EPISODE RELEASED 1st JUNE 2022
HOW DO WE INTEGRATE THE INTENSE EXPERIENCE OF PSYCHEDELIC THERAPY FOR LONG TERM BENEFITS? CAN WE APPLY THOSE LEARNINGS TO EXISTENIAL EXPLORATION IN GENERAL?
In this episode we have the fascinating topic of ‘psychedelic integration’ to get our head around. Integration is a crucial part of any psychotherapy process, but perhaps even more so when those suffering experience psychedelic compounds in their treatment program. Many subjects of the new psychedelic treatments for depression and ADHD, have life changing experiences that often go against everything they have come to believe about themselves and the world. So regardless of how positive that can be to the meaning of their lives, it’s clear that some pretty sensitive guidance and processing needs to take place for the therapy to shift their day to day life long-term. And interestingly the same tools we’ll discuss can be used for all of us to navigate our own existential exploration.
So who better to help us explain this and offer some tools for navigating these tricky experiences than clinical psychologist and author Dr. Kile Ortigo. Kile is the founder of the Center for Existential Exploration in Palo Alto California; he’s hugely influenced by psychologist Carl Jung and Jospeh Campbell and specialises in treating trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addiction, with a particular sensitivity to gender identity issues. He’s just written a book about the topic Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide for Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration
What we discuss in this episode:
06:00 Integration in therapy
09:44 Integration of psychedelic experiences
12:13 Preparation for the unknown - Kile’s new book ‘Psychedelic integration’
17:00 Re-finding initiation; analogy with preparation
21:00 The risks of self-initiation
23:25 Is meaning built into existence?
28:00 Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
31:30 The symbolism of the battles in the myths
34:00 The shadow - ‘a moral problem’ Jung
35:00 Monomyth is a misnoma
38:00 The Heroine’s journey - Maureen Murdoch
41:30 MDMA therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
43:45 Preparation - medicine journey - integration; 3 Arcs
46:00 The risk of re-trauma if the patient is not prepared
49:45 The rewards from existential exploration and integration
54:00 The exciting mystery of the unknown - making friends with the unknown