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Congratulations to PsyD Student Sean Crotty on Publication

Please join us in congratulating second-year PsyD Counseling student and Phoenix cohort member, Sean Crotty, on the publication of an article in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology!

With publication permission, Sean has shared his attached article, “Ceremony Leaders’ Perspectives on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Ayahuasca Drinking in Ceremonial Contexts.” Read it here.


Regarding his experience of the work, Sean shares the following:

The perspective and lens through which I researched this topic significantly shifted once I started here at Pacifica. How I inform my own interpersonal process shifted how I see this work. As romanticized as psychedelics are, I feel there is a large gap in the literature, and this includes the shadow side of this type of work as well as what happens after an ayahuasca ceremonial experience and other altered states of consciousness. 

To have access to these ceremonial leaders was a privilege witnessing their vulnerability and transparency on the healing properties of this work as well as the shadow side of things. The beauty in seeing the wholeness of this work and not just the profound parts is something I am hoping can build a bridge for people to make informed decisions on what may be best for them rather than committing too quickly or in the hope that these ways can “fix” all of their problems. These practitioners had a radical transparency that I feel many can learn from. 

This is a heavily researched topic especially as the modernized medical model attempts to adapt to these ways. It’s a beautiful thing to get this work out there looking at traditional ways of healing.


The article abstract reads: 

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic plant-based tea from the Amazon used for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Research suggests its utility in the treatment of various mental health conditions. Potential risks are also being identified. Largely absent from this literature have been the perspectives of ayahuasca ceremony leaders, whose knowledge and experience are vital to understanding the potential risks and benefits of drinking ayahuasca. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of 15 ayahuasca ceremony leaders regarding facilitative ceremony conditions, contraindications, and psychedelic emergencies. An inventory of every concern related to ceremonial ayahuasca use mentioned by the leaders is also presented. The findings are useful for clinicians and policy-makers, and relevant to the application of psychedelic medicine more broadly, informing the dialogue regarding the potential utility of psychedelic-assisted mental health interventions.

Congratulations, Sean, on your powerful work, and on elevating depth psychological voices through your academic outreach. We are proud of your amazing accomplishment!

See more at Association for Transpersonal Psychology website.

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