast. This is your host Alex dore, and we are absolutely obsessed with the wonderful, wacky, mysterious world of mushrooms and fungi. We bring on guests and experts from all around the world to geek out with us and go down this mysterious incredible rabbit hole of mushrooms and fungi. So, today we have Erica joining in from Oregon today to talk about psilocybin therapy. So Erica, how you doing? I'm doing really well, Alex, thanks for having me. Awesome. So for people who don't know who you are, what you're up to. Unknown Speaker 0:51 Yeah, what's your story? Yeah, who am I right? I'm Dr. Eric Ansel fan. I'm a licensed family doctor. And, you know, once upon a time I hung a shingle thinking I was going to be treating a lot of ear infections and high blood pressure and yadda yadda yadda. Now I specialize in psychedelics and integrative mental health. Unknown Speaker 1:11 Life is what happens when you make other plans. So I I still am a practicing doctor and my specialty now is integrative mental health. I'm a ketamine prescriber. I'm a licensed psilocybin facilitator. And I also teach psilocybin facilitators, I do trainings as part of licensed programs in Oregon, as well as internationally. So I do a lot of talking, in my words. So what came first? Did you become obviously you went down the medical field first? Did you stumble upon mushrooms or therapy first? Unknown Speaker 1:52 So I, my first psychedelic experience was actually the summer after I graduated from college, and it was horrible. It was it was San Pedro in the mountains above Cusco, Peru. And it was a terrible experience on many fronts that if you want to talk about we can but why was it terrible? I think it'll create a good platform to for everything we're about to talk about. It's like what makes a good? Yeah. And what doesn't, right? Yeah. Unknown Speaker 2:22 Well, it was, it was terrible for a few reasons. One is, the Shaman was terrible. I just viscerally in my gut, didn't trust him and didn't like him. And I was with a boyfriend at the time, who was a bit dismissive of that. And he was like, oh, Erica, you know, you don't you just don't trust the world. And that's your work. And, you know, you're suspicious of everyone and Unknown Speaker 2:50 yada, yada, yada. And like maybe there's a little bit of racism in there, just because this isn't coming from the context that you know, and Well, anyways, fast forward about 10 years later, I was reading an article about a 19 year old boy who died during an Ayahuasca ceremony and the shaman, hid his body buried it and then told his family. Yeah, I don't know where he is. And it was the same shaman that I sat with him proof. Unknown Speaker 3:18 So my spidey sense, was right. Another reason that it was terrible was, this is actually something I didn't know about myself until after the fact. But he, he required that we fast before we take the medicine, and I did. And then I now have the medical language to understand this. But what happened was, I after I took the medicine, I actually became hypoglycemic. And so I was in a bit of a hypoglycemic crisis while I was tripping, Unknown Speaker 3:50 which I now understand could have easily been prevented by eating a rice cake. Unknown Speaker 3:56 But anyone who's had a hypoglycemic episode, it's pretty horrible. And then you add in your first psychedelic experience on top of that with a shaman that you just don't trust. Unknown Speaker 4:08 It was pretty horrible. It's pretty dysphoric honestly, but anyways, so all of that happened before I decided to become a doctor. In my undergraduate degree, I never I was an English major with a double major in religious studies and a minor in Russian language. So this was not anything I ever thought I'd go near. But it was actually towards the end of my undergrad career that a student pulled me aside and she was just like, Erica, when are you gonna pull your head out of your backside and realize you're supposed to be a doctor? And I was like, what? Unknown Speaker 4:41 But the reverberations of that one comment just kept bouncing around in my head, and I realized, like, you know what? I think she's right. I think that's actually what I'm supposed to go do. So then I had to go back to undergrad and do pre med so I've done a lot of undergraduate education at pre med and then went to medical Unknown Speaker 5:00 was school and then became a doctor. And as I said earlier, I thought that what really what my dream was to be this like small, small town, family doc who treats everybody in the area and does a little bit of everything. Unknown Speaker 5:15 And that is not what the universe sent me. Very quickly after I opened my practice, I realized, wow, a lot of people have depression. A lot of people have anxiety. A lot of people have obsessive symptoms, a lot of people have substance use disorder and are in complete denial about it. So right now in the state of the world, there's a there's a ton of countries and states and cities decriminalized decriminalizing psilocybin, legalizing psilocybin for therapy, and Oregon is, is one of those places where Unknown Speaker 5:49 there's a ton of programs popping up and people I wouldn't say scrambling, because there's been a couple of years, but kind of scrambling to, you know, start this program and, and really make it official. So currently, what what is the state over overall of Oregon psilocybin program? Well, it's actually exciting times in Oregon, and it's also kind of hectic times because Rome wasn't built in a day. Currently, our law has taken in effect, psilocybin services are legal in the state of Oregon, and they are available. So we have facilitators who have licenses issued by the Oregon Health Authority to actually conduct legal above ground psilocybin sessions Unknown Speaker 6:43 in legal licensed service centers using licensed psilocybin products. So what you can't legally do in Oregon is go into a store, buy some mushrooms, and then go go home and eat a bunch of boomers with your friends in your backyard. You can do it in Oregon, but not legally. Unknown Speaker 7:04 But at the same time as Oregon passed measure 109, which legalize psilocybin services, it also legalized ballot measure 110 Which decriminalized a lot of drugs or every drug. So if you were to say, buy a bag of boomers and eat them with your friends in your backyard, you probably wouldn't get into much legal trouble if you did that. Unknown Speaker 7:26 You depending on the quantity that you have, as long as it's considered for personal use, you get a slap on the wrist and a fine of $100. But you wouldn't get you know any felonies on your record or anything like that. So that's, you know, the People's Republic of Oregon. So what's happening there, although, of course, at the federal level, psilocybin is still a schedule one substance, which is Unknown Speaker 7:50 the biggest, you know, hulk of nonsense hoax of nonsense Unknown Speaker 7:55 that, you know, maybe has ever gone down in our drug history. But you know, history, I think history will correct its own course on that one with time. Unknown Speaker 8:05 Right, and how are you involved in this space? Unknown Speaker 8:10 Well, in addition to now holding a license to be a psilocybin facilitator to do the same exact work I've been doing for a decade. Unknown Speaker 8:20 I'm a lead educator at inner track, which was actually the first to be licensed psilocybin facilitator training program in Oregon. And I am also supporting staff guest lecturer at various other training programs as well in Oregon. And my role in training future psilocybin facilitators is not just in the classroom, although that work is very important. It's also the hands on practicum training. So I am a practicum supervisor, meaning that when these students actually have to be in the driver's seat, and sit and support somebody who has actually just eaten a bunch of mushrooms and is tripping, how are they going to perform? And you know, how do we train them? How do we assess them? And so I'm, I'm standing in front of the I want to say chalkboard, but we don't use chalkboards anymore stiffening in front of the the projector screen and lecturing, but I'm also in the sessions with the students and with their mock patients who are actually not my patients are actually taking the medicine and teaching and supervising in that capacity as well. So just so I can wrap my head around it, so you can get a license from the state of Oregon to be a psychedelic facilitator. Unknown Speaker 9:45 How long is is that program? Is it with? Unknown Speaker 9:50 Is it with? Is it a government program? Or does the government authorize different training programs that you can get a certification and then once Unknown Speaker 10:00 Someone gets a certification. What does it allow them to do? And what does it still not allow them to do? Yeah, good questions. I think a lot of people within Oregon have the same questions. So, so this the psilocybin Services Act is overseen now by the Oregon Health Authority, which is, in fact, state with the state run health authority. And so to create a psilocybin facilitator school, that could graduate students that could then get a license from the state, the school has to be licensed in order to do that. So if you wanted to start a program on you know, here's how to become a psychedelic facilitator, you can do that much easier, then, if you want to say, the graduates of my program get to then actually get a license and become licensed psilocybin facilitators, that requires a lot more paperwork. And so in order to do that, you need to have a license from the H, E. CC, and from the Oregon Health Authority. So both of those are government run programs, the H E CC stands for Higher Education Coordinating Commission. And then the program's themselves have to in order to get those licenses, they have to meet certain criteria. For example, the training program is either 120 or 140 hours. And it has to have X number of hours covering, for example, neuroscience, X, number of hours on ethics, and so on, and so forth. So they have pretty strict requirements of the minimum number of hours that you have to cover in various areas, as well as the minimum number of hours, which is 40, for your practicum training, meaning your actual hands on experience in working with non ordinary states of consciousness and supporting clients through those non ordinary states of consciousness. And then you have to take an exam. And then as with anything government mediated, you have to pay a ridiculous fee, then you get your piece of paper, which isn't even a piece of paper anymore, it's a PDF with a QR code, and then and then you're in and then you're legit. Unknown Speaker 12:16 So what that license allows you to do as a psilocybin facilitator is it allows you to work in a psilocybin service center, meaning a place where people can go to consume psilocybin. And at the psilocybin service center, again, the person doesn't just walk in by their mushrooms and leave, they actually meet with a facilitator, they have an intake appointment, discuss their goals, do a screening process. Unknown Speaker 12:48 And then they purchase their psilocybin product, and they consume it on the premises, and they stay on the premises for the entire duration of their mushroom experience. And so depending on the dose, there's a minimum number of hours that they're required to stay, the law does allow for group work as well. So if you have a group session, you know, you can do that as well at a service center. And then once the person you know, either the minimum number of hours has passed, or the person is deemed to be done with the experience, whichever is longer, they can then leave. And then a follow up appointment is required by the state. Now the person doesn't actually have to come to the follow up appointment, but the psilocybin facilitator has to make it available to them. So at the minimum, there needs to be an intake and an integration, in addition to the trip itself. Unknown Speaker 13:47 So I have a couple follow up questions to that. One. I was just having a conversation with a lawyer in Oregon, and she was saying how the verbiage is important as well of, I think, I think she said you're not allowed to say that you're a therapist, because technically, it's still scheduled one and federally, it's not a medicine. And so you by calling yourself a psychedelic therapist or practice or calling it medicine, right, like you're basically Unknown Speaker 14:28 like yeah, it's not making medical claims that are not not backed by the Yeah, yeah. And then And then following that is if someone didn't get that license, and they were just sitting in the room with someone like could they call themselves a could they still call themselves say like a trip sitter? And would they be arrested? Like what? I don't know if you know that. Yeah, I'm, it's, it's really interesting, Alex in the last few years, I Unknown Speaker 15:00 If it's I went, I went into medicine to be a doctor, you know. And lately it feels like so much of my work has had to be political. Right? The truth is I'm not I'm not a politician, and I'm not a lawyer. And I don't I don't know. Is this medicine? Yes. Am I allowed to say that? I don't know. Is it therapy? Yes. Am I allowed to use that word? I don't know. Am I gonna get in trouble for saying what I just said? I don't know. Unknown Speaker 15:32 The whole thing is a bit of a racket, including like, with my own medical board of like, hey, ya know, I've been I've been very transparent with my medical board on like, Hey, I'm doing this. It's not a question of can I do this? It's like, Hey, I'm doing this. What do you need me to know so that I don't like get in trouble with you guys. Unknown Speaker 15:49 Just and ultimately down Oh, Unknown Speaker 15:53 yeah. Unknown Speaker 15:55 blind leading the blind right now. Yeah, it does seem like a massive gray area. Because federally Yeah, it's still illegal. Right. And there is there much fear right now that there's going to be raids. Like there was, you know, I remember when medical marijuana that popped up in Colorado and there was raids all the time, and people just just kept doing it until they couldn't keep up with the amount of shops popping up. But there was rates for a while like, Do you Do you feel like that's going to happen again? Well, there was the raid in in Portland where I'm based there was called the the mushroom mushroom house mushroom shop mushroom something and they they opened they were not discreet. They opened a storefront on Eastbourne. Oh, right. Right about that. That's Burnside. On Westburn site, and they had a billboard like they were not. They were not hiding it and they got raided and they got shut down. Yeah. But what are you gonna do when there are 200 mushroom houses in Portland? I don't know. Are they going to read them all? Maybe I you know, I was recently in Vancouver, British Columbia, where there I was walking around Yaletown, and that was like a mushroom dispensary, and every couple of blocks. And it's not legal there either. But it's this question of, what are we going to spend slash waste our resources on? Are we really going to waste resources on raiding these places? Right, maybe, maybe? I hope not. But maybe. Unknown Speaker 17:26 And what actually is in the best interest of public health and safety? I don't know. I'm a doctor. I'm not you know, I'm not I'm not a politician. And, Unknown Speaker 17:38 but also Oregon had ballot measure, again, ballot measure 110, which was our D Krim. Measure. Now, what's not decriminalized? Is distribution. So selling drugs is still not legal under ballot measure. 110. But what ballot measure 110 did is it effectively ended the war, I wouldn't say ended the war, it's softened the war on drug users. And so we often talk about war on the war on drugs, the war on drugs. Unknown Speaker 18:06 Let's get even more granular than that. So much of the war on drugs is actually the war on drug users, meaning the people who use these substances. Unknown Speaker 18:16 Those are very different than the kingpins. Right, those are very different than the people who are manufacturing the drugs, selling the drugs engaging in violence in order to ensure that they can continue selling drugs. Unknown Speaker 18:27 These are people who want to consume substances. Now that can be any any anything from cocaine to meth to mushrooms, right? Is this a very broad sweeping ballot measure. So there's definitely been some shadow that has come with that. But essentially, what it has done for say psilocybin is it has made it legally safer for somebody to consume in personal use of psychedelics. And that might not seem like all that big of a deal. But when we look at another state, for example, I have a client who lives in Indiana, who was micro dosing mushrooms to help with depression. And she was growing because she couldn't find a source and Unknown Speaker 19:13 her house was raided by men in hazmat suits, if you can imagine for mushrooms. Night house was raided and she was looking at 10 years in federal prison because she was in possession of a schedule one substance. They thought it was enough with intent to distribute, although that wasn't her intention. And because she has children, she was also charged with the felony of endangering a minor. Unknown Speaker 19:40 Right. And so this this woman who, by the way, is a nurse who adds great value to her