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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Photo by Anton Malanin on Unsplash

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 for a coffee as we are from different tiers; this is not ideal when it is pouring with rain. There are many people that cannot see members of their families due to distance or protection from Covid. All of this serves to make us feel more and more isolated. …


Breaking free from addiction.

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Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

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 pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression. …


Is the pharmacology world failing people with mental health disorders?

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Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

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 medicine, aka psychedelics, to heal mental health issues like anxiety, depression and trauma. Microdosing psychedelics (taking barely perceptible amounts) has been happening since the 1980’s but now we are hearing about it more and more; and it’s not just ‘hippies’ or ‘dropouts’. Many of these people are professionals with responsibilities and families who are choosing psychedelics over antidepressants. Microdosing psilocybin has been shown to increase creativity, productivity and mood enhancement. Microdosers have described being in ‘flow states’; a blissful state of getting large amounts of work done with less procrastination and more concentration. …


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

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Photo by Sarah Ball on Unsplash

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 and integrate or blend together to make one unified whole being. …


How can we mother ourselves?

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Photo by Anna Pritchard on Unsplash

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 an absence of feeling which has alarmed me; I was waiting for some sort of emotional fallout or inner panic, and that didn’t happen. Instead, I feel an obligation to stay in touch when really it doesn’t matter to me either way. …


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

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

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 for people wishing to treat, and recover from, mental health issues such as treatment resistant depression and treatment resistant post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) There is also a large underground movement who are using assisted psychedelic therapy but for the purpose of this story I will be discussing the therapy that has been given approval for trials. …


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

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Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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, drugs, shopping; we all have something, but if it is having a negative impact or influence over your life and you find it difficult to stop then it is an addiction. …


How can we help our struggling kids?

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Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

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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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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 call for us to find a better way to treat an addicted western world. There is a better way; ibogaine. Further funding and research needs to be done on ibogaine but it might be a way forward to save lives and help people with opioid addiction. …


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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Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

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 States.” He introduced the Controlled Substances Act, rendering psilocybin, mescaline, LSD and DMT illegal. The act ended all government-sanctioned psychedelic research that had been taking place since Albert Hoffman discovered LSD in 1943. …

About

Sam Coleman

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

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