Many of us are socially isolating at this time of the pandemic. How is that affecting you? Can you check in and ask yourself; how am I really feeling right now?

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Many of my clients are struggling with feeling isolated; everything has gone online and even if we are managing to see people, the restrictions in the UK are now about where you can go, or which areas are in various tiers (and as I write this another lockdown.) I met a friend at the weekend and though we could walk around a large park we couldn’t sit together inside…


Breaking free from addiction.

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Many of us have battled or are still battling with alcohol addiction. Whether that’s the cognitive dissonance that we have felt about using alcohol or whether it’s an addiction that affects your everyday life. People’s relationship with this drug can oftentimes be an unhappy one. Alcohol is highly addictive and ruins lives. Alcohol abuse, as a cause of death in the UK, has been estimated at 8000–40,000 annually, according to the Institute of Alcohol Studies. Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood…


Is the pharmacology world failing people with mental health disorders?

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In a landmark decision Canada has allowed psilocybin treatment for end of life cancer care in four patients. This is the first medical approval in Canada since the 1970’s. A news release from TheraPsil, an organisation that is working for patients to gain access to psilocybin therapy, supported patients with their applications to seek ministerial approval. Cancer patients who have used psilocybin have reported being able to live free from fear and anxiety for the first time since being giving their diagnosis.

More and more people are turning to plant…


The Latin word Integrare means to ‘make whole’ or ‘begin again’. Integration is about moving towards wholeness.

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What does it mean to make whole? There may be times in our lives where we feel fragmented. We might talk in terms of ‘parts’; a part of you wants one thing and another part of you feels like it’s struggling. There may be a part of you that you try to push way, ignore or numb. Maybe you don’t like that shadow part of you and would rather not face it. To become whole is to bring these parts into the light…


How can we mother ourselves?

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When we are born we depend on our caregivers for survival. We are unable to feed ourselves or regulate ourselves in anyway. Our parents’ role is to nurture us and provide for us physically and emotionally. But what happens if the person that we depend upon is unavailable emotionally or incapable of providing for our needs?

For 11 years I had no communication with my Mother. Recently, we have got back in touch through telephone and have had a few short conversations. I’ve searched deep inside for how I feel about being back in touch with her. I have felt…


How a so called ‘party drug’ can help to heal the deep wounding of trauma.

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We have been experiencing an underground psychedelic renaissance since the 90’s but not in the way that you might think. In the 60’s, psychedelics were associated with a stigma brought about by the American government’s ‘war on drugs.’ Think rebellion, social uprisings and a whole generation of young people shedding responsibility in favour of what Timothy Leary famously asked them to do; “turn on, tune in and drop out.”

Therapeutic setting.

Today’s psychedelic use is for clinical research. The drugs are administered strictly in a therapeutic setting…


How can we find the path back to our true selves?

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The Greek origin of the word Trauma means ‘wound.’ A wound can be an open, sore wound that is painful and exposed, or it can be an old wound that is covered over by layers of hard skin. Traumatic events leave both open and old wounds. Often we do not want to look at our trauma for fear of the pain, so we bury it, we turn away and we numb.

Gabor Mate defines addiction as any behaviour that gives you temporary relief, but that you crave, despite it bringing you negative consequences. Any behaviour can be drinking, gambling, sex…


How can we help our struggling kids?

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Growing up I was filled with anxiety. I had no idea that this feeling had a name. The feeling just became a part of me; I absorbed the tightness and constant vigilance since I knew nothing else. Everyday I suffered with either stomach ache, the kind where I would need to lie down with a hot water bottle, or a headache. It wasn’t until I took myself to the doctors at 16 and he diagnosed me with ‘stress’ that I heard that it could be anything other than a physical ailment. …


A hopeful way forward for the opioid epidemic?

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According to the National Centre for Drug Abuse Statistics, 80% of people who had been given prescription opioids then go on to use heroin. Between 2010 and 2017, heroin overdose deaths had increased by nearly 410%.

Fentanyl is a synthetic FDA-approved opioid drug used as an anaesthetic and a pain reliever. This drug is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. Yet, we can readily obtain this painkiller and others like it either through prescription or over the internet.

These statistics should be a wake up…


It’s time we wake up to the mental health benefits of psychedelics and here’s why.

“Based on the available evidence, we conclude that ayahuasca shows promise as a therapeutic tool by enhancing self-acceptance and allowing safe exposure to emotional events. We postulate that ayahuasca could be of use in the treatment of impulse-related, personality and substance use disorders and also in the handling of trauma.” Beckley Foundation.

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Psychedelics have had a bad press since Nixon made them the reason for all things wrong in the world. In 1970, Nixon identified drug abuse as “public enemy number one in the United…

Sam Coleman

Counsellor, Psychotherapist, writer on mental health issues with an interest in psychedelic assisted therapy. stillirisetherapy.co.uk

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