Voices of Esalen Podcast: The Psychedelic Moment, Part 9: Sara Gael on Psychedelic Harm Reduction and the Zendo Project

Summary: “At MAPS and the Zendo Project, we feel that it is important that, as we explore the potential benefits of psychedelics, we also make room to address the risks associated with psychedelic use,” she says. “We believe that if we are going to responsibly discuss the benefits as a society, we also have to… be informed and help inform others about how to navigate the complex terrain of psychedelics.”

Originally appearing here.

Sara Gael is the Harm Reduction Officer at the MAPS-sponsored Zendo project. Sara received her master’s degree in transpersonal counseling psychology at Naropa University. She started working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo project.

Sara served as Director of Harm Reduction at MAPS from 2017 to 2020, and she continues to train individuals and organizations in principles of psychedelic peer support. Sara is a therapist for MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder. She also maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, integration, Non-ordinary States of consciousness, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. She’s presented at conferences, universities, and events around the world, serves on the board of directors at DanceSafe, and as the harm reduction advocate on the city of Denver psilocybin policy review panel. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the planet.

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The online odyssey will be guided by: Jyoti Ma, Xochitl Ashe, Paul Stamets & Pam Kryskow (live streaming from Canada), East Forest, Millana Snow, Justin Boretta, Allan Badiner, Dream Mullick, James Fadiman (live streaming from CA), Robin Carhart-Harris (live streaming from the UK), Grace Oh, Rhada Wapner and a digital transmission from Francoise Bourzat.