September 3, 2023

Psychedelic Integration Deep Dive: Integrating Altered States of Consciousness with Marc Aixala

About this Episode

Psychedelic integration is more important than ever before. In this final interview for the psychedelic leadership podcast, I sit down withMarc Aixala, author of Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness. 

Topics Covered
  • What is psychedelics integration?
  • When should people start thinking about integration?
  • Is integration something we can do on our own?
  • How is integration different for the different medicines?
  • Mindfulness awareness as part of preparation.
  • Understanding the difference between Set, Setting & Matrix
  • The power of intention.
    Using metaphors to help preparation and integration.
    Microdosing as an ally for preparation and integration.
  • What skills do practitioners need to support integration?
In my opinion, mindfulness awareness should be practiced before the psychedelic experience. So people will be able to navigate through anything that appears in the experience. Even if it's a positive experience or a challenging emotion, you know, so this attitude of being in touch with whatever is going on without having to change it, judge it, or modify it in any way.
Marc Aixala

MARC AIXALA​ Biography

Marc B. Aixalà is a telecommunications engineer, psychologist, psychotherapist and certified Holotropic Breathwork facilitator specializing in supporting people who face challenging experiences with expanded states of consciousness. Since 2013, in collaboration with the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS), Aixalá has offered integration psychotherapy sessions for those seeking support after psychedelic experiences. 

At ICEERS, Aixalà also works to develop theoretical models of intervention and trains and supervises therapists. Aixalà has served as a team leader and trainer in emergency psychological assistance at Boom Festival through the Kosmicare harm reduction program. He also worked on the first-ever medical trial on the use of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, a study chronicled in the 2018 documentary, “Magic Medicine.” He continues to work as a therapist in clinical trials researching psychedelic substances.Aixalà is trained in the therapeutic use of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness as well as in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD) by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Aixalà works as a psychologist in his private practice in Barcelona, Spain and offers trainings, lectures, and talks related to psychedelic psychotherapy and integration. José Carlos Bouso is a Clinical Psychologist with a PhD in Pharmacology. He developed his scientific actitives while at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Instituto de Investigación Biomédica IIB-Sant Pau de Barcelona, and the Instituto Hospital del Mar de Investigaciones Médicas de Barcelona (IMIM). During this time, he developed studies about the therapeutic effects of MDMA (“ecstasy”) and psychopharmacological studies on the acute and neuropsychiatric long-term effects of many substances, both synthetic and plant origin. As the Scientific Director at the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS), José Carlos oversees studies on the potential benefits of psychoactive plants, principally cannabis, ayahuasca, and ibogaine, with the goal of improving public health. He is co-author of numerous scientific papers and several book chapters.


I want to underscore the importance of being intentional and conscious about what you're doing and using our attention to selectively focus on what serves us and what brings us towards the path we want to go into.
Dr. Manesh Girn

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Episode #69: Psychedelic Integration Deep Dive: Integrating Altered States of Consciousness with author Marc Aixala

Laura: It’s pretty remarkable to see how far we’ve come and how many more people are speaking about integration these days. Do you think we’re still in the phase of just scratching the surface? A lot of people sort of paying lip service to this understanding that integration is important but not really implementing it to the degree that we really should be or can be?

Marc: That is a good question. I always think about what is the right dose of integration.

Yeah. And I think that in the past, we didn’t pay a lot of attention to integration at all. And in a way, many times in retreats and ceremonies and psychedelic experiences, the part that is usually lacking in attention is integration for some very good reason. Sometimes we are tired of that experience, or the workshop ends at a certain point, and then.

That’s it. No, but also there’s been a growing debate around integration in the last years to the point that sometimes I think maybe we go a little bit too far. You know, it seems like in order to do a proper integration, you need to pay someone services or go to a specific circle or whatever. And I don’t think that that’s exactly what’s needed in integration, not the needs that people have will depend on their personal situation, on the experience that they had, on what they are trying to achieve.

You know, so I think that integration should remain some sort of an open field for people to choose what is best for them in different contexts and different situations. So What I do think is that there’s still a lacking of understanding of what integration entails when a practitioner is offering integration.

Many times, there’s not a specific knowledge that people have known. I have the feeling that there’s a lot of practitioners that they offer integration services, but that’s difficult to really understand what kind of work they’re offering or what’s the theoretical paradigm in which they are working or what kind of practices.

They implement in this work of integration. So, yeah, I think that there’s still need for more definition of what kind of integration are there.

Laura: I want to dive into that. What does integration really entail? But first, I want to sort of back up and ask you when do you think people should start thinking about integration?

Like in your mind, if someone is like I feel called to work with this medicine, and I also want to ask you about the differences of integration with different medicines, I think it’s different to integrate a psychedelic experience in Western culture versus going down to the Amazon. Um, and that context of integration, but in your mind, when someone says, I’m going to start working with a psychedelic, I feel called, when do you think that they should start thinking about integration?

Marc: In my opinion and experience, the sooner the better,

And maybe it’s not thinking about integration, it’s thinking about preparation. I do believe that one hour of integration is worth five hours of integration, you know, so if we start paying attention to what we’re doing, what intention do we have, the kind of setting, the context, everything that we do before the experience, we will have less work after the experience, we will have less needs for integrating the experience in a more specific way or working with a specific practitioner. Yeah.

Laura: Did you mean that one hour of preparation is five hours of integration? Is that what

you meant?

Marc: Yeah. I mean, don’t quote me on that. That’s not the exact math.

No, but, but I would say that, that, yeah, if, if we have a proper preparation, um, then the integration process is going to be much smoother and shorter. So I would say that. Many times, having, I don’t know, five, six hours of preparation, like a previous sort of therapeutic process, uh, then makes integration really easy.

And then you only have to spend two or three hours of integration, and that makes a really, uh, good package. Yes? So more focus on preparation than on integration. I think that that’s the direction that I think that we should be moving forward. So…

Laura: Okay, great. So let’s start with preparation. To you in your mind, what constitutes…

A good amount of preparation and what is involved in that from your perspective,

that will depend on the context in which people are working. Yes. So , for example, in clinical trials in psilocybin clinical trials. There’s some clinical trials and they entail very little preparation. We could say, uh, so 3 sessions before the actual experience.

That would be a total of maybe 3 and a half hours, 4 hours of preparation. Yeah, that. is a reasonable amount in a clinical study and it has proven to be enough for people to feel ready and safe to go into an experience, even if it’s the first time that they’re taking a psychedelic substance. Yeah. And then in these , three and a half, four hours of preparation, the focus usually is very specific on covering certain topics that have to do with significant events that people have gone through in their lives that they could.

Come up during the psychedelic session, also in somehow educating people on what to expect, what kind of experiences are possible, what to do with those emotions, all the experiences that arise during the journey, and also to somehow practice. the capacity to bring the awareness into the inner process.

Yeah. It’s essentially the most important thing that someone has to do or we need to do when we go into a psychedelic journey is to be able to stay in touch with our own experience.

Sometimes there might be emotions, memories, thoughts, physical sensations that they are coming up, but for whatever reason, we are somehow detached from that experience.

We are focusing very much on something on the outside or we’re somehow over. trying to fight or change what we are feeling. So training the capacity to have awareness about our own experience in a way that could be, I don’t know, mindfulness practice or the capacity to observe what is going in my internal experience.

That is something that in my opinion should be practiced before the psychedelic experience. So people will be able to navigate through anything that appears in the experience. Even if it’s a positive experience or a challenging emotion, you know, so this attitude of being in touch with whatever is going on without having to change it, judge it, or modify it in any way.

So that is part of what a good preparation should entail. I would like to say that if someone is coming to a psychedelic experience with a lot of symptoms, so to speak, if there’s a lot of anxiety, if there’s intrusive thoughts or obsessive or compulsive behaviors, um,

then in my experience, it is very useful to try to deal with that before the psychedelic experience to try to somehow clear the path and reach a level of stability or adaptation that is more functional for the person.

So then when they go into the experience, they can somehow go deeper and easier. They don’t have to deal with the intensity of the most more course emotions, so to speak. So I think that when symptoms are present, it is important to address them before the psychedelic experience.

Oftentimes, I like to start with just the question, why, why are you here?

Why now? Why do you feel called? And that also opens up a lot of information to work with, to sort of say, okay, , what are the patterns that have been unfolding in your life? And what change are we looking to accomplish? Is that something that you, where you start?

And, does that give you a lot of information that then steers change? Sort of the right direction.

Marc: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a very good question. And I forgot to say, you know, that working with intention on top of everything else that I mentioned before working on the intention, what is bringing you here?

Why are you choosing to have this experience? What are you hoping to get with this experience? And I think that elaborating on the intention can be a really important part of the preparation. Sometimes people will have what’s looks like an intention, but could be more on a, uh, like a passive expectation.

Yeah. I want to heal. I want to cure my depression. I want to get rid of my PTSD, you know, like things that are really black or white, but also not very easy to measure. Yeah, so working and spending some time during preparation in order to clarify the intention and phrasing it in a way that is at the same time, uh, measurable, so to speak, it’s like, all right, so you want to hear your depression and why is important to heal your depression?

Because then I don’t know, I’m going to be able to have a better relationship with my family and be more present for them. And how would that look like? What would you act? What would you do? What would you say? No, what would they see? that they could see that you’re having a better relationship with them.

