Monday, October 25, 2021

Comments by ShavedPrimate

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • I agree that we all have our biases, that is part of being human. But there is a difference in recognising that and still seeking truth even if it contradicts that bias or using that bias as a compass for our truth-seeking. I see the article as the latter and glaringly so.

    On the topic of bias you speak as someone who is entirely unfamiliar with the subject at hand and talk about ‘drugs’ like someone from the Nixon era. I encourage you to look at the scientific research that has been done showing impressive results in psychedelic therapy. Namely with MDMA-based psychotherapy for PTSD and psilocybin for depression. Drugs are tools. We use tools to build our houses and roads, to create electronic networks where articles can be shared with the entire human race, to do every action we take during the day. Using substances as tools to better our mental health is no different than using a scalpel or chemical to fight a cancer.

  • I don’t disagree with you. My point, poorly stated it seems, is that there is no evidence that the use of psychedelics exacerbates or increases instances of abuse of the therapist/guide and client dynamic, which seems to be the point, if not agenda, of the article. Unfortunately we can’t get that, or any, real data on this form of therapy given the current underground status of the work.

    The fact that some people will abuse their role in psychedelic therapy, just as they do in more traditional caregiver roles, is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need to decriminalise these substances, most of which are inherently safe from a physical health point of view though some like MDMA should have oversight from the medical profession to determine any contraindications, and create a system of certifications and licensure that stands up a framework of protocols and professional ethics so that those who abuse their power can be censured, punished, and removed from their roles.

    Psychedelic therapy is a valuable addition to the therapist’s and psychologist’s toolbox that has been forbidden for too long. Clinical trials with MDMA and Psilocybin have shown tremendous results and the healing possible from them can be profound for a large number of people.

    Again, I’m very sorry for the experience of the author and I applaud his vulnerability in publishing his account. But we also have to recognise that his experience is his singular experience and does not represent, for good or ill, the experiences of others and that bias is obvious in this piece.

  • I agree that the risks of this therapy are rarely talked about and deserve an objective and thorough look. However, the personal bias in this piece renders it unbalanced and hyperbolic. Mr Hall’s experiences, which I am very sorry for, have unfortunately seemed to blind him to the other side of this work.

    I have worked extensively in this area with many trained guides and licensed professionals who provide psychedelic services. There are, of course, no statistics on incidents of abuse in this realm but, if anything, I have found practitioners across the country to be hyper-sensitive to matters of ethics, boundaries, and appropriate interactions between guide and client. There is a clear understanding of the power dynamics and trust they are accorded and in every case I have observed these practitioners will communicate to their clients those rigid boundaries.

    In every session I witnessed there was, prior to taking any substance, a clear recitation of safety protocols, expectations of both guides and participants, strict boundaries around touch, and an emphasis on the participants being able to say ‘no’ to any and every type of interaction with each other or the guides unless is was for their safety.

    Admittedly, my experiences remain anecdotal despite being more extensive than Mr Hall’s.

    That being said, he lashes out, quite inappropriately, at an entire community for the reprehensible actions of a few. There is no argument that his personal experience was an egregious violation of trust and horrific but he maligns thousands of dedicated and caring practitioners on the basis of that experience and spins his impressions on the entire community into a twisted lattice of biased supposition and directed guesswork.

    In the end, this is nothing more than a hit piece with little relevant content to actual happenings, positive or negative, in the psychedelic therapy space. Any and all abuse by guides or therapists in this context must be dealt with, but Mr Hall fails to make a valid case or provide any evidence whatsoever that it’s in any way common.