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Ann Théato, International Psychic Medium and Spiritual Tutor, investigates psychic development, mediumship techniques, and paranormal science, so that you can come to understand your own innate psychic ability and expand your knowledge, whilst learning to develop a curious mind.
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This Week’s Episode
“Psychospiritual Counsellors will help clients to recognise the links and patterns from the past, as well as work with difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. So, you would use all of the same approaches that you would find in counselling and psychotherapy but unlike those approaches, we also look at the potential in each person towards growth, self-acceptance and healing. And the way we do that is also through exploring a person’s spiritual beliefs as part of their healing process.” – Dr John Anderson
In this podcast episode, we delve into the fascinating realm of psychospiritual counselling and its significance in promoting spiritual wellness. I talk to Dr John Anderson and Thomas Marty as they speak candidly about why discussing spiritual matters can sometimes be challenging and offer some wonderful insights into how we may be able to better express our inner world.
Thomas and John speak about the concept of transpersonal experiences and shed light on the legal aspects surrounding psychedelic assisted therapy. They compare sober and non-sober methods of exploring consciousness and emphasise the distinction between a counsellor and a guru.
Listen to this episode and learn about the ethical considerations for spiritual counsellors and the importance of therapist due diligence, as Thomas and John highlight the existence of indigenous practices in the UK and explore the real meaning behind spiritual wellness.
What psychospiritual counselling is
Why it can be hard to talk about spiritual matters
How to express your inner world
The meaning of a transpersonal experience
The legalities around psychedelic assisted therapy
Sober & non sober methods to explore conscious
Why your Councillor is not your guru
How to work ethically as a Spiritual Counsellor
Why therapist due vigilance is important
That the UK has its own indigenous practices
What spiritual wellness is
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Episode 92 Resources
Here are some resources referred to in Episode 92 which you may find helpful.
Invitation to our Inaugural Launch Event
If you are considering starting a Level 4 diploma in counselling and are interested in combining counselling theory with the spiritual dimension of human beings, come join us for our official launch event for our Institute.
When: Tuesday 27th June, 2023
Where: On Zoom
Time: 7.00pm – 8.00pm
To reserve a place, please contact Thomas Marty at:
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Hello, my name is Ann Théato and welcome to episode 92 of the Psychic Matters podcast. If you are listening, and you are interested in developing your own psychic ability or perhaps you are interested in developing as a spiritual medium, I have two development Circles starting in July, which you would be most welcome to join. We meet online once a week via Zoom, for 8 weeks and we begin each class with a meditation experience or we sit in the stillness to observe and know the power of our own soul, then I create various exercises to assist you to develop your psychic know-how and also help you, through exercises in break out rooms on Zoom with other students, to attune to the higher vibrations of the spirit world. My development circles are for both beginners and intermediate students, so if that sounds great to you, and if you would like to join me, please go to my website, www.anntheato.com and click on the courses and events page. Please also sign up to my mailing list, so that you can be informed of what courses I have coming out throughout the year and I only email you twice per month, each time a new podcast episode is released. So, please do join me at some point this year, I’d love to see you in class.
This week, I am exploring the topic of Psychospiritual Counselling.
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Ann: I am here today in the Psychic Matters Studio with two incredible gentlemen. They have set up the Institute of Psychospiritual Therapy, and they’re here today to tell us all about it. Thomas Marty and Dr. John Anderson, welcome to Psychic Matters.
John: Thanks. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Ann: It’s fantastic to have you here, and I’m really excited about this topic because it’s something so very new to me and something that I feel is so very needed in the world.
Tell us, what is psychospiritual counseling
John: well, basically, counseling is often defined as a form of talking therapy. But more fundamentally, I think it’s actually about the skilled and principal use of a relationship and the application of one or more psychological theories. And you do this to help facilitate self-knowledge, emotional acceptance, growth, and the development of personal resources.
So that kind of covers most, counseling. so, like regular therapy, psychospiritual counsellors will help clients to recognize the links and patterns from the past, as well as work with difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. So, you would use all of the same approaches that you would find in be counseling and psychotherapy, but unlike those approaches, we also look at the potential in each person towards growth, self-acceptance and healing.
And the way that we do that is also through exploring a person’s spiritual beliefs as part of their healing process. And depending on the nature of a person’s beliefs, you know, that could include the use of meditation, yoga, prayers, as well as religious and other kinds of rituals. And all of that would be integrated as part of the treatment process
Thomas: from my point of view as well.
Just adding on that, if you don’t mind, I believe, truly believe we’re all born with spiritual links. We come from spirit to have, an earthly experience. We have those links, some of us more open than others at birth. And as young children, we explore, we have those experiences, and then we’re told to grow up.
Then we’re told to stop having those links. Stop getting connected with Auntie Jean at the end of the bed. and it’s explained as fear factors. And as we grow into adults, the fear of the world and the fear of life is put into us. And so, we become disconnected, disengaged, disorientated in many ways of where we’ve come from, why we are here, what we’re here to do.
And it can be very simple of as just having an expression, whatever that be. It doesn’t have to be, I’m here to save the world. and, and that stops us being who we are and can then sort of spiral us into different, things in the world that take us down routes we don’t particularly want to go down, but find ourselves down, trouble with relationships, trouble with substances, anything along those lines.
and the way that we, we want to work is to help those people reconnect with themselves with a higher nature part themselves or just explore, and see that they can have, that they do have these connections and that it’s okay to explore and define them to realize you are not mad because you’re hearing voices, you’re seeing visions, you are, you are feeling things as you walk around the world, that you are sort of, and that you don’t give your autonomy.
You don’t give your power to a, an organization or to people. That you do have a responsibility for yourself. And as in when you need it, you can lean on others, people like hopefully the under the organization, the institute to help guide you back into that autonomy, into that way of fulfilling what you’re here to do, if you believe that you’re here to do something.
Ann: I just think it’s so necessary in this world where we are at the moment, because you are right, Thomas. You know, we are not allowed to explore this topic. We are always held, well, not always, but a lot of us are very much held back from our own divinity, if you like.
Ann: Cause things are imposed upon us as human beings through our parents, et cetera, et cetera.
So, the work that you are setting up here and doing now through the Institute of Psychospiritual Therapy for me, seems to be so very needed in the world. So, what sort of people might come and see you at the institute?
Thomas: Well, as John said, really anyone, because you don’t have to be looking for the answers to life as a, in, in a spiritual way or what is God, am I God, whatever. It’s, I want to work with open-minded people. Come and explore, come and talk about just yourself. John.
John: Yeah, thanks. I mean, I think we’d like to work with as wide a range of people as possible. I think it would be a given that we would work with people who are interested in exploring spirituality, but not necessarily people maybe who have a firm sense of what that spirituality means.
