Psychedelics in the Hudson Valley Part 4 | Resources
ALL ABOARD! Last stop on our psychedelics magic carpet ride through the Hudson Valley… RESOURCES. In this comprehensive series on hallucinogens, many aspects of this exciting and deepening voyage have already been explored, including the importance of set and setting, integration, aspects of legalization, long-lasting effects on depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD and more. In PART 1 + PART 2 we spoke to local spiritual business coach and long-time entheogen adventurer, Beth Weinstein, about some of these concepts and how her unique work with her clients can help them manifest their dreams. And in our last journey, the wife and husband team, Dr. Kelly Jennings and Francois Demange, reminded us about the importance of sacred reciprocity. This crucial conversation helped us look at how this renaissance of altered states of consciousness may be impacting our natural world as well as the communities, animals and plant medicines at the heart of this equation. This last sojourn offers recommendations for ways we can move with greater consideration, as well as highlights some local resources, and last things to consider.
But First– the WHY of Sacred Reciprocity, a Recap…
“Sacred reciprocity is the heartfelt exchange, gratitude, and acknowledgment for everyone and everything that sustains us,“ is one beautiful definition according to Psychedelics Today.
“Sacred reciprocity offers an opportunity to help restore balance to a presently imbalanced system of extraction amidst the global expansion of psychedelics”
We are moving into a global feeding frenzy for accessible psychedelic therapies and revelatory experiences. As we do, there is a growing call for (even) more research, the inclusion of psychedelics in lawmaking, and the economic opportunities this fertile ground offers. But in our urgency for greater self-awareness and healing, questions emerge. Has this zealous global pursuit for better health, fulfillment and deepened awareness distracted us from a crucial aspect of the conversation? How have indigenous wisdom keepers who have carried some of these plant medicines forward been impacted by the explosion of demand and commercialization of sacred ways? At what expense to traditional ways of life and the balance of our natural world? We hope that these explorations will help us collectively move into a brighter future for mental health in our modern, Western world, one that benefits from the healing of these sacred plants and ways, while also honoring the people, cultures and environments of their origin.
Some Psychedelic Options that are Gentle on Mama Earth and Others
Please read PART 3 of this series to learn about the deleterious impact over harvesting has had on Bufo alvarius aka Sonoran Desert Toads, for example. This small hopping prince of hallucinogens is having trouble meeting the demand of his newfound popularity as a spiritual guide. You will also learn there that huachuma/San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) or synthetic mescaline can be used instead of peyote to ensure the endangered, wild and slow-growing peyote will be preserved “for the Native populations who have been in a sacred relationship and deserve to continue to be.”
An alternative to consider is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (known as KAP). This safe, legal medicine is commercially manufactured and also poses no harm to the environment or indigenous communities. Ketamine as an adjunct to psychotherapy, “works in two ways to help clients heal,” explained the Woodstock Therapy Center. “It gently brings clients into an altered state of consciousness where processing difficult material may become easier, clients may also experience a psychedelic-like journey into deeper parts of themselves.” They went on to tout the positive impacts to the brain by targeting the neurotransmitter glutamate, which they explain is separate from those affected by typical antidepressants. “Ketamine can cause the brain to undergo a period of openness called neuroplasticity where new, healthier thoughts and beliefs can be incorporated with therapeutic support leading to positive outcomes not seen through either psychotherapy alone or with anti-depressant medication.” Check out our RESOURCE GUIDE below for numerous therapeutic options in the Hudson Valley.
A few other recommendations from Tim Ferris in his 2021 blog, “An Urgent Plea to Users of Psychedelics: Let’s Consider a More Ethical Menu of Plants and Compounds:”
Iboga/ibogaine. Unless you are an opiate addict, please consider other compounds and treatments. As is the case with peyote, wild-harvested and farmed iboga are both at the breaking point. For the chemically inclined, ibogaine can be extracted and semi-synthesized from the far less threatened Voacanga africana tree, as I learned in Hamilton Morris’ excellent episode on Iboga/Ibogaine in Season Three of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia.
