Pride Monthly Only - 20% off the first session - Get Started Now!

Home / Blog / #13 Awakening the Mind-Body Connection: Exploring Psychedelic Somatic Therapy

#13 Awakening the Mind-Body Connection: Exploring Psychedelic Somatic Therapy

Isaac Archuleta

Get It Wherever You Get Your Podcasts!

Episode Introduction

Psychedelics have a bad rap. The war on drugs stigmatized psychedelics on a cultural level, and many others demonized psychedelics after seeing loved ones form addictions to them. As a therapist who treats addictions often, I know full-well how devastating and destructive substance dependency can be. I also know how tragic trauma can be. Learn about sexual abuse counseling here!

In this episode, you’ll hear from Trevor, one of iAmClinic’s associates, who has personally changed my life with Psychedelic-Assisted Trauma Therapy.

How do we shake free of painful memories, debilitating narratives, and unwanted patterns? In today’s episode, you’ll find out.

Episode Debrief

Given the depths to which trauma and substance abuse patterns took hold in my body, I scoured the world looking for remedies to my anxieties, fears, and unwanted patterns. Traditional talk therapy helped immensely, EMDR was super helpful, somatic experiencing changed my life. After all my therapeutic success, there remained a layer of pain I could not touch. That’s when I found Trevor and his amazing work.

Had you told me as a beginning therapist that I would integrate psychedelics into my practice, I would have probably shunned. However, to be honest, I totally and completely believe in psychedelic-Assisted trauma therapy after experiencing the changes it created for myself. 

Don’t get me wrong, PATT is not easy. I have never heard my body groan with immense sorrow and I have never felt my body let go of so much pain as I have in my sessions with Trevor. But to feel the relief of patterns shifting and seeing my body feel alive has given me so much hope for my future and my relationships, especially with Joe. 

When I first heard of Peter Levin and his book Waking the Tiger and Bessel Van Der Kolk and his book, The Body Keeps the Score, I was instantly fascinated.

We do hold trauma in the body. Research shows us that it is housed in our shoulder muscles and our quads. We literally hold memory in our bodies, in addition to our brains. To watch the body purge itself of all the painful content it holds is not only relieving, it feels in many ways like a miracle.

I thought EMDR would do the trick and I noticed a ton of relief in the way I navigated old triggers. But let me tell you! PATT is like EMDR times 1,000!!

I often reflect on the work we are doing at iAmClinic. My team of clinicians and I are continuously talking about the quality of care we provide because we truly want what is best for the LGBTQ+ community. We literally want you to feel ready and confident to create the love lives and relationships you crave. This is why I wanted to bring Psychedelic-Assisted Trauma Therapy to the clinic. 

I believe that we are all humans trying to make the best of this life while we’re here. Given the realities of life in the closet, the loneliness we encounter and the ways we experience minority strain as people in a heteronormative world, I know that our bodies carry pain, insecurity, and a deep hunger to belong. 

PATT isn’t for everyone, but I will say that I am so thankful there are people like Trevor in the world who possess the brilliance and courage to walk people like me through trauma. I will be forever grateful to Trevor and his work. 

And to you, those of us who belong to the MeToo movement, those of us who lived in the closet, silently suffering; and those who know what painful abuse or rejection feel like, there is hope, I promise.

Episode Timestamps

2:25 How Trevor got involved with Psychedelic-Assisted Trauma Therapy (PATT)

7:09 – Isaac’s experience with somatic therapy medicated sessions

9:00 – Physiological effects of PATT

10:06 – “A body perspective says we learn [self-identity] on a neurological level, our identity, neurological core-letts, how we talk to ourselves, core belief structures that form, but also that that shows up in emotion. In how we experience certain emotions, how we push away from other emotions and essentially how our brain and our body learns to protect itself by not re-experiencing certain things. This psychedelic work, body-based trauma work really can orient to getting into what are the experiences our mind-body has learned and taught itself to never have that feeling again.”

12:20 – How psychedelic work can influence therapy

12:54 – Bessel Vander Kolk would say, because trauma lives in the body disassociate from language and rational thinking, the body’s only option is to keep reliving the trauma.

14:53 – Theory of Psychedelic Therapy

16:45 – Cannabis use in therapy

18:08 – Alcohol use and trauma

20:04 – “Maladaptive” behavior patterns point toward where healing needs to happen

22:49 – Living in the memory of trauma

23:55 – 23:10 – 25:07 – the behavior, ‘drinking to connect,’ changes to, ‘prioritizing connection over maladaptive behaviors.’

28:47 – We don’t always make choices in life but live habitually

33:13 – Sometimes we live the past in the present, unable to live free

35:53 – Physical symptoms from past trauma

40:15 – Childhood shaping belonging and life distress

44:20 – The role of touch in Somatic Therapy 

Ready to connect with a therapist?

Contact Us

Get It Wherever You Get Your Podcasts!