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Psychedelics Today is the planetary leader in psychedelic education, media, and advocacy. Covering up-to-the-minute developments and diving deep into crucial topics bridging the scientific, academic, philosophical, societal, and cultural, Psychedelics Today is leading the discussion in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.

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United States

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Psychedelics Today is the planetary leader in psychedelic education, media, and advocacy. Covering up-to-the-minute developments and diving deep into crucial topics bridging the scientific, academic, philosophical, societal, and cultural, Psychedelics Today is leading the discussion in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.

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English


Episodes
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PT522 – An Inside look at the FDA and Early Drug Development, with Dr. Amanda Holley

6/18/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Dr. Amanda Holley: pharmacologist and regulatory consultant in nonclinical drug development, and previously a nonclinical pharmacology/toxicology reviewer at the FDA. With Lykos Therapeutics working towards FDA approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review) recently published its draft evidence report, concluding that they couldn't endorse this modality. While disappointing to the psychedelic space, this report doesn't determine the FDA's official stance, and also really highlights a lot about how the FDA works, the knowledge gap between consumers and regulators, and how clinical studies should be designed in the future. Holley talks about the FDA's dedication to safety and data, and how, essentially, drug development comes down to a risk/benefit analysis. She discusses: and much more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:03:06

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PT521 – Community, Group Process, and Co-Creation: How to Build a Successful Retreat, with Alice Dommert & Kara Tremain, ACC

6/14/2024
In this episode of Vital Psychedelic Conversations, Kyle interviews two Vital graduates: Alice Dommert: certified breathwork facilitator and co-founder of retreat company, The Infinite Center; and Kara Tremain, ACC: somatic practitioner and growth and development coach. A huge part of Vital is the experiential aspect of attending a retreat. Students report that being part of a group process, feeling the power of the proper set and setting, taking a journey as both a sitter and experiencer, and separating from the world and connecting with each other has been one of the best parts of the program – even life-changing. With Dommert behind 13 Vital retreats to date, she and Kyle dive into what they’ve learned in how to run a successful retreat. They discuss: If you’re interested in Vital, applications are now open with an Early Bird discount! And if you want to attend a Vital retreat, we have a few spots left in two: a transpersonal breathwork retreat in Pennsylvania, July 9-14, and a cannabis + breathwork retreat in Agoura Hills, CA in October. Head to the Infinite Center’s website for details. For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:11:26

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PT520 – From the Eleusinian Mysteries to Modern Mysticism: The Role of Religion in the Psychedelic Experience, with Charles Stang

6/11/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Charles Stang: Professor of Early Christian Thought and the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. The Center was created to gain a better understanding of world religions by bringing scholars from their respective countries to study and live alongside Divinity School students. As students and Stang started to become interested in psychedelics, a zoom series, "Psychedelics and the Future of Religion," began, and the school just hosted their second conference, "Psychedelic Intersections: Cross Cultural Manifestations of the Sacred." Next year's Psychedelics and Spirituality conference will take place February 15, 2025. He discusses: and much more. For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:24:11

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PT519 – Exploring Somatic Practices and Psychedelics, with Pierre Bouchard, LPC & Kara Tremain, ACC

6/7/2024
In this episode – the first in the 2024 series of Vital Psychedelic Conversations – David interviews Pierre Bouchard, LPC: Vital instructor and lead trainer for the Congregation for Sacred Practices; and Kara Tremain, ACC: recent Vital graduate-turned-instructor, somatic practitioner, and growth and development coach. In this series, we pair up a Vital instructor with a current or previous student as a way of showcasing different (and aligned) perspectives on what they feel is most vital for the psychedelic space to be discussing, while also highlighting their experiences with Vital, our 12-month training program. The next cohort begins September 17 and we're accepting applications now. As they are both are passionate about somatic work, they discuss: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:36:41

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PT518 – The EMBARK Model of Psychedelic Therapy, with Alex Belser, Ph.D. & Bill Brennan, Ph.D.

