PT397 – Vital Psychedelic Conversations

March 9, 2023
Featuring: Dr. Devon Christie & Emefa Boamah

In this episode of Vital Psychedelic Conversations, David interviews Vital instructor, Dr. Devon Christie: Senior Lead of Psychedelic Programs at Numinus, MAPS-certified MDMA therapist, and now four-time guest; and Vital student, Emefa Boamah: coach, facilitator, and trauma-informed intuitive guide specializing in embodiment. 

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In this episode of Vital Psychedelic Conversations, David interviews Vital instructor, Dr. Devon Christie: Senior Lead of Psychedelic Programs at Numinus, MAPS-certified MDMA therapist, and now four-time guest; and Vital student, Emefa Boamah: coach, facilitator, and trauma-informed intuitive guide specializing in embodiment. 

We’ve all heard the trope, “It’s all in your mind,” but it’s also in your heart, soul, community, support system, and body – the focus of this episode. Christie and Boamah dive deep into the various aspects of the relationship between non-ordinary states and our bodies: ways to embody our bodies more; how the body is a fundamental source of truth; the benefit of checking in with one’s body after an experience (to validate or disprove what may have come up); the importance of movement and rest; the different bodies we inhabit (physical, emotional, energetic, mental, and spiritual); and ways to accept (and eventually love) our bodies in a society that’s always working to make us hate them – is self-love the ultimate act of defiance?

They also discuss the post-experience plasticity in everything, and the challenge of preparing an experiencer for something we can’t know; how facilitators and practitioners need to track their own subconscious feelings and reactions; the concept of embodied inquiry; the necessity of remaining curious and humble; and the idea of using integrative practices to find ways to become the person you want to be – the person you may have seen glimpses of in non-ordinary states. 

And as this year’s edition comes to an end, Boamah reflects on her experiences with Vital, particularly the communal aspects of the retreat and how healing it was to literally be lifted up by her companions. If you’re curious about whether Vital is right for you, please come to an upcoming Q+A. Applications close March 26!

Applications are open for the second edition of Vital, our 12-month training certificate program in psychedelic therapy and integration, beginning in April 2023. Head to for more info, or attend a Q+A to have your questions answered.

Notable Quotes

“Something happens with plant medicines (psychedelics (for me, with mushrooms)) that just takes you out of it and you see the inherent worth of who you are as a human, as a person. And integrating that process after coming out, I think, does a lot to help with self-love – not to say that cannot be attained without psychedelics, but it’s a different quality to it when you’re able to see yourself outside of yourself and see that you’re just valuable as you are.” -Emefa

“Not only are we fighting against us as human beings (like, whatever is happening internally), there’s also the societal expectations of how we ought to be. …There’s all these things where society is bent on making sure that we don’t feel comfortable in our bodies, so for me, from that lens, self-love is an act of reclamation. It’s like a defiant political act to reclaim who we are as people and spend that inherent worth without buying into what we’re being told to do, unapologetically – like, own it: ‘This is who we are and this is where we come from and we get to take space.’” -Emefa

“Those strongly reinforced habits: they restrict what we can attend to. They restrict our perception. So when they’re loosened under a psychedelic, we’ve got all these dimensions of experience that we can suddenly experience. That’s where, I think, not only in preparation, but in how we meet and attend to the emergent experience of people in psychedelic experiences, as practitioners, we need to be fluent ourselves in our own dimensions of experience of our being, so that we can meet and be curious and inquire and help that person to come to know themselves in all of that dimensionality, and then for their meaning to percolate up from that place.” -Devon

“The wisdom of ceremony, community ceremony, dance, music: that brings connection, that brings rhythm. And one nervous system by itself in the face of trauma is very vulnerable, many nervous systems together in the face of trauma: there’s resiliency. …Thankfully, in many ways, psychedelics help us to perceive this, and then in each person, perceive: ‘What’s the truth for me in this?’ and then we can try to live that.” -Devon


Psychedelics Today: PT391 – MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy For Fibromyalgia and Other Central Sensitization Syndromes, featuring: Dr. Devon Christie & Dr. Pamela Kryskow, MD

Psychedelics Today: PT306 – Dr. Devon Christie – Vital Psychedelic Conversations An Introduction to Interpersonal Neurobiology

Pubmed: REBUS and the Anarchic Brain: Toward a Unified Model of the Brain Action of Psychedelics

Psychedelics Today: PT328 – Courtney Watson, LMFT – Ancestral Veneration and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy For (and By) QTBIPOC

Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto, by Tricia Hersey Embodied Inquiry as a Research Method Doctor Strange

Devon Christie 2

In this Episode

Dr. Devon Christie

Dr. Devon Christie is a medical doctor, functional medicine practitioner, and registered counsellor with a focused practice in chronic pain and mental health. She is a MAPS-certified MDMA therapist, having served as an investigator and research therapist in a MAPS phase-3 crossover study for PTSD. Her ongoing research in MDMA-assisted therapy involves its potential for chronic pain. Devon delivers ketamine-assisted psychotherapy at Numinus, where she also serves as Senior Lead of Psychedelic Programs, developing and implementing psychedelic treatment and therapist training programs.

Dr. Devon’s background includes extensive training in mindfulness, both personally through more than 20 years of vipassana and yoga practice, and professionally through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher certification at UCSD. Her interest in trauma resolution led her to training and certification in Relational Somatic Therapy, and her current psychotherapy practice blends this framework with Internal Family Systems.

Devon is passionate about broadening the modern healthcare paradigm to encompass trauma-informed approaches that incorporate scientific advances in our biopsychosocial understanding of illness and wellness – a holistic view that most traditional systems have long emphasized. She sees careful integration of psychedelic-assisted therapies as part of this movement. Devon is passionate about educating future psychedelic therapists on ethics and trauma-informed, mindfulness, and embodiment-based skills. She teaches for the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the Integrative Psychiatry Institute, our Vital program, and the ATMA Foundation Psychedelic Therapy programs.

Socials: Instagram / Facebook

Emefa Boamah 2

Emefa Boamah

Emefa Boamah is the Founder of Emefa Boamah Embodiment Coaching where she serves as a coach, master embodiment facilitator, trauma-informed Intuitive guide and speaker. She is also a Vital student who aspires to use psychedelics as another tool to support women in coming
home to themselves. As a women’s coach and embodiment facilitator, Emefa draws on her Ghanaian lineage, her personal experience as a trauma survivor, and training to enable her to hold delicate and sacred spaces for groups, individuals, and organizations to reclaim their power and voice after trauma, and amplify it for impact without burning out. Her clients describe her as magical because she hears things that others don’t even know that they’re saying, and reflects it to them in a way that fosters lasting changes in them.

Socials: Instagram / Linkedin