Part of the reason for them coming to us might be to explore that and find out for themselves, what is meaningful to them in terms of leading a spiritual life, for example. But we would also include, working with people who may not, spirituality may not be a, a central part of their life because we very much kind of straddle regular counseling and psychotherapy as well as, the more spiritual sites. So, it’s also okay for someone to come, and explore, but, but not necessarily to identify as being spiritual. So, I think, you know, covering that is, is quite a lot of ground. And also going back to, something that Thomas said earlier, which is that in, in my particular, professional career before I, I trained as a counsellor, I worked in academia, within cognitive neuroscience.
And, and in that sort of environment, it often feels very much not okay to be able to talk about spiritual matters. So I think there’s also a lot of people who I know who work in the academic, space, for example, Who end up in this strange situation where they in private, they want to explore, spirituality, but in, as far as their public professional life is concerned, really find it difficult to be able to address that because that may well go against them within, when they come to publish their research and things like that.
So that’s a problematic area. So, I think us being here where we are able to combine, you know, the academic as well as the spiritual, I think that’s a very important place for people to come and to be able to feel safe enough to be able to explore, these different aspects to their lives.
Ann: Yeah, that’s a fabulous answer as well, because a lot of us don’t express our inner world, I suppose what goes on for us inside and that, I think Thomas, you were talking about self-acceptance and our spiritual beliefs there. So, I think that, you know, to have, have a place where people can really explore this in depth. And you are offering courses, are you not at the Institute for people to explore this in depth? So, what does that look like and what is a typical course with you? What would it entail?
Thomas: Well, the, they’re, level on levels that you get in counseling training, and we’re st we’re starting with a level four, at the level four, which means that people will already have done a level two or level three course. That usually gives them the basis, a little bit of theory to do with the, with the major models, psychodynamic, C B T and Humanistic, which is an ideal basis to come in to work with what we are doing because we do take from the psychodynamic, we do talk about.
Because things that were gonna be bothering you, depending on your age, are gonna go back to when you were younger. So as with Psychodynamics, tends to look back at you. humanistic Psychosynthesis and gestalt approaches, which do take on a, a spiritual element to them. They work with colours, with art therapy, with sound, with music, with Psychosynthesis, you’ve got, subpersonalities, or archetypes.
and then you work with the transpersonal where you, where you are looking and searching for some sort of guidance. Divi, divinity or what is there for you, however you want to term that. John, do you wanna take that on from there?
John: Yeah. Thanks. So, I think that the, the advantage of, of exploring this psychospiritual process through, a fairly established structure, for counsellor training, I think is an advantage because it allows us to meet certain quality standards as well as to be able to kind of hit depth on the spiritual matters. Because a lot of level four diploma courses, don’t, you know, they, they might hit depth in certain spiritual matters, but they don’t actually train people, with the necessary therapeutic skills to, to hold that material.
And where that’s very important, I think, is when it comes to transpersonal material, which can be very varied. So, as well as covering the regular counseling theories and models, we would also make a point of including a lot of transpersonal, experience. And that’s very relevant actually when it comes to psychedelic assisted therapy training because there, you’re much more likely to have people have transpersonal experiences. So, you need therapists who are well trained in transpersonal methods in order to be able to adequately support people through those sorts of processes. But also, I think within mainstream counseling and psychotherapy, for example, it wouldn’t understand the distinction between what might be classed as a spiritual emergence and what could be classed as psychosis.
For example, there’s, there’s very often a, a lack of awareness and sensitivity around talking about those sorts of, those sorts of difficult issues.
Thomas: we would sort of, we’re, we’re looking to give people, because most courses you would have to have some sort of therapy yourself to experience what it is like to be the client.
So, what we’re offering is within the course itself, the opportunity to have 10 sessions with the right supervision. So again, you are getting, an experience of what it’s like to sit with a spiritual counsellor, psycho a spiritual counsellor in whatever you feel, whatever it is that is important to you.
and to get that supervision. And supervision is a big, big, big part of counseling because who looks after the counsellor? Where do you take, an issue if you’ve come, you think, oh, what can I do with this? I haven’t a clue. I’ve got, I’ve really come to the end of it straight to your supervisor where they’ll say, but remember this, Thomas, you, you can do.
And you go, oh God, I forgot about that. Yeah. And just remembering that we are human, that we need support, we need to sort of unload, we need to go on therapy as well. cuz, we process so much as individuals, as human beings the whole time. you know, so you’re learning to give safe space.
Now when you’re working with Psychospiritual, that might mean that you start to set up with your clients some sort of ritual, opening to, to your sessions. Somebody, as John sort was saying earlier, some people might wanna pray. So why not start a session with the prayer, light a candle, bring spirit into the circle, into the space.
Depending on where we’ve come from. I come from a shamanic Druidic background, so opening a space is really important for me. And I know that when I do my counseling with, people, we talk about that. That’s one of the things, how would you like to open your session? It doesn’t have to be two people sitting in a chair on Zoom.
You can do something to bring yourselves closer to create that safe space. And with all this work, again, is remembering the ethics and the morals that you have to have. You’re putting people’s, not just their lives as you would normally with counseling, but a belief system. And if you’re working with psychedelic substances, if someone’s having that, that’s a great trust you have to have with, with, your counsellor sitting there. Because whilst you are having a journey, you are having an experience. Someone’s looking after you, they’re seeing their space, making sure you are safe and bringing you back in. And then there’s that whole part of making sure they’re coming back, waking up in a safe space, not taking advantage of in any way or form.
If there is an emergency, they’re on the phone, you are safe, you are looked after. So, there’s big ethics, you know, sort of, involved in this type of work that we will teach. We will, help and, and support all the way through.
John: There’s, there’s one thing I’d like to add to that as well. I mean, part of the reason for developing both the level four and eventually what will become the level five, diploma courses, is to have a training process, which is, for counsellors that is, that specifically is oriented for working with ordinary as well as what I call non-ordinary states of consciousness. And why that’s really important is that a lot of the work that happens within the kind of psycho-spiritual domain works with non-ordinary states of consciousness, or as I call it, altered states of consciousness.
whereas the stuff within more regular therapy tends to work more with ordinary states of consciousness. So, I think having a joined-up process, which allows the therapist and client to be able to explore within both of those domains. I think it’s very important. And actually, in regular training, for counsellors, you don’t have that.
So, I think that’s one of the things that we are offering, which is important to distinguish. And, and why that’s important is that, when you take a specific modality, say like psychedelic assisted therapy, there, you will, you’re very much working with, an altered state of consciousness in one of the many different psychedelic states that a person can be in, where it’s likely that a lot of, transpersonal material is going to come up, but you’re also working with them within their everyday state of consciousness as well, because that’s often where they integrate the experience, make sense of it if you like, and then decide, well, okay, what lessons, what, did I learn from my journey?