community, not just a nurse at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse, right, we need we need those. We don't want those in prison. You know, she lost custody of her kids. She was looking at 10 years in prison. Thankfully we were a Unknown Speaker 20:00 able to rally the community together, we hooked her up with a pro bono attorney, some good prep PR covered press coverage, she ended up getting three months on house arrest, which is still a small tragedy, because, you know, she had to report it to her board, she lost her job. She lost custody of her kids. Financially, she's up a creek, right? All of this happened because a mom of five kids who is also a nurse, who tried many, many different psychiatric medications for her depression, with no reprieve found relief with micro dosing psilocybin. And so what we're seeing an Oregon now is that cases like that should not be happening. Thank goodness, they should not be happening according to these new laws. So I have a question about dose, right? I don't know what the current laws are, I haven't really looked too deep into it. And I don't know if it's clinic by clinic or, and again, you're not a lawyer. So Unknown Speaker 21:00 I'm just curious around the verbiage of obviously, as as a, as a therapist, you can't prescribe these mushrooms. So I'm just I don't know if you have an answer to this, but or how you want to phrase the answer. But Unknown Speaker 21:15 when someone comes in, is there, I'm guessing there's kind of a Unknown Speaker 21:21 evaluation to see if they're even right for psilocybin, and you got to check what medication they're on and past Unknown Speaker 21:30 mental illnesses and things like that to see if there's any contraindications. But then it comes down to dose? And is there a maximum that you can give someone? Um, I think there's only like two approved growers in Oregon right now, from what I know, so far, there might be more but Unknown Speaker 21:51 is there just like a macro? A macro dose? There's only 3.5 grams or whatever it is? And then microdose? Which is whatever grams? Or can the clinic choose what they give people? Or is it just a standard amount? Is there any, any thought around like strain or cultivars of like, Hey, I'm gonna give them you know, penis envy, and I'm gonna give them like, albino whatever. Like, is there any of that going on yet? Or is it pretty standardized? If that makes sense? Yeah, yeah, it totally makes sense. So the species is philosophy cubensis. Now, there are many strains of philosophy cubensis. And it's, you know, so there is some freedom there. In terms of dosage. Thankfully, it's not metered doses, meaning, you know, you can, you can play with an entire spectrum of doses, if you want to bump it up by a 10th of a gram, you know, for example, you can, but actually, I should catch myself because I'm not allowed to be talking in grams anymore. So typically, you know, with underground work, or throughout history, let's just say since 5000 BC, when we talk about the dose, we're often talking about how much of the crude mushroom someone's taking. Unknown Speaker 23:05 And in Oregon, the dosage is determined a bit differently. It's because you know, if you have a gram of penis envy, that might be different than a gram of golden teacher, right, in terms of how much psilocybin that person is getting. Right. And so in Oregon, the dose is measured as milligrams of psilocybin. Oh, love it. So yeah, and so the the products themselves, actually, they come in, in packages, and the label has to report how many milligrams of psilocybin Analyt is in that serving, that is in this package, and there is a dose limit, and the dose limit is 50 milligrams of psilocybin Analyt per session. So if the person started out with 30, and then you want to give them a booster, have another 20, you can, but once you've hit 50, that's your max. And when I originally heard that, I was very upset about it, because I was also told that 50 milligrams of psilocybin Analyt is roughly equivalent to five grams of dried mushroom. And five grams of dried mushroom is a ridiculously in my opinion, ridiculously low maximum upper limit. Especially, you know, for example, I work with a lot of patients who are on antidepressant medication, and they often need higher doses in order to break right blunting, effects. And so I was actually pretty upset. And I got kind of like loud and obnoxious about how this this is not a high enough upper limit. And then the products started coming out. And oh, my goodness, are they strong? Unknown Speaker 24:47 So I had, you know, I had a group of my students who recently consumed each 25 milligrams of psilocybin Analyt and that is not equivalent to 2.5 grams of dried mushroom Unknown Speaker 25:00 because they took the dose that summer around nine or 10 in the morning, and they were still tripping at 2am. Unknown Speaker 25:05 And they said that the trip was very intense, very hard, very like, even like, quote unquote bad trip II because it was too strong. So I'm no longer particularly freaked out about our upper limit being too low. Now I'm just freaked out on we need to figure out how how strong these seven products are, so that we can actually not overdose our clients. Unknown Speaker 25:34 And I'm not worried about it, we're going to, we're gonna figure it out. We're all in this together, we all want this program to work. And we're all sharing the information that we have, which is what we need to be doing. So you know, we're still like, like, keep saying Rome wasn't built in a day. So we're still fine tuning Unknown Speaker 25:53 on right front, but it's, but I also need to know because I need to teach my students right. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, it's, it's I just had a conversation with Unknown Speaker 26:06 someone from hyphae Labs, which does a lot of work with with Salafi testing. And, you know, we're talking about the the other compounds, right. Unknown Speaker 26:16 And, Unknown Speaker 26:18 and they're, you know, Bayeux asst, and nor biosystem, and all these other compounds that don't currently have a lot of research, and they seemingly change the experience a lot. And, you know, I'm excited. You know, right now, I think how they're doing it is a really good start, I think it's a very good start not doing it by grams, because, you know, cultivars by cultivar, and even within cultivars, how you grow it, how you dry it, everything changes the amount, Unknown Speaker 26:52 how potent they are even mushroom to mushroom in the same bin, right. And so I think that's incredibly important to test them and do it that way. And I'm excited to see more compounds being tested. And potentially like curating each batch per person, right, based on the different compounds and, and, and then and then dose as well. For specific desired effects. I think that's really important. But going going towards Unknown Speaker 27:26 the therapist side in training, you know, we started this episode, you talking about having a weird sketchy experience with, you know, a shaman. And obviously, with this program being built, there's been a lot of thought of what makes a good psychedelic therapist, and what are red flags, right, like, what can you not absolutely not do? Or what makes a really unsafe situation? So let's start on the good side. What makes a good psilocybin therapist in your opinion? Unknown Speaker 28:03 That's a good question. So first of all, there's always the checking your reason for doing this work? Why are you doing this work? Unknown Speaker 28:12 Are you doing this work? Because you like feeling in control of other people? You're doing this work? Because you're bypassing doing your own? No, are you? Unknown Speaker 28:21 A lot of people are. Unknown Speaker 28:24 This work also attracts a shockingly high number of narcissists and people with personality disorders, which is a whole other can of worms and an Oh, yes, but yeah, right. So are you doing this work because you think that this medicine works, and you want to help more people access it in safe and therapeutic contexts? Right. So of course, as with the psychedelic trip, Unknown Speaker 28:47 the intention is important with the psychedelic facilitation. Unknown Speaker 28:53 And I think the ideally, the psychedelic facilitator has done their own work. And by that, I don't mean that they've even necessarily taken very many trips themselves, although that's of course helpful. But I mean, have you been able to examine aspects of your own shadow and of your own psyche, Unknown Speaker 29:12 and work with them. So that can of course, be done with psychedelics that can also be done with various forms of therapy with meditation. Unknown Speaker 29:20 