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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
The journey of bringing psilocybin therapy to the masses continues.
And the complexities of doing so as a retreat business, without being contorted away from your ethos by the economic force of the modern corporate world, while also maintaining the capacity to provide safe, positive, and effectively healing experiences for your guests, is the topic of this episode of the podcast.
Specifically, we feature an interview with Justin Townsend from MycoMediations retreat centre in Jamaica to talk about the complexities described above, as well as the nuances of his team’s therapeutic framework for group psilocybin therapy in natural contexts.
Justin Townsend is the CEO and Head Facilitator at the psilocybin therapy retreat centre MycoMeditations.
Throughout his career he has worked as a business leader across a range of industries, helping innovative companies identify opportunities, communicate their vision and deliver profitable products. But he has also been on a personal quest to explore alternative healing therapies to combat his own anxiety and depression.
Over the past 20 years Justin has delved into both transpersonal and Jungian depth psychology, explored psychedelic modes of healing and developed meditation and breath work techniques, which he taught in Germany.
After attending a private retreat with MycoMeditations in 2017, he saw the opportunity to combine his unique business skills with his interest in alternative healing methods. Justin joined the MycoMeditations team soon afterwards, becoming partner and CEO in 2019.
He is on the show for this episode to explore two specific topic themes:
- The business side of running a successful psilocybin retreat centre in the economic context of the modern corporate world without losing your ethics in the process
- The therapeutic framework and philosophy that MycoMeditations holds for their retreats and their guests.
In effect, these are the two sides of the conversation. Where the first half is all business, and the latter half focused in the therapeutic end of things (with a brief return business ethics at the very end).
Some of the things we cover on the first side of the conversation: Justin’s journey from the corporate world to running an psychedelic psilocybin therapy retreat centre; psychopathology and integrity in the corporate world and how good people end up doing bad things; the nuances around running a financially successful psychedelic retreat centre without ethical sacrifices; what it means to be building what they call “gold-standard for group-facilitated psilocybin therapeutics in natural settings”; data propriety; and supporting peer-reviewed research.
In the other half of the conversation we explore: why MycoMeditations holds an entity “non-shamanic” framework for their psilocybin work; how to support someone who has a beyond Western framework experience from a non-shamanic framework; helping to prevent post-psychedelic hypomania from evolving into psychosis; differentiating between psychosis and a “normal psychotomimetic response”; non-pharmacological interventions for psychosis and psychotomimetic responses; as well as The Golden Shadow and the dangers of golden-shadow projection in both psychedelic therapy and spiritual communities.
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Episode Breakdown and time stamps
- (1:12) Introduction, overture, and guest bio
- (5:18) Patron thanks
- (6:05) An important statement about endorsements
- (7:41) Interview begins
- (7:47) Justin’s journey from the corporate world to running an psychedelic retreat centre offering psilocybin therapy in Jamaica
- (12:52) Exploring the toxic psychology/behaviours of the corporate world
- (20:26 ) Psychopathology in the corporate world, and how good people end doing bad things—multipolar traps
- (26:03 ) Merging his corporate experience and psychedelic work to build a high-quality company in the psychedelic retreat field
- (29:27 ) The importance of protecting a business ethos from financial takeover
- (32:39) Exploring nuances around running a financially successful retreat center for psychedelic therapy in Jamaica without ethical sacrifices
- (39:06) MycoMediation’s mission to build the “gold-standard for group-facilitated psilocybin therapeutics in natural settings” — and how and why they are doing it
- (44:08) Why MycoMeditation will keep their “gold-standard” data proprietary (for now)
- (54:46) Where/how MycoMediation is helping support peer-reviewed science.
- (57:21) Building a fully non-shamanic framework for psilocybin retreats, and why it matters for Western
- (1:04:41) How to support someone who has a beyond Western framework experience from a non-shamanic framework
- (1:17:16) Helping to prevent post-psychedelic hypomania from evolving into psychosis
- (1:21:09) Differentiating between psychosis and a “normal psychomemetic response”
- (1:31:16) Discussing non-pharmacological interventions for psychosis and psychomimetic response
- (1:39:04) The Golden Shadow (and the dangers of golden-shadow projection in psychedelic therapy)
- (1:45:51) A “tough pill to swallow” with respect to the issues of indigenous reciprocity and biopiracy as a psychedelic company
- (1:60:52) How MycoMeditations is helping to give back to the people of Jamaica
- (1:58:12) Pushing back on Townsend’s “tough pill to swallow”
- (2:01:50) Townsend’s concerns around what is happening with psilocybin in Oregon
- (2:06:58) Closing the interview, follow up links and socials
- (2:08:30) Outro