Mutiny of the Soul

May 22, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, psychotherapy, reframe, suicide | By


Mutiny of the Soul

By Charles Eisenstein on Saturday May 21st, 2016

Mutiny of the Soul

Another Way of Looking at Fatigue and Depression

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…


Announcing 2 Holotropic Breathwork Workshops May 13th and 14th in Toronto

April 9, 2017 | Posted in Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy | By

Bruce Tobin is coming to Toronto to facilitate two Holotropic Breathwork Workshops using image making as integration. Tickets are now on sale through Eventbrite:


A New Model of Addiction

March 16, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, depression, mental health, psychedelic psychotherapy, psychotherapy, suicide | By

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:


Why normal, healthy people see a psychotherapist

March 7, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy, Uncategorized | By

Psychotherapy from Isaac Holland on Vimeo.


Crazy Wise

March 4, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy | By

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.


Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

January 5, 2017 | Posted in Integrative, psychotherapy | By

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.


MDM-A Tedx talk by British Psychiatrist

October 19, 2016 | Posted in anxiety, Integrative, psychedelic psychotherapy, psychotherapy, suicide | By

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.


The History and Future of Psychedelic Psychotherapy

relationship therapy

September 22, 2016 | Posted in anxiety, psychedelic psychotherapy, psychotherapy, Uncategorized | By

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.


Betty Eisner

Betty Eisner

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’s Ten 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.




February 9, 2016 | Posted in psychotherapy, suicide, teen, video games | By

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:


Missing in Action: Mental Health Community Fails Fraud Victims

toronto psychotherapy

November 12, 2015 | Posted in balance, Fraud, Integrative, psychotherapy | By

Major fraud cases grab the headlines for a few days or weeks then forgotten until the next one comes along. We never have to wait long. Media typically focuses on following the money, the colourful perpetrator and occasionally on the victims. Because no violence is used, there is some sort of collusion, and sometimes insurance, fraud appears to be a victimless crime. On the contrary, fraud victims are often devastated by their loses, blamed for their perceived collusion, secrecy, greed, lack of foresight, gullibility, stupidity and so on. Is that why is there so little support for fraud victims from the mental health community?

Major fraud cases grab the headlines for a few days or weeks then forgotten until the next one comes along. We never have to wait long. Media typically focuses on following the money, the colourful perpetrator and occasionally on the victims. Because no violence is used, there is some sort of collusion, and sometimes insurance, fraud appears to be a victimless crime. On the contrary, fraud victims are often devastated by their loses, blamed for their perceived collusion, secrecy, greed, lack of foresight, gullibility, stupidity and so on. Is that why is there so little support for fraud victims from the mental health community?

Google help for victims of fraud and you will find various resources from police forces, governments, lawyers, accountants, and third parties who will help you navigate the legal system. Google psychological help for fraud victims and you get pretty much the same results but more along the lines of how to prevent people from falling for scams. Missing from these results are any psychologist, psychotherapists, agencies, or help lines that will help victims deal with their trauma. Where are those mental health professionals who can help victims deal with their pain and loss? You don’t even want to know what you get when you Google psychotherapist fraud. Sadly, there are many more psychotherapists accused of fraud than those who specialize in helping the injured party.

Fraud is a global problem that is growing about 4% a year. You will become a victim of swindlers at some point unless you live in a monastery in Tibet. Often it is small: being over-charged for work done on your car; or giving money to a charity that funnels it to offshore accounts. Scams exist in every type of transaction from foreign trade to adoption to human smuggling. It may well be the second oldest profession. Some of the first writing ever found was on Samarian clay tablets. They were itemized lists of goods in jars used in trade to prevent loss.

It’s estimated that fraud costs the US economy $400 billion each year. You find it in every country of the world.  Many of the instances of it is small potatoes, like in the two example above, but what really adds up are the major frauds like Madoff and Worldcom where billions are lost and many lives are ruined. This cohort variously suffers from PTSD, inability to trust others or themselves, depression, suicide, divorce, strained relationships, low self esteem, and anger. It’s curious to me that professionals aren’t stepping over themselves to help these people.

A report by the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter on why people fall for scams reports that: “Scams cause psychological as well as financial harm to victims. Victims not only suffer a financial loss, but also a loss of self-esteem because they blame themselves for having been so ‘stupid’ to fall for the scam. Some of the victims we interviewed appeared to have been seriously damaged by their experience.”

A British charity wants us to recognize that it is the most vulnerable people, often isolated elderly and those with mental health issues are most at risk of being scammed. The Think Jessica organization is lobbying to have (Jessica Scam Syndrome (JSS) recognized as a disorder to help prevent this vulnerable population from being victimized. But it’s not just the vulnerable who fall victim. Intelligent, skeptical people who think they would never fall for anything suspicious can also become victims.

Perpetrators are a high risk to reoffend even when they get caught and serve time. The chances of getting caught is slim and the payoff so large that most fraud artists make a career of it. Perhaps if and when vulnerability to fraud appears in the DSM will the mental health community swing into action? Of course the best thing we could do as a society would be to educate citizens to stay away from anything suspicious and drastically increase monitoring and penalties for those who ruin lives.

Bradley Foster