Updated: Mar 25, 2020
The idea of psychedelic psychotherapy has been on my mind since my own first experience with psilocybin. After years of struggling with aspects of my own mental health, it was the first time that I really felt a shift within myself. The experience allowed me to witness my own consciousness from a completely different perspective, and it felt as if my own brain or psyche got deconstructed and then put back together again in a new arrangement.
It wasn't just a substance induced sense of false joy that went away the next day. For the first time I experienced oneness, and recognized of the fluidity and connectedness of my reality. I saw the world more clearly. I felt peace and knowing. I remember coming back and thinking "wow, imagine if people can have this experience, with the guidance or a trained professional." I saw the incredible potential of healing that this presents.
After this experience I continued exploring (and still continue to) and pursuing my own personal healing through substances, psychotherapy, and spiritual practice. The work is never done. I started going to school for counselling, knowing that this is my calling. I'm not entirely sure what the final picture looks like, it's not exactly clear yet, but I know this is what I have to offer. I can offer my presence, hold space, and connect with others. I can empathize and understand. I can offer love, and be love.
So needless to say how excited I was when I heard about the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum that was happening in Victoria, BC. It was one of those "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" moments, I just knew I had to be a part of this. I had no idea that this idea that I've had would be possible, and that there's a group of people out there that see the same thing as me and is dedicating themselves to the movement of legalization. I wanted to learn more, and get a better idea on what part I can play.
The two days consisted of many presentations from many incredible individuals who are at the forefront of psychedelic psychotherapy, including researchers, doctors, therapists, and those who have personally benefitted from the therapies. They spoke about the experiements they have done, experiences they have had during sessions with their clients, the current legal situation regarding these therapies, and future plans of where they foresee this is all heading. It's undeniable that this is something that has been oppressed by the war on drugs for far too long, and it's time for us as a society to start recognizing the powerful healing these plant medicines can offer. Instead of suppressing or avoiding trauma in the body and psyche, people can access and truly work through the root causes of their hurt in ways that they may not be able to in unaltered states of conscioussness.
This experience reaffirmed my belief that this is the exact path I am meant to be on. I passionately believe that this is the next step of evolution and healing of our divided society. I'm not saying this is the 'solution', or that the medicine 'cures' anyone. What I truly believe is that the key to peace and harmony is connection. When people become conscious and connected with their inner divine being, God, essence, and thus realizing their connection with everything that is, us as a whole society will begin to act in love, as love. Although it is not the only way in, I do believe that for many people, psychedelic assisted therapy will help them get immensely closer to that realization.
We were suppose to leave Victoria by Saturday night, however, there was a weather warning for a storm (which never actually happened....) so all the ferries were cancelled for the day. Which means that we got an extra day to explore the city a little bit. Everytime I visit Vancouver Island I find more reasons to be in love with it. So many buildings and old bars/restuarants with so many quirks and characters. We visited Floyd's Diner, and I got the best chicken and waffles eggs benny EVER! Like holy crap just look at that glorious piece of fried chicken covered in creamy hollandaise...
We also got a chance to visit Fisherman's Warf and feed the seals
Then walked along the sea wall. Nothing quite calms my soul like the ocean... there's just sonmething magical about the salty air, the wind, the whispers of the waves. This was a gorgeous spot and I really wish I could visit here more often and see the sun set and rise from this spot.
I am grateful for this weekend, for the connections I made, the food I ate (seriously though... chicken and waffles....<3), and the beautiful city of Victoria.
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