So going all the way from, um, expectations, ideas, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Now, what is going to happen in that, in that scenario? And also at the same time that the intention is open enough to accept flexibility in the experience. If someone has the intention of working with my, uh, the relationship with my father, and then in the psychedelic experience, the father doesn’t come up. One might be disappointed, but maybe if we phrase the intention in a certain way that could leave a door open to insights, for insights to come in different directions, then we can see that something that initially doesn’t seem to be, um, related to the intention that we’re having, it actually does, you know, some days after the experience

that’s why I always like to, um, I suggest to people that it’s okay to have an intention, which should work on the intention, but on the day of the session, leave that intention at the door, go to the experience with an open mind and an open heart. And then when you finish the session, you recover the intention.

And then we’ll see if it has something to do with your original plan or not. Yeah.

Laura: Do you have a particular set of flight instructions, a mantra that you really Find very useful to help support people on a journey.



Marc: Yes. One of the metaphors that I usually use when someone asks me to work in preparation for a ceremony that they are going to go or whatever, I like to bring the metaphor of the kayaking or a trip with a canoe on a river in which when we decide to do that sort of trip, you, um, there’s certain things that you prepare.

You prepare your gear, you prepare your, I don’t know, the waters that you need to carry. The clothes that you’re going to take that day the hat, but then you jump on the canoe. You started paddling into the river. I want you in the river. You’re not really choosing much. You’re not choosing if the water is going slow or fast.

You don’t choose if the river turns left or right. You don’t really choose if the weather is cloudy or rainy or sunny. You don’t choose if there’s some rocks in the middle of the river and all of a sudden, the waters get a little bit bumpy. Well, we do choose the attitude that we have in that, in that experience.

Yeah. If the waters are calm and slow, how do I allow myself to experience that? If the waters are fast and scary. What do I do with that? And then like in a canoe trip, what we do is to go with the flow. We follow the direction of the waters. Yeah. If there’s some, uh, bumpy waters, it’s not that we turn around and try to go against that water.

We do actually the opposite. We start paddling and we go towards that part of the river. And then we cross that part of the river. We overcome that moment of rapid and intense waters and then things change. Yeah. So I think that that’s a good and useful metaphor. to imagine how a psychedelic experience look like.

Laura: I really appreciate that. I think metaphors are so helpful and they’re really powerful tools for practitioners, for facilitators, for coaches, because they offer a way of making sense, right? They’re a tool for making sense of the experience and reveal certain things that I feel like they don’t always reveal if we’re not using metaphors.

So I really want to emphasize the importance of that. And that’s a great metaphor. I haven’t heard that one. And it’s also a great metaphor for life. It’s like, are you trying to swim against the current? Are you, we don’t always have control about what happens to us, but we do have influence over how we respond to what’s happening.

So I really appreciate that.

I recently came across a very short paper was a, Just a two page paper written by a woman in the 90s and we always hear the term set and setting but she Referred to it as set setting and matrix. I think it’s dr. Eisner

have you heard this term set setting and matrix and matrix refers to the embedded reality that we come from, the. scaffolding of the family, the culture, the mindset, it’s bigger than just set, which is us, our attitude, beliefs, and, and mindset going into it, but really about like the culture and what we’re coming with, you know, and the environment that we’re in beforehand and the environment that we return to.

So I’m curious. If you’re familiar with this and maybe if not still taking that into consideration because there’s a lot of people that are coming to these experiences for the first time and so for you, does preparation extend to how this individual might talk to their families about it and prepare them for their return back into their environment?

Marc: Yeah, I haven’t read that paper. The surname Eisner could be Betty Eisner, who was a researcher back in the 60s. And I have not heard that specific term set, setting, and matrix, but it makes a lot of sense. There’s, uh, some modern papers by, uh, Israeli researcher called Ido Hartogson he’s written a book about set and setting. I think it’s called American Trip, a history of set and setting in the United States or something like that. Um. what he describes is the influence that this larger set has on the experience. Yes. So we are part of a culture and we are part of a certain society and certain worldview, and that also changes over time.

So the way that we experience our own internal experiences is also tainted by the atmosphere of the times. One of the things that, that either says in his book and in his papers is that when people at the beginning of the psychedelic research, they would have this paradigm of the psychotomimetic research.

So psychedelics, mimicking, psychosis. A lot of the experiences that people reported were with that language with, I had a transient psychosis. I went to the world of madness and then I came back. Yeah. So what he argues is that that was a paradigm that they were in. So psychedelics do that. So when we go into the experience, we gonna interpret that as such, uh, also in the hippie era, no people would have this enlightening and freeing experiences. So the focus was very much on liberation, on attending Samadhi, uh, illumination, this kind of experiences. And people had those experiences and they talked about their experience in psychedelics with those terms, yeah, if you look at Timothy Leary around us and all the people around that time, they talked a lot about in spiritual terms, maybe now we are in a different culture.

We are more in a psychological moment and we make more focus on trauma, for example, and then there’s a lot of experiences that are. registered and reported as having to do with healing trauma and going to the shadow or whatever, you know. So I do think that the overall matrix, and I think that’s a good word, the overall matrix in which we live in does have a really strong impact on the type of experiences that we have.

For example, and that can also depend also in the school or the technique that we’re using. For example, in holotropic breathwork, since it’s Part of the work of Stan Grof and Stan Grof spoke about this, uh, perinatal matrices and the importance of the trauma of birth. You see a lot of people reporting experiences that have to do with the reliving their own birth.

Yeah, same thing with rebirthing, this breathing technique. Most people report having had some sort of rebirth experience, but there are other breathing techniques that they also induce an unordinary state of consciousness, and in those contexts, you don’t find people explaining their experiences in rebirth terms, you know, so I think that that setting has also a huge influence on what will happen in our experience, so definitely we’re part of a cultural matrix and yeah, that will have an impact on the way that we experience what we experience, even the content of what we experience.

Laura: Yeah, I think this is one of the more interesting topics in the psychedelic space right now because it’s such a heavy medicalized lens and so many people in Western culture are stepping into awareness around psychedelics in the context of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, which is, from my perspective, just one of many different options for what this can look like. And so, you know, even this term thinking of, of psychedelics as ideogens, for example, and tools for enhancing creative cognition puts a completely different spin on it.

And of course, I think it depends on where we’re at in our lives and , where we’re at in our journey to, you know, my journey 25 years ago looks very different than how I journey today. It’s completely different based on the depth of experience that someone has. Um, so I, I do find that this is a very interesting topic and just always reminding people that there’s a lot of different ways that we can interact and engage with these medicines.

But are you noticing that, that a lot of people who are stepping in , are coming in with a medical lens and not even aware that they’re looking at it through that lens?

Marc: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that this is one of the challenges of our times, you know, that it almost seems that you need to have a, I’m going to integrate a little bit, yeah, but to show the point that you need a diagnose in order to justify your psychedelic use.

You know, like, okay, I need to go to a retreat because I have depression. I need to heal that depression. So I find in my practice that people somehow they look to diagnose themselves in order to feel that that the psychedelic option is Something that they can, they can do, you know, yeah, and I agree with you.

The medical lens is just one lens that we can look at psychedelics. But if we think even in the origins of Western psychedelic use, think about Aldous Huxley, he was not talking about therapy at all. No, he’s talking about philosophy, ontology, other uses of psychedelics. So, um, I, I do think that the, um, Putting too much emphasis on medicalization of psychedelics or focusing only on therapeutic uses makes us see things through a very specific lens and therefore we need to see ourselves through that lens as well.

So I’m doing a psychological use of psychedelics with the intention of healing something, you know, but that is part of the healing paradigm, but we could be using psychedelics for recreation, which a lot of people do, you know, and it’s perfectly valid. People do have transformational and healing experiences also in recreational settings, or we could be using psychedelics for community building purposes.

And just the fact of sharing meaningful experiences and as it happens in organized religions, people gather on certain dates of the calendar to celebrate certain events that are considered to be important and they share. That experience. So sharing experiences that are especially something that builds um, connectedness in communities and create some sort of bonding with other members of the community.

Why that is not a legitimate use of psychedelics. You know, I think it is. I think it could be one of the more important use of psychedelics to recover these kind of daily rituals or maybe not daily, no, but seasonal sort of rituals that people would go through and that would add sense to their lives.

They would add also a social dimension. That we’re lacking so much in these days in which everything happens online and we live more and more atomized, no, so

yeah, there’s quite a few people that are pretty prominent in the psychedelic space who I think share the same sentiment. I recently heard someone express, you know, at the end of the day, I think we might just realize that the best use for psychedelics is with friends around a fire outside in nature.

Just real simple, for example, and I really welcome that perspective and I also support people who feel like they need an additional level of safety of care and I’m curious, I know it’s going to, of course, depend on case by case scenario, but for people who are stepping more into integration coaching guide work, How many preparation sessions do you think is really kind of minimum to help support a feeling of psychological safety?

Because I think that that’s actually what a big part of preparation work is, is establishing a level of trust and safety for that person. Um, do you have a sort of a range that you like to suggest?

Yeah. Well, I think that everything can be done in any way, but that will depend on, depend on the paradigm and the setting that you’re working in.

For example, when working in clinical trials, it becomes somehow easier to do shorter, uh, processes because you do have a structure that allows you to do that. There’s a screening, there’s a psychiatrist that checks certain aspects, there’s an insurance in the hospital that covers potential problems that would happen, there’s the legal paradigm that somehow is covering you, so that gives an extra layer of safety for everybody.

The participants feel that they are safe because they’re doing something serious in a hospital or whatever, no? The practitioners or the therapists, they feel safe because they’re working for an institution and they are backed by the hospital and the pharmaceutical company or whatever. So that gives you a certain sense of safety and that people that work on the underground probably don’t have.

