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Exploring Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Series, Part Three: Healing Warriors

As the field of mental health continues to evolve, I have realized that each of us in medicine and wellness is a warrior. 

Those of us who took the first steps, proposing “radical”, new, and unpopular ideas are the strongest warriors. 

They face the most scrutiny, doubt and persecution.  And each practitioner’s strength as a warrior can be measured by how close behind the leader they walked.  Our society’s healing warriors have blazed a trail for those of us who may be weaker or less experienced.  We learn from them and benefit from the boundaries they pushed past first.

Some of our recent warriors in the field of mental health include:

Marsha Linehan, for pioneering DBT

Francine Shapiro, for pioneering EMDR

Yudit Maros, for pioneering BSOTR and AT

Laney Rosenzweig, for pioneering ART

Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg, for pioneering EFT

Dick Schwarz, for pioneering IFS

And one of our fiercest, most tireless warriors,

Rick Doblin, who has been working his whole life to bring psychedelic medicine back into modern medicine through MAPS

I admire these warriors.  I had had my moments of fierceness, and had been beaten down by society again and again, pressed into the mold society would have me fit.  Pleasant. Agreeable.  Soft-spoken.  Caretaker.  Turner-of-cheeks.  Dressed in bland, approved colors. 

I have stepped gradually towards authenticity.  One step forward, two steps back, at times. 

I met many different parts of myself authentic Self as I journeyed.  The hippie.  The artist.  The lover.  The child.  The wounded ones.  The warrior.  The academic.  The raging fire.  The one at peace.

It’s been a long journey of over 40 years.  I am currently experiencing a place in life where I feel the most complete.  All of the “me’s” seem to have a place at the table.  We don’t always get along.  And we are not always happy.  But we work together, and honor the Self that we are, regardless of whether this is celebrated or vilified by anyone outside of us.

My clients are warriors just as much as I am.  They face the unknown without running from it. 

They look into their darkest shadows in order to work with the painful truths that hide there, and bring them into the light, often finding that those “truths” were deeply flawed.  Their biggest fears were mere fallacies.  They heal themselves and can then model balance and health to others.  They have solid, healthy boundaries with others who have yet to do their own warrior’s work.  

This is true strength.  The world needs much, much more of this.


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