When taken under the right conditions, psilocybin produces extremely profound insights that can kick-start the healing process and facilitate the inner transformation that is required when in recovery from addiction.
Alvaro de Ferranti is the founder of Tabula Rasa Retreat, an ibogaine treatment center in Southern Portugal. Where appropriate, he incorporates mushroom treatment into his recovery program, and says that psilocybin can help people to access, process and release the deep-seated pain that keeps dragging them into a place of darkness and fuelling their addiction.
“For so many people in addiction, the problem is that they just push their feelings down so that they don’t have to experience them, because they are too painful. So you build up a pool of painful emotions that sits deep inside and needs to be let go of – and psilocybin acts like a pressure valve, bringing those emotions up to the surface so that you can finally let them out.”
However, getting the conditions right is essential for a successful treatment. This involves ensuring that psilocybin is always taken in an appropriate environment and with the correct mindset and intentionality. “You have to be ready to surrender to the experience and not fight it or try to hold on. Let go of yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever the psilocybin wants you to feel, and the healing will begin” says de Ferranti. “Having an experienced guide with you who you really trust is so important, as they can give you the security to allow yourself to let go and open up to the experience.”
Most people who undergo ibogaine treatment experience some degree of ego dissolution, making it easier to face their inner pain and deal with the feelings and emotions that need to be confronted. However, those who don’t continue this work after treatment and really integrate the experience may find that this effect wears off after a while. When this occurs, psilocybin can help to bring a person back into a state of connection and wholeness, keeping them on track for recovery.
Based on his experience and those of others who have visited Tabula Rasa, de Ferranti says that psilocybin can even help people come to terms with generation pain that may have been passed down from their parents or grandparents. Healing comes when someone in the chain finally finds a way to connect with and truly feel this pain, transforming not only themselves but the entire lineage.
“My father always pushed his emotions down and was a man who just didn’t feel,” he says. “During my own psilocybin experience, I was aware that I was acting as a conduit for his pain, and was able to let go of it for both of us.”