225. Psychedelics with Brian Pilecki and Nathan Gates

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, psychedelics are a class of psychoactive substances that cause changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes. Though psychedelics include a wide variety of natural and lab-made substances, they all have one thing in common. All psychedelic drugs have been illegal in the U.S. since the Psychotropic Substances Act of 1978. However, in recent years, there’s been a major uptick in research on psychedelics for therapeutic use. Brian Pilecki and Nathan Gates are experts in the use of psychedelics for mental health treatment. On this episode of POTC, they join Jill for a discussion about the future of psychedelics in therapy. Listen into this episode today to learn about common misconceptions and data-based risks and benefits of psychedelics today!

Listen and Learn:
  • Jill and Debbie’s thoughts about psychedelics in psychotherapy and how they’ve changed over time
  • The origins of common misconceptions about psychedelics 
  • Nathan’s expert breakdown of psychedelics 
  • Contextual factors that have led to the recent uptick in psychedelics being studied again for therapeutic purposes
  • Risks and benefits of psychedelics 
  • What we know about the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics for therapeutic use
  • Nathan’s expert definition of “set” and “setting” 
  • Brian and Nathan’s thoughts on the politicization of psychedelics 
  • Possible mechanisms of action behind psychedelics including expert definitions of “mystical experiences” and the “dissolution of ego”
About Brian and Nathan:

Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist at the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Brian also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. At Portland Psychotherapy, Brian is also involved in research in the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental health problems. Brian is also co-host of “Altered States of Context,” a podcast about topics related to the intersection between psychedelics and psychotherapy.

Nathan Gates is a self-employed licensed psychotherapist and co-host of Altered States of Context, a podcast about psychedelics, science and psychotherapy.In all professional endeavors, he seeks to help people make sense of their lives in ways that allow them to experience life richly, meaningfully and honestly. In the therapy office, on the show, while speaking, writing or podcasting, Nathan is passionate about conversations and ideas that integrate various aspects of the human experience to create a sense of wholeness and coherence. He’s also a regenerative cattle farmer, carefully managing pastures to increase biodiversity in and above the soil. This helps cultivate a steady sense of awe and perplexity at the endless adaptability and resilience of ecological systems.He lives with his wife and two children on their farm in Rural west-central Illinois.

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Episode 225