Friday, April 12, 2024

PEX#21 – Erica Siegal – Integrating and Supporting Psychedelic Harm Reduction • Psychedelic Experience


In this week’s podcast Tim Cools speaks with Erica Siegal, psychedelic researcher, clinician and psychotherapist and founder of NEST, about making psychedelic care accessible, and practicing harm reduction and creating support communities in the psychedelic space.

  • Erica’s Background
  • Promoting Harm-Reduction with Psychedelics
  • What it is like to be part of a safety team at a festival
  • Supporting Others’ Psychological Needs and Supporting Integration Process
  • The Current Faults in the Psychedelic Renaissance and the Importance of Community
  • The Importance of After-care Support
  • The Challenges in Psychedelic Care Work
  • Warning Signs for the Formation of Psychedelic Cults
  • Avoiding Economical Hierarchy and Power Dynamics in the Psychedelic World
  • The Ethical Boundaries in Psychedelic Therapy
  • How to Take Care of Yourself as a Psychedelic Care Worker

About Erica Siegal

Erica Siegal specializes in trauma-informed therapy, anxiety management, compassion fatigue/professional burnout in first responders and caregivers, and the integration of non-ordinary states.  She completed the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Training program in 2018 and has spent several years working as a psychotherapist on the FDA-approved MDMA-assisted psychotherapy clinical trials. 

Erica has provided crisis mental health, harm reduction outreach and community support to over 30 transformational festivals and large-scale events since 2013.  This work has given her unique perspective and expertise in extreme psychological distress, substance-induced altered states of consciousness, poly-substance use and addiction.  She has collaborated on multi-disciplinary emergency response teams, trained first responders in emotional resilience and provided integration and support after traumatic events.  

In 2019, Erica founded a harm reduction focused practice, NEST, to provide compassionate and comprehensive trauma-informed services to individuals, groups and communities, specifically oriented toward first responders and care professionals.  NEST provides telehealth psychotherapy, harm reduction education, event support services, and psychedelic integration.  

Erica takes a humanistic, harm reduction approach to her work, helping her clients foster a sense of self determination to improve their overall sense of wellbeing.  Utilizing mindfulness techniques, somatic awareness and compassion practices into the integration process can help to make deeper meaning of the ketamine-assisted sessions.

About Tim Cools

Tim is a psychedelic integration specialist and legal psychedelic guide. He facilitates powerful, life-changing experiences for professionals, to help their professional lives come in alignment with personal ambition and values.

Tim is a Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher, a certified coach, and psychedelic advocate, educator and guide.

He is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Tools Of Awareness, a personal development center focussed on combining psychedelics and mindfulness to grow personal and interpersonal awareness though (online) courses and retreats.

Furthermore, he founded Psychedelic Experience, an online non-profit platform for information surrounding psychedelic substances. It’s a community based non-profit organization, created by and for psychedelic and plant medicine communities.

His personal interests are technology, meditation, metaphysical and eastern philosophies, shamanism and the healing power of nature and plants.

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