Yeah, they meet a person that maybe they have not met before, they don’t know anything about their psychological profile, they don’t know much about how severe the depression or the anxiety or whatever it is, you know, so that can give another sense of not being so safe and maybe requiring some more sessions.

Yeah. So I think that this will depend in many factors, the setting, but also the person and the therapist. I think that safety is something that needs to be, uh, built both ways. No, the, the participant needs to trust the therapist and the therapist needs to trust the participant. And that might take longer or shorter.

Definitely. I would think that four or five preparation sessions is usually a good number, sometimes a little bit more. It can be done with less. I wouldn’t go with less than three really. I think it’s important to get a feel of the person, to get to know them personally, meet physically before you have the session.

Um, also know the space in which, uh, the session is going to take place. That can be something that is helpful, you know, but maybe for someone that’s already experienced with psychedelics and they just want to go to a retreat or a ceremony. They don’t need much. They talk with the facilitator on the phone before going there.

They sign up and they show. At the venue that day, you know, that’s also a possibility that’s already happening. So I don’t think that there’s a close number, then we just either you do it or you’re doing it wrong. No, I think it will depend on on each case, but on an individual one on one setting with people that have very limited experience with psychedelics before I would say that four or five sessions would be a minimum, sometimes six, seven.

But I don’t think that there’s a need for 20 sessions, you know, so.

What’s your perspective on introducing microdosing as an effective preparation, as an ally in the preparation process? Are you noticing that happening more? People who are a little more on the like, nervous, anxious side, to help them actually develop more trust between their relationship and the medicine, aside from the person supporting the process.

That’s a very good point. It’s not something that I had thought very much before, but something that I’m encountering more and more, you know, that people that they, they tell me, Hey, I’m thinking about having a psychedelic experience, going to an ayahuasca retreat or doing these mushrooms retreat in the Netherlands, wherever.

But what do you think if I start taking some microdose of mushrooms before that to see what happens? Yeah. So that’s not an idea that we have. What I would have come up with, but people have that idea and I think it can be a good way to get more familiar with the substance or the spirit of the plant or however you want to understand that.

And for some people that might be enough. Maybe that works. They reach a stability that they’re looking for and they don’t feel the need of having another experience. I had a client many years ago that he was doing microdosing on himself. It was working very well for him. It was decreasing the craving for alcohol, improving the relationships with his family.

So it was working very well for him and he didn’t really have an intention of, um, having a microdose experience. Yeah. And some time later, he thought, maybe one day I will want to try to have a bigger dose, but for the moment it’s working well for me like this. So yeah, I think it is an option. Although the paradigms that operate behind the micro dosing and the macro dosing are different.

Now, when we do micro dosing, we’re thinking more of a Um, I don’t know, chemical, biochemical, uh, neurophysiological sort of paradigm in which the substance is doing something in your brain, is helping you to achieve some chemical stability or whatever. I don’t really know, no, what, what happens there. But when we do , a macro dose, that’s a more psychological approach.

You’re going to have an experience and through the experience, not the, the chemistry, then is the experience that’s going to bring the change or the potential transformation. So sometimes we would need to. to transition from a more chemical approach to a more psychological approach, which some people might have troubles in adhering to one or the other.


Laura: I find it really helpful, especially because I think there are some people who even want to start microdosing. They have this intention that they’re like, I want to microdose because I want to feel good. But actually I see it so much where initially they don’t feel good. They’re microdosing and after years of shoving emotional experiences and repression under the rug, they create space to feel to open and that that’s actually a great space to start working with sitting in the middle of discomfort of uncomfortable emotional experiences and actually working with some techniques in that space as a preparation to go deeper. And I do think it’s interesting to look at.

Marc: Yeah. And I had not thought it that way, but now that you say it.

Um, being open to try a micro dose might also imply a certain openness to explore inside. It’s like, all right, now I feel ready to do something different to what I’ve done before. And that also talks already of a certain psychological flexibility that’s starting to happen there to create space for emotions that might have been repressed.

But maybe one is Too scared to go into a big experience and find everything there all of a sudden. So yeah, it sounds like a useful approach.

Laura: What’s your perspective on quote unquote bad trips? And in terms of preparing people for challenging experiences, is that part of your preparation mindset of setting people up to have an attitude around

challenging experiences and maybe even reframing it away from quote unquote bad trips, which I don’t think is a helpful narrative anyways. What’s your perspective on that?

Marc: Yeah. Um, I think that bad trips do exist in the sense of a too intense experience in a not supportive setting.

And then all of a sudden you’re not safe, not just psychologically, but even physically, you know, like taking, um, I don’t know, 500 micrograms of LSD for the first time in a concert in a big place in a city that you’ve gone for the weekend. That sounds like a bad idea. No. So that could turn into a really, really difficult experience.

And I do think that in that case, that could be a bad trip because it’s not just because of the internal experience that you’re struggling. It’s because everything else as well. Um, I think that people should be. open to the possibility that in this canoe trip that we were talking before, there can be moments in which, I don’t know, things happen.

You are cold, you get wet, and all of a sudden there’s a scary moment in the river, you know? But it’s, um, I would say that most trips do involve a certain moment in which we can experience emotions that are somehow a little bit more challenging, but that’s like, um, like a movie. Who would go to watch a movie That everything was cool.

And then, you know, like that kind of narrative, even in comedies, you always have a moment in which something happens, you know? So I think that psychedelic trips are a little bit like that. Most of our experiences will entail certain moments of challenges, but if we are open on how to, open ourselves to that and to navigate those challenging emotions that can make the bad trip not be a bad trip, just be a trip in which you went through happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and then happiness again, you know, and that’s, that’s the, that’s been your story.

I have to say, though, that with good preparation and good screening and taking care of the setting, the challenging experiences do occur, but I think that the risk can be really minimized. If the dose is chosen wisely and there’s trust in the setting, there’s done, they’ve done enough preparation, um, I think that the challenges usually people can go through them themselves, even sometimes, most of the times without needing support from the therapist.

Yeah. So. Yeah, I think that the occurrence of bad trips or challenging experience can be diminished by, uh, measuring well the dose and taking care of the preparation and the setting.

Laura: Okay. I am curious your perspective on guides and coaches who are supporting people who are not therapists and trained in psychology.

Do you think that there are certain things that people should be screening for or even indications that pop up in a one on one coaching session before a psychedelic experience that is an indication, actually, maybe I should refer this person to a therapist? Hmm.

Marc: Yeah, that’s a million dollar question and it’s very difficult to give a very specific answer to that.

To begin with, I think that we’re just starting to think about who will be the professionals that are going to be administering psychedelics or supporting people during the psychedelic experiences. Do they need to be psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, or who will be someone that’s qualified for this, for this role?

I was having a conversation a couple of days ago with a friend that he said, I think that this is a complete new profession. There is a new job that will appear and maybe you’re a psychiatrist and you can specialize on that job, but maybe you don’t have to be a psychiatrist, you know, because the things that you’re going to be doing, they are different.

It’s a different speciality. So I think that to support someone during a psychedelic experience requires certain skill sets that you. You don’t learn in psychiatry class or in psychology class, or these are very specific, uh, skills that you develop in order to do this job. Yeah. So, in that sense, almost anybody could become a psychedelic sitter. Yeah. If you ask me someone that would be able to provide integration therapy or preparation or screening, maybe that’s going to be a different professional. So maybe we’re going into a model that there’s going to be different people working there as it happens when we go to the, to the shaman, no? And now in the shamanic retreat, you do have the role of the facilitator who usually is a Westerner. Yeah. that can speak your western language and understand your scientific way of thinking, and can make a translation between the shamanic and mystic perspective and the western approach. But then you have the shaman, that the role that they have is much more similar to a surgeon.

They come, they do their intervention, and they leave. You know, so I think that different roles can require different skill sets. So that will depend on what kind of setting you’re working in. In neo shamanic settings, uh, people have to go through a certain training. People that are neo shamans, probably they have trained with shaman.

They have gone through, I don’t know, certain practices, but I don’t think that that level of training is needed for a therapist that works on a clinical trial. Maybe they just need some more basic kind of skills to support someone during the hours of the session. So, yeah, that’s why I think these are new jobs, you know, and each job will have its specific requirements.

But we have not yet agreed on that. No, there’s, um, very strong opinion. Sometimes psychiatrists, they feel very strongly about they being the ones that administer these. Sometimes shamanic practitioners, we feel very strongly of, you know, you have to do six months of dietas before you’re ready to even think about, uh, providing something to anybody.

So, you know, these are different paradigms that. Um, I don’t think that we need to find a common ground. I think that there will be many different grounds in which people will work supporting people in non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Laura: Right. I totally agree with you. I think that we can’t look to only existing pathways that we have to think about cultivating completely new pathways that are blended in different modalities.

You mentioned skills for people holding space. What do you think are the most important skill sets that people need to cultivate to effectively hold space in the journey?

Marc: I would say that the first of all is to know on a, on an embodied level that it’s not you, it’s not me, the therapist who is healing the person.

Yeah, like trusting that people can go through their own process, that they know what they need and to trust other people’s process. Yeah. So that takes us into a paradigm in which we are not the doers and we need to learn to do not doing. And most of the times the job of a psychedelic therapist is to do nothing but to create some sort of an atmosphere.