5-MeO-DMT (aka ‘Toad’). Request synthetic instead of animal-sourced. 5-MeO-DMT is commonly extracted from the venom glands of the Sonoran Desert toad, a species now under multiple threats. One solution is straightforward: synthetic 5-MeO-DMT, the chemistry of which is both affordable and scalable. Why put an at-risk species in the gristmill?
Some Supportive Ways to Connect with the Psychedelic Experience, Wisdom and Yourself…
A RESOURCE GUIDE:
Annual Rosendale Theater Mushroom Festival | rosendaletheater.org | Rosendale
Look out for the 3rd Annual Rosendale Theater Mushroom Festival coming up next June 2024! Their past lineup included a Panel Discussion and Q&A: A Changing Climate: Medicinal Psychedelic Research and Accessible Psilocybin Use, presentations that included networking with mycologists and updates on the NY State mushroom legalization of psilocybin, in addition to all things mushroom including a cooking demonstration, short mushroom-themed videos submitted by “local” filmmakers, an open Mic Music/Poetry Slam and more. To find out more or be part of the community mycelium contact: [email protected]
Beth Weinstein | bethaweinstein.com | Accord
In addition to “multi-dimensional, soul-centered spiritual business coaching,” Beth Weinstein offers many free psychedelic resources, podcasts, classes and summits. Please see PART 1 + PART 2 of this series for a deep plunge into Beth’s path, knowledge and stories.
Cosm and Entheon | cosm.org/entheon | Wappinger
Celebrated psychedelic artists, Alex and Allyson Grey, recently opened the doors of their new 12,000-square-foot psychedelic and visionary art center Entheon, Sanctuary of Visionary Art at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. The inauguration coincided with the full-moon anniversary of the husband and wife’s first life-altering LSD trip 47 years ago which they celebrated this past June 3rd, wrapped in a community passionate about psychedelic art, experiences and culture. Please CLICK HERE for our recent INSIDE + OUT article.
Entheon is a place that inspires creativity and curiosity, a connection to nature, and a more unity-minded vision of the future. Allyson Grey explains it this way: “I call it social sculpture — bringing a community together around visionary art for the purpose of uplifting people.” All this and an impressive collection of inspiring and beautifully curated art on 40 wooded acres in Wappingers. The buildings are as yet unfinished, and there’s a goal of $3 million needed to complete just the main building. Unfinished or not, this is still a great dream to support, offering up a lot of creative and spiritual food for thought as well as classes and events including in-person full moon gatherings and bonfires, painting intensives with the Greys, Art Church and more. Online there’s a robust shop with great books, artwork and merchandise of all psychedelic kinds. To make a donation to Cosm: LINK Calendar: LINK
Dee Dee Goldpaugh, LCSW | deedeegoldpaugh.com | Woodstock
Dee Dee Goldpaugh, LCSW (they/them/theirs) is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in queer, sex and body-positive psychotherapy and psychedelic integration. Dee Dee has taught and written widely on the topic of psychedelics and sexuality. They are an advocate for therapist education, cognitive liberty, and the decriminalization of psychedelic medicines. “I have extensive experience as a legal psychedelic-assisted therapist as well as a clinical supervisor in DEA/FDA-approved research settings. I have received training through MAPS in MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and am on the Supervision Team for the EMBARK Psychedelic Psychotherapy training model. I have also had success with non-medicine shamanic techniques such as shamanic journeying, transpersonal EMDR, and other core shamanic techniques to enhance their progress and experience in therapy.”