And this also applies to shamanic journeying and, and the other sober methods. Whatever you’ve experienced during that state, what meaning it has for you then, how does that change your life going forwards? How do you want to then show up to the world knowing now what you know? and therefore that can be a positive way to drive change and personal transformation.
So, what we wanted to achieve with these courses is a joined, training process built on the back of established counseling practices that really one allows people to develop the skillset that they need to be able to work with these altered states of consciousness. But also, fundamentally as psychospiritual counsellors to be dedicated to their own spiritual development.
So very much the course, both courses are experiential in nature. So, as I often would say to my students, look, if you wanna sit in that chair as a therapist, you should be prepared to do everything that you are, exploring with your client. And that includes the in-depth work that you might have about sorted out your own issues, as best you can, or at least to be aware of them.
So, as Thomas is saying, that we will require people to have their own therapy alongside the training. And where that’s really important is that if, for example, it’s not that we would expect counsellors to be suddenly problem free and have solved all their issues, that doesn’t happen. That’s not realistic.
Often counsellors are struggling with the same sorts of things that everybody else is struggling with, what matters is that you’re aware of it enough as a therapist to be able to say, yeah, okay, I feel conflicted about this. I have this issue. But I understand that and I’m able to put that to one side because I’ve explored it through therapy in a way that now allows me to just focus on you, the client.
And, and that’s important because if you don’t have that and you have these unresolved issues and you’re not very aware of where you are in that process, you can end up projecting your own issues onto a client, which, can actually impair their own capacity to heal. So, I think this is why, we put put that, that emphasis on people having their own therapy.
Ann: Fabulous. Really fabulous. I just wanna go back a little bit with you, if I may, John and Thomas. I’d also like to come onto the little part of your training that addresses psychedelic assisted therapy. cause I know that’s just a small part of what you’re offering in your course. but you mentioned a few times now level four, and you’ve also mentioned the word transpersonal. Now I don’t know what level four is and I dunno what transpersonal means. I, I’m speaking on behalf of my listeners here. I wonder if you might explain those two terms for us a little more.
John: Um, transpersonal is you, if you’d like, coming out of the personal, which is you and I as we are in the here and now.
Thomas: And the transpersonal is just moving into an altered state, moving, I used the word above. It could be beside you. It could, it could be. There’s no direction really. Um, but for, for simplicity’s sake, let’s say it’s about moving upwards and into a higher state of being a higher, vibration. and you can do that through breathing techniques, hetro, breathing, shamanic, drumming.
you can do it through dreams, re-entering your dreams. You can do that through psychedelic, substances. there’s many different ways of doing it. Meditation, mindfulness, walking in nature. We, you know, I’m a druid. We haven’t even talked about that. Myself and John, when we first met, we, we literally go for walks in our local wood.
We live in the same village on either side. We’re like, book ends to our village, but we go out in, into the woods, cross flea, dike into the, the fens. And we have a favourite sort of oak tree that we sat underneath, like the druids of old. And we discuss these things. We sit there and we talk and we, we’ve done this for years, the last two years, and we’ve pulled the subject apart, asking all the questions.
You are asking why, you know, sort of how can we do this? And we, we were teaching, counseling for a training organization in Cambridge together, on the same course. So, it made it easy because we could take elements of that course, discuss it. How would we do that, if we were gonna do that from a, from a spiritual point of view.
And the more we discussed it, the more we realized that John was coming from his psychedelic point of view. And I was coming from my spiritual point of view. And then we just let, after a year and a bit sat and went, why don’t we put them together? Because we suddenly came from Birmingham. Birmingham. And uh, and it’s that thing of, yeah, well yeah.
And then we checked, I checked upstairs with my people and they, and they’re going, yeah, it’s taken you long enough, you know, sort of, how many more years do you, come on get… and then we’ve just been get on with it and we found that we just got excited by it. So, what level do we come in on this training, as you were talking about level four that, John, do you wanna take it at that point?
John: Yeah. So, this is, uh, kind of vocational training is split into, level two, which is kind of like an introductory, level, level three, which is usually more theory based. And then you have the diploma levels four, five, and six.
So, level four is roughly equivalent to, first year university. Standard level five would be the second year, and a level six would be a full degree equivalent. So that’s kind of roughly the, the, the level. So, when we offer a level four, we are aiming fundamentally for a first-year university standard course.
And the level five will, as I say, then be, second year of, of, of that equivalence. That allows us to be able to look at national standards around training and make sure that we are kind of teaching a psychospiritual process to those standards. And where this is, I think, really important is that these two courses at the moment, basically, they’re psychospiritual, but they’re also ways of integrating practices such as legal, psychedelic, assisted therapy into that process.
And that’s really important because currently there are trainings around, for example, for psychedelic assist therapy, but there are no training standards and the quality of that training varies massively. and this is something which, you know, we may well come on to later, but, but concerns me greatly is that people are doing say, a six month course, or a 12 month course, sometimes if they’re lucky on psychedelic assisted therapy can then go out and think that they can work with, people in legal settings with these substances and deal with all of the transpersonal stuff that’s likely to come up through that. And I know from my work, talking with therapists who are engaged in that type of work, often the training out there is completely inadequate for being able to deal with those things.
So, this is why I wanted to really, from the ground up, develop a counsellor training pathway that really integrates these things as part of a psycho-spiritual process, because that’s the kind of overall container that we use for exploring. Altered states of consciousness be they come through psychedelics or through other sober methods such as meditation, prayer, and shamanic journeying.
So, we really wanted to kind of create an integrated process. I’d also say that my own spiritual awakening, took place through some of the psychedelic experiences that I’d had for personal therapy. and I think, you know, a lot of the experiences I had initially were focused on dealing with various aspects of trauma that I’d been carrying around for, for a long time, but they became more spiritual over time.
And, and therefore, that whole process was, I mean, I can remember it quite distinctly coming from the background of, kind of like cognitive neuroscience where I thought I understood something about how, how minds worked. And then I had these experiences with that. Darn, I really didn’t understand how minds worked.
and there was so much more to us than what I, I’d allowed myself to believe, or what I, I kind of read in, in the textbooks, if you like. So, for me there was a real voyage of self-discovery. So, so meeting somebody like Thomas was, was such a central part in me being able to discuss the spiritual side of my experiences and really learn from his wealth of knowledge in, in that domain.
And really the courses that we’ve developed are an evolution, you know, an outpouring of that process really of discussion that we had many times under that wonderful army.