6/4/2024
In this episode, Kyle interviews Alex Belser, Ph.D. and Bill Brennan, Ph.D.: psychologists, psychedelic researchers, authors, and co-creators of the EMBARK model, a framework for psychedelic therapy. When Belser and Brennan worked together at Cybin, they canvassed the field of psychedelic research and saw very little reporting (if any) of the manuals researchers were using, so they created the EMBARK model as a "big tent" framework – a way to understand what patients were going through from the perspective of six different clinical domains, where the clinician can go deeper into whichever domain is needed based on their specific skill sets. The EMBARK model has been used in two randomized controlled trials to date, and its corresponding book, EMBARK Psychedelic Therapy for Depression: A New Approach for the Whole Person (co-authored by Belser and Brennan), was released in April. They discuss: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:01:11

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PT517 – Long COVID and Psychedelics, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, Joel Castellanos, MD, & MaryAnn Welke Lesage

5/31/2024
In this episode, special guest host Court Wing interviews Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD: professor and chair of rehabilitation medicine at UT Health San Antonio; Joel Castellanos, MD: co-founder and associate medical director of the Center for Psychedelic Research at UC San Diego; and MaryAnn Welke Lesage: a long COVID survivor who reports experiencing drastic improvement in symptoms after MDMA and psilocybin therapy. As the world slowly recovers from COVID, many people are seeing continued or new symptoms, and while much is still not understood, these symptoms are being categorized as long COVID: essentially a persistent viral inflammation causing brain fog, headaches, depression, and other hard-to-diagnose symptoms. With estimations of as many as 18% of people in the U.S. experiencing this at one point and 6.8% currently dealing with it, could psychedelics – which can decrease inflammation and reset neural networks – help alleviate these symptoms? They discuss: and more! For more info, read Lesage's article, "How Psychedelics Became Key to My Long COVID Recovery," as well as the official paper: "Long-COVID symptoms improved after MDMA and psilocybin therapy: A case report." For more links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:00:53:23

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PT516 – Embracing the Mystery: Making Psychedelic Literature Engaging, with Sean Lawlor

5/28/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Sean Lawlor: writer and therapist specializing in ketamine-assisted therapy at Reflective Healing in Fort Collins, CO. His first book, Psychedelic Revival: Toward a New Paradigm of Healing, will be released on June 4. Written as somewhat of a primer for psychedelics and psychedelic therapy, he talks about how he decided to write the book, how Michael Pollan was an influence, and the importance of making psychedelic literature not boring: Research and statistics are important, but how does one relate to data points when trying to understand something so rich and weird? He discusses: For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:02:49

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PT515 – The Economics of Psychedelics, with Elliot Marseille, DrPH, MPP

5/24/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Elliot Marseille, DrPH, MPP: founding director of UC Berkeley’s Collaborative for the Economics of Psychedelics (CEP), a network of health economists and researchers analyzing the economics behind emerging psychedelic-assisted therapies. In the early days of drug research, efficacy was the leading factor in decision making, but as time has gone on, people are looking much more into the economics of everything: If a government is granted X amount of money, what should they spend it on that will be the most beneficial to the most people? How do you create models for future research and regulations based on the data we have now? Can there be a time in the near future when someone sits before Congress and says, “This is the exact societal cost of not making psychedelic therapy accessible”? He discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:09:02

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PT514 – Breaking Through Bureaucracy: Can D.C. Embrace Evidence-Based Drug Policy?, with Senator Tom Daschle and Charlie Panfil

5/21/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews two members of The Daschle Group: Founder and CEO, Senator Tom Daschle; and Public Policy Advisor, Charlie Panfil. As Senator Daschle served in the House of Representatives for eight years (starting in 1978) and the Senate for 21, he was deep in the War on Drugs at its peak, and thankfully, as seen with so many of his constituents in recent years, the data and personal stories of so many healed people has broken through the propaganda and made him a strong advocate for psychedelic-assisted therapy. While minds are changing and progress is happening before our eyes (the majority of substances the FDA is currently researching for psychiatric indications contain some form of psychedelic ingredient), government bureaucracy, a severe lack of communication between the FDA and DEA, and decades of lies are still massive roadblocks. How do we address all of this while advancing research? They discuss: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:00:58:53

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PT513 – Depth Psychology, Archetypal Energies, and How Psychedelics Reveal the Soul, with Simon Yugler