Eric Fraser, LCAT, MA, MT-BC | Sound and Nature | Hudson
Eric Fraser is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) + Certified Music Therapist, MA, MT-BC specializing in psychedelic-assisted therapy (for adults) and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy which has been scientifically proven in many studies to be safe and lasting. “In a placebo-controlled study on ketamine for anxiety and depression, 89% of patients responded positively to ketamine treatments,” he wrote. Eric brings music, sound and somatic therapy techniques to KAP sessions, with a focus on supporting clients to meet the medicine with awareness and attention so that greater and lasting therapeutic results can be attained. Additionally, Sound and Nature customized retreats and workshops for groups and individuals to have somatic and sound meditation experiences. He works in partnership with Journey Clinical, a ketamine prescriber for psychedelic-assisted therapy. “While infusion centers tend to follow a medical model in which ketamine is utilized as a pharmaceutical treatment, KAP focuses on the psychedelic experience of ketamine as a tool in a therapeutic relationship to uncover, address and integrate trauma, anxiety, spiritual issues, depression, addiction and more. KAP provides a unique and powerful context to reconnect with creativity, self-expression, and self-realization.
Hudson Valley Psychedelic Association | hudsonvalleypsychedelicsociety.com | Online
A 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the safe, equitable, and accessible integration of psychedelics in the Hudson Valley. They offer monthly support groups co-led by trained volunteers with the intention to create opportunities to share experiences with one another, hold space for each other, and build community. Alongside education and support initiatives, they advocate for decriminalization measures that encourage community-based healing and work towards a more compassionate, just, and liberated society. They also offer drug testing kits, psychedelic integration circles, mushroom growing workshops and more.
Woodstock Therapy Center | woodstocktherapycenter.com | Woodstock
The Ketamine-Assisted Therapy team at the Woodstock Therapy Center provides psychedelic therapeutic support to clients undergoing treatment with ketamine, among many other modalities. This groundbreaking safe and legal treatment is suitable for clients with certain types of depression or looking to deepen transpersonal work in therapy. “Many clients find that psychotherapy alone does not get them as far as they would like in their healing process. One of the tools we’ve found to be the most powerful when a client feels “stuck” or unable to see progress with their depression, anxiety, or trauma is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, aka KAP as an adjunct to psychotherapy. KAP works by bringing clients into an altered state of consciousness where processing difficult material may become easier, clients may also experience a psychedelic-like journey into deeper parts of themselves. Ketamine also has a positive impact on the brain itself “by targeting the neurotransmitter glutamate, a different neurotransmitter than the ones impacted by typical antidepressants. Ketamine can cause the brain to undergo a period of openness called neuroplasticity where new, healthier thoughts and beliefs can be incorporated with therapeutic support leading to positive outcomes not seen through either psychotherapy alone or with anti-depressant medication.”
Sacred Ways Foundation | sacredwaysfoundation.org | Staatsburg
Primary care physician and holistic health practitioner, Dr. Kelly Jennings, recently wrote, “Who’s going to stand on behalf of these medicine elders? Who’s going to stand for the Sacred? Who’s going to make sure these traditional ways are not marginalized in the mainstream conversation yet again while we medicalize the spiritual experience?” You can join Dr. Kelly Jennings and Francois Demange in an enriching conversation about psychedelics, Sacred Reciprocity, and more in a free live series Q&A. Register Here to join them as they highlight the marginalized voices of the indigenous wisdom keepers. You might also consider giving to their non-profit foundation, Sacred Ways Foundation in order to give direct funds to medicine families who carry these sacred traditions. It’s a great way to say thank you.
Stephanie Bifolco, LCSW | stephaniebifolcolcsw.com | Newburgh
Stephanie is a licensed clinical social worker whose work now involves the breakthrough use of psychedelic medicines for treating treatment-resistant depression and other mental health challenges. She leads Psychedelic Community-Integration Circles as well as specializes in using both conventional and alternative methods to help with recovery from mental health challenges. She has dedicated over a decade to the practice of community mental health care. Stephanie has extensive training and certification in various evidenced-based treatments and has been a Hatha yoga teacher for 14 years. Her background in Vedic and Buddhist contemplative practices, as well as popular education pedagogy, both inform her approach to mental health treatment today. She also provides an integrative approach to mental health that safely and effectively addresses the symptoms of the individual or family while taking into account personal preferences, cultural beliefs, and other constraints. Stephanie speaks both English and Spanish.
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