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Psychedelic Healing


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Table of Contents

Foreword Why This Book Matters by John H. Halpern, M.D., Harvard Medical School



Introduction The Questions That Led to This Book

1 Set and Setting
The Mother of All Trips
Who I Am
How I Became Interested in Consciousness and Psychedelic Therapy
How I Got to Be Who I Am Now
A True Intellectual-Religious Revelation

2 Is Fundamental Personality Change Possible?

The Concept of Change and Its Action
The Developmental Psychology of Spiritual Emergence
Personality Development as Immature Strategy
Psyche: The Core Concept
Psycheology: The Study of the Soul
The Psycheology Approach to Psychotherapy

3 The History of Psychedelic Research
The Major Psychedelics
The First Research on the Clinical Applications of Psychedelics
Psychedelic Research in Countries beyond the U.S.
Psychedelic Research Finally Resumes
The Use of Psychedelics with the Dying
The Safety and Efficacy of Psychedelics

4 The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Therapy, Rediscovered
Lesson 1. Each Drug Has a Specific Effect
Lesson 2. Setting Can Strongly Influence State of Mind and Thus Outcome
Lesson 3. Mind-set Can Scuttle a Beautiful Context or Transcend a Hellish One
Lesson 4. In General, Dose Determines a Mild or Extreme Experience, Although It Can Be Less Important Than Set and Setting
Lesson 5. Preparation and Knowledge Can Enable Lasting Value
Lesson 6. Ritual Can Transmit Prior Wisdom and Guide Successful Practice
Lesson 7. Support from Experienced Guides Reduces Fear and Increases Benefit
Lesson 8. Reentry in to a Supportive Community Context Aids Retention
Lesson 9. Accompanying Depth Psychotherapy (If Needed) and Ongoing Spiritual Practice Offer the Main Opportunity for Lasting Growth
Lesson 10. A Revised Worldview Is Both a Requirement for and a Result of Integrated Psychedelic Practice

5 Many Thorny Theoretical and Methodological Questions Remain
Why Does Psychedelic Research Require Self-Experimentation?
How Will We Train a New Generation of Psychedelic Researchers and Therapists?
Why Redo Psychedelic Research Already Conducted in the '50s and '60s?
How Should Psychedelics Be Rescheduled?
Why Do Psychedelics Provide Pain Relief for the Dying?
Can Psychedelics Provide Lasting Change?
Can Psychedelics Induce Real Spirituality?

6 The Development of an Integral Clinical Approach
Transcendence Vs. the Frontal Assault
Catharsis, or How I Completed My Childhood at Burning Man
A Revised View
Conclusions: What Have We Learned?

7 Implications for the Future
The Catalytic Role of Psychedelics in the Emergence of an Integral Society
Unity "Versus" the Frontal Lobes
An Integral Approach to Reality


Appendix 1 How to Put Science into Action to Change the World
Work to Change the Drug Laws
Changing Psychedelic Policies and Bureaucracies
Practice "Right Action": Buddhism and Psychedelics Policy

Appendix 2 Standards for Safe and Effective Psychedelic Journeys and Procedures for Handling Psychedelic Emergencies
Preparation: Creating a Safe Space for Psychedelic Journeys
The Session: Guidelines for Safe and Effective Psychedelic Journeys
Dealing with Psychedelic Emergencies (or Spiritual Emergence)

Recommended Reading




About the Author

Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development. A frequent speaker on spiritual emergence, drug policy reform, and postmodern society, he lives in New York.


"In terms of both academics and activism, it is the most comprehensive and readable book on this subject that I've come across." * Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, October 2010 *
"Psychedelic Healing is full of knowledge and wisdom, psychologically sophisticated, and up-to-date. It contains important lessons for those wishing to work with psychedelic plants and substances, which are powerful and tricky tools for accessing the psyche. Neal Goldsmith makes a well-reasoned plea for society to use them once again because they are important tools for healing inside, healing relationships, and healing society. I enjoyed his speculation about the post-postmodern synthesis of tribal and modern. Written bravely and with open eyes, this is an important, mature book" * Jeremy Narby, Ph.D., author of The Cosmic Serpent and co-editor of Shamans Through Time *
"In synchronous timing with the publication of Jung's precious personal vision, Neal Goldsmith presents his own Red Book of self-discovery and organizes it into a useful road map to the mystery within each of us--of who we are and why . . ." * John H. Halpern, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School *
"Neal Goldsmith is one of the leading architects of the emerging paradigm of psychedelic therapy. In this book he shares the personal story of his own process of growth and transformation as both a drug policy analyst and a psychotherapist and boldly calls for the acceptance and integration of psychedelics into psychiatry and society as the powerful catalysts for self-exploration and healing that they are." * Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., assistant professor, Center for Spirituality and Healing, University of Minne *
"Neal Goldsmith's comprehensive, wise, and timely guide explores the impact of psychedelics throughout history and today at the level of the individual, the society, and the collective consciousness. Psychedelic Healing addresses salient theoretical questions pertinent to policy, therapy, spirituality, and philosophy and offers a bountiful harvest of hardearned insights to every reader interested in the transformative power of psychedelics. Neal has made a major contribution to ensuring the continued expansion of the psychedelic research renaissance. Psychedelic Healing will enable motivated readers to work more effectively to create a world where the mature use of psychedelics for spiritual, psychological, and medical purposes is both accepted and appreciated." * Rick Doblin, Ph.D., executive director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies *
"In this lively and provocative book, Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D., makes the case for a 'Psychedelic Renaissance,' one in which LSD-type substances would be rescheduled in the United States, permitting their applications in psychotherapy and medicine. Psychedelic Healing presents considerable evidence from the research and clinical literature, as well as from Goldsmith's own experiences, that psychedelics can relieve pain, change personality, foster spiritual growth, and promote community harmony. After reading this book, many of his readers will be persuaded that this renaissance cannot come a day too soon!" * Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University, and coauthor of Pe *
"Written with personal warmth and passionate engagement, Psychedelic Healing makes a compelling case for the medical and social benefits of a therapy practice that encompasses substance-induced experiences of transcendence. With scrupulous care, Neal Goldsmith explores the great promise of this reemerging field, while proposing a path forward that avoids the mistakes made a generation ago. This book is valuable reading for those who would like to see a crucial new chapter open in consciousness studies and the mental health field." * Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head *
"What a brave and wonderful book! Neal Goldsmith beautifully integrates personal experience and reflections with thoughtful analysis of psychedelics: their history, prohibition and regulation, and potential for transforming our psyches, spirits, and lives." * Ethan A. Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance *
"A wonderful blend of psychedelic history. Goldsmith has written a radical, wise, and compassionate rethinking of the nature and purpose of psychotherapy. This is the direction psychology needs to go in order to stay relevant and valuable." * James Fadiman Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorers Guide and Personality and Personal Growth *
"A thoroughly researched and engaging discussion of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, profiling not just the drugs, but many luminaries in the psychedelic research field. Goldsmith emphasizes the importance of set, setting, and ritual on outcome. By chronicling his own growth and transformation he answers the question, 'Is fundamental personality change possible?' with an emphatic 'Yes!'" * Julie Holland, M.D., editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Can *
"When we look back at the extraordinary cultural transformations of the past forty years, there is one ingredient in the recipe of social change that is consistently and inexplicably expunged from the record. And that is the fact that countless thousands, indeed millions, of young at some point in their lives lay prostrate before the gates of awe having taken a psychedelic. Neal Goldsmith's insightful book suggests that perhaps we might do well by doing the same." * Wade Davis, award-winning anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker, author, and photographer *
"Neal Goldsmith's comprehensive analysis of the healing power of psychedelics puts the medical, spiritual, and legal status of these soul medicines in a passionate, well-informed voice." * Alex Grey, author of Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations *
"Psychedelic Healing is a comprehensive contextualized guide for harnessing psychedelics to assist in personal evolution. Neal Goldsmith introduces you to all the key players at this exciting moment in the long history of human interaction with psychedelic plants. Goldsmith's clinical yet revealing and accessible narrative is as reassuring as it is instructional. Not since The Tibetan Book of the Dead has there been such a useful companion to the amazing array of spiritual medicines that are nature's gift to humanity." * Allan Badiner, adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, contributing edito *
"Written with authority and scholarship, this book is intended for the therapeutic mental health community and will find readers at any academic institution with a psychology department. However, the wider audience of seekers and free thinkers make this appropriate for most public library collections as well." * Janet Tapper, Univ. of Western States Lib., Library Journal, February 2011 *
"An analysis that looks deep into history as well as the true medical effects of the drug, Psychedelic Healing is a fascinating analysis into a taboo avenue of medicine." * The Midwest Book Review, February 2011 *
"Dr. Goldsmith proposes how psychedelic healing can be incorporated into a new, integrated psychotherapy that harnesses the emotional, mental and spiritual healing powers of these entheogenic gives guidance on safe "tripping" and on handling emergencies. . . This is a visionary approach towards a whole new reality." * Nexus Magazine, May 2011 *
"By calling on insights from personality development, Goldsmith enriches our understanding of how psychedelics can lead to a richer, more mature self and at the same time help people re-identify with the true, inner transcendent self: the path of personal, psychological growth persisted in long enough becomes a path of spiritual growth. Then, using this expertise in a large-scale institutional and social change, he proposes a number of careful steps to beneficially fit psychedelics into society. Thus Psychedelic Healing moves forward both personal maturity and institutional growth for their combined benefits" * Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is co-editor of Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Subs *
". . . ideal combination of facts, personal experiences and most importantly, hope for the future of psychedelics. Their time has come and Neal tells us why and how to make that happen." * Erowid, October 2011 *
"Psychedelic Healing offers the reader a wondrous journey, capturing within one volume a guide for the use of psychedelics by therapists and patients as well as a contemporary summation of relevant research and points of history. Goldsmith bravely goes where few dare to tread, especially in his autobiographical vignettes that make clear how what is learned through psychedelic-assisted therapy can usefully be applied and integrated into everyday life. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in learning how psychedelics may contribute to a healthier, richer, and more rewarding life rather than just assuming that these substances must be categorized as drugs of abuse. There is more to these substances than their pejorative categorizations within a Drug War: Psychedelic Healing offers an easy-to-read path to these deeper waters." * John H. Halpern, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School *

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