5/17/2024
In this episode, Kyle interviews Simon Yugler: psychedelic-assisted therapist, educator, and author of the book, Psychedelics & the Soul: A Mythic Guide to Psychedelic Healing, Depth Psychology, and Cultural Repair, which comes out this fall. He digs into depth psychology and why it’s a beneficial framework for navigating non-ordinary experiences – a practice he believes will be the next focus in psychedelic education and understanding, alongside more analysis into the archetypes and myths that reside within (and all around) us. In an age of hyper-individualism and isolation, the stories and archetypal energies we share (which can be brought more to the forefront with psychedelics) can be incredibly healing and connecting. He discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:15:22

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PT512 – RIPPLES of Hope: Psychedelics as a Tool for Peacebuilding and Collective Healing, with Sami Awad and Leor Roseman, Ph.D.

5/14/2024
In this episode, David interviews Sami Awad: Palestinian peace and nonviolent activist and founder of Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem; and Leor Roseman, Ph.D.: Israeli neuroscientist, researcher, and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter. They talk about Roseman's 2021 paper, "Relational Processes in Ayahuasca Groups of Palestinians and Israelis," which looked at what happened when people with fiercely different opinions moved beyond fear, anger, and othering, and sat together in a safe container and drank ayahuasca with the purpose of healing collective trauma. When the focus of the participants moved toward understanding each other, Roseman and Awad saw a unity that gave them a lot of hope, leading to the creation of their nonprofit, RIPPLES, which is focused on using psychedelics for peacebuilding – first in the Middle East, and hopefully soon, everywhere. As Awad says, "If it can happen here, it can happen almost anywhere." They discuss: Click here to head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:21:49

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PT511 – The Other Side of Veteran Healing: Secondary PTSD and Post-Retreat Family Dynamics, with Allison Wilson & Dr. Grace Blest-Hopley

5/10/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews two members of the Heroic Hearts Project team: Director of Donor Development and founder of The Hope Project, Allison Wilson; and Director of Research and founder of Hystelica, Dr. Grace Blest-Hopley. They discuss how The Hope Project – a nonprofit that supports spouses of veterans, Gold Star Wives, and female veterans with scholarships to psychedelic healing retreats, integration, community, etc. – merged with Heroic Hearts Project, and why this is such a necessary part of the veteran healing story: How does a family hold space for a vet returning to a suddenly alien civilian life (especially after a psychedelic journey)? How does a spouse deal with their own trauma from constant worry and isolation? Wilson and Blest-Hopley are learning that, for many spouses, having their own experience (and with other spouses) has been incredibly beneficial. They talk about: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:00:59

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PT510 – Early Research, Psychedelics in Palliative Care, and the Intersection of Science and the Sacred, with William Richards, STM, Ph.D.

5/7/2024
In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview William Richards, STM, Ph.D.: senior advisor at Sunstone Therapies, psychologist at the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, contributor to Vital, and author of Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics & Religious Experiences. He talks about the first time he experienced psilocybin in a research study in 1963, his early studies on the psychology of religion, working with Abraham Maslow, how he became one of the early psychedelic therapists, and what it was like for all of that to disappear when Nixon came into office and shut everything down. He discusses his move into psychedelics and end-of-life care after seeing patients’ fear of death completely disappear, and contemplates whether psychedelics could help people prepare for death – how would we live if we no longer feared death? He also discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:21:06

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PT509 – Music for Psychedelic Exploration, and the First 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Album, with Shahar Amit

5/3/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Shahar Amit: psytrance musician who has created what may be the world's first modular album for psychedelic exploration under his project, Held By Sound. He talks about his background in the rave and festival scene, the moment he realized he wanted to make music, and the realization that he could create soundscapes specifically for journeys into non-ordinary states. And he digs into the 'choose your own adventure' framework of the free album: how he actually recorded 3 different albums and figured out how to transition into different moods based on which direction the listener wants to go – from more still to more expansive, to darker or more bittersweet. He has also created music for DMT trials in the UK, and talks a lot about the potential in extended-state DMT experiences. He also discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:08:41

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PT508 – The Veteran Community and Operator Syndrome: Psychedelics and Redefining Pain Management, with Tommy Aceto

