Psychedelic Medicine


Psychedelic Adjunct Series: Somatic Therapy with Jenna Valentine, DACM, LAc


In this episode of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast, Dr. Jenna Valentine joins to explore the intersection of psychedelics and somatic therapy. Dr. Valentine is a doctor of Chinese Medicine who incorporates both functional medicine and somatic experiencing within her practice to help achieve optimal wellness.

In this conversation, Dr. Valentine introduces somatic therapy, drawing parallels to psychedelic work and exploring how this modality may support more healthy and holistic psychedelic experiences. She explains how somatic therapy proceeds by tuning into the body, with therapists helping to guide clients’ awareness of the intelligence in their bodies.

Dr. Valentine emphasizes the importance of not forcing things in somatic work – with gentler, slower practices often being best to align with health. In closing, she outlines how somatic therapy can be used for preparation and integration of a psychedelic experience, and also explores the possibilities of somatic modalities being used during psychedelic therapy.

In This Episode

• The different forms of somatic therapy
• The overemphasis on the mind in our culture
• Why there aren’t contraindications for somatic therapy
• Somatic therapy as a modality for working with patients diagnosed with biploar disorder or schizophrenia
• The intersection of healing and re-learning to be playful
• The importance of “doing less”
• Why glorifying “heroic doses” of psychedelics can be counterproductive to healing
• Shadow work and somatic therapy


“There’s many different definitions of [somatic therapy] but the one I love the most is: guiding yourself back to your body as your primary resource.” [4:02]

“A lot of the work is making sure people learn that they don’t have to feel afraid of themselves—no part of you is ‘coming to get you’ … no part of you is trying to trick you or hurt you or surprise you. Sometimes I’ll describe it as I’m helping people guide themselves back to themselves and find a safe home there again.” [13:05]

“We have lost our relationship with discomfort, and a lot of this work is uncomfortable. And the work is being in the discomfort and building a larger capacity for being uncomfortable, and learning the difference between uncomfortable and unhelpful, because that’s not something we’re trained in.” [23:41]

“There’s learning that can happen in everything … The expectation is to have no expectation: we can have a loose intention, and then let the body lead.” [47:18]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.