5:00 pm - 5:20 pm
San Juan Bautista


  • Rachel Harris (Speaker) Psychologist, www.listeningtoayahuasca.com


There’s growing evidence that ayahuasca has a rich potential for therapeutic healing. This presentation is based on data collected in North America including self-reports of 81 people (2008-2011) and interviews with an additional fifty, some of whom have been followed-up for seven years. It was found that after drinking this potent tea, people reported the same kind of changes that are sought in psychotherapy: greater self-acceptance, improved mood, increased feelings of love and compassion in interpersonal relationships, reduced alcohol intake, and improved health behaviors. Questions remain, however, about how these changes happen and how they can be integrated. This presentation will discuss how psychotherapy during the so-called golden hours and days immediately following an ayahuasca ceremony are optimum for therapeutic work. This is a time of increased neurological flexibility and connectivity along with a quieting of the Default Mode Network which is responsible for much of our neurotic thought patterns. Spiritual experiences in ayahuasca ceremonies can lead to discontinuous transformation, as described by William James, and a cosmic shift in worldview. Therapeutic integration involves differentiation of psychological issues from numinous experiences, distinguishing between levels of existential meaning. The recalibration or reorganization of psychic architecture after ayahuasca needs to be stabilized and translated into daily life.

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