4/30/2024
In this episode, Joe and special guest, Court Wing, interview Tommy Aceto: former Navy Seal and trauma medic, NCAA athlete, Michigan State Champion Wrestler, and now, psychedelic advocate and ambassador for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition. He discusses his journey from childhood to wanting to become a SEAL, and the toll that military life and its programming can take on a person: how a life built on high levels of endurance, deprivation, and constantly surviving in a fight-or-flight mindset often manifests in Operator Syndrome, chronic pain, depression, and addiction. Veterans are seeing the potential of psychedelics to rewire their brains and allow them to process pain differently, by allowing them to feel emotions they were trained to turn off: “You’ve got to feel to heal.” Aceto discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:13:30

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PT507 – Psychedelic Education: Insights, Advice, and Where to Start, with Johanna Hilla & Kyle Buller

4/26/2024
In this episode, Kyle and Johanna catch up, interviewing each other about psychedelic education and what they’ve learned, the biggest challenges, and what advice they would give to anyone looking to get involved in the psychedelic field. They discuss: and more! The next round of our year-long training program, Vital, begins in September, but for those who feel that that may be too much of a commitment, our most popular course – the 9-week Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Wellness Practitioners, LIVE – begins on May 8. Head to the Psychedelic Education Center for more details! Click here to head to the show notes page.

Duration:00:55:20

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PT506 – Decolonization, Difficult Conversations, and the Challenge of Merging Spirituality and Science, with Philip Wolf

4/23/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Philip Wolf: writer, member of Rolling Stone's Culture Council, founder of Cultivating Spirits (the first company in the U.S. to offer legal culinary cannabis experiences), and founder of CashoM, an education company offering a certificate in cannabis stewardship. He discusses his recent Rolling Stone article about the need to divorce ourselves from the colonial mindset that pervades the psychedelic movement, and he talks about the difficult conversation that came about when he asked a very critical group of psychedelic leaders how they felt about the article, and how it taught him just how powerful having these difficult conversations can be. He also discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:42:08

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PT505 – Bicycle day Reflections, Quantum Mechanics, and the Value in Studying Philosophy to Understand Psychedelic Experiences, with Lenny Gibson, Ph.D.

4/19/2024
In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Lenny Gibson, Ph.D.: philosopher, Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork® facilitator, 20-year professor of transpersonal psychology at Burlington College, and the reason Joe and Kyle met many years ago. He talks about his early LSD experiences and how his interest in the philosophy of Plato and Alfred North Whitehead provided a framework and language for understanding a new mystical world where time and space were abstractions. He believes that while culture sees the benefits of psychedelics in economic terms, the biggest takeaway from non-ordinary states is learning that value is the essence of everything. And as this is being released on Bicycle Day, he discusses Albert Hofmann’s discovery and whether or not it’s fair to say that Hofmann intentionally had the experience he did on that fateful day. He also discusses: and more! For links, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:03:21

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PT504 – Rethinking Drug Education: From D.A.R.E. Scare Tactics to an Evidence-Based Approach, with Joey Lichter, Ph.D.

4/16/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Joey Lichter, Ph.D.: professor in the Chemistry & Biochemistry department at Miami’s Florida International University, and one of the few professors in the U.S. teaching a course about psychedelics at the collegiate level. He talks about his path towards the course, the challenge of creating a curriculum that covers everything in a few months, and the importance of teaching young minds about psychedelics the right away; shifting drug education from the “Just say no!” D.A.R.E. model to a more balanced, honest, and evidence-based approach. He aims for his students to think critically, ignore the hype, and see all possible angles with a fairly simple approach: Present the full story. He discusses: and more! For links and more, head to the show notes page.

Duration:01:06:32

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PT503 – Updates from MAPS: Current Initiatives, Psychedelic Science 2025, and Music as a Bridge, with Devon Phillips

4/12/2024
In this episode, Joe interviews Devon Phillips: community & partnerships officer for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Phillips works on strategies to tackle the questions: How do we responsibly mainstream psychedelics? And how do we get culture engaged? He's focusing on being the bridge to psychedelics outside of research, facilitating workshops and psychedelic coming-out stories at music festivals and conferences. He talks about harm reduction and drug checking at festivals, the concept of training big names to become trustworthy resources, the differences found in a hop hop crowd compared to EDM, and the power in using psychedelics for pleasure and celebration – not just healing and growth. He also discusses: and more! For links and more, head to the show notes page.

Duration:00:59:44