Workshop: The Challenges and Opportunities of Psychedelic Therapy for Philosophical Practitioners

This workshop will introduce the participants to the recent application of psychedelic experience in the therapeutic/healing process. The “psychedelic experience” is defined as non-normal trans-logical experiences while under the influence of psychedelic medicines such as psilocybin, LSD, ayahausca, ketamine, or MDMA. These medicines are given both within ceremonial and clinical settings for the relief of symptoms of anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress and obsessive compulsive disorders. Experimental research into the efficacy of these treatments has been well documented over the past ten years. This workshop will not be focusing on the experimental data but will rather focus on a discussion of the questions and challenges that nonrational or transrational states of consciousness and the wisdom provided therein provoke for the philosophical practitioner. Can access to “higher” states of awareness allow for a transcendence of cognitive categories which create symptoms? Is it sometimes necessary to shift to other levels of experience to gain fresh insights (i.e. neuroplastiicity) to move out of habitual patterns of thought?Can philosophers utilize these states in evaluating their own opinions and theories?The workshop will also address the positive contribution practical philosophy might offer psychedelic practitioners in their essential task of helping clients’ integrate the often times confusing messages which arise in non-rational states, towards a transformative life change.

Free consultation: I will be available for free consultation during the conference if students or other participants which to experience my blend of philosophy and shamanistic approaches.

David O’Donaghue is a retired clinical psychologist who also has five years of doctoral work in philosophy. David has presented numerous times at the International Conferences in Practical Philosophy on such topics as William James, transcendentalism, the dialectic in Hegel, the concept of Billdung in Herder,  adult education as philosophical practice, and  philosophical counseling with life-partners. Six years ago he built and administered a retreat center in the central region of the US. He has been working with psychedelic medicine for the past five years and is currently the president of the Iowa Psychedelic Society. He is completing a book entitled, “Breaking the Tyranny of the Ego: The Immersive Therapies.”