Yeah. So. First of all, I would say the skill to not to get in the way, you know, try to be the main character of the, of that story. Yeah. Um, then the capacity to convey trust. That’s very difficult to measure. Yeah. But I think that a good psychedelic therapist is someone that deeply respects. other people’s paradigms and they can, they can meet the client or the, or the, or the, um, yeah, or the patients where they are, no, without imposing any agendas, without imposing any sort of worldview into them and just care for them as they are.

They were friends or someone that you love, you know, it’s like, all right, I’m going to be here at your, at your service. I’m going to create the best setting that I can for you to have a good experience. And then I’m going to somehow disappear from here. Yeah. So someone that is able to be there, but without really being there.

Um, so I think that’s why it’s a job that it’s difficult to teach because you need to learn these kinds of things of who is a good host. Yeah. What, what qualities make a good host that throws a good party? You know, um, I don’t know, there’s good food, there’s good, uh, drinks, there’s good music, but you can go to a good party and the music is not good or there’s no music, you know?

So who, how to create a good atmosphere that you will feel that you are at your own party, but at the same time you’re well taken care of, you know? I think that that’s the, that’s the skill. And then we need to have some skills also to how to manage. Uh, challenging situations when someone somehow starts losing the capacity to stay in touch with their own inner experience, how to support them gently and softly to go back inside, to go back to their experience, no, and stay with what’s going on.

One of the more difficult. Um, moments that we can face as psychedelic therapist is when someone tries to avoid the experience, tries to, they take the eyeshades off, they start focusing on the outside, projecting on the outside. Sometimes we get into power struggles. No, no, but you need to stop resisting and get back into your experience.

How to do that, how to support the person to go again into the stream of the water. For me, sometimes the, the role of a psychedelic therapist is. When we are going down the stream of water, um, so you’re not in the same canoe as they are, but somehow you’re in a canoe behind them, no? And if you see that the person is getting stuck in some rocks on one side of the river, to help them go back into the, into the stream of water, no?

So gently support the person to continue their own journey. I think that that’s the, the skill that psychedelic therapy should have. How to do that then becomes a little bit more of an art than a technique, you know, so.

Laura: Would you say if someone’s having a difficult moment, just sitting with them and just not saying anything or putting any hands, but just breathing, just engaging in your own breath for co regulation as one example.

Marc: Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes all that is needed is to sit a little bit closer to the person and say, you’re doing great. I’m here with you. Keep going. No, let’s, let’s breathe together for a couple of minutes. You know, sometimes simple things like that, that are not sophisticated in psychological terms to, to offer our presence, to make ourselves available.

Yeah. That most of the times is enough. You know, that’s what people need sometimes. Holding a hand or something like that, but there’s no need for really sophisticated interventions. I think that in in this kind of work. Less is more. Yeah. Many times these subtle interventions being there, uh, and not in a hurry, you know, if someone is very stressed because the experience is overwhelming and we become stressed and we need to do something and we somehow, um, get into this, this regulated mode ourselves, we’re not helping with that, no.

So someone that can be in the phase of difficult experiences and remain calm and trusting that everything is going to be okay, that already conveys a certain atmosphere. That helps the person co regulate, yeah, so.

Laura: Yeah, I always say that the best thing that, even as a coach, whether you’re sitting with someone or actually just coaching someone without any medicines, foundational training is interoceptive awareness, your own awareness of your own internal signals, heartbeat, , all of that, because that’s such an indication that you’re giving the person there as well.

Marc: Yeah, that’s a very interesting point because in in the medical model, sometimes it is not so much stressed. Now it’s starting to be a little bit more stressed, but I think that in the shamanic traditions or the underground psychedelic traditions, holotropic breathwork, there’s been a huge emphasis on the need of the therapist to have gone through their own process.

Yeah, to have explored with psychedelics or breathwork or not or shamanic tools to have gone through your process. So you become acquainted with this exercise of getting in touch with your own emotions, getting in touch with your own process and also trusting your own process. When you know that you can trust yourself, it’s easier to know that all people can trust themselves as well.

Therefore, we trust their process, and then we don’t need to intervene when they are having a moment in which they’re feeling a little bit stressed. But um Yeah, sometimes in the medical model, there’s this idea that all that we need is certain skills, measure the dose, play this music, and there’s not so much, um, emphasis or focus on the therapist being a tool in itself.

Yeah, so the more regulated, the more attuned you are, the better you’re going to be working. I think that this is something that, that it’s slowly starting to change, but still is going to be a challenge in the. the mainstream medical model to, to place attention in what you were saying, or the need for the therapist to develop certain tools for themselves.

Laura: Right. And like empathy as just like basic capacity to really hold space for someone else’s suffering. without shutting down yourself, you know, which aside from the very real, uh, consequence of holding a lot of spaces, compassion fatigue, but aside from that extreme, you know, kind of burnout, but like actually is a real practice to be able to sit with someone in the middle of their pain and suffering.

without shutting down and collapsing yourself, you know, but actually just staying open, which kind of leads me to a question that I have around not being biased, but we’re always biased, like as a person helping to prepare someone for a journey or in the space, for example, like for me, I have a very deep root in Eastern philosophy.

I find it goes hand in hand with psychedelic journeys. And I’ve had this conversation with other people before around, is that too much of a bias? And if we are introducing these tools that are rooted in other cultures, for example, to frame it in a way that’s very open and loose and naming it like this is from this culture and make it your own and find the truth in it for yourself.

How do you work with your own lens and your own bias? In terms of not trying to imprint that too much on the person, like a metaphor, like the canoe metaphor seems like a great way to do that because it’s universal, but going deeper, you know, introducing meditation, for example, is that. Ethical. Is that, you know, what’s your, what’s your take on that?

Marc: That’s, uh, an extremely important point. I think to, to reflect ourselves, no, as people that are in positions of supporting other people, as you say, it is impossible to be not biased by our own experiences, our own training, our own beliefs. Yeah. Um, I think that all that we can do is to be aware of them. So you were saying I’m really rooted in Eastern traditions and somehow that shows in the, the work that I do.

Yeah. I think that if we are honest with that and we present it. The way that it is like, hey, I work this way. I’m trained in this and this and this traditions and my approach to work with mushrooms is from the Mazatec tradition, or my approach to work with mushrooms is in the clinical trials that we’ve worked in hospitals in Barcelona.

Yeah. I think that if we are honest about where we’re coming from. That’s the first thing. And then understanding that there could be other ways of doing stuff. Yeah, that my way is not the only way. So, um, for me, it helped me a lot when I, uh, learned about psychological and philosophical constructivism, which says that there is not one thing as reality, but we build different realities.

No, as you were saying before, the paradigm, the matrix that we live in, that has an influence on the way that we see the world. So. If we understand that, okay, this is my set of beliefs, this is my training, this is the way that I see the world, but there could be others. I think that that’s a way to have some sort of humbleness around our own beliefs, no?

Another, uh, extreme would be. If someone is thinking that the only way to practice certain things is in the way that they have been trained and things need to be interpreted only from this perspective, you know, I think that that is a more dangerous sort of bias, but we do have always our bias. The way that I like to work is as much as possible.

try to, um, to present any sort of metaphor or any sort of thing that belongs to traditions as potential ways of looking at things, but that they don’t need to be the, the truth. Yeah. It’s like, okay, this could be interpreted like this from a Buddhist perspective, or, you know, that in shamanic traditions, they talk about this and they use this word to describe something similar to what you’re saying.

Yeah. To describe it in a, to present it in an open way. And, and also I think it’s extremely important to learn what is the worldview of the client, the person that you’re working with, to be truly and genuinely interested in, in what’s their bias. Yeah. So what is your training? How do you see the world?

What are your beliefs? No. And how do you explain your own experiences and see if I, as a therapist can tune in that way of living the world and then using their metaphors, using their. And I think that’s a much easier way of understanding things because that’s gonna actually have the better results. If I can tune into the world of my client and operate from there, it’s like, all right, these are your set of beliefs.

Let’s try to talk that language. I think that that’s going to be much easier for the person then to receive the support, interpretations, the integration work that we do.

Laura: To tie it back to what we were saying in preparation, I find that that initial entry point of the why question can lead us. It’s really quite deeply, quite quickly into deeply held beliefs.

When we keep peeling the layers back around, okay, well, why again, and then why again, and then you kind of keep going until it’s like, oh, okay, well, now we’re uncovering some deeper held beliefs. So I, I think , that’s interesting. As a practitioner or an integration, you know, I don’t want to say therapist here.

I just want to say, Keep it more general because a lot of people listening to this podcast aren’t trained as therapists or in the, you know, guide or even coaching camp because that’s becoming a very needed space to fill as well. People who are working with people within coaching context who are also engaging with these medicines.

It’s interesting to think about the maps that I hold. You know, you mentioned Stan Grof and the perinatal matrix. I think it’s interesting for practitioners to think about the maps. And having mental dexterity in not getting too attached to any one map either, because then it’s like, Oh, then everything looks like that.

Oh, well, then that’s that phase of the perineurometrics and that, and we try to fit our clients experience into a box. So I find this very interesting because maps are helpful, but then they can also be a limitation. I also just as a brief side note, heard Julian Vane recently in a call mentioned metaphors can reveal, but they can also conceal.

So it’s just that awareness that I was like, Oh, I love metaphors. And then that’s interesting that they can then also conceal if it doesn’t fit in. And I think about this with maps to what’s your perspective on that and what are some of your sort of favorite frameworks or favorite maps that you find very universally helpful?

Marc: Yeah, I think that when we tune in to this way of working. Of trusting our clients or patients or the participants and really knowing that healing and transformation comes from within them and not from us, then it becomes easier to not get attached to special or specific maps or paradigms or cartographies.

