In this episode, Kyle interviews Laura Northrup, Marriage and Relationship Somatic Psychotherapist and creator of the podcast, Inside Eyes. Inside Eyes is an audio series about people using entheogens and psychedelics to heal from sexual trauma.
3 Key Points:
- If you think sexual abuse is happening, its important to speak up! We live in a world where it’s scary to speak up, but at its core, it’s really scary to not speak up, and to let these things happen to our fellow humans.
- Somatic work brings people the autonomy of their body that usually gets taken away when trauma is formed.
- Dissociation is usually a side effect of trauma, and it’s common for a trauma patient to take psychedelics and become re-associative after one experience. But, if a patient was traumatized at a young age and dissociated their whole life, becoming re-associated can be stressful, and integration becomes really important.
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- Inside Eyes is an audio series about people using entheogens and psychedelics to heal from sexual trauma.
- Laura says the name ‘Inside eyes’ means to look inward
- Sexual violence happens in every community, as well as in the psychedelic community
- “Entheogens and psychedelics can wake us up so we can be more empowered and better stewards to the earth. But just because someone uses these substances, it doesn’t mean that they will be operating at their highest self.” – Laura
- Laura is a psychotherapist in the Bay area who works with survivors of sexual trauma
- There is a place where people get with their healing that is very difficult to move past
- There is something on a spiritual level that needs to move to heal someone past their ‘block’
- Somatic therapy is a huge part of preparing for and integrating these experiences to heal from trauma
- Laura says when people talk about their healing, its common to only talk about the part when the entheogen or psychedelic comes in, but maybe not the 6 years of therapy they had before hand
- She says she really wants to create the balance of including both the therapy and the entheogenic/psychedelic use
- Laura says she also believes in community based healing
- There is so much shame in secrecy
- One theory of somatic therapy, is that there was a physical response that our body may have wanted to make during a moment of sexual trauma, and psychedelics and entheogens brings those movements out in therapy, to be able to heal
- Somatic work brings people the autonomy of their body that usually gets taken away when trauma is formed
- This thing can happen when you become extremely dissociated from trauma, and then you use psychedelics or entheogens, and you become associated after just one experience, thats great
- But if you have trauma from a young age and have been dissociated for your whole life, one psychedelic experience can be very stressful
- It takes a lot of integration to deal with the difficulties
- Dissociation when you’re already suffering from dissociation has a healing effect
- “Part of healing is going toward wholeness” – Laura
- There is a lot of variation in what someone considers dissociation
- “Being embodied is empowering, and being disembodied is different than being dissociated. People can become more embodied after using a dis-associative medicine.” – Laura
- Laura also covers how people function in their relationships as they heal from their trauma
- Alcohol is legal, its horrible for your body, it causes so many deaths yearly, yet we don’t look at Ayahuasca and MDMA and all these other medicines as a collective culture
- If you think something is going on, it’s important to not just be polite and not say anything
- The politeness is a sickness that we have in America
- Psychedelics and entheogens can be really good at helping us be activists in healing both ourselves and others
- We live in a world where it’s scary to speak up, but at its core, it’s really scary to not speak up, and to let these things happen to our fellow humans
- Psychedelics and Entheogens get people into a deeper sense of their own truth
- “We need to be in a globally aware place, we don’t need to just be healing ourselves, we need to all be healing.” – Laura
- We need more connected relationships, if you spend today and have a more connected relationship to yourself or someone else, that is one step closer to healing our world
- Just because you get connected to a group, does not mean that that group is the group you need to do your healing with
- Do your research, and get references
- Laura says she looks at psychedelic and entheogenic substance use from two lenses, she cares about the people taking it, and about the plants themselves
- She says that some of these plant compounds are becoming endangered so it’s important to be mindful of that
- She also says that some therapists and shamans use bodywork and ‘touch’ so it’s also important to be aware of that before ceremony or therapy
- Touch can be both very healing, but also traumatizing, so it’s important to know boundaries
- Laura will be hosting an event at Horizons on sexual ethics in the psychedelic community, sign up here
About Laura Northrup
Laura Mae Northrup is the creator and host of the podcast Inside Eyes, a series that explores the use of entheogens and psychedelics to heal sexual trauma. She is a practicing psychotherapist and educator. Her work focuses on defining sexual violence through a spiritual and politicized lens and supporting the spiritual integrity of our collective humanity. She is a champion of living more fully engaged and responsible lives through the healing use of entheogens and psychedelics. She lives and works in Oakland, CA.