Currently, a graduate candidate in psychology at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. As an undergraduate, she developed an interest in psychopharmacology and neuroscience. Her research background includes fMRI research for the Medical University of South Carolina and serving as a member of the Ayahuasca Dialogues Research Committee. Her master’s thesis was completed concerning medical and safety protocol for Westerners seeking ayahuasca, specifically in the context of the ayahuasca treatment centers. Upon receiving many communications from individuals needing help with challenging ayahuasca experiences, she began “The Aftercare Project”, set to provide a communal space for education, preparation, and integration resources on a multi-national level for those who are reaching out for this help. Raven has experience with a range of psychedelics, including ayahuasca. Her work is grounded in her spiritual life and her passion for helping others.
TITLE: Opening Doors with Ayahuasca: The Importance of a Focus on Preparation and Integration
Ayahuasca, an ancient Amazonian psychedelic tea, traditionally used ceremonially among indigenous peoples, has most recently become known as a possible treatment for a wide range of disorders. The awareness of this sacred medicine has grown exponentially, attracting Westerners from a wide variety of backgrounds, hoping to find treatment for a myriad of emotional and physical illnesses, as well as spiritual needs. In the wake of the commercialization and westernization of the use of ayahuasca, the subsequent proliferation of ayahuasca treatment centers, and ceremonial usage worldwide, the benefits and possible risks will be examined. This most potent tool for transformation points to the need for a real focus on preparation, including intention-setting, as well as education on integration after the experience, for the journey ahead. As more people are now reaching out for help with challenging psychedelic experiences, there is a growing need for psychedelic support services. There are now many communities coming together to provide this much-needed support. Still, there is a gap in access to this help, in various regions. A new initiative, The Aftercare Project, has formed to address this need with the aim to unify and bring awareness to these communal resources, as well as to offer education and integration services, on a multi-national level. In this talk, tips on how one might prepare for and integrate profound psychedelic experiences will be highlighted, as well as where one can find further support when needed with this powerful entheogenic medicine.