Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety


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by Rachel Harris, PhD

From the Publisher: When National Geographic Adventure published an article in 2006 about the powerful antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, the piece received a phenomenal reader response. That article struck a chord with psychotherapist Rachel Harris, who had encountered many clients unresponsive to traditional therapy and antidepressant protocols. Used for more than 8,000 years in the Amazon rainforest, ayahuasca is a powerful – and illegal – psychedelic that has distressing gastrointestinal side effects. Yet Harris found many willing to try it, so deep was their suffering. Harris here shares her original research (the largest study of ayahuasca use in North America) into its effects on depression, anxiety, and PTSD, along with her own personal experiences. By detailing ayahuasca’s risks and benefits, she aims to help those driven to investigate ayahuasca to do so safely and to give their psychological caregivers a template for transformative caring and healing.

Review Quotes: “An excellent book on the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca; clearly written and well researched, it is an important addition to the literature on the subject.” — Jeremy Narby, PhD, author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

“Finally, finally, finally — an ayahuasca book I can recommend without reservation. Rachel Harris focuses not on the journey (giant snakes, dismemberment, insights, purging, etc.) but on what eventually matters far more: the ongoing and robust aftereffects in people ‘s lives. Harris is a skilled psychotherapist and a serious ayahuasca user, and her credibility in both worlds makes her own story, interwoven with those of the many people she interviewed, informative and discerning.” — James Fadiman, PhD, microdose researcher and author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

“A fascinating and provocative compilation of riveting testimonies of individuals who experienced miraculous healing by drinking the psychedelic medicine ayahuasca. Inspired by her own amazing transformation, Harris was driven to research ayahuasca and document her findings. Readers will be inspired by the numerous accounts of how ayahuasca succeeded where Western medicine has failed many of the ailing people described here. . . . Though research on ayahuasca is still slim, the numerous life-changing revelations that Harris’s contributors describe will be illuminating for those curious about this mystical medicine.” — Publishers Weekly

“Anyone considering visiting Grandmother Ayahuasca for the first time needs to read this book before making a decision. Harris is not an advocate, and her book is not a polemic; however, it seems clear that this plant medicine has the power to transform some people’s lives in ways that seem to be filled with the magic and mystery so sadly missing from our overly civilized world.” – Stanley Krippner, PhD, Alan Watts Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University, coauthor of Personal Mythology, and coeditor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience

“Rachel Harris has produced a uniquely brave study of ayahuasca use and users, through the experiences of others and, most significantly, her own explorations. She never dodges the big questions (Who or what is the guiding intelligence experienced?) or comes up with static answers. Instead, she moves through the mysterious process of self-encounter, sharing a string of hard-won insights into how ayahuasca can work its magic to relieve human suffering.” – Diana Slattery, PhD, founding board member of Women’s Visionary Congress and author of Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness

About the Author: Psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD, has been in private practice for thirty-five years. She has received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award, published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals, and worked as a psychological consultant to Fortune 500 companies. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

ISBN: 1608684024    EAN: 9781608684021

Additional information

Weight 18 oz
Dimensions 8.4 × 5.4 × 0.9 in