Ann: It sounds just magical and beautiful and so important. Thank you for the explanation as well on the level four and the transpersonal. That was really very interesting. tell us then a little bit about the legalities around psychedelic assisted therapy. How does that work here in the uk? It’s obviously going to be different to other countries around the world, but of course you are based here in Cambridge, in the uk so how does the legal side of things work?
John: So, there’s a range of consciousness altering psychedelic drugs out there. And some of these are currently being used or researched for therapeutic purposes in both clinical and nonclinical settings. And some of these are derived from natural plants and fungi like psilocybin, which is, found in magic mushrooms, dimethyltryptamine, D M T, which is the principal component that produces the psychedelic effects in the Ayahuasca brew, and then other ones such as peyote and ibergain.
And then you have, uh, another class of psychedelics, which are manmade substances. So those would include things like ketamine, M D M A and L S D. And in the UK currently only Ketamine is prescribed off-label for treating depression as part of psychedelic assisted therapy. And this kind of therapy is available through a select number of private clinics and treatment typically costs several thousands of pounds.
So, within this type of treatment, for example, you would, you would have a regular, psychotherapeutic process. But as part of that, a person would explore altered states of consciousness through the use of a substance, be that a plant substance or a manmade substance such as MDMA or LSD, Although ketamine works differently to those other classic psychedelic substances such as psilocybin DMT, and LSD, like those compounds, the intensity of the psychedelic journey can vary quite a lot and there’s, there’s good evidence, I think that some level of disassociation or feeling that you’re somewhat out of your body with a radically changed sense of self is an important part of the therapeutic process and actually correlates with with positive outcomes.
So basically, in the UK at the moment, only, ketamine is currently legal, to be used in psychedelic therapy, and that would need to be prescribed by a psychiatrist or somebody who was legally able to prescribe that. The only time that one can access legal psychedelic assisted therapy with something such as psilocybin or L S D is, if it’s done as part of a research trial, a clinical research trial, of which there are several in the UK run, some by universities and others, by private companies who are, working in this, in this space. In time, we would hope that those substances will be rescheduled in a way that one, opens up the research space so that a lot more people can kind of be involved in doing research.
But also, the point that I would personally like to get to, is to see that appropriately trained counsellors and psychotherapists would be able to use those substances as part of therapy, offered to clients. And why that’s important, I think, is that currently. these substances fall into what they call schedule one.
So, they deem to have no medical potential or value. And we know that that’s not true from the clinical data that’s coming through, albeit, at an early stage, you know, there’s more research needs to be done, but the research that has been done, is broadly supportive that these things have therapeutic value for depression, anxiety, and various kinds of substance abuse.
So, you know, there’s that, that’s a rolling program that will go on. But the, currently the trajectory we are on, is that those substances will only be to be used in medicalized settings. And of course, those settings are important for some people, but for many people, that’s not the right type of environment.
And those sorts of medical settings don’t often easily incorporate spirituality. So, for example, within mainstream psychiatry, the only time you would usually find spirituality being embodied is, is, is within end-of-life care. You know, if you go to your average, C B T therapist and you start talking about spiritual matters, then they’re usually not easily gonna be able to incorporate that.
And also, because you’re using a medical model as the basis of your therapy. It also means that certain things, particularly transpersonal psychology, tends to be pathologized, in a way which is clearly not appropriate for people who are exploring, spirituality. So, this is why it’s important. I think that appropriately trained counsels and psychotherapists have a process, a training process, that they can go on to develop the skillset that they need to be able to work competently, safely and ethically with these substances and offer people as part of that process, the option to do that in a non-medical setting where perhaps they want to naturally explore, spirituality.
So, I think that’s really where we, we are kind of, looking to pitch our courses as being psychospiritual, but including this, this domain where it’s legal so that. When these substances are rescheduled, and I think it is probably a question of time before that happens, then it also means that we have therapists who have sufficient broad understanding of transpersonal issues and the skills to be able to work with them, to be able to adequately support people, through their explorations.
And actually, I’d say that this is, this is very important because a lot of the training around psychedelic assisted therapy at the moment actually doesn’t do that. It doesn’t adequately train people for, being able to work with the depth of transpersonal material that comes up. And if somebody’s gone on a six-month training course, and then eventually when these substances are rescheduled and they go into private practice and offer this therapy, I’d actually say that they, they don’t have adequate training and, and breadth of depth of knowledge to be able to work safely with those substances.
So, we are aiming to create that type of process, which is why the level four and the Level five course takes two years to do, because that’s two years dedicated training, to develop the skills, depth of knowledge required to be able to carry that work, particularly in the future when it comes down to, when these substances are rescheduled.
Ann: one thing I’m not so clear on is the legality around giving your students an experience with, say, one of these psychedelics. Are you allowed to do that legally? Can they do that? If you’re not allowed to work with someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, how does that quite work?
John: Okay, so I can, I can address that one.
So, through the courses, we will not be giving people, any psychedelic substance. What we will do is offer them sober methods to explore their consciousness of breath work, meditation, shamanic journeying, and probably hypnosis as well. We would like to offer people the opportunity to explore a psychedelic state, but where that happens, it’ll happen in the Netherlands, and will be optional.
So, people are not required to do it, but that will be an option because that would be, a legal environment for people then to be able to explore with that in that state. But should make it clear that on the courses we cannot legally, allow people to access the psychedelics because they are not legal to use in that context in the uk.
So, we stick to the law in, in that very important respect. We also train people to be aware of the legal boundaries so that when they, for example, work as, psychedelic integration therapists, that they’re very clear about what’s involved in that. So legally, for example, a therapist could help somebody to prepare for a psychedelic experience.
They can help them to integrate it afterwards, but it’s not possible for them at the moment to be with them during the acute experience or to offer them the drug to be able to have that experience because that wouldn’t be legal to do that. So, somebody who wanted to sit with somebody through a psychedelic experience, theoretically could be charged with, association with an illegal act.
It’s unlikely that they would be, because you could argue that from a public safety and health perspective, they’re actually doing an important function, which is holding a safe space for somebody to have, this experience. But because of the legal restrictions in the UK, we tell people to stay clear of that, that you can help somebody to prepare, you can help them to integrate, but you can’t currently be with them through the experience unless you are either working with ketamine.
And there is a legal restriction around the people who will be able to do that. So, you could work at a ketamine clinic, for example, or you are taking part in a, a legally sanctioned clinical research trial. So, one of the things that we would require students to do is to do a placement. Like most of the counseling courses, they will need to do a placement, supervised placement.
So, if you wanted to work with psychedelics in legal settings, there you’d either have to do your placement as part of Academy Clinic. And I’ve been building relationships with Ketamine clinics in the UK to allow our students to potentially do training, in those spaces. Or they would need to do that aspect of the work in the Netherlands.