Just going through life being hard, you know, sometimes I encounter these but in particular, at conferences, these 20 Something kind of DOE eyed, sweet, very earnest, Unknown Speaker 29:32 young folks who are just like, What do I need to do to become a great they're psilocybin facilitator, and I'm just like, live another couple decades on this planet, have a divorce, have a miscarriage? Unknown Speaker 29:45 Life mess with you a little bit? Unknown Speaker 29:48 Because then you can sit sit in it. Yeah, compassionately, and clearly with other people. Unknown Speaker 29:56 Of course, very strong ethical compass. Unknown Speaker 30:00 And I just want to say that we really take this quite seriously at inner track to the point that after our first cohort of students graduated, we solicited their feedback, right? We always want to make the program better. And if if in terms of the the negative, quote unquote, negative or constructive feedback we received, it was like, you could focus less on ethics. Unknown Speaker 30:22 What, you know, which, which, which, okay, point taken, but it's, I think that's a good sign, because I don't think it's discussed enough in the space in the psychedelic space. And in particular, when we talk about take their feedback, I would I would double down. Right, yeah, yeah. So but, but maybe diversify the ways in which we do it. You know, at the very least, and, and I do think that that's quite important, because as we're training the psilocybin facilitators, we need to remember, in Oregon, that in order to become a psilocybin facilitator, you do not have to be a licensed therapist, you do not have to be a doctor, you don't have to be any clinician, you don't even have to have graduated from college. So a lot of these people actually have not had that training yet on transference. countertransference, on clear boundaries on you know, what is and isn't appropriate in these settings. And one of the beautiful things about psychedelics, which is also one of the dangerous things is that it blurs the boundaries, right? Unknown Speaker 31:30 It makes those rigid boundaries softer. Yeah. And as that's happening for your client, you can't let it happen for you. Right. That's your job as the facilitator and that's part of how we maintain safety. And that's how part of how we maintain our trustworthiness, we hold those boundaries, even when they get soft for our clients. Right. Right. I'm actually shocked. I didn't know that you didn't have to be a therapist beforehand. Unknown Speaker 31:58 I would have just assumed that was a prerequisite. But Unknown Speaker 32:03 wow, yeah. Well, this model isn't, is it's not a medical model. It's not psilocybin therapy, services, and you don't even have to have a diagnosis to to do psilocybin services as a customer, you can just walk in and, and we say, Hi, what brings you in today? And that, you know, you could say depression, OCD trauma, or you could say, I'm doing great, I'm just really curious about psychedelics, and we'd love to have an experience. Right. And that's, that's a nice, yeah, I mean, that's, that's cool on the patient side that it is that open, I've heard a lot of people really struggle with, you know, getting a medical card, although there's a ton of doctors out there that give them out like candy, but Right, but, you know, I've heard stories, especially depending on what state you're in. Some states make it really hard. And so that's kind of cool that it's, it's pretty much open for most people, I'm sure there's exceptions, if you have bipolar or history of bipolar, or schizophrenia, on certain medications, things like that. Unknown Speaker 33:07 And you were just talking about, you know, keeping rigid boundaries, as a, as a therapist, when I did my yoga teacher training, probably six years ago, now, Unknown Speaker 33:21 we definitely talked a lot about, about that, it's a little bit different, a little bit more relaxed, and in a in a yoga setting, but, Unknown Speaker 33:31 you know, Unknown Speaker 33:33 they were extremely strict with, you know, saying things like, yeah, if you have your partner, or even your wife or husband join the class, like, you can't kiss them in the class, like, even after the class ends, you can't be like, Hey, honey, you know, like little things like that, that you wouldn't really think about, Unknown Speaker 33:53 you know, you could you could lose your certificate, just for something as little as that of you know, making someone uncomfortable in the space and, you know, even even how do you approach someone for a physical spot, you know, I mean, you have to ask verbal consent, and being very Unknown Speaker 34:15 being very specific on you know, hey, Unknown Speaker 34:19 you know, once the consent is granted, hey, my right hand is going to be placed on your left shoulder for for support, you know, is that okay? And, you know, being very clear with things like that and not touching people in certain places. And I just read an article that you're talking about that there's been so many accounts of psychedelic abuse and inappropriate touching from therapists and quote unquote shamans. Unknown Speaker 34:46 So let's dive a little bit into that. How do you how do you address that in the in the training and just being, you know, appropriate as as a therapist and, and form form a really safe space? Unknown Speaker 35:00 For people. Yeah, good, good and important questions. Well, first required reading for our students is the ethics of caring by Kylea Taylor. And we went back and forth as a team, arguing some of the team thought, let's just assign specific chapters. And the other half of the team was like, No, we're assigning this whole book. Unknown Speaker 35:24 And essentially, that that's what one is. Now, our students have to read the whole book, the ethical of caring by Kalia Taylor. So I highly recommend that I just wrote it down. So read it. So whether you're doing this work above ground or underground, doesn't matter, read that book. And we also have a phenomenal guest lecturer by the name of Emma Knighten, who comes and gives an entire talk just on consent. Because even when you get a client's consent, is your client, a people pleaser? Right? Is your client, somebody who has a hard time saying no? And how do you actually find the know and find the Yes. And now for somebody who doesn't have those kinds of struggles? Unknown Speaker 36:08 It's a little bit of an eye roll. And it's like, do we really need to have a two hour guest lecture on this topic? For somebody who themselves has said yes, when it was really a no, it's important for us as facilitators to be able to navigate that conversation and, and be able to get accurate information from our clients so that we don't put them in uncomfortable situations, right. So the way that that I do it personally, with my own clients in this work on retreats, and private sessions is before any medicine has been consumed. I say, Okay, let's talk about touch Unknown Speaker 36:45 with the understanding that any touch that happens is supportive, and non sexual in nature both ways. Unknown Speaker 36:53 Do you want me to not touch you at all during the session? Do you want me to touch you at my discretion? Or do you want me to touch you, but only if I ask first and get your consent every single time? Unknown Speaker 37:09 Or if you ask for it? Unknown Speaker 37:12 Right, and getting clear on that? And most people laugh and say, like, just touch me, whatever. Don't be weird. Right. Right. But but some people Yeah, I mean, if you have history of sexual abuse, and Unknown Speaker 37:27 yeah, it can be extremely triggering for people. And, or, I mean, I've, I've been in a class where I was, you know, I had my eyes closed in a yoga class, and I had my eyes closed, and I have my leg out. And a yoga teacher came up behind me didn't say anything, didn't ask for consent, and like, grabbed my leg. And it really, like kind of freaked me out like it. I was just in kind of a trance state, my eyes closed, wasn't expecting it, and then just having someone come up behind me and like, grab my leg. I was like, Whoa, like, it kind of freaked me out. And, you know, Unknown Speaker 38:04 it was like, in the grand scheme of things, such a small thing. And but I mean, if someone, yeah, it can be extremely triggering for someone who has a history of sexual abuse. And that can be extremely triggering, and be hard to come back to reality, you can immediately disassociate immediately go to a really dark place. So Unknown Speaker 38:30 yeah, it's super important. Super important. And, Alex, I really appreciate your point about that in a yoga class, I that is something that I wish to go more yoga teachers would