The Aftercare Project: Ayahuasca Seeker Advocacy & Outreach
Organized by: Raven Ray
Research on ayahuasca has shown great promise for its use as an adjunct to psychotherapy. As awareness of the value of ayahuasca has grown, dozens of ayahuasca centers have opened, mostly based in Peru. Some centers have advertised ayahuasca as a panacea, with abilities to cure a wide range of illnesses, such as: depression, trauma, cancer, anxiety, & addiction. Westerners, from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as business executives, scientists, theologians, and artists, are now seeking to better themselves physically, emotionally, & spiritually with this Amazonian tea.
While research has highlighted ayahuasca’s potential to help heal past trauma and addiction, it is clear that, as with any psychedelic therapy, there must be some structure in place to help protect the patient’s psyche, as more harm can be done in the absence of culturally appropriate therapeutic protocols. The traditions and techniques of mestizo and indigenous shamanic healing, while an appropriate container for patients in those cultures, fall short of the longer-term needs of North American travellers.
Though there are many reports of people experiencing dramatic healing, some are returning in worse psychological condition than when they arrived. These people are coming back in desperate need of, and deserving of, reliable aftercare.
Given the fact that ayahuasca has shown promise, we feel we not only have the humane duty to help those in need, but also the responsibility to ensure the reputation of ayahuasca and her traditional stewards among decision-makers in our own culture. This will allow us to continue holding space for research to continue, while protecting traditional practices. Because of the colossal challenges inherent in navigating multicultural spaces, we must do our best as North Americans to prepare those in our own communities who are called to this experience prior to their trip.
The Aftercare Project
The Aftercare Project is a patient advocacy and outreach initiative that will serve ayahuasca patients leaving Amazonian treatment centers who are increasingly reporting the need for aftercare which addresses the western psyche. Westerners, who may have never used any psychedelic, are increasingly seeking these centers for help with things such as trauma, and are now returning needing an understanding therapist to finish the work.
With countless volunteered hours spent working to get the vision together, I'm happy to say we have worked out a plan that will connect compassionate therapists and experts to develop reintegrative techniques and training protocols to offer this much needed support.
The Aftercare Project will offer a one-stop web resource that will connect folks to information including things such as pre-trip preparation materials, education, management of expectations, and 24-hr support through an anonymous web forum with trained counselors. We will also include a list of specialized, trained reintegrative therapist referrals, as well as surveys for feedback on outcomes and techniques, to continue improving on the model.
We see this not only as a wonderful way to help those reaching out, but also as a unique learning experience for the developing field of psychedelic psychotherapy and integrative treatment techniques.
How You Can Help
The Aftercare Project is an initiative borne out of compassion. We believe it is important to be there for one another in order to foster hope and a healthy society. A very simple philosophy, we believe it takes only one person to help another transcend, and, in turn, that that person will be in a better position to help others as well. We hope this resonates with you in some way and you will decide to join us in this movement. At this stage, with the vision in place, wonderful therapists passionate to this project, and a great group of experts and advisors, we are ready to share these efforts with the community. We are currently fundraising in order to build the professional, secured website, offering therapy for those reaching out now. We thank you for your interest & taking the time to consider the work we have done and will do address this need. Donations to this cause are important so that we can start connecting and helping as soon as possible. Please consider making a contribution today.
In Deep Gratitude,
Raven R. Ray
Facebook: “The Aftercare Project” Twitter: @AftercareProj
Meet the Team:
Founders: Raven R. Ray & Jonathan Thompson
Board of Advisors: Ingmar Gorman (MAPS MDMA Therapist; Co-Founder of the Psychedelic Education & Continuing Care Project in New York); Sara Gael (MAPS MDMA Research Therapist & Harm Reduction Coordinator; Zendo Project Coordinator); Zhenya Ghelfand, M.D. (MAPS MDMA Research Therapist; Zendo Project); Len Van Nostrand (Harm Reduction Specialist)
For More Information, Please Visit: www.theaftercareproject.org
Goals, Effects, & Activities Website & Forum Vision Call for Compassionate Therapists References