So, for example, they could work as part of a retreat, a legal retreat in the Netherlands, and support people within that legal environment. Or perhaps they could work assisting people on a legal trial within the UK, for example, a clinical research trial. So, I think those would be the spaces where people could go and legally support other people, whilst they journey through the use of substances.
and if they wanted to experience those states for themselves. The only thing that we can offer them is to do that through sober methods, through breath work, but also to hold the possibility that there could be a retreat that they could do in the Netherlands, which would be an illegal setting for them to be able to do that.
So, does that kind of help to explain the legality?
Ann: That’s a wonderful explanation. John, thank you so much for that. That’s very, very interesting. Of course, you use both sober and non-sober methods of exploring consciousness within the institute. What are some of the sober methods that you might be able to explain a little more? I know you’ve spoken about breath work and drumming, and can you go into a little bit more depth, perhaps Thomas, you could?
Thomas: You know, you could be, um, you could lead people through meditations.
any type of grounding exercises, anything that’s gonna help the client visualize, it might be a feeling because not everybody will be able to, to see or to visualize. And so, we’ll say, well, let’s go on a let, let’s, let’s go on a feeling mission. What do you feel could be a hearing thing? So, we are trying to use as all the senses as much as possible to give an all-round, opportunity if you like, to move out of what you consider to be the, your normal state into maybe a hyper state into just a listening state.
working. Could be with colours, could be with sound. Working within those, working with the archetypes. So again, a little bit of Jungian work, a little bit of, also divine masculine, divine feminine. Matching them up, working with the chakras as energy centres. What is out of balance, is that, why am I feeling that I haven’t got any strength or power to do anything, “I’m a failure” and all that.
And then maybe it’s, it’s a case of just rejigging. So again, you are taking ideas that are, are there in gestalt, in the sense of working with colours within the body and recognize that there are energies within the body that can be moved around. We would just give those things a more spiritual explanation.
I mean, it could be sort of an illness, it might be a dis-ease. It could be that it could be an entity, in which case, let’s call it before what it is. Let, let’s work with it. Let’s move it on, through shamanic means we always work through the heart. Nothing is ever banished nastily, easily, or sort of, you are going to seventh pit of hell, we don’t do any of that.
We, we talk and work with all energies to marry them up, to move them on, to get the people also to open up within themselves. One of the things, if, if someone, has smoked a lot of dope or whatever, the, the veil between ordinary what is ordinary, the ordinary world and the non-ordinary world is a veil.
Now, if you have consistently, over the many years, sort of worn it down by taking drugs or alcohol or, or you know, th those type of things, your veil is gonna be very, very loose. Bit of a flappy curtain type thing, shall we say, with holes, moth holes, which means things are gonna escape into your reality.
You are sitting there going, am I going mad? Can, is there any control? Or can I protect myself? Well, yes you can. There are lots of spiritual ways of doing that. working with the allies probably one of the strongest ways, a shamanic way or working with your guides. People always say, have I got a guide?
Have I got just one? And I’ll say, you’ve got loads. You know, you just don’t sort of you know, and we try and open that, as a subject matter up to people. Get to know them, get to meet them. Sense the energy, sense the power. Also, John had talked about sort of at some point learning, with, with all these things and, and the different ways of working.
What is the contra indi indications? What, what are you expecting to feel, to sense to, to experience? Is that a good feeling? That I’m feeling sort of pins and needles all around my body? Well, that’s just letting you know that there’s an energy there. With the work you do, Annie, you know that cuz you sense your allies coming and you may even visualize them and that’s normal.
But for somebody who’s been living in fear for 30, 40, 50 years of their life, I’ve been, you know, under, under the thumb of an organized religion in a negative way suddenly, and they’ve always had these things and suddenly, having an experience where they go, oh, you mean this is, okay? This is normal. I’m a normal person.
I’m not abnormal. You are more normal than, than I am. Yes, of course it is. You know, you are hyper, hyper normal. but let’s, let’s find safe ways of working. Let’s find a, a way of so that you can accept it. Let’s put the boundaries in, let’s put in the barriers. Let’s whatever you need, but let’s have a space to discuss this, which is safe.
And with the normal counseling, that’s when you have to go back and say, my life has been a, living hell for God knows many years? 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. And explore and speak those out. And that’s the normal counseling side of things. And then you can bring into more structural side of things so that you get that support, you get the allies coming in, you get the, the energy you are connecting to your higher soul self or aspect of the higher mental self so that you can get direct information.
The whole, with, with the shamanic work, when you do the drumming and you can go to the upper world, lower world, you can move around the middle world. you can meet with the ancestors, meet with your teachers, and it’s always recognizing that you are working in partnership. You don’t have to sit here alone feeling all, I mean, I remember sort of, going to see, somebody to, to talk about my life or whatever, and they said, oh, by the way, your grandmother’s here. I said, oh, little Omi, she, Omi’s here. Great. And, and just given one little message of just saying that we’re very proud of you, Thomas. And my life changed because up until that point, I had no self-worth at all.
There was nothing in my life that I considered good or, or anything. But to have a relative who I didn’t know that well, but respected and loved, just giving those few words to me, gave me a foundation, gave me something to move. Well, if no one in this world can give me anything nice. It’s nice to know that there is, there are other people there that understand me or can see what I’m trying to be or or do.
Ann: Yeah, it’s absolutely brilliant. I just love it. This ability to explore, not just be accepted for our own thoughts and beliefs of where we’re at at the moment, but also to be given a, the freedom of exploring our spirituality. Not knowing, yes, in safe space. Yeah. In a safe space. Not knowing what’s going to unfold and allowing it to unfold and unfold and unfold.
That to me is fascinating.
Thomas: And, and one of the other major things, Annie and John, John sort of agrees with me here, a million percent, we’re not setting a counsellor up to be a guru. We’re not saying, I know everything. Come to me and I will solve everything for you. It doesn’t work like that. We know it doesn’t work like that.
And none of us would would ever say that. Shamanically, I know that when I work with my allies, it’s a partnership we give, we given, we take, if I were ever to abuse any of that, those energies, that power, whatever, they would leave and I would be, I would have nothing. So, I know how important it is, to be honest, to be truthful.
And that’s why we’ve got really strong ethics and morals, and I keep going on about that. John sort of has done so much work and so much of this course creating, and he’s been creating it for many years. And you know, but in the last two years I’ve sent him to his room, not because he’s been bad, but because he’s the only one that can do this type of work.