Yeah, but I do think that cartographies can be useful. In order to provide language to things or experiences that might be difficult to put into words. Yeah. So, uh, for example, when, when someone’s struggling to explain an experience and they share something about that, I think it’s okay to say, but, ah, so it sounds like, or it reminds me of something that in this tradition or in this cartographer in this map, they call like this, like this or that, you know?

So I think that it’s good to have several maps. In order to be able to fit things in the same thing into different boxes. Yeah, I think that maps should be something that expands the understanding of a phenomenon or a psychedelic experience, not that they reduce the possibilities of interpretation. I think that one of the basis of integration work.

Is that everything should go in the direction of expansion to be in to the possibility of being understood in different ways in different levels, having different implications, rather than reducing like, okay, this is like a deepest complex that you’re going through. And that’s it. No, that’s a kind of very reductionist sort

Laura: of, uh, interpretation.

Marc: So we should look for maps and have a variety of maps, but they will allow us to somehow offer different explanations that they’re gonna, uh, be rich and, and, and expansive, you know, that people will be able to find their own ways of, of understanding or working with those metaphors. Um, I particularly like to work with the metaphors that the person brings, you know, so I will always be looking for what language is the person using, what sort of landscape they are perceiving this experience from, and then work from within that landscape.

Of course that I’m trained in in graph tradition, so I know very well the the perinatal matrices. I’ve read Freud, I read Jung, I’ve studied Buddhism, I’ve studied Judaism, you know, so, um, there’s different tools in, in, in many different. paradigms that can be useful. You know, I think that that becomes more of a toolbox of the therapist in which we have this attitude of non directiveness and respect for the person’s perspective, but we also have the curiosity of how would other cultures, how would other people explain this phenomenon?

No, what other words? Have been used to describe the same phenomenon. That’s one of the tasks that I that I embarked on when I wrote the book psychedelic integration. One of the things that I like to do is to look in different traditions or different authors. How would that explain a very similar phenomenon?

Yeah. And then say, okay, Alan Watts would describe it like this way. Uh, Stan Grof said it that way, Jung explains about it in that way, but somehow they are talking about a very similar phenomenon. I think that that’s much richer than actually the other way around, no? Trying to say, you know, this is Jung’s complex and whatever, no?

I was just about to bring up your book because it’s really so well written. I really enjoyed reading it. And what you’re speaking to now, is this what you would define as a radical respect, which is a term that you introduced? that I really appreciate. Would this be in that category? Yeah, absolutely. When I work with someone, it’s not so much that I’m trying to fit people in one map or one cartography.

I’m trying to learn the cartography of that person. So in a way, it’s like, what can, what can they teach me? about how to see the world, you know, and, and yeah, radically respect their worldview, the understanding of the experience, their own metaphors. And even when we talk about resistance in psychotherapy, you know, I think that that from a constructivist approach.

Resistance is not resistance is the collaboration style of the client. Yes. Like, how is this person going to collaborate in our encounters by, for example, not doing what I suggest that they do, no, and other schools that could be perceived as resistance, they don’t want to change or whatever. It’s like, no, no, no.

They are showing you that. If you do this, they are going to do that. So, and that needs to be respected and brought into to the way that we understand our interaction. So yeah, for me, radical respect is at the base of any encounter. I don’t think that for my personality, it doesn’t work any other way. I’m not very good at confrontation or power issues or the kind of this kind of stuff.

So I could never be a good psychoanalyst and say, you know, this is this interpretation and this is what it means that I’m just not done like that. So it’s this way. There’s no other option. Yeah. Well, but, but I mean, some people do that and it works. So if you want to be a guru, a guru needs to have these capacities, like, no, no, no.

Now you need to do this. You’re going to recite this mantra for the next two years. You need to have this capacity and for some people it works and in certain context, it works. Yeah, it is not in my character. I don’t have that charisma. I don’t have that. I don’t believe so much in my own beliefs.

Laura: So when working with someone, this is a bit of a tricky question here because we all have our own limiting beliefs, right?

We all have our own limitations. I use the metaphor of being in a glass room. We all have those patterns that we replay out, the barriers that we hit, but we’re blind to them, it’s glass, but we keep hitting them over and over again. And we can see it in our clients too, like, okay, this person is perceiving it this way and this is clearly limiting them.

But you can’t poke at it. You can’t just say. Oh, you’re embodying this limiting view right now. , we have to find these ways to like delicately point out, you know, and help people. Um, I’m curious if this resonates with you as just like a narrative and what are some of the ways that you might help sort of go around without being too confrontational,

and it might be through questions, which was another question I wanted to ask you, like, what are the most commonly asked questions in your sessions to help guide the person to coming at their own conclusions rather than trying to say, this is the conclusion that you should come at. Clearly you’re hitting a limiting wall here.

We have to let those people figure it out themselves. So I’m kind of curious your approach on that.

Marc: That’s a good question, and I think that we, we need to reflect on that when we’re working. Um, sometimes we will see these glass walls that people have, and, and in some schools of therapy, for example, in, in, uh, Gestalt, Or at least the way that’s practiced in in Spain.

Um, they can be very confrontational and point out things that you have not even thought about. Yeah, it’s like, no, no, every time that you’re saying these, or you’re showing up late for the sessions, or you’re always demanding whatever, no, like, they can be, while in my style, if you show up late for the sessions, you know, it’s your session, you’re, it’s not that I’m discounting any euros for the minutes that you’re not here.

So it’s, it’s your responsibility. It’s a different approach, no? But, um, so I think that there’s room in certain. therapy schools to be confrontational and in certain moments of therapy to be confrontational there’s something that it’s going against the established rules of our interaction. My first question that I would ask if some if I realize one of these glass walls would be does it have to do with what this person has asked me to help them with?

You know, so is this related to what we’re working in therapy or not? Because maybe, and I’m going to make a silly example, yeah, but a person comes to therapy because they have claustrophobia, yeah, and they want to go in airplanes and they cannot fly in airplanes because of this fear. And then you realize When you talk with the person that they have an issue with relationships, and they’ve never been more than two months in a relationship.

Yeah, that might be one of these glass walls, but is it related or not with what we’re working here, you know, so has the person given me permission. Or to work with that or not. Some people even say it in therapy. It’s happened several times to me. It’s like, I want you to tell me if you see something that you feel that I’m not realizing, you know, some people will say that.

So that’s the agreement that we have. All right. If there’s something that comes up, then it’s my obligation because I have agreed to that to, to bring it to the table. But some of the people will not tell you that. It’s like, no, no, I really need to help, uh, help to… To catch an airplane because I have to travel with my family next summer, and I need to do that, you know, so I think that it depends on the agreement that you have.

That’s why my way of working. It’s extremely important to really understand what is this person asking of me. What are you asking me support with, you know, it’s like we have different rooms inside our psyche. Which room are you asking me to help you get started? You know, so

Laura: it kind of makes me think of, uh, unsolicited advice.

You know, I think at one point in my life I would be more willing to just dish out unsolicited advice, but at this point of my professional career, I’ve learned better of like, are you asking me for help right now or not? Because if you’re not, Not my responsibility, you know. Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, that’s funny.

Um, I’m curious your perspective on, well, there’s a couple of different questions and a couple of different pathways here. One of them is, What does successful integration look like to you and what are the signs that someone is not integrating and they’re just going back to a psychedelic experience, which I think is quite prevalent in our culture today where they’re drinking a lot of medicine or having a lot of high dose experiences.

What are those signs that they’re not integrating?

Marc: Yeah. So again, I think that that depends on the paradigm that you’re working from. So usually I work with people that they have experienced some challenge during the psychedelic experience and they experienced challenges afterwards. Yeah. So they perceive some sort of problem after an experience. Um, so to speak, I was feeling not so well before the experience, but now I’m feeling worse.

Yeah. So at least I want to feel as I was feeling before the experience. So I work a lot in these kinds of scenarios. So. In those types of processes, it’s relatively easy to say when that experience is solved or integrated, which is when the person feels that they have, again, control of their own emotions or perceived control, you know, like, I feel at ease with my own internal process.

Yeah, the anxiety or the ruminations or the compulsive thinking has changed or the personalization, you know, they feel that, okay, now I’m, I’m driving the boat myself, not just being carried away. So that is usually where my integration process would end. When they feel like, you know, I can continue on my own from here.

Yeah. So in that case, it’s relatively easy to know if the person feels integrated or not, because they tell you. It’s like, you know, I think that I don’t need more sessions. Cool. You know, that’s, that’s what we’re looking for. But it’s true that there’s other scenarios in which, uh, it’s not so easy to see that because people are not having particularly challenging experiences and they just go from experience to experience.

I would say that one of the, the ways of seeing if we are integrating our experiences or not has to do with behavior. Yeah, with the, the way that our actions manifest in the world in the Theravada they talk about the degree of how advanced one student is not by the state of absorption or deep meditations that they have, but by the degree of compassion that they can show in the world.

So in the end, it’s something that shows. outside, no, the way that we present ourselves. Um, so I think that there’s something of that. The other day I was reading something funny on Twitter that, uh, Jules Evans retweeted. That was a story that George Harrison was coming back from India in an airplane after spending, I don’t know how long, meditation.

And then the hostess of the airplane asked if everything was okay. And he was like, Um, meditating here, you know, like, so clearly, you are meditating. Yeah, exactly. So that way you see that I’m busy meditating. So that’s a, there’s not coherence there. No, I think that, uh, at some point. We will have the feeling that we don’t need to go back to so many sessions or ceremonies, you know, that we will transcend our own, our own problems.

