Julie Brody speaks out about psychedelic assisted psychotherapy

by Linda Hubbard on March 18, 2022

Whenever we reconnect with Atherton resident Julie Brody we discover something new she is passionate about. A nurse by training, her latest interest revolves around psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.

“I wasn’t a part of the psychedelic scene in the ’60s,” she says. “But I became interested in learning about consciousness through meditation. I started reading about people who had mystical experiences.

“It can happen while meditating. It can happen spontaneously. People who have near death experiences speak of it. And it can happen on psychedelics. People  experience a feeling of oneness with other beings — it sounded amazing.”

Paging through Vanity Fair one day, Julie found a photo Cary Grant running along a beach with a caption that read: “Had I known the properties of LSD, I would have done it sooner.”

“That blew me away. I started researching about psychedelic use as a therapy tool in the 50s and 60s. That led me to California Institute of Integrated Science in San Francisco where I earned a Certification in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.”

Julie now volunteers at the Polaris Insight Center where the organization uses ketamine, which is not a psychedelic but has psychedelic like properties, to treat people with depression.

“As a nurse, I’m giving injections, I am not doing the therapy,” she says. “It’s really fascinating and really helping people”

Given that LSD and other psychedelics where classified as Schedule 1 drugs in 1970, she is equally passionate about getting these drugs reclassified.  “We need to return to the clinical trials being done in the ’60s. We need to educate the medical community. And I believe we need to get these drugs safely back. It’s not a magic bullet but it’s very promising for mental health.”

Julie’s voice is not alone. The abstract for a NHI paper published in 2018 reads in part: “Accumulated research to date suggests psychedelic drug assisted psychotherapy may emerge as a potential breakthrough treatment for several types of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction that are refractory to current evidenced based therapies.”

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2022

 

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