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The reasons why I have chosen to work with psychedelic therapy

I choose to share my inspiration and intentions here with others who may be interested. It may be worth mentioning that this is based on what I know so far and that I am very open to learning or changing my mind. I mean we are in a somewhat special situation at the moment. We have had a sharp increase in anxiety and depression over the last ten years and very limited ways to treat. At the same time, we have a lot of research from the 60s to the present, which indicates that we already have good therapeutic methods / tools (psychedelics-assisted therapy) to stop this development. Experienced psychologists from around the world dedicate their lives to getting psilocybin and MDMA back into therapy as approved drugs and it is starting to pour in the right direction. MAPS has estimated that MDMA will be approved as a drug by 2021 and things suggest that Europe will follow suit. This is positive, but we have some challenges in the meantime.

Lack of support, especially in Norway

As research has begun to emerge in mainstream media and books like How to change your mind by Michael Pollan has sold millions of copies, many are impatient, even here in Norway. Many people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder or the like feel that waiting for 3-8 years for treatment is too long. However, there are places where various forms of psychedelics are legal, including in the Netherlands, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Peru, and Brazil, where psychedelic experiences are offered on so-called "retreats", typically ayahuasca or psilocybin (fungus). These are gaining popularity and it is estimated that hundreds of Norwegians take such trips annually. When you return home after such an experience there is little support to get here in Norway. Healthcare professionals in the country generally know little about psychedelics except what one has heard in the media over the years and many patients refuse to contact for fear of being stigmatized and not understood. There are many psychologists who are familiar with psychedelics, but they rarely want to promote themselves as specialists in this field. Again due to stigma. In the US and Canada, this has changed somewhat in recent years and MAPS has among other things a list here over many therapists globally that offer so-called injury reduction services for patients who wish to consume or have consumed psychedelics. At the time of writing, I am only on this list in the Nordic countries. I have met several people who have had challenging experiences with psychedelics and who have felt alone afterwards without anyone to talk to about the experience. I want to do something about it and that is why I offer help with integrating and talking about an experience afterwards. I am also working on building a network of psychologists that I can refer to when needed.

In addition, many people here in the country have decided to take psychedelics, but who have challenges in finding reliable information to make it as safe as possible. Between anti-drug campaigns that say psychedelics are deadly and careless "psychonauts" who say it is completely harmless, one can easily get confused. Here I also want to help with preparation. It is about giving good advice on how to test the drugs, dosage, how to prepare mentally and physically, and not least to answer questions you have in advance.

My values and personal direction

My values are openness, responsibility and curiosity. By openness I mean how I like to communicate, what I like to share and how I want to listen to others. By responsibility, I mean that I take responsibility for what I do and say. I believe that my advice is important and that I must know what I am talking about before I speak. If I do not know or am unsure of anything, I will make this clear. By curiosity I mean that I genuinely want to understand why we are who we are without judging or criticizing.

I would not say that I belong to any specific "school" in therapy, philosophy or religion, unless pragmatism counts. I have definitely moved from a more atheistic and materialistic point of view to believe that there is something more outside our scientific arena that we have not been able to prove yet. Understanding why is no longer as important to me and an unexplained experience is not necessarily less valid in my eyes.   

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