be cognizant of, especially like in shavasana, or in a state where our eyes are closed. You know, I can't see if someone's approaching us that. You just don't know what someone's been through. And just a little I had one yoga teacher who would he would just crouch and he would go, Hi, it's me. Or he would touch. Yeah. And that was so I really appreciated that so much, so much. I just thought it was so classy, I don't know. But also trauma informed, right? And when people are coming for this work, sometimes they're walking in going my life is great. I've had no capital T traumas. I just want to, you know, know what this is about, like, you know, I want to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower. I want to eat pizza in Naples. I want to try mushrooms, you know? Unknown Speaker 39:29 Right, but a lot of the people who are coming for this work are coming because that hasn't been their life. Right. And they're coming because there are some deep wounds there that they want to heal, and we don't want the psilocybin experience to be a new injury. Right. We want it to be a great experience. Right? As much as possible. And, and, you know, in terms of, of safety, you know, we talk a lot about creating safe space. And actually, my colleagues over at the Zendo project Tim Unknown Speaker 40:00 And Simone, they've actually changed the language away. They don't say safe space anymore. They say tending to safety. And I that seems like a little nuanced. But here's the difference. How am I don't know what a safe spaces? Right safe space for me might be very different than a safe space for you. Yeah, but if I'm tending to safety, it means I'm doing my best. I'm being communicative. You need to communicate with me. Unknown Speaker 40:29 And we're gonna, we're gonna attend to this together, right? Because, you know, I've had some clients say, Wow, this is like, I've never had a safe container like this before. And then once in a blue moon, you have a client who says you don't know anything about creating safe space. And it's like, okay, this is a person who actually doesn't feel safe anywhere. And which doesn't mean that I'm off the hook. Right. But it means that we need to do different things for different people to tend to safety. Do you know, this is a little bit of a side tangent, but do you know, Jay Shetty, he's author, he has a podcast, he was a former monk and Unknown Speaker 41:08 but he he talks a lot about just how exactly what you're saying about, you know, just because you say something it's so common for, for, you know, he says it in kind of like a romantic setting you with you and your partner have like, Unknown Speaker 41:26 one partner may say, I'm in love with you, and the other may say it back, but you two might have totally different ideas of what love is. And if you don't, Unknown Speaker 41:38 if you don't define that with each other, you could be on totally different pages. But be both thinking that you're on the same page. Until you're like, wait, what? And so this is also really important of Unknown Speaker 41:54 Yeah, like being very clear with communication. And Unknown Speaker 42:01 yeah, we have this little practice as well, in the yoga training where we, I mean, it was, it was funny, but it really made the point where we had one person close their eyes and the other person kind of teach a yoga class, and they had to the person closing their eyes had to follow the instructions. Exactly, even if it was silly. And you have to turn off your brain of like, what you? Unknown Speaker 42:29 You're like, well, I know what they meant, you know? And you're like, No, no, what, what exactly did they say? And then follow that, right? And then as a teacher, you're kind of like, oh, no, that's, that's not what I meant, right? And just being extremely clear, with your words, to be able to get on the same page. And I think in therapy, that's, that's really important. Unknown Speaker 42:52 And then going to my next question is, is around, you know, finding someone that has similar experiences as you right, you brought up a few times of, there's people that just don't share the same life experiences, and it can be hard to relate. And so I've heard this a lot from different communities, you know, people from the LGBTQ or bipoc communities, expressing it, expressing a hard time finding a therapist that can really relate with, you know, if you were a black woman, and you know, had certain life struggles, and then sat with a white man, who just didn't go through those struggles, it would be a very interesting, you know, empathy can only go so far, like, Unknown Speaker 43:41 so how, you know, I know is just the beginning stages of Unknown Speaker 43:48 the Oregon psilocybin program, but how is that addressed? In training? And you know, do do people have a choice on who they can sit with? Unknown Speaker 44:01 And what's the thought process of like matching people with with the right therapist? Unknown Speaker 44:07 Oh, we take Diversity, Equity and Inclusion very seriously. And in fact, the state has required that a certain number of our hours are dedicated to that topic. In fact, the number of hours that we need to dedicate to dei diversity, equity and inclusion is double the number of hours that we need to dedicate to actually the neuroscience of psilocybin, if you couldn't believe it. So Oregon is a very progressive state and that way, Oregon is also a very white state. And there's really no way of getting around that. Now. Yeah. Are there only white people in the state of Oregon? No, of course not. But when you look at the history of the state of Oregon, the history is troublesome. And Demographically speaking, it's it's not as diverse of a state. It's not as diverse of a part of the world and we can Unknown Speaker 45:00 and out of thin air, create people that aren't there demographically. That being said, we can empower marginalized people and underrepresented peoples to join us in this movement. And not just learn from us, but we can learn from them. And so at inner track, you know, we have funding from the SRI Eckerd Foundation, specifically for getting underrepresented populations into our program and into this field. Unknown Speaker 45:32 In my own work in running retreats, we're currently developing a retreat training program that is exclusively for LGBT plus community. Unknown Speaker 45:42 So that they can be better represented in this work. But I also want to say that while it is important to be able to identify with the person who is helping you, that is only part of this medicine, the mushrooms work with your own inner healer. Unknown Speaker 46:03 And I, I sometimes joke with my, with my students that when my patients come to do these sessions up, I'm not allowed to use word patient narratives, not medicine. And it's not therapy, even though it works better than any drug. But when, when my clients come to do this work, and they take the medicine, they're not there for the doctors ofan show, right? My job is actually to shut up and get out of the way. Yeah, and you know, Oregon law says, I have to stay in the room. But, you know, when I'm doing this work outside of Oregon, for example, you know, I used to live in work in Jamaica, I often left the room when people were tripping, I would be within earshot, I'd leave the door open, I would just be you know, sometimes sitting on the floor in the hallway, just be on the door, because they don't need me. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they need me to come hold their hand, reassure them talk with them, right. But a lot of this work is in alliance with your own inner healer, working with the medicine. Yeah. And, and the job of the person in the room is not to be black or gay, the PERT the job of the person in the room is to create a secure, safe container for you to go as deep as you can go in that space, and do as much healing as you can. And in that way. This is perhaps one of the most empowering medicines that we have. Yeah, but I'm sure even just even if someone you know, the, the facilitator didn't even say a word the whole time. I'm sure if you know, a woman came in with the intention of healing past sexual abused by men specifically, and then walked in. And then just had a male therapist sitting there. I feel like it would be even if they didn't say anything. I feel like it'd be harder to open up and we'd go as deep. So Unknown Speaker 47:56 yeah, it and it is tricky at this point. I know there's it's just a limited amount of therapists at this time. Unknown Speaker 48:04 But I feel like taters facilitate. Yeah. Unknown Speaker 48:09 Yeah. But I do think it's important for some people, you know, I did have a, Unknown Speaker 48:17 a ceremony was with some people and one person actually was a war vet. And he had some really bad flashbacks and would go into these trances. And he'd start screaming, and be transported right back to the war and say, oh, there's a bomb, like, get out of here, blah, blah. And then, you know, and then he kind of snapped back out of it after someone came over to him and be okay, you're, you're here, you're in this room, like, you're not there anymore. And thank God, one of the facilitators was also of that, and, you know, had been in war had been in war. And both of them just work through a lot. And you could just tell the relief from him just to have someone there to be like, oh, you know, what I'm going through, like you. You have PTSD from war, you know, what it's like to be shot out and to shoot, and you have explosions and all this stuff that I couldn't even imagine. So, me sitting with him, I'd be like, Look, that's, Unknown Speaker 49:18 that's tough, you know, but like, I feel like it wouldn't be as strong of a session if he didn't have someone that had kind of a shared experience, right. Absolutely. Yeah, I agree with you. 110%. And I didn't mean to come across as dismissive of the value of that. No, I think what you said is, it's insanely important. And it's also for like the narcissist of like, it's not about you right. Unknown Speaker 49:46 Now, it's not about you. And actually, I, I'd love to share a story on that front. We recently had a group retreat, and there was a woman on the retreat who has Unknown Speaker 50:00 Self was indigenous. And she had, you know, darker colored skin than most of the other participants on the retreat. And she as she was in the medicine space, she just wanted to be around other dark skinned women, you know, and it was part of it was, you know, part of what was happening in her process. And this retreat was happening in another country, were ethnically the people are darker skinned. Unknown Speaker 50:25 And she Unknown Speaker 50:28 actually didn't know that this happened until later in the day, this was I should say, this was a training retreat. So this was where it students facilitating each other. Unknown Speaker 50:36 And she said she was gonna go to the bathroom and denied having somebody escort her. She's like, No, no, I don't need an escort. And what she did is, instead of going to the bathroom, she went into the kitchen, where the staff were cooking lunch, and were so it was all dark skinned women older than her cooking lunch. And they didn't have a common language. And so she walks into the kitchen, and she's like, Hi, I'm sorry to interrupt you. But I just want to be around my Auntie's. And the women in the kitchen looked at her because they didn't understand English. And they were like, what, Unknown Speaker 51:11 and said, our client is just standing there, and she starts explaining it, and she breaks down in tears. And the women in the kitchen, by the way, are not psychedelic facilitators, they're just women in the kitchen, right? They couldn't understand a word she was saying. So they all just gathered around her and gave her a group hug, and held her while she cried, she cried, and they held her for about five minutes. And then she, you know, said thank you, and then she went back to her nest. And that experience for her was very important for her in the medicine space to have that experience. And so it really would just be so perfect if we could have a greater diversity in the facilitator body that we're training. Unknown Speaker 52:00 And that's, you know, why we have scholarship funds. But even if you've got a scholarship fund, you know, let's say you're a single parent, and we have a in person intensive one day out in the month, maybe you can't get child care for that one day out of the month. Or maybe you're caring for an ailing parent, or you don't have the means to travel to come to class. You know, there are limitations, of course. Unknown Speaker 52:24 And I do think that we're, honestly I think we're doing the best that we can to make our student body diverse, and not just make our student body diverse. But our trainers diverse, and what we are lacking in diversity in our core, Unknown Speaker 52:43 instructor team, I think we make up for in the guest lectures and the other experts and specialists that we invite to come speak to our students. So that even if you are a cisgendered, heterosexual, white, able bodied facilitator doing this work, you will at least have had some exposure to other perspectives of the human experience. And that's going to make you a better facilitator for more types of people. Unknown Speaker 53:17 So I had a really interesting conversation with one of my really good friends who's in training right now, in Colorado, and she said that with her facility, they had a guest lecturer come. And he was talking about how one of his clients was actually Unknown Speaker 53:38 a, Unknown Speaker 53:41 like a Nazi. And was actually after the session, you know, was like, Oh, my, you know, my beliefs are kind of terrible. I actually reformed afterwards, which was cool to hear. And, you know, but Unknown Speaker 54:00 it just caused like, a lot of controversy, controversy, and just, like, it'll be so hard Unknown Speaker 54:10 to, to sit with someone with Unknown Speaker 54:15 a Yeah, like, extremely different views from you, and to be able to still hold space for healing. You know, if you sat with someone that was like, a rapist, and they like, in the middle of the session, they're like, oh, yeah, here's blah, blah. And they just admitted it to you like, how do you how the hell you know, like, more, they're like, Yeah, I'm a Nazi, or like, whatever in the middle of the thing and you're like, holy shit, like, Unknown Speaker 54:41 like, how do you sit there and be like, you know, still hold space and not like, how do you handle your emotions? I don't know if you've ever talked about this in your training, but Oh, yeah. Okay, what's your thoughts around this? Well, you don't have to like all of your clients and you probably won't like all of your clients. Unknown Speaker 55:00 Some of them are going to push your own buttons and trigger the heck out of you. Right? Yes, whose work that is yours, not theirs, right? You know, no one's gonna do your work for you, but they are sure gonna let you know if you're not doing your own work. You know, personally, I've had patients I'm Jewish, I'm Ashkenazi Jew, Holocaust ancestors, like direct. And, you know, I've had patients who I'm doing a heart and lung exam, and they pull up their shirt, and there's a swastika tattoo. And I'm like, there that is, you know, and, and my job is to treat them anyways. You know, I can, of course, you always have the right to refuse service to anybody. But what do you do when they're four grams and three hours in? Next session, you know, you're staying with them. Unknown Speaker 55:48 But I also think part of the beauty of this work is, you know, to your earlier point of what do you do, if say, You're a woman of color, and you have a sitter, who's a white man, first of all, you don't just get blind assigned to your sitter, you do have a say in who your facilitator is. You know, you see that you see the website of the service center, you check out profiles, you make an appointment with the person you want the appointment with, if you don't like them, you don't have to proceed, you know, as with a medical appointment, or therapy, or any service release, good. Yes, no, trainer, right? No, it's not just a blind assigning. And likewise, when we're training our students, they also have say, in who they're sitting with, would you prefer a female for a male, which, you know, who do you feel the safest with? Right in doing this work? And then also an uncomfortable part of the training is, Oh, interesting. Bob, a number of students said that they asked, they asked a number of students asked not to be paired with Bob. Unknown Speaker 56:46 We need to talk to Bob about that. Because that's our job as Bob's teachers to be like, Hey, Bob, people don't want to work with you. Yeah, what's going on? What's going on? Bob? Right. Yeah, that's one of the questions I want to ask you is, have you ever had to deny someone's certification? Like, have you ever had to kick someone out of the program of like, you're not? You do not? I can't remember your exact verbiage. Like you don't create a safe space? Yeah. Our you know, our commitment to our students is to help them become fantastic psilocybin facilitators. So not everyone can be helped. Right? And so first and foremost, there's always an attempt to be corrective to bring that person's awareness to what's going on to work with them. But if they get defensive, or