I think that one of the signs that we have not integrated so much or we have not yet healed what we need to heal is that we become self absorbed. And then what is more important is my process, my trauma, my past, my experience. And, and we’re not able to go beyond that, you know? So I think that a good integration also entails, uh, leaving a little bit behind myself and my things, you know, and being able to, to focus on other stuff.


Laura: yeah, I say that so much too. It’s like, if you’re sitting in ceremony, but you don’t know how to be kind to the people that you’re living with. This is, you know, what’s the point? What’s the point of going?

Marc: Yeah, a friend, uh, that has been working with ayahuasca many times, he’s an ayahuasquero, said, uh, it’s easy to forgive your father in an ayahuasca ceremony.

What’s not so easy is to go back home and then forgive your father, you know, that’s, so, so yeah, in the end, uh, psychedelic experiences are moments, are, are seeds that are planted, but it’s our responsibility to take care of those seeds and and give them space to grow and to bear fruit in the end, you know.

So yeah, I think it has to do with things that happen on the outside life as well. Some people, they have gone from ceremony to ceremony and they keep on having the same insights, but they are not really changing things on the outside. Sometimes we need a certain balance, no, between our internal life. Uh, what’s manifesting outside, you know, if you keep being, uh, worried about your job and changing your job and you’re not happy about that and you go from ceremony, but you don’t change your job or you don’t really address that situation on the outside, maybe you’re missing some information.

You’re not doing what you’re told, you know, so. I’m

Laura: so curious to ask you this. How do you navigate it when someone in an integration session says, the medicine told me to do this?

Marc: Well, there’s a, I have a colleague, David Londonia, that he recently presented a seminar, particularly on this topic. Yeah, the plant, I got to watch it.

Yeah. Yeah. And it is definitely a topic.

Sometimes the plants speak. Yeah. But many times. Other things also speak, yeah, our own psyches, our own thoughts. And, um,

I don’t know, , I am more of a Western minded in that sense. So I tend to think that, okay, maybe you heard this in your ayahuasca session. Maybe that’s the message that came in your, in your session. Uh, what do you want to do with that? You know, okay, the plant told you this, but the plant says a lot of things, or maybe it was not the plant.

Maybe it was something else, you know, like, um, of all the things that the plant told you, you know, the experiences, how come you’re focusing on this particular thing? Sometimes what the plant says is a common thing. Like you need to be a shaman. A lot of people get that message. You know, I need to serve the plant.

I don’t know if that’s the plant. Telling that or not, you know, so I would say that, um, we, we should put that thought on , healthy skepticism, you know, say, okay, maybe the plan told me this, but what would that mean? You know, I would do these or that or, um, and sometimes we, we also, . Act or react to what happened in psychedelic experience with I never think that it’s a good idea.

The plant tells you that the person sitting next to you in a retreat is your soulmate. Yeah. And that you should leave your husband or your wife because the plant told you and the plant thought her or told him as well, you know, so it must be right. Yeah. Um, well, if the plant told you and it comes from a wise place, if this is a good idea, if this is true, it will still be good in a month time, you know, so before acting on something that’s going to radically change your life, give it a reasonable time to settle down, to process, to see it with distance, you know, and, and then you can decide. We don’t do everything that we are told. We don’t do everything that our doctor tells us. You don’t do everything that your therapist, your coach, your personal trainer tells you.

You know, so you do have freedom in deciding what you want to do. In the end, the responsibility is not the plants. It’s your responsibility with the decision that you make. So

Laura: I appreciate that perspective. Healthy skepticism, I think, is very, uh, yeah, necessary, especially in this topic. Um, this is a perfect segue into my next question because I find that as we’re starting to get more in depth in talking about content and curriculum about integration, understanding integration, I find it’s really helpful to start differentiating between what I call acute integration, which is really the days, weeks, right after a session, versus long term integration.

Because , after the session we know we have heightened cognitive flexibility, , it’s a different window, we’re in that glow. , do you tune into that differentiation between acute and long term and what does that lead you to?

Yeah, absolutely. In my book, when I describe integration in the seven dimensions, one of the dimensions is time.

And in the time dimension, I differentiate between immediate integration. That’s what you would call acute. That has to do with the immediate hours or days after the experience in which the main focus should be in taking care of the body, resting, hydrating, nutrition, taking care of, of, um, the, the environment that we’re in, like, quiet spaces, um, healthy interactions with people, you know, time to be with yourself, time to sleep if you have been on, I don’t know, strenuous experiences or whatever, yeah? And also some immediate activities, sometimes journaling, sometimes mandala drawing, sometimes sharing circles. These things that happen in this Window of time that is near the psychedelic experience.

Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that after this the integration has finished. I’m sure that many of probably you and your audience has experienced insights that come from an experience years ago. And then you reflect again on that experience. And it’s like, wow, I had not thought about it this way. Or now I see. That this has been a topic that was already there, but kept on developing in my life. No, like the plant was showing me there like three years ago, and now this is becoming something more important in my life. So the long term integration is definitely something to pay attention to. Um, when I work with people that have had challenging experiences, it is usually in a moment in between.

So it could be considered. As an acute intervention because they are in a crisis, but many times it is after the, um, after the, the workshop has finished sometimes a week, sometimes a year, you know, but that they are very much still in touch with what happened in the experience. So that’s why I also differentiate in two different scenarios when we’re trying to maximize the benefits of a positive experience, and when we’re trying to deal with adverse reactions, which are like different objectives that we have. Yeah, the objective when you’re dealing with adverse reactions will be to bring the person back to stability so they can then focus on maximizing the benefits.

And most of the times we can do that ourselves with the need to support of a long term therapy or long term integration process.

How many days after a journey do you recommend people take off? Because I think that that’s actually one of the biggest challenges, especially in our fast paced culture.

People are like, I don’t have time to take five days off of a, you know, off of work after a journey to rest and eat chicken soup and, you know, journal. People are like, I gotta go back to work Monday morning. So what’s, what’s your suggestion for that?

Marc: Yeah, my suggestion is always to Because we live in such a stressful life, especially in the West, um, in clinical trials, we tell people: so that day of the experience, we’re going to finish around. I don’t know, 5 or 3, 4, 5 that they should be free and relaxed. No obligations. And the next day. Yeah. So at least have that evening, that night, and then the next day with no social obligations, no work, no deadlines for projects or whatever. No. So at least one day and a half, if you can have a weekend, that’s even better.

Yeah. And then if for the next week, you can think of. Having some moments for yourself every day, that would be a good idea. You know, if you can take some time every day to reconnect with how you’re feeling, to reconnect with experience, so that experience is not something that you did last week and it’s gone, to have the intention of reconnecting with that.

I always give a metaphor in decoration, also in preparation, that psychedelic experiences are like gifts. And gifts are something that are precious, you know, that we don’t receive gifts every day, they happen on special occasions. And what do we do with gifts? We wrap the gifts with paper. Yeah, the paper really is not valuable.

It’s what, one euro in a shop or whatever and you get meters of paper, but it is different to receive a present that is nicely wrapped than a present that is not wrapped. The experience of receiving that present, opening it, the memory of what we had, it’s different. The quality of the experience is different.

So the efforts in a psychedelic experience should go to create that wrapping. What are you going to do before the experience? What are you going to do after the experience? How will you wrap? The experience in the previous days and the next days, so that will be as meaningful as possible, you know, and I think that that’s a quite open suggestion so everybody can find their own ways of doing that, you know, yeah, and I’m curious to ask you when we have months in between a journey, do you have suggestions to help people stay connected to the wisdom of the medicines that they’re working with when it feels like, wow, I had that dream months ago, and it’s very, yeah.

Fuzzy. Do you have like tangible suggestions? They might go and reread their journal entry. For example, what, what else might we consider to stay connected to the medicine path? Yeah. So, in, in, when I talk about techniques to maximize benefits. in integration. I share different techniques that they mostly go in the direction of art expression.

So one of the tools is mandala drawing and I find it particularly helpful to have your last mandala or your last drawing in a place that you can see it sometimes I pay attention to it, sometimes not. But it is in a, in a place where I can see, you know, and maybe one day I stop and I reconnect with that.

Oh, that’s the last experience that, uh, that I have. Yeah. Uh, and then when I would have another experience, the new Mandela goes in front of that, you know, so it’s almost like a reminder of where am I? In my in my path at the moment there. That’s one of the tools. Something similar can be done with alters.

You have your own alter. And in that alter, maybe you have your mandala, but you have some elements that have to do with that experience. So those are some tools that can be that can be helpful. Um, another. Secret technique that I, that I share with people sometimes after the report, having had a meaningful experiences, go and buy something, a small gift for yourself, something that will be somehow connected with experience.

Yeah, and then some people buy, I don’t know, I buy this necklace with this purple color, because that’s a color that I saw in my experience, or this postcard. From a landscape or whatever that reminds me so like by a tangible thing that will be a testimony of that experience. Yeah, so that’s those silly things.

I think that helps people to be connected with with experience and then there’s something else that that you cannot really make people do. But I do feel that it’s useful to have some sort of ongoing practice. It can be meditation. It can be yoga, it can be whatever, it can be, uh, your own religions or spiritual paths, it can be martial arts, it can be anything that somehow for you is, uh, what in some, some books they call imminent practices, you know, transcendental practices that they can aim to transform your perception, but more things that connect you with the spiritual aspect of everyday life.

