Welcome to theSparc!

Greetings dear friends! I hope this message finds you feeling grateful and nourished as we work our way through the holiday season.  As I truly believe beauty, abundance, love and appreciation is all any of hearts truly yearn for. Yet although those are the intentions surrounding this time of year, so often the Holiday Season can be a time of significant disruption and challenge. Whether experiencing the difficult reality of a loneliness due to estrangement or distance, being forced to endure the judgment of relations who don’t honor your choices, are struggling through the pain of remembering those precious ones you’ve lost along the way, or are simply facing the paradox of seeking to find joy & celebration in a world fraught with disconnection and fear.. For many, the Holidays signal a time where the schism between one’s hopes & dreams and the realities of one’s trials & tribulations are placed into a sharp and clear focus.

Even more challenging are the moral injuries that weigh heavy on the heart.  Those harmful actions we have taken, harsh words we have shared and poor choices made that have hurt those we love.  Its one thing to be the victim of harm.. and its an entirely different one to be the bearer of pain for others.  Yet how we embrace these lessons we face are entirely up to us.  Do we recycle and reenact the experiences in our psyche until they become deep wounds that define our sense of self? Or do we choose to take a courageous act toward forgiveness, healing and reconciliation?

Although finding aid through a therapist or trusted ally can be deeply supportive, sometimes talking through a challenge isn’t enough. Enter psychedelics.  The medicines ability to dig deep into the nuerochemistry to break down maladaptive neuroconnections, compost psychosomatic injury, soften the fear to elevate sense worth, love & care can be a profound gift in one’s life. Whether through the slow and steady path of micro-dosing paired with lifestyle changes, or the revelatory power of an immersive experience, psychedelics aid one in reclaiming a sense of lasting joy & well being.  Keep in mind that the medicine itself doesn’t do all the healing for us.  They are powerful catalysts that support deep healing and growth through the conviction of our choices and devotion to our path.

If your heart seeks a path of healing as you enter into the new year, from transgressions made or received, consider reaching out for support. I have walked the path of loss and discovery, of mistaken action into important lessons learned… And I have supported over 170 journeys in this process. Consider a confidential consultation if you’re needing support.  Even if now is not the time, a conversation can be an important first step toward the path of lasting healing and change.  I look forward to being an ally on your path toward personal discovery and transformation. 

In this newsletter, I’m going to share some exciting articles and resources about the power of healing through moral injury to help support your path during the holidays… Along with some other neat happenings around the psychedelic universe you may find intriguing and supportive!  And for those of you going through it, I am with you my friends! 2023 has been a year with great cheers and tears in equal measure.  Thank you for bravely continuing to show up and remaining steadfast on your path. And as always, Thanks for joining me for the ride! 

Processing Shame & Guilt in the Psychedelic Experience

Introduction:The classic psychedelic psilocybin has attracted special interest across clinical and non-clinical settings as a potential tool for mental health. However, despite increasing attention to challenging psychedelic experiences, few studies have explored the relevance of emotionally painful, shame-related processes with psychedelic use.

Methods:This prospective, longitudinal study involved sequential, automated, web-based surveys that collected data from 679 adults planning to use psilocybin in naturalistic setting sat timepoints before and after psilocybin use. State and trait shame and feelings of guilt were collected using validated measures and assessed alongside other measurements of psychological health.

Discussion:The experience of self-conscious emotions with psychedelics has been explored minimally, but further study in this area may have far-reaching implications for psychological health.The activation of shame-related experiences with psychedelics may pose a unique and context-dependent learning condition for both therapeutic and detrimental forms of shame-related memory reconsolidation.

Psychedelic Revolution: The Secret History of the LSD Trade

The history of LSD in our country is a staggering interesting one.  From the origins of free samples shipped throughout the world from Sandos Labs after Hoffmans discovery. To CIA experiments “escaping the lab” into Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests, its safe to say the second wave of psychedelics has an extraordinary story. Hear the forbidden story of the clandestine chemists and brave pioneers who risked their freedom to bring LSD to the people during the war on drugs in the new film by White Boy writer/producer Seth Ferranti.

Can You Combine Psychedelics and Antidepressants?
A Dive into Potential Interactions and Safety

As psychedelics gain prominence in treating mental health conditions, concerns arise about the potential interactions with other psychiatric medications. We take a look at the research that exist to understand the risks associated with mixing psychedelics and antidepressants.

The use of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin and MDMA in treating major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions is becoming more prominent. As these substances show increasing promise, they could soon become a part of mainstream medical practice. Additionally, many people are seeking healing and spiritual experiences at psychedelic retreat centers, which could lead to a wider variety of individuals using psychedelics.

However, this development raises concerns about the potential interactions between psychedelics and antidepressants, as most clinical trials have focused on the safety and efficacy of single psychedelic compounds and not their interactions with other medications.  Click to Read Full Article.

New study pinpoints the most common long-term challenges after psychedelic use

A recent study explored the enduring challenges individuals face after using psychedelic substances like psilocybin and LSD, finding that emotional difficulties, such as anxiety and fear, were the most common, along with self-perception and cognitive issues. The study, published in PLOS One, also identified factors that could contribute to these difficulties.

The motivation behind this study lies in the growing interest and use of psychedelic substances like psilocybin and LSD for various purposes, including therapy and personal growth. These substances have shown potential in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and they are being considered for legal medical use in some countries. However, along with the potential benefits, there have been reports of individuals experiencing enduring difficulties or challenges after using psychedelics.

Support the Pearl Psychedelic Institute this Holiday Season

The Pearl Psychedelic Institute has been created to advance the study and understanding of psychedelic medicines through research, treatment, training, and community education. Institute activities will be conducted safely, ethically, and with the deepest respect for the medicines and the people involved in this work. The long-term goal as these medicines become legalized is to establish a reduced cost clinic in Western North Carolina where these emerging treatments can be accessible to those in need. 

✨In honor of the season we have a donor matching up to $10,000 in donations until the new year! 

Use the link to below to support the Pearl Psychedelic Institute Today. 

In this episode, I discuss Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), which is also commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly,” including how it works in the brain to cause short- and long- term-shifts in emotional processing and its clinical applications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and other substance-use addictions. I discuss the neuronal mechanisms for how MDMA elevates mood, empathy, motivation, social engagement, and reduces “threat detection” and how these effects can synergistically support talk therapy. 

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