at dawn, like, oh, I don't know what you're talking about. No one's ever told me, they don't feel safe with me. And it's like, Well, Bob 10, people actually said that they don't in our program. Unknown Speaker 57:45 And Unknown Speaker 57:47 I honestly think that we're not doing our job, if we don't dismiss somebody like that from the program. If you graduate 100% of the students that come into your program without, like any kicking the tires, maybe you got very lucky with your screening process, or handgun, your students, or maybe you're graduating people who shouldn't be graduated. Right. Right. And this is, you know, Unknown Speaker 58:16 this is a professional training program, right? This is this is not like a summer, summer writing course, of like, you know, we're we're, I don't know, writing poems or painting paintings, not to say that those things aren't important, but people's lives don't hinge on them in quite the same way. Right? Right. So you know, this is we're training people to sit alone in a room with somebody in a non ordinary state of consciousness, and to not violate them, right. And so if there are any red flags, we need to take those seriously. And we need to have those very uncomfortable conversations with our students. And also keeping in mind, Alex, as I said earlier, in order to do this work, you don't have to be a licensed therapist in Oregon, you don't have to be a clinician, you don't have to have even graduated from college. So there are certain, which is not to say that if you haven't gone to college, you're, you know, not intelligent or don't have skills. It's a different skill set. There's a different kind of professionalism, that we can't assume that every single one of our students has, and it's our job to develop those muscles in our students to the best of our abilities. Right, right. Yeah. You brought up the point of that, the role as the facilitator, even if you're Unknown Speaker 59:38 the person that you're sitting in, I'm trying to not use buzzwords, but Unknown Speaker 59:44 the person that you're sitting in the room with that is Unknown Speaker 59:47 eating magic mushrooms, they're obviously more open and they're in an altered state, and you brought up the point that even even though they're real Unknown Speaker 1:00:00 be open in an altered state, it's your job to set very strong boundaries and make sure that you don't Unknown Speaker 1:00:08 cross any any boundaries. Right? And so what is your thought process around and I've heard different views on this. And I don't even know if it's a law or a rule in Oregon, but Unknown Speaker 1:00:25 my perspective, I would love the facilitator to at least take not a macro dose but a microdose. Just just the smallest, smallest amount, just so they have like, Unknown Speaker 1:00:37 a toe in the space. Right, if that makes sense, right? What's your view on that? And I don't know if it's a law rule that they can't do that. Unknown Speaker 1:00:47 So they can't Unknown Speaker 1:00:51 We can't require anybody to take a drug they don't want to take you know, Unknown Speaker 1:00:56 and in the law, the person cannot be on on mushrooms themselves when they are facilitating. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Unknown Speaker 1:01:05 Which, you know, makes some people some people love it, some people hate it. I worked with a curandera in Wahaca, myself for for a minute. And then we, one of my colleagues, dear colleagues invited her actually to Oregon to give us a guest lecture. And when she heard that she was like, what? Unknown Speaker 1:01:23 always eat mushrooms, we think we can consider promoting. Right, right. Right. Yeah. But But no, according to to the Oregon Health Authority, that's, that's not what we're doing here. Unknown Speaker 1:01:34 So, and then, you know, there's also this question of do you need to have taken mushrooms yourself to be a good facilitator? And that's a that's, that's the million dollar question. And so when I have HomeGroup, with my students home group is we have at Intertek, we have about 100 students, and so to make sure that they're getting more, more individualized attention and support, we break them up into groups of about, you know, eight to 11 students, and they stay in that same group with one instructor through the duration of our six month program. And so, Unknown Speaker 1:02:12 with my home group, students, that's one of the first debates that I have them have is I break them up into into two groups, and I say, Unknown Speaker 1:02:19 group A, you're arguing that you cannot be a good facilitator, if you haven't done mushrooms yourself. Group B, you're arguing the exact opposite. And I tell them, I don't want to know what your actual opinion is, I want you to argue the point that I told you to arch. Yeah. And then they and they do get out. And they do get out. And then we have them reverse reverse stance, you know, group A becomes Group B and vice versa. Unknown Speaker 1:02:45 And I'll say that I myself, I don't always use the facilitator, when I take medicine myself. Although I am fairly experienced, you know, in navigating the medicine space, if I'm taking a higher dose, I will Unknown Speaker 1:03:00 ask or hire somebody to sit with me. And the highest dose that I ever took the highest dose I've ever taken of mushrooms, I hired a sitter, Unknown Speaker 1:03:10 who you know, you can't see the video here. But I'm a white woman. I wouldn't say I'm petite. But I'm definitely not big, you know, five, four, which is the average height for a woman in the United States. And I'm Jewish. Unknown Speaker 1:03:24 And I hired a tall black man to be my sitter. And he had never taken any psychedelic before in his life. But he had been trained. Unknown Speaker 1:03:39 I've never seen so seen in my entire life. I mean, that's not sure I wouldn't say entire life. But I would say I felt incredibly seen by this person. I felt incredibly safe with him. Unknown Speaker 1:03:51 I felt like I could go as deep and as weird in my process as I needed to. Unknown Speaker 1:03:59 Including we did the trip outside. And so there was no bathroom. And so I actually had to like, use the bathroom outside, you know, pull my pants down behind the bush. In this in the situation. I never once felt like it was he was weird, or I was unsafe or anything. And he did a phenomenal, phenomenal job. Now he had been trained he had had a lot of training, including practicum training, but and then I've worked with people who have taken mushrooms and other psychedelics themselves. And when I've been in the medicine space I have been like, What on earth are you doing right now and what makes you think this is appropriate? Unknown Speaker 1:04:40 Same Yeah, totally. Like I'm on eight grams of mushrooms and I know that what you're doing is not okay right now. Unknown Speaker 1:04:50 Um, so yeah, you know, in this, this is what we have our students debate and we cannot force anybody to take a substance that they don't Unknown Speaker 1:05:00 Want to take? Right? That's not cool. So have we graduated students who have not taken psilocybin? Ah, I believe we have. I'm trying to think, I don't know if stuff in my head I'm sure we have. But we really, we really, really try and encourage them not to do that. And with our first cohort of students, it was very interesting because the law had not yet taken effect. So we were training the army, but legally, we couldn't give them psilocybin on US soil. Unknown Speaker 1:05:33 Yeah, yes. So how on earth are we supposed to train these people? So we did some of our training off seas or overseas was was the Word and we were overseas, we went to another country where the work is legal, but not every student, right? could afford to buy the plane ticket, right, that's, that's a position of privilege. So we did Holotropic breathwork in Portland for some of our students. And then for another group of our students. I did a ketamine practicum. And we had them use ketamine instead of psilocybin, which know is not psilocybin, but it's at least an experience with non ordinary states of consciousness. Right. So but we ended up we told them all we're like, as soon as it gets legalized, please go take some psilocybin Unknown Speaker 1:06:15 if you can, if that's, you know, safe choice for you. So a little spot check, because we started super late. Were we just pass an hour? Do you have to go at a certain time? Um, we should wrap it up? Yeah, I should be in a taxi in about seven minutes. Seven. Okay. Unknown Speaker 1:06:38 So, so, so much more I want to talk about is such a great conversation. So glad to hear that. Let's see, what should we cover in seven minutes or five? Nine, look at your questions. Um, find a therapist hurt is hurt, or this is this. Unknown Speaker 1:06:57 I even have a million more that I didn't even put on the list that just talking to you. Like, I'm like, oh, man, I want to talk about that. But Unknown Speaker 1:07:05 we will bookmark it. Maybe we'll have round two someday. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I would welcome that. Anything that you feel called to talk about? Unknown Speaker 1:07:14 Hi, Tara. Unknown Speaker 1:07:17 Yeah, actually, Unknown Speaker 1:07:21 just about sitting with your own discomfort as a facilitator. And I don't know if you want to phrase that as a question. Or maybe? Or maybe you could just say, one, we're almost at a time. Unknown Speaker 1:07:31 Yeah. How do you say with your own discomfort as a facilitator? Unknown Speaker 1:07:37 That is the million dollar question. And to your point earlier, Alex, have you know, what do you do? If you're a facilitator? And halfway through the session, it comes out that your client is a Nazi sympathizer? Right, right. Or, this was one little conundrum that we had with some of our students is, a lot of people are not comfortable with anger. Do you know? And so what do you do? Right, like, so what do you do if your client has repressed anger? And then during their session, they're finally getting to move that anger? Right? Yeah. And they're finally getting to, to get mad and clench their jaw and you know, say four letter words and maybe even punch the couch a little bit. And, you know, you're not comfortable with that. Yeah. Unknown Speaker 1:08:32 In particular, we had one, a couple of students who were upset because there was a client who, for example, was punching a pillow. And they were pretending that the pillow was somebody's face. Right? Yeah. And it was, it wasn't that anyone and everyone in the room was physically safe. But some students were like, well, you can't do that. You can't punch a pillow and pretend that it's somebody's face, because you're actually sending that person harmful energy when you do that, like from a shamanic standpoint. So you you can't let you can't let them say, Oh, this is Jim's face, even though Jim is completely fine and not in the room, right. And they felt like that was that was very unsafe to do that. Right. And so, part of doing this work, is, again, to remind yourself, it's not about you, right? This isn't like, like, I always joke, this isn't the doctors all fan show. Yeah, this isn't about me. I don't have to like what this person's healing process looks like. I don't even have to agree with what their healing process looks like. Because guess what, it's not mine. It's not my healing process. It's their healing process. And if they need to punch a pillow and pretend that it's Jim's face, and that they are, you know, being all kinds of violent right now, because that's helping them move a repressed anger that they haven't been able to move for 4050 years of their lives and that is now manifesting in the form of Unknown Speaker 1:10:00 Don't know, Ms. Parkinson's cancer, because they've stuffed the anger. Unknown Speaker 1:10:08 Guess what, it's your job to stay in the room and things get messy. It's not your job to stay in the room. If you feel that you're physically unsafe, right, you can of course set limits, right that one of our agreements is no harm is done to yourself to me to the space, right? Like I had a client who broke a lamp and I was like, okay, not cool. Yeah, yeah, let's not do that. Let's not do that punch a pillow instead. If you need to break something, let me know. And I will give you something to break. But please don't break any more furniture. Yeah, that is expensive to replace, I will bring you a mug from the kitchen. You can smash that, you know, we're working working with that, but But staying present with your with your own discomfort. And so we often ask our students when they are doing an intervention, a lot of this work is non directional, right? But sometimes you do intervene, is we always ask our students who are you doing this for? Unknown Speaker 1:10:59 Even if someone's crying, and you go, Huh, who's that for? Is that for the client? Or is that for you? Unknown Speaker 1:11:06 If your client is punching a pillow and pretending it's Jim, and you tell them to stop was the for? Is it for Jim? Is it for the client? Is it for you? Right? Ah, it's for you. You better check yourself on that one. Right. And and we even have this acronym. Wait, which stands for why am I talking? Unknown Speaker 1:11:28 Hmm, why am I talking right now? Yeah. So, one, one piece of advice. Unknown Speaker 1:11:36 I think every facilitator could use this I want to say new facilitators, but every facilitator is who is this for? Unknown Speaker 1:11:43 I'm Dimming the lights, who's that for? Unknown Speaker 1:11:46 I'm turning, I'm turning up the music. Who's it for? Unknown Speaker 1:11:50 I love that, right. Unknown Speaker 1:11:54 And making it folk making sure that it's focused on the client. And that's why it's absolutely imperative that you do your own work. If you do this work, because you're in the splash zone. Do you know what I mean by that? Unknown Speaker 1:12:10 I assume so. But yeah, yeah, well, that's fine. Just in case like, yeah, if you if you go to SeaWorld, or like some aquarium where they have like a show where the dolphins are, you know, spinning around and splashing down with water, the first few rows is called the splash zone, meaning if I sit there, you're gonna get the best view, but you're also gonna get wet. Yeah. And when you do this work with a client, you are in their splash zone. So what is your process for taking care of yourself? When you're in the splash zone? Do you want to wear a raincoat? Do you wanna bring snacks? Do you want to have some kind of a mantra that you say internally to yourself, or a piece of obsidian in your pocket or whatever that thing is for you? Unknown Speaker 1:12:52 Do it for yourself. For me, after I have a session, I blast 80s Hair Metal and like thrash around my apartment, and like, because so much of the day is me having to be calm. Yeah, yeah. All right. But I just have to like, you know, go nuts a little bit. So, like, what what is it for you? What is it for you for you to take care of yourself so that you can do this work for others and not for you? Right, right. I love that somatic experience that you have of not keeping other people's stuff stored. Not not letting their issues stick in your tissues. You know, you gotta shake it out. And yeah, geese, do it. Tons of animals do it dogs, you have a little shake. And humans, I feel like we don't really have a good. I don't feel like we have a natural. I mean, we have like, you're like a yawn to help relax. You see a lot of I yawn a lot in this space. But yeah, it's important to find what works for you especially. Yeah, I have a lot of respect for people like you and people in the space that are able to be open with the patient, but not let not take on their stuff and deplete your own cup. So that's, that's awesome. So I have a lot of respect for you in the space and I have a million things I want to continue touching on. This is such a juicy space, but where can people follow your work? So I am the CEO of a nonprofit called right to heal. Unknown Speaker 1:14:24 And we are at right to heal.com That's ri ght to heal@aol.com and my website is Dr. Xcel, found.com. But it's essentially just going to point you to right to heal so Unknown Speaker 1:14:39 you can read articles, listen to more podcasts. We even have courses and then we also run retreats and do one on one consults on zoom with people all over the world. So we're here to answer the questions that your other doctor won't. Unknown Speaker 1:14:53 Amazing sweet. And thanks for coming on. And thank you everyone for tuning in and tuning in for another app. Unknown Speaker 1:15:00 Episode of the mushroom revival podcast. If you want to leave a review that will go a long way we don't have a Patreon or any way that you can directly support the show but if you want to go to mushroom revival.com We have a whole list of functional mushroom products gummies capsules, tinctures powders, pick one up if you want to enter our giveaway for to win some free goodies. We have a link in the bio if you want to use a coupon code. The code is pod treat only for people that are listening to the show. We also have a bunch of free resources on the site as well free ebooks. microdose guides all you know cooking things and my new book that's on there as well. So check it out. And as always, much love and made the spores be with you Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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