Yeah, so

Laura: I love this suggestion around mandala drawing. Do you have a printout that’s like a pre set mandala that people color in or do you encourage people to just draw their own from scratch?

Marc: Usually what I provide is a blank paper with a circle in it and people that’s what we do in holotropic breathwork workshops.

Yeah, like we have these blank papers with a circle and then people can draw inside the circle outside or anyway and then they take it home. And we do suggest keep it there for some days. So you will remain connected with experience.

Laura: When, when someone has a vision, let’s say they’re like, I turned into a frog and then I saw a snake and the snake tried to eat me in my journey. And they come to you and they’re like, tell me what that means.

What is your interpretation on that? How do you navigate situations like that when people are expressing visions or metamorphosis or anything like that?

Marc: So what I would do would be something like, okay, let’s, let’s talk a little bit more about this. I’m going to ask you to describe with a little bit more detail this sequence or this vision that you’re talking about and we’re going to do some sort of research in this session as we go. And the way that we’re going to do it is I’m going to be asking you some questions as you speak. And these questions don’t have the intention of finding like clear answers or, or these questions just have the intention of allowing you to bring awareness again to what you’re feeling at this moment as you are thinking and talking about this. So I might ask you about physical sensations, about emotions, or about thoughts that come up. So we just explore a little bit more this topic before jumping into any conclusions. Yeah? So then I would start talking with the person and…

do this sort of interview in which the focus is not so much on cognitive interpretations, but all right. And, uh, when, when you were a frog, how was the experience of being a frog? Well, it was like, you know, a frog is kind of small and, but I could really hang on well into the, , trees or And , what are you feeling now as you speak?

Well, I’m feeling again, like the sensation of having to be careful because, uh, a snake might be around. Is that a sensation that’s familiar for you experience it other times? Well, yeah, that reminds me of this and that. So we will bring the conversation to the present moment. Yeah.

And then eventually if at some point, I might, I don’t know, maybe bring something from these maps that we were talking about before, but most of the times I would stick with this kind of conversation and try to dig deeper into that, rather than trying to go to a conclusion or a specific interpretation of what happened in the experience.

Laura: dO you think that when someone sits with a group that the integration circle that might happen the next day, for example, is sufficient integration for most people? And this is a two part question. That was the first part. And the second part is, do you think that there’s a big difference or a big benefit of integrating with a big group of people versus one on one with like an integration coach?

Marc: So in that differentiation that you were making before about the acute or immediate integration and the long term integration, I think that for most people, that’s a kind of setting like being in nature, mandala drawing, sharing with people, the sharing circle, having time to relax and rest. For most people, that would be enough for the acute integration, then they will go into the four directions and do whatever they need to do with their experience.

They will look for their own path. So I don’t think that in that context is necessary to really bring any other element. I do think it is important to provide certain tools in this immediate integration time, but we cannot really think of what is going to happen next. Um, so I would say that for a huge amount of, of people that will be enough.

Yeah. And if there’s extreme benefits of going on a one on one session, I don’t know. I would say that that depends on the person. Um, I think that there needs to be a, um, uh, an intention of why do you want to go to a specialist or the way to want to have a session with a coach or with a therapist? No, what’s for me, it’s always a, a question that, that I ask myself and I ask people like, what do you feel that you need to integrate about this experience that you have not yet integrated?

You know, how come that we’re having this conversation? What’s the same thing that we work with intention for a psychedelic experience? What the intention for this integration session? How would we know that that you feel more integrated that you have moved into a deeper levels of integration, you know?

And I think that that is particularly important because otherwise, um, how, how can we know what’s needed or what you’re free, it’s going to be better or not, you know?

Laura: I was recently at a conference here in Costa Rica talking about legalities, preparation, integration, and it’s interesting to think about our necessity for integration because of the culture that we live in, And someone at the conference made a comment of, well, if we’re creating protocols for integration for ayahuasca, for example, then we should consult, you know, the indigenous people who are working with that medicine.

And I thought, but . They don’t think about integration because they’re integrated into their culture. So, Would we actually go to, you know, different lineages to ask them about integration when we have such a different worldview and their Cosmo visions of this medicine are completely different.

So it seems to me like we need integration because of the matrix of our culture that we’re coming from. And I’m curious to ask you that bigger picture perspective . And then leading into this question of do we need different kinds of integration for different medicines, like does the integration of LSD in the UK look different than someone going down to Peru, working with ayahuasca and then, you know, going back to California, for example.

Marc: Yeah, I’ve exactly spoken with the same terms as you were speaking now like they don’t talk about integration because those practices are already integrated in their culture. So there’s no need of specifying what happens afterwards, because that’s already part of what they do. I do think that in traditional groups, they do have certain integration practices.

For example, when you go and you do a dieta, There’s certain behavioral things that you have to ascribe to. No sex, no sugar, no salt, no spicy food for whatever amount of time that the shaman tells you, yeah? That might seem arbitrary because different traditions have different ideas on what to do, but there are certain protocols that they have in place.

So what do you do to integrate a dieta? You do what the shaman has told you. For a month, no sugar, no salt, no spicy food, no sex, no ice or whatever, and you do that, you know? So, um, And so I think that that is their way of offering certain integration practices, but I agree with you. I don’t think that we should consult.

I mean, we can, but I don’t think that they will, will tell us something that has to do with our cosmo vision of the psychological conception of psychedelic experiences, you know, so we can try to understand and respect really the traditions and if we go and we have a session with the Shipibos or with the Ashaninkas or whatever, to do things the way that they do them.

not start modifying things. So what foods are allowed, what foods are not allowed, how should we behave during the ceremony, what is going to happen there. If you go to Santo Daime, it’s going to be different. So there are certain rules. If you go to a certain school or certain practice, I think that you should go there and trust and accept their way of doing.

Otherwise, go somewhere else. Therefore, I do think that there’s different ways of integrating different medicines. If you’re doing, uh, ayahuasca work with the Shipibo in Peru, probably what you’re gonna be doing after the experience is different than what you’re going to be doing. If you take LSD in the uk, maybe with the, Shipibos, they’re gonna do some, uh, steam baths or, uh, flower baths and that’s, even if we don’t understand, that can be part of the process, you know, so we could definitely go into that. You’re not gonna be doing, uh, steam baths and flower baths after, uh, another experience. I mean, at least not in most cases, no, you can do that on your own. You’ve got to do to a sauna or whatever, but that’s not going to be the specific integration, uh, way.

No, but in the West, we do have the work of psychologists sharing circles and this kind of work that already in native traditions, they don’t do that, but we offer that. As the facilitators, the Western facilitators working in, in indigenous retreats, there’s a mixture of these, of these practices. Yeah. So, yeah, I don’t know if there’s so many differences on how to integrate the psychological experience in the long term integration.

Yeah. So once we have had experience, we feel recovered, we feel back to baseline. I think that’s integrating an MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, or ayahuasca experience. It’s not so different, but in the acute phase, I think that there might be differences.

Laura: Does the quality or like the texture of, um, like the atmosphere of a session with someone in the acute phase after a session feel very different to you than when it’s like a month later?

And do you bring a different kind of tone? Or any difference in that acute phase versus a long term session.

Marc: If I’m working at the holotropic breath or retreat, for example, or in a clinical trial in which we’re administering psilocybin, , usually the, the last hours of the psychedelic experience or the transition towards ordinary reality, one needs to be careful, one needs to be Uh, wise in the use of words, the way that you manage, uh, interpersonal space, your tone, uh, one needs to be much more careful in that regard.

People tend to be more open, more vulnerable, more sensitive. So you need to, to pay attention to that as well. Also in the Early hours after a psychedelic experience, there tends to be a more enhanced emotions, whatever they are. Sometimes the people feel very joyous, very open, very flexible, very hopeful.

Sometimes they feel very scared, still there’s, um, sadness, there’s anger, whatever, no strong emotions that are coming. So we should be open to work with this more enhanced emotional state that we have in the in the next hours. Also be very careful with the sort of interpretations that we make as therapists.

They can have a profound impact. A bad interpretation or a misleading interpretation. In these hours after the experience can really be a source of distress in the next week or month or even destroy the value of the of the experience. Yeah, so we should be really careful with that. Then when we’re working in the long term, or if people come after weeks or months or years of having had the experience, maybe we don’t have to worry so much about that emotional state that they are in because they are somehow more back to baseline.

So we can be a little bit more, um, Directive in the way that we approach the sessions of the questions that we ask of the information that we gather. We can be a little bit more pragmatic in that regard. So, but then when we’re really starting an integration process, we can expect people going back to the emotions, going back to relieving that that experience, getting in touch with that and being somehow vulnerable again, you know, so, yeah.

Is there any kind of. Thank you. major markers that you track, like, for example, connectedness, that you’re monitoring just to make sure that this person isn’t like untethering more from connection to people, to, for example, self isolating, um, and making sure that, you know, that that connection is actually improving, that they’re feeling more connected to people, more loving relationships.

I’m curious if there’s other sort of broad, sort of universal things that you track just to make sure that that person is heading in the right direction, that they’re maybe rooting in a deeper sense of meaning rather than untethering from it. Yeah, that’s a very good question, because I think that therapists, we do that in a way, you know, we’re working on a certain direction with the objectives or the requests that person do in therapy.

But it’s, it’s true, we always have this kind of way of, I don’t know, we’re trying to understand what’s happening in the person’s life and, and the feel that we get. About what’s happening in their world. No, I don’t know if I have the words to to talk about that. I don’t have I don’t know if I have a method or some sort of structure when I when I look into that.

