Addiction Treatment, Continuing Care and Integration.
John Harrison MA, PsyD (candidate), has had life experiences ranging from high-altitude mountaineer, to wilderness guide and group leader, tennis junkie, massage therapist, a former resident of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, two plus years as a Federal fugitive (from injustice), followed by a two and a half year stint as a guest of the US Federal government’s Bureau of Prisons.
John was also Principal Investigator of a MAPS pilot study investigating the efficacy of Ibogaine in the treatment of opiate addiction. This study has not as yet been published, and though much was learned in the process, the study was prematurely terminated and currently is not on the MAPS website. Prior to this, John worked for two years as a methadone maintenance counselor in Oakland, CA (for his Pre-Doctoral internship).
John has presented and discussed his work in Basel, Switzerland at the World Psychedelic Forum in 2008, the 1st International Ibogaine Conference in Sayulita, Mexico (2009), the 3rd International Ibogaine Conference in Vancouver (2012), the 4th International Ibogaine Conference in Durban, South Africa, the Women’s Visionary Congress Conferences at Wilbur Hot Springs and Black Oak Ranch, CA, Burning Man’s Palenque Norte Speaker series (2013), and at the Drug Policy Alliance Conferences in 2011 in Los Angeles and in 2013
Intention and Integration–The Alchemical Gold of Plant Medicine Wisdom
What I have learned after treating and following up with literally hundreds of patient/journeyers over the past ten years is that conscious and sustained attention to Continuing Care or Integration is the SINGLE best predictor for a successful or positive outcome for those using the psychedelic plant medicine Ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, as well as for psycho-spiritual transformation.
I will give a brief history of Ibogaine and touch on Ibogaine’s current status as a rising star in addiction treatment. We will explore the importance of Intention ( set and setting) and Integration) as key (and often overlooked) elements of a comprehensive treatment protocol. So often, well-meaning providers give only lip-service to follow-up care and therapeutic services and reduce real Continuing Care to ‘after-care,’ which can imply that it is an after-thought or in some cases an ‘after-party’! If we agree that our patients long-term well-being is our primary intention, then we must commit ourselves to a long-term relationship with them that does not end with their departure from our centers or clinics.
We will discuss what constitutes Continuing Care: What are the essential elements of a successful Continuing Care program? How can we best serve those who seek our medicine, support, and counsel? For so many the ibogaine journey is a life changing, occasionally overwhelming experience that after years of addiction can not only be beautiful and transforming but also frightening and dramatic. A focused program of Continuing Care will include an acknowledgement of this profound and transformational experience as well as offering a panoply of tools to process, to understand, and to integrate the lessons learned with this sacred medicine. We will address the interface between the powerful ibogaine journey (i.e. finding one’s own language to retain and integrate the experience), and what I call addiction treatment 101 (i.e nurturing and developing a support system, identifying triggers, development of coping skills to overcome said triggers, and making powerful and often difficult lifestyle changes).
We will talk about the unique ibogaine ‘window of well-being’ the typically 8-12 week period following treatment, which opens remarkable access both to our inner angels and demons, along with a new-found facility to fearlessly meet and learn from them.
Forces Behind the Movement – Presentation of Organizations
Panelist: John Harrison, MS
A representative from each organization will describe their organization, their mission and provide a status on current activities.
The Aware Project – Ashley Booth
Botanical Dimensions – Kathleen Harrison
ERIE – Larry Norris
GITA – John Harrison
ICEERS – Ben De Loenen
MAPS – Berra Yazar-Klosinski
Nierika – Anja Loizaga-Velder
Women’s Visionary Congress – Annie Oak
Moderator: Kenneth Tupper, PhD
More About John Harrison, MA, PsyD(c):
My work is to get out of the way and to perhaps open a doorway or portal to the individual seeking self-discovery… I am not the healer… The medicine is not the healer… Genuine healing comes from within… I ask my students who knows you best? Why, YOU do of course! So time to listen to that inner voice, supplemented and expanded by these wonderful tools we have been given to facilitate that deep listening, but as my teacher Sasha Shulgin told me one rainy night on the Big Sur Coast, “It’s in YOU, it’s already in YOU.” He was right!!!
I see my work as the empowering of my students/clients to re-claim their birthright as warriors of the light, the one light that shines within us all! And these words from a certain leprechaun/raconteur/psycho-naut guide my work on a daily basis,
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This, is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed” (Terence McKenna).
–John Harrison, MA, PsyD(c)
Anyone interested in gaining more information about Ibogaine and it’s remarkable benefits (and risks), please consider visiting the website for the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA).