Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new.
When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive. Read More...
Bruce Tobin is coming to Toronto to facilitate two Holotropic Breathwork Workshops using image making as integration. Tickets are now on sale through Eventbrite:
this is brilliant! A new model of addiction overturns the antiquated notion of abstinence and prohibition which clearly haven't worked. The new model understands the root causes of substance abuse to be trauma. Healing the trauma heals addiction and it works!
Read more here: http://ecosalon.com/a-new-model-for-addiction-at-home-in-the-dark/
This is a terrific trailer for a film about a groundbreaking approach to mental health. If you register for the town hall on the main page you get to watch the film for free. Look for the link in the email.
CRAZYWISE Trailer from Phil Borges on Vimeo.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a fabulous reference, and it makes great reading too. Dip into a word and discover what it means. Having traded in tiny sorrows all my life, I had no idea many of them had names, like sonder, joupla, or adronitis. Every psychotherapist needs with own dictionary of tiny sorrows to help people make sense (or not) of their own.
This is a powerful video on how MDM-A can help so many people with trauma. MDM-A is like the key that opens up PTSD sufferers who are treatment resistant. Then the psychotherapy can take hold. One day and I hope it's within a few years, people who suffer trauma will have the option of a short course of MDM-A and therapy rather than have to endure a lifetime of addiction and suffering.
With the resurgence of interest in the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes including many clinical studies at NYU, Johns Hopkins, UBC, and many other research centres I have been digging into some of the literature. I came across two pieces that make for an interesting contrast: Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past by Betty Grover Eisner Ph.D., and The Ten Lessons in Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered, by Neal M Goldsmith, which is a chapter in a book called Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments.
Psychedelics such as LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, and Mescaline has been shown to be very powerful psychoactive tools that reach places psychotherapy and current pharmaceuticals don’t touch. Psychedelics are highly effective in reducing anxiety in terminal cancer patients, those with highly resistant PTSD, alcoholics, and new clinical research is exploring ways that psychedelics can have a positive impact on people with eating disorders, and there are many other studies researching how psychedelics work. Hope among researchers is that they will encourage governments to loosen control of these highly restricted drugs.
Betty Eisner was a psychoanalyst and psychedelic researcher in the 1950s and 1960s in LA.Her unpublished manuscript was written two years before her death in 2004. Even though there were some controls on LSD in the US before it became illegal in 1966, Betty’s book documents how freewheeling the researchers were back in the day. It is mainly a collection of letters to other researchers such as Humphry Osmond, Tom Leary, Adolous Huxley, Bill Wilson the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous who fervently believed in using LSD to treat alcoholics, and many other larger-than-life characters like the LSD evangelist Al Hubbard with his private plane.
She is a terrific writer and documents her experiences of the first age of the LSD beautifully. It was expected that researchers regularly partake in psychedelic experiences and Betty documents these with great clarity. She noted that an eight hour trip was like four years of therapy.
Have a look at this short 1956 film of Dr. Sidney Cohen (Betty’s boss) chatting with people on LSD.
Neal Goldsmith’sTen Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered is a much more nuanced and balanced account of the important lessons learned by Betty and her peers before LSD was banned in the US in 1966 up until research resumed in the 1990’s. Even though the first generation’s research was a bit loosy goosey and improvised, they discovered many very important techniques Neal documents.
The importance of set and setting was recognized early on. They recognized that one had a better trip if one is prepared and in a comfortable location. This might seem obvious to us now, but keep in mind that early researchers had people strapped to gurneys in hospital rooms and left alone for the duration of their trip. Probably because researchers consumed LSD themselves that they were able to understand the importance of things like set and setting.
In this second age of psychedelic research, clinicians are hoping to document and validate the beneficial effects these drugs in the hope that medical authorities will relax the controls that currently exist on psychedelics. If successful, psychedelic psychotherapy will become much more common in the future and I think it will inevitably lead to a radical re-examination our current understanding of psychiatry as it has been practiced for the past hundred years. After all, psychiatrists wrote off psychedelics and mimicking psychosis and schizophrenia, but now most understand that it is the gateway to understanding altered states of consciousness which include spiritual and religious experiences.
These books are available for a free download with the links posted below.
Betty Grover Eisner, Ph.D. Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past, 2002, unpublished
NEAL M. GOLDSMITH “The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered.” In Winkelman, M. and Roberts, T. (Eds.), Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments. New York: Praeger, 2007.
A great article from CGMagazine about whether violent video games encourage suicide ideation. I am quoted extensively in the piece.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst young people in Canada; the statistic is the same over in the United States. While there are a multitude of factors that can contribute to suicide, an American study released in January found that action category videogames can play a significant role in suicide ideation and attempt. The study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, found that individuals who played extensive hours of action games (which the researchers define as first-person shooter, fighting, sports, horror and crime/war-themed games) evidenced the highest Acquired Capability for Suicide, or A.C.S. This is defined in the study as traits (for example, a lowered fear of death and higher tolerance for both physical and emotional pain) that can both physically and mentally prepare one to make a lethal or non-lethal suicide attempt.
To Read More, click here: http://www.cgmagonline.com/2016/02/08/lets-talk-about-suicide-and-action-games/