No, but what I what I consciously do is focus on transcribing to two things during a process of integration or therapy. One has to do with the level of content of what are we talking about, what’s happening in our sessions, what things are coming up. But then the other level is the level of relationship.

What is happening in our relationship? Are we building a connection here? Are we building an alliance? How well are we working together? You know, and And sometimes a lot of these thoughts that come to mind is usually when the connection is not being so strong or when there’s some challenges there. It’s like, what’s what’s happening now?

I don’t feel that we’re on the same boat. I don’t feel that I’m really supporting this person. There’s um, so yeah, another thing that I, that I look at sometimes is how well connected they are to their own reality. Yeah, and sometimes there’s people that they are in really extreme situations, and that makes me concerned.

Like someone that is, and this is a real example, no? Someone that is having a session with me when they are in a psychiatric hospital because they have been committed for the past two weeks, and they are already planning to have another psychedelic experience. Like something is off here, no? Like you’re still in psychiatric ward.

Yeah, and you’re already thinking out, you know, like, um, so that might be something that there’s a disconnection from the reality that they are in. So that would make me, um, have this red flag or this end of there’s something that I have to pay attention here, most likely for, for safety. Issues rather than any specific thing having to do with connectedness or being, I don’t know, so safety would probably be something that I, that I monitor.

Laura: Yeah, it’s interesting. It is hard to put words on it because sometimes it’s just a more of a feeling of are they opening towards life or are they contracting? Are they shutting down? And that’s subtle. And that also makes me want to ask you how much you pay attention to people’s bodies. Like there’s so much content that someone can say, but are you paying attention to when their shoulders tighten up and when they start sweating or if they get flush

and is that a level that you’re also tuning into?

Marc: Yeah, absolutely. When I talk about the level of content that has to do also with the nonverbal content, yes, with the body posture, the facial expression, that all gives information about what is happening. Yeah, and we should definitely pay attention to that.

I’m not the kind of therapist that would point out that much. I would make maybe some more general questions. If I notice that the person does some movements like Did something cross your mind at this moment? Rather than pointing the exact behavior, that’s, that’s more my style, you know, but I do pay attention to that.

And this is maybe one of the biggest challenges of doing online therapy. I think that online therapy works very well, but it is more difficult for the therapist because you’re receiving less information. You know, like instead of seeing the whole body and the intonation and the pace and everything that can be, um, diminished, not the quality and the quantity of the information that you receive.

So it makes a little bit more exhausting for the therapist to do online therapy.

Laura: Okay. This might be a bit of a tricky question, but I am curious to hear what you have to say. And we’ll wrap up soon. I know you’ve been so generous with your time and I’m super Um, for coaches, for people who are not trained in therapy, you mentioned earlier, um, it’s helpful to understand a , constructivist view of reality, which I think is really helpful.

You know, there are some books that I think are just so baseline. I don’t know if you’re familiar with, uh, Lisa Feldman Brett’s book, how emotions are made, understanding maybe predictive coding, like the way the brain. is not necessarily seeing reality as it is, but we’re lugging the past around with us wherever we go.

Do you think that there are some theories, frameworks, that coaches who are not going to go study therapy should really be versed in to help people in preparation, integration, psychedelic journeys in general?

Marc: Yeah. I don’t know if I’m able to answer that question because, um, I’m, I’m trained in psychology and in some school of therapy, but I have never had a course on coaching.

So I think that with coaching happens something similar than with integration, that it’s a word that everybody uses and everybody seems to understand, but there’s many different things that happen in that label of coaching. And integration, you know, so, um, I don’t feel that I have any sort of knowledge of what coaching is about.

Sometimes I have a problem understanding, um, what coaching really means or how is it different from therapy, you know, and sometimes people told me, no, but in, in coaching, you’re working on a specific thing or you have a focus or an objective. And it’s like, well, in my therapy, I do have an objective. I have a direction that I’m going towards, you know, so, uh, for me, it’s difficult to really understand what are the difference because I’m not trained in any coaching tradition. So then I cannot really say, uh, because I understand that there might be coaches that have certain skills that other coaches don’t have, you know, or that they trained in different ways.

Laura: . Or even your own frameworks or even theories that you’ve read, psychology based theories. I mean, even for me, it’s like I read so much, you know, in cognitive sciences as well. There’s so many different understandings of how we as humans adapt to our environment.

Marc: . Yeah. Well, I don’t know. I think that the way that I, that I practice therapy and the way that I teach therapy, um, I don’t know if it could be understood as psychotherapy. I’ve spoken with a lot of therapists that they’ve come to my trainings and some of them feel, uh, what’s the word?

I don’t know, some, some of them feel threatened by the way that I present my approach. It feels like too simplistic or too, um, you know, like too superficial in a way. It’s like, no, no, but psychotherapy should be something deep, like something like psychoanalysis, you know, that is psychotherapy. Uh, so sometimes even therapists or psychotherapists feel that Therapy should be something else, you know, so I don’t know, I think there’s a different understandings of of what needs to happen in an interaction of two strangers that talk about deep things.


Laura: yeah, it’s so interesting. I think about this a lot too, especially in Western culture where we have these self imposed barriers. Like, I know people who won’t read books on therapy because they’re like, well, I’m not a therapist you know, so I’m never going to be qualified. So why, you know, go and study?. and read. And I encourage people to try to drop those barriers. And the more I actually study different fields of psychology and the more I look at, for example, like acceptance and commitment therapy, super rooted in mindfulness. in listening in values based action. I mean, these are all very human.

Yeah. , It’s a human substrate to all of it. So it’s not like, because you study therapy, all of a sudden you’ve like cracked some mysterious code that no one else knows. It’s actually just like, what does it mean to listen, to pay attention, to have empathy, to have compassion, to help people align with what they really care about, you know, to sort of lift those, those pressures of culture and help people align with their authentic expression of who they are, you know, I mean, and ask the right questions like that’s really the basis of it.

And another thing that I find very interesting, my own background. Is I have a degree in creativity studies and change leadership and I studied psychedelics and creative cognition and even under so many therapies is active imagination, telling people to imagine something or well, what would that feel like if you try something on, you know, to imagine this outcome and I find that that’s really fascinating too.

I’m like, wow, you know, imagination is really at the base of a lot of different modalities and therapies. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s all the basic, you know, foundation that we’re all working with. So I, I do find it interesting to ask a psychotherapist that question, like, what’s the secret sauce, you know, I don’t know if I have the answer to that.

And I don’t know if, Mathematical equation that only very few people know.

Marc: Some people say like, I, are you psychoanalyzing me now or whatever? No, like, no, I mean, come on. Yeah, it’s a difficult question. It’s a difficult matter to to really explain what what’s the difference between psychotherapy and other modalities of support or, um, and again, there’s these studies from the 70s know that the common factors in in therapies that have to do with what you said with empathy, with active listening, with validation, you know, with respect.

And I think that those things, you know, Uh, you don’t need a psychotherapy degree to have them. You might have a PhD in psychotherapy, but lack a lot of empathy and a lot of active listening. And, you know, so, and some people that don’t have the qualifications will have those capacities. The way that I teach integration, I believe that can be done by I dunno if anybody, but you don’t need to have, uh, any specific background in psychotherapy to be able to use those tools or to understand the way of thinking in a, in a therapy process.

Yeah. Sometimes we can understand therapy as a problem solving kind of, uh, intervention or therapy could also be a, a a, a self-knowledge practice, you know? And, and I think that the, the request, the intention is really important. If you go to psychoanalysis, probably you’re not looking for an immediate release of your symptoms.

You’re looking to understand a little bit better about the way that you think to talk about your past about your parents, you know, and do some sort of life review. I guess that if psychoanalysis is what calls you, you’re that’s what you’re looking for. So then probably you need a specific training in how to accompany someone in that process.

But I think that as long as. Yeah. We as therapists or coaches or practitioners, we are honest about what we’re offering. I think that that’s what we can do. What I think that is not honest is to, um, I don’t know, to be a coach and say that you offer psychotherapy and end up behaving like a spiritual guru, you know, or be a psychotherapist and pretend that you’re a psychiatrist and that what medication would better or end up being some sort of a mentor, you know?

So I think that as long as we are honest with ourselves and with our clients then people can choose the kind of work and the kind of services that they want to to use.

Laura: And I appreciate what you said earlier. It’s like being upfront about, okay, well, this is my style of coaching. This is like what my coaching container looks like.

And these are the agreements that we’re consenting to here. Whether you take a more direct approach or not, for example, or, you know, once there’s that, um, that basis of trust where it’s like, Hey, I’m seeing this. Are you open to hearing this right now? And so I think that also being clear about where your wheelhouse of expertise is and staying within that zone of genius and then having a really amazing peer to peer colleague network that you can refer out when you’re out of your zone of genius.

Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that there’s room for many different professionals, different works in this field. And we just need to be good in what we do, not in what everybody else does, you know, so. Exactly. I really enjoyed this conversation, Mark, so much. Yeah, likewise. You’re such a wealth of knowledge and experience.

And I really appreciate you inviting me. ,

. I highly recommend people read your book. It’s so well written and there’s just so much in there. So thank you for all the work that you’ve done. And I know writing a book is such a labor of love. So thank you for seeing it to completion.

It really is such a huge accomplishment. Thank you so much. Sora. Okay. Beautiful. Have a wonderful rest of your evening. Thank you, Mark. You too. Bye bye. Bye.

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About Laura Dawn

Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.