Wisdom from the Psychedelic Underground with Rachel Harris, Ph.D.
The Psychedelic healing journey is an exploration into the profound world of psychedelic-assisted therapy and healing. It delves into the use of psychedelic medicines in therapeutic settings to facilitate deep, emotional, and spiritual experiences. At the heart of this, is the concept of transformation and self-discovery.
Women elders who facilitate this type of healing experience guide individuals through these altered states in a safe and supportive environment, they aim to help them confront and process unresolved emotional traumas and gain insights into their personal challenges.
These fearless women elders see themselves not just as therapists but as priestesses, recognizing the profound spiritual and soulful dimensions of psychedelic healing. They aspire to see people live up to their soul's purpose, find meaning, and cultivate authentic connections with themselves and their communities.
In this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Rachel Harris, PhD, Author of Swimming in the Sacred: Wisdom from the Psychedelic Underground and Listening to Ayahuasca. Dr. Rachel talks about her book "Swimming in the Sacred" which features interviews with women elders who have been facilitating psychedelic healing journeys underground for decades. She shares that these women see themselves more as priestesses rather than therapists, focusing on helping people live up to their soul's purpose. Psychedelic journeys can help with conditions like PTSD and depression but integration is an ongoing process that psychotherapy can support.
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Thoughts to Empower
- "I felt like the women had a special relationship with the medicines that they were serving" — Dr. Rachel Harris, PhD
- "They felt that they’re willing to take the risk to work underground, which is a significant risk, because these medicines have helped them so much." — Dr. Rachel Harris, PhD
- “They wanted to have a voice. They hadn't had one.” — Dr. Rachel Harris, PhD
- “I understand how dangerous it could be if you're unguided. But as far as it is available to people who really need access to it. I wish there was more openness in the world.” — Becca Powers
- ”We're all going to experience pain, loss, suffering, and then you have the choice of how you wanna respond to it.” — Becca Powers
- “Joy is a choice” — Becca Powers
Key Points From This Episode:
- Women elders see themselves more as priestesses facilitating healing journeys rather than therapists
- The women elders want to see people living up to their soul's purpose and having more meaning and contribution to the community
- Psychedelic journey can help people feel more connected to their soul's purpose and meaning in life
- Integration of experiences happens at different stages of life and is an unfolding process
- Working with our own level of happiness is important
About Rachel Harris:
Rachel Harris, PhD, is the author of Swimming in the Sacred: Wisdom from the Psychedelic Underground and Listening to Ayahuasca. A psychologist who has been in private practice for 40 years, she spent 10 years in an academic research department where she published more than 40 scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals and received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award.