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Psychedelic Medicine

Association

Psychedelic Assisted EMDR Therapy with Hannah Raine-Smith and Jocelyn Rose

Summary

In this episode of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast, Hannah Raine-Smith and Jocelyn Rose join to discuss the psychedelic assisted EMDR therapy. Hannah is an integrative psychotherapist and independent researcher specializing in psychedelic integration using EMDR therapy. Jocelyn is a research therapist working on psychedelic clinical trials. She also works in private practice, and has a special interest in exploring the unfolding potential of EMDR as a scalable, trauma focused psychedelic assisted therapy.

In this conversation, Hannah and Jocelyn introduce the basics of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and its possible utility in adjunct to psychedelic assisted therapies. They discuss the overlapping mechanisms between EMDR and psychedelic therapies, with both engaging the serotonin 5-HT2 system and promoting neuroplasticity. Hannah and Jocelyn explain their excitement around integrating EMDR with psychedelic therapy, stressing that this may make these treatments more accessible for the patients who could benefit most from psychedelic therapy. In closing, the researchers call for additional investigation of the intersection of psychedelic therapy and EMDR and invite collaboration from anyone else exploring these promising treatments.

You can contact Hannah and Jocelyn at [email protