Psychedelic Science 2020 Webinar Series – Psychedelic Peer Support: Models of Community Care (Online)

May 14, 2020

From the event website:

Psychedelic Peer Support: Models of Community Care

Featuring Kwasi Adusei, Sara Gael, M.A., and Ryan Beauregard

Thursday, May 14, 2020, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific

As psychedelics grow in popularity, it becomes increasingly necessary for harm reduction to grow with them. Difficult psychedelic experiences can be frightening. What can you do to help someone having a difficult psychedelic or emotional experience? What techniques are available for helping transform a potentially traumatic situation into a positive one? What does it mean to create a safe container for someone on psychedelics? What role have peer support organizations played at festivals and events, and what lessons can we share with others interested in psychedelic peer support? Learn about four principles of psychedelic harm reduction that outline a framework for holding difficult psychedelic experiences. Not only can the application of these principles enhance the safety of our peers, they can become a model for how we can take better care of ourselves. Learn how these principles may be applied in our communities and how they can assist in the process of ongoing psychedelic integration.

In preparation for our upcoming webinar and in the spirit of community peer support, we would like to learn more about how individuals are practicing harm reduction and peer support in their communities. All around the world, individuals and communities have developed unique ways to enhance the safety of psychedelic experiences. The principles and practices of psychedelic harm reduction are applied uniquely across communities. How have you applied them to your own? How are you developing your own harm reduction initiatives in your community? We would love to hear from you! Please consider participating in this optional survey before our webinar takes place on May 14 at 12:00 PM (PDT).

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Kwasi Adusei is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York, out of which he developed a local psychedelic harm reduction organization that has served 7 festivals over the last two years, coordinating up to 40 volunteers to provide around the clock service. One of the festivals has allowed a permanent space for the Sanctuary space to grow as the festival grows. He has begun developing a grassroots harm reduction resource to support groups in creating these services in their local communities. In the global space, Kwasi launched a project to create a comprehensive guide on starting psychedelic societies. Additionally, he has led events that engage psychedelic societies across continents to synchronize around service events that have included the Global Psychedelic Month of Service and the Global Psychedelic Earth Day Cleanup.

Sara Gael, M.A., received her master’s degree in transpersonal counseling psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. She began working as the Director of Harm Reduction in 2017. Sara is a therapist for the MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, integration, and non-ordinary states of consciousness. She worked for two years at a Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet.

Ryan Beauregard received his B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and spent 10 years mentoring at-risk teens and families through wilderness survival skills and nature connection. His passion for community connection, the environment, and intrapersonal healing continued with his involvement in permaculture, natural building, and ancestral grief rituals. As a volunteer with the Zendo Project since 2013, Ryan has had the opportunity to connect and expand the scope of psychedelic harm reduction in communities and festivals all over the globe. As the Zendo Project Manager, he integrates his skills in psychology, design, and community engagement. When he isn’t on the road with the Zendo Project, Ryan can be found at his home in Boulder, CO, enjoying the great outdoors, experimenting with sustainable technology, and designing websites, logos and sacred geometry art.

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