And then we will go on our walks, we, we talk to the Fae, we’ll sit there and he’ll say, are they here? And I say, yes, they’re all around us. And we’ll sit and watching all the Fae, all the things, we’ll be listening, nodding and giving advice and say, yeah, that’s a good bit. And that’s that. So, we know the, the, the quality of the work that, that has gone into it.
Ann: Yeah, it’s just brilliant. And in your literature, from your website, I know that you’ve got a question where it says, is this training for me? And you speak in that section about, psychospiritual counsellors require a working knowledge of different metaphysical approaches, cross-cultural awareness and working with diversity.
so, I’ve found that really interesting as well. and I guess what I, my question or what I’m really trying to say here is, I’ll just leave that there for you to answer. Um, what I’m trying to say here is your question is, is this training for me? So, people that are listening to this, maybe you might be thinking, you know, is this for me?
Is this something I should come and do? Tell us a little bit more about the, where you are, where it’s held again, once more about the commitment to the course, the length of it, et cetera, et cetera.
John: All right. So, what I would say is that what we require people to do, first of all, is to be comfortable exploring different types of psychospiritual frameworks. Even if they, you know, there’s a particular framework that, doesn’t resonate for them particularly strongly. They may prefer other. The important thing is that who knows what a client will need.
And fundamentally, that client is on a process of self-discovery to find out for themselves what they need, or they may already have an idea about what they need. So, the counsellor needs to be able to work more flexibly with a range of approaches, even if those approaches are not ones that they may hold beliefs on a personal level about.
And that’s important because, Often I think with these sorts of experiences, somebody who’s had a profound experience of an altered state of consciousness, they, they tend to come back with, and this is certainly very true with, with psychedelic experiences, that sometimes they can come back with what I call a profound sense of ontological shock.
where suddenly their entire worldview has been upended and now they are questioning the fundamental aspects of that and where you see that as an example, would be in, if somebody’s had an entity experience, for example, where they’ve come into contact with an intelligent entity that may have told them or showed them some things around their life or how their life could be, or things that they perhaps could change for the better in their life.
And this person going into the experience might have held, say an atheistic worldview. And then suddenly they’ve had this experience and now that’s thrown into some doubt everything that they thought they understood about the way the world works and about themselves within it. So, it’s important that counsellors or therapists who are supporting them through this process, that they don’t offer them readily, you know, well, I believe this type of thing. Because what that does, is it fills in the gaps for the client. And what we really want the client to do is to be able to fill in those gaps themselves in a way that makes more sense to them. So, this is where counsellors can say, for example, well, you know, have you thought about this?
This is one way you could look at it. This is another way that you could look at it. Which way makes more sense to you? Which way would you like to proceed with it? So, it always keeps it being focused on the individual and their exploration of the issues, rather than the counsellor making that choice for them, which actually undermines their autonomy.
So, when we say, is this type of therapy training for, for a particular person to learn in the capacity of being a therapist, we would say, are you comfortable? Being uncomfortable working with different approaches. Yeah, in, in whatever way will work best for your client’s needs. If you’re that type of person, then I think you’ll gain a lot from this.
You’ll gain a lot from it from the point of view of maybe having a safe environment to question some of your own assumptions about your worldview and and or your exploration of other approaches. Some of which, you know, you might do the, the shamanic component for example, and think, okay, that’s not for me.
You might do another component and think, oh yeah, that’s very much for me. That’s great. That makes a lot of sense for the counsellor or for the therapist. But they also need to be aware of those other approaches so that if they work with a client who maybe the shamanic framework does make more sense for them, then that they feel equally able to offer that to a client as a way for them to explore.
So, I guess what we are really talking about you is people who are open-minded enough to be able to, allow a client to explore through different methods. And that also means that the counsellor has to have a basic working knowledge of different ways of working with things. Not that we would expect them to be experts on everyone, of course not, but at least to have a basic work in knowledge and to be able to offer a space so that a client can critically think about that process for themselves and decide for themselves what makes sense.
And where this I think is really important is when people do the integration work from, say, coming from my area of work, the psychedelic therapy, people have experiences, as I say, which can really upend their worldviews. So, I think having somebody that they can bounce ideas off and talk about and explore in a safe space, I think is so very important.
And actually one of the things that I’d say doesn’t really get easily addressed either the academic literature on, on, on this type of therapy or actually, when people exit, say a research trial that they’ve gone on, I mean they may have gone on a research trial that’s offered them say D M T and they’ve gone in and had this really profound experience, but they feel that they’ve been projected to a different dimension, different world filled with intelligent entities, for example.
And they’ve come back from that process thinking, what the hell was that? Where did I just go? Type of thing. Right? And they don’t necessarily know what to do with that. So, then they have a limited number of integration support from the clinical trial process. And it’s like, right, okay, on your, on, on your chat then you know, on your bike see ya type thing, right?
So, there are people who are exiting in sometimes these trials, where actually they don’t have adequate support and aftercare for being able to process these experiences. And then people go back into their everyday world and they don’t know what on earth to think. So, it’s important that people are able to have that support.
And then I think it’s, it’s also important for people to be able to, as I say, choose for themselves which path they want to go. And, and one of the things that also doesn’t get addressed is that if they’ve come into contact with an entity, sometimes those entities come back with them. Yeah. and that can be often positive, but it can also sometimes be problematic.
There isn’t really. a process within the academic literature that adequately deals with that. So, for example, this is where exploring says a shamanic framework and being able to protect yourself and open and protect your space when your journey is important. and actually, it’s when people are having these experiences, they are in a radically open state.
So, without being able to adequately protect themselves, through that process, that can, that can sometimes be dangerous and problematic. So, I think this is where having that broad range of knowledge is gonna be a huge advantage going forwards.
Thomas: I also, on the back of that, people who want to come on the course, all counsellors come become counsellors cuz they’ve had events in their life that has either pushed them into counseling and realized that I want to help other people, or it’s just a natural progression of, of their sort of way of wanting to, to be in the world and help other people. So, if, you are a counsellor and are looking for a space, or that your next stage and it, and, you know, and it’s normal is to go 2, 3, 4 upwards on the levels, and we’ve had nothing, but people come up to us and say, this is needed.
There’s nothing like this out there. We need this type of work. So not all counsellors are gonna be pulled this way. And that’s fine. That, that’s great. We’re looking for those that are, mature enough mentally, emotionally, and I would say spiritually to at least to some degree to know what they’re getting into, because it’s gonna open a door and it’s, it, it’s sort of like with all this work, if you’re not used to it, you will go whoo hoo hoo!
Hence, it’s called Who Are You work. You know, the whoohoohoo, and then you suddenly realize how powerful you are as an individual. Every thought matters, every thought counts, every action has, we will have a sort of a, an echo and a result coming back. And so, you, so within the training itself, it just, it helps you hone your skills as a human being.
As with all, you know, when I’ve met so many c well, because we teach, train, teach counsellors who say, I listen better. My relationships at home are better. Because now I sort of, I’m, I’m not, it will stop and listen to what my children, what my wife, what my partner is saying, and then we will do, we will work things out and, and it’s just giving that space and time to each other and realizing that so many times in conversations we miss each other.
And the same thing with spirituality. Having a space, a safe space, you can come and discuss whatever you want to discuss. If you come, you know, as, as, as being trained, we are not gonna put you as a, as a counsellor, you’re not gonna be put with someone where is, you have no skills. It’s learning what can I work with, as John was saying, what are my skills?
What, what is the best thing I can do? and realizing that you wanna work in that sphere, that spiritual sort of, because it’s as wide as it’s long.
John: Couple of things I’d like to add to that wonderful answer as well is that, Again, in my area, we, we are sometimes finding that, I mean, usually like most therapists will work to a 50-hour time slot.
Uh, 50 hour, what I talking about? 50-minute time slot. 50 hour, that would be quite extraordinary, wouldn’t it? Uh, 50-minute time slot, right. Whereas if somebody has, if they’re exploring through using a substance for example, you know, depending on the nature of that substance, you could be working with that person for upwards of four and a half hours.
at any one time. Not all therapists are gonna be able to do that. So, I’d rather people find out for themselves through the training process, what they feel comfortable working with before they actually get to see clients, and then discover, actually, I’m not really cut out for this type of work. So, I think, you know, from a safety point of view, that’s, that’s important.
the other thing is that the courses are very much about exploring the parallels between things. So, for example, you could be working with, psychosynthesis and Subpersonalities, or you could do that in a more, slightly more structured way through internal family systems, which I would say is, a lot of the stuff you see in there around working with different sub-personalities is basically already taken from the Roberto Asajolie’s work, although that’s not always acknowledged.
so, you could do work with Subpersonalities either through IFS or through psychosynthesis. But you can also study a comparable process in a more spiritual framework such as soul retrieval. For example. So it’s about seeing the parallels that there are between these different approaches, and, and how important that is for counsellors to at least have an awareness around that so that, because you know, for some clients it might make more sense to them to be able to talk about it in more secular language, whereas for other ones it might make much more sense, for them to be able to talk about it in terms of soul retrieval and, and other types of language.
So, I think that’s, that’s one of the things we’d like to do on the course is make people aware of the different parallels that are between these approaches.
Ann: Guys, thank you for those beautiful explanations. It’s just, I, I’m just sitting here in rapture, like this is just amazing. I love it. And also, pushing forward the boundaries of human consciousness is most definitely a mission of this podcast.
And it’s fantastic that you’ve come here to speak about the work that you’re doing and from what I’m gathering and what I, I get from what you’ve said today, that coming on this course that you are offering, people’s spirituality will be opened, explored. And there’ll be almost like a playground for spirit that they can go and have a look at things they’ve never looked at before, which I think is beautiful.
And the second thing is they will also be qualified then, at the end of your programs to be a psychospiritual counsellor themself. Have I got that right? I’ve got that right. Haven’t I? Yeah. so just before we finish then, what is the commitment for this particular first course that you speak of the level four, the one-year equivalent to university?
What is the commitment for those that may like to come? I know that you guys are based in Cambridge in the UK and that this particular course is in person, but if somebody wanted to come and they wanted to fly from America, say for instance, is it once a month? Is it, what is the commitment in terms of dates and times?
Thomas: It, once we get started, is it around 38 contact points? 38, 40. So, we, we specifically looking at Tuesday, so it’ll be a morning and an afternoon on Tuesday.
Ann: would that be once a month? Once a week.
Thomas: Sorry. Once a week.
Ann: Once a week. Okay. Thank you.
Thomas: Yeah, there’s so much to get, get into this and it’s, this is by other, other counseling training centre standards, is a fast track, so you could do it over two years. You could do three hours in the evening, once a week, over two years. We’ve decided at this point to do it six hours. So, it’s a full day, morning and afternoon. 9.30 to 12 .0, 1.30 to 4.30. two sessions on a Tuesday, starting in September.
That would take you through to June, I think of next year. There would be, ob obviously breaks in there – holidays, Christmas, Easter, half terms. a couple of Saturdays thrown in there. again, because we might wanna go for a walk in the woods. You know, there, there’s a number of parts of the course that we wanna really sort of get out and do the experiential, get that feeling.
You’ll be doing that as well as the theories work. But, uh, and we’ll have, uh, um, experts to come in on certain parts of the course to do their part of the teaching.
Ann: so, 70% face-to-face. Face-to-face and 30% online.
John: Yeah, I, I think one thing we, just need to double check cause I, I think it might be 75% in, in person and the remainder online because, we’d have to check with BACP , on that process, assuming that some people want to go for BACP accreditation afterwards, they’d need to do 75% in person. If that’s still the case, then we’d change the course. So, it’s 75% in person rather than 70.
Ann: Thank you, john. Just to clarify, B A C P is?
John: It’s the British, Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy.
The other thing is that I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last, few years because a lot of psychedelic assisted therapy training is done primarily with most of it being done online. It’s very theory driven. There’s not a lot of skills practiced with it, but people at the end of the course may go to a breath work retreat or a retreat in the Netherlands, say to experience a, a psychedelic state in a legal setting.
So, the downside of that is that you have people who are very kind of aware of the theory, but the actual skills practice is often lacking or inadequate. And their experiential practice is often, inadequate for carrying that type of work. So, thinking about this course and knowing how experiential it is, I think we had discussions around what we felt was safe to do online versus what we need to be in the room with people when they’re exploring to be able to adequately and safely hold space for them to be able to do that.
Which is why, you will not find our course, all of the methods will be available to be delivered online. For example, some can be safely, but other ones not. So, we wanted to kind of make that distinction really of always prioritizing the person’s safety around that. So where, for example, online methods are used, we were trained counsellors to do a proper risk assessment around people to find out whether it’s actually safe for them to be able to do certain types of practices online.
How secure is that environment? For example, do they have privacy? Is there somebody else in the environment with them that could be called upon? should they need it? those sorts of things. There are considerations which are not always given to other types of online training.
So, we would like to be able to accommodate people participating in the course from further the field eventually. And one of the ways that we might do that look at doing that in the future is to hold a residential, period is of time where people will come and they’ll do intense periods of in-person work during that.
But at the moment we don’t feel that we can offer that. And that would need some thinking about to decide whether actually you are not sacrificing the quality of the training by doing that. Cause I think that’s the key thing that we would want to make sure that we maintain. So, in the future, if possible, we would like to be able to accommodate people being able to participate from further the field even.
