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***See below for blog entry on this episode as well as a complete topic breakdown.***

This podcast is about psychedelics, sort of.

It’s more about what we can learn from psychedelics, which is, in part, the complexity of influence unconscious factors can have on dictating our conscious experience, especially the contents of our deep, inner mind.

This is why several of the episodes seem to have nothing explicitly to do with psychedelics, yet are deeply relevant to the psychedelic experiences in particular and the quality of our lives and our self-awareness in general. Episodes such as this one, with our guest, Stephen Gyllenhaal.

Stephen Gyllenhaal is an award-winning film and television director, writer and producer. His producing credits include the documentary IN UTERO, “a cinematic rumination on life in the womb and its lasting impact on human development, human behaviour, and the state of the world. Tapping into cultural myths, popular movies, and technological trends, the film demonstrates how our experiences in utero – particularly traumatic events – preoccupy us throughout our lives, impacting our decisions and shaping society.” [source]

Stephen currently facilitates workshops centred around recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and a new therapeutic method that addresses the earliest forms of psychological and physiological damage.

Stephen takes us on a poignant exploration of the topics discussed in the film he produced with his wife Kathleen, IN UTERO. We talk about the psychological and epigenetic impact of early life and uterine environment, as well as the means by which we can unravel the negative impact of our past into profoundly positive potentials for well-being in our lives today.

see below for details on how you can get a discount to stream this film

I was asked a very important question from Stephen’s assistant while I was booking this interview, which was:

Looking through your website, it seems the central focus of the podcast is psychedelics. In that context, I’m curious what kinds of questions you’d have for [Stephen] and how the film ties into your theme.

To which I responded:

Psychedelics are agents of exposure to the psychological material that normally dictates our experiences of life unconsciously. The exposure and subsequent integration of such material give us greater response flexibly to the various nuances of our perception throughout life as well as our self-awareness in general. But such an outcome from psychedelic use is not guaranteed. It is determined by the intellectual and emotional framework by which we enter into the experience.

This means that one of the most important areas of understanding a person working with psychedelics needs is that of psychology. Even more specific from there: the subdomain of developmental psychology, especially as it relates to intergenerational trauma and limbic memory is, I believe, a vital topic for cultivating not only a self-awareness that contributes to a higher quality of life but also to psychedelic literacy in general. That is why I think Stephen talking on In Utero would be so beneficial to my audience and my content as a whole.



Episode Breakdown

  • How environment conditions in the womb influence epigenetic and psychological development.
  • The influence of unconscious memories of childhood and the womb on the adult’s perception of the self and of reality.
  • Transgenerational trauma.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecies and unconscious self-harm.
  • Modern society’s cultural war zone: intellectualized sexism, racism, and classism.
  • Perinatal psychology (psychological impact of the birth experience).
  • The vital importance of the mother/child bond.
  • The larger community of caregivers, on being a father.
  • The vital impact of bonding.
  • Being yourself, being OK with not being OK.
  • Feeling unsafe and building safe, but necessarily comfortable, spaces.
  • Taking responsibility as a parent.
  • Healing trauma, from childhood to adulthood.
  • Embodiment and the interconnection between the mind and body.
  • How to support mothers.
  • Treating adults with trauma – safe spaces and psychedelic therapy.
  • An interesting synchronicity between Stephen’s near-death experiences and my dream the night before.

Relevant Links

Stephen Gyllenhaal’s homepage

Here you can find full details of Stephen’s career as a filmmaker, including his upcoming film UNCHARITABLE, which is about the non-profit sector. Plus, this is also where you can find out all about Stephen’s trauma healing facilitation.

The Institue for Identity Development

This is the organization that Stephen is associated with. Their mission is to support mental health in all areas of life by better understanding recent discoveries in human identity development. Further details can be found regarding the practice itself as well as learning opportunities and retreats.


[ get %20 off a home viewing licence by visiting this link, clicking ‘buy’, check the “use coupon’ box and input the promo code “ATTM”  ]

Trailer for the Film

The Imprint – Clip from IN UTERO


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*** Special thanks to patrons Thomas & Melanie H., Clean S., Greg A., Dean H., Joe A., Andy D., Angela & James J., Ian C., Reese. H., Harry P., Don J., & Robbie G.


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