And that would likely mean them coming to do some kind of residential periods of time. but at the moment we, we can’t offer that.
Thomas: We may also offer units from, as certificates or, short, one week or two, sorry, either day, two day or maybe a week’s worth of work on specific parts of the training so you can build those up alongside.
Ann: Perfect. So, for those who might be listening that aren’t based in the UK and can’t get to Cambridge on a weekly basis, you, they can, possibly there’ll be some residential courses coming up and possibly there’ll be modules online for them to learn and they can build those up into a qualification.
Alright. That’s fantastic. So, for those people, they, you are gonna need, um, them to join your newsletter or your signup list, your mailing list. How do they do that? How do they indicate their interest to you at this point so that they could be kept informed?
Thomas: We have a wonderful website, www dot, and then all in lowercase one massive word institute of psychospiritual therapy.org.
we also have a launch evening on the 27th of June, which you can, if you go to the website, there’s information there, click on that, that will come to me. I will then sort of send a Zoom. It’s gonna be on a Zoom call, come along if you’ve got questions. You just wanna see myself and John in the flesh.
I dunno why, throw things at us. Um, but if, if you’re interested, you can come with any questions. If you have questions and you can’t make it, send them as, an email. Just come and have a chat. Introduce yourselves. We’d like to meet you out there.
Ann: That would be fantastic. So that’s the 27th of June. What day is that?
Thomas: That’s a Tuesday, I think.
John: I think it is a Tuesday.
Ann: Is it a Tuesday? And what time is that on 7:00 PM did you say?
Thomas: 7pm-8pm. So, we, we only schedule for an hour. Gives us a chance to talk about, Yeah, it’s Tuesday the 27th, to talk about much like we’ve talked tonight, but it’ll be short as to give people the opportunity, if they’ve got any questions?
Ann: So that’s 7:00 PM UK time. So that will be 2:00 PM EST 2.00 to 3:00 PM EST so anybody living in America who is interested in this, do come along to that and have a listen To what John and Thomas have got to say to you and to explain a little further, because then you can get your name down on their list of interested students, if not for this particular course, certainly for perhaps next year or the year after.
But you’ll be on the radar then. And of course, I’ll put your website chaps into the show notes for this episode so people will be able to find that directly.
Thomas: Thank you.
John: one thing maybe might be worth saying is that, so I, I wanted to create with Thomas, a training process for psychospiritual counseling, which naturally integrated practices like psychedelic assisted therapy. But the reason that I wanted to do this around counseling structure was because there are currently people who are studying, paying thousands of pounds, literally, I mean, for psychedelic assisted therapy training with no recognized qualification at the end of it, which is only as good as the place where they trained.
So, one of the things that we wanted to do was to be able to offer a, from the ground up training process, irrespective of whether you’re going to work, in the psychedelic space in the future, or whether you stray more broadly within the psychospiritual.
So, at the end of it, you will come away with a recognized qualification. And I think that’s very valuable in this space at the moment because as I say, people are doing these courses with there being no recognized qualification at the end of it. So whatever else, you going to do after you’ve done our courses, you will have a recognized qualification for counseling.
And I think that’s, that’s very important for people
And the other thing I’d say as well is the work on ethics. So, the current ethical frameworks which hold counseling and psychotherapy in the UK are not adequate for really working with altered states of consciousness.
And where we see this as a particular problem is on clinical trials, for example, where they will have therapists who will be working in the capacity of therapists, supporting research participants through, non-ordinary states of consciousness through the use of a psychedelic. They’re technically in contra intervention of their ethical codes of practice.
Cuz all of those codes of practice currently forbid people from working with clients under the influence of drugs and alcohol, right? So, this is a huge problem. There’s no joined-up approach in the UK. So, one of the reasons why, I and others developed this alternative code of ethics, is that it does from the ground up work with non-ordinary states of consciousness or altered states of consciousness as well as regular mainstream therapy because we need that joined up approach going forward.
But that’s a very complicated area, because there are certain concerns that you would need to address from an ethical perspective when working with altered states of consciousness that wouldn’t necessarily come up, within, say, regular therapy or, or to a certain extent. They, they, they would. So, one of those areas would be touch, for example.
You have to be very, very careful, very structured around how you, how you do that, how you incorporate that. Because there have been instances where there’s been ethical boundary violations through touch, and we need therapists to be cognizant of those things and the boundaries. So, the ethics is something which you’ll find through our courses from start to finish. So, for example, people will, as part of the course, be examining case studies of, how would you work with this from an ethical perspective. And I think it’s really important for people to have that awareness through the training process so that when they encounter something like that in clinical practice, they’ll already have thought about it and have an idea about how best to work with it. Rather than decide on the hoof, how they’re gonna work with it when it’s actually happening.
Because then there’s a danger that they could sleepwalk into a boundary violation. So, I think, you know, this is why ethics is such a core part of, of our approach.
I, I should say actually from, from there that it’s important to acknowledge and mention that the work that I’m doing on the ethics front is being done in partnership with the Scottish Psychedelic Research, group.
And, they have been very supportive of us doing these, this training course, but also from the ethics point of view. So, it’s also worth maybe people checking them out. And actually, where this is in important to acknowledge is that We already have our own indigenous practices in the UK, for example, where people have been using plant medicines for a long time.
And that isn’t always acknowledged. So, we are one of the first courses that do acknowledge that. So, when people talk about indigenous practices, they often talk about Amazonian tribes, for example, and what happens there with ayahuasca. But we forget that actually we’ve had our own indigenous practices, druidism cult, Celtic Druidism, and so on within the UK and the Scottish Wise Women, for example, the witches.
and we need to be aware of that cuz in many respects, sadly, we’ve lost contact with our own indigenous practices. So, this is also an opportunity to rediscover, rebirth those, for what makes sense for us today.
Ann: Well, it’s just been the most fabulous, enlightening experience. This work is, as people keep telling you, it is so needed in the world for all of us.
And I just thank you for stepping out and leading the way for all of those that will come with you for that beautiful experience. John Anderson and Thomas Marty, thank you so very much for joining us.
Thomas: Thank you,
Thank you very much.
I hope you have found that episode as enlightening as I did, and I cannot think of two better tutors than Thomas Marty and Dr John Anderson, to guide you, so do go and take a look at their website. All the links and URL’s mentioned will be in the show notes for this episode on my website, so do take a look there www.anntheato.com for this week’s podcast episode called Psychospiritual Counselling – and you will be able to find the link that takes you directly to their incredible work.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back with you in two weeks’ time. Keep well until then.
My name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to Psychic Matters.
Reach by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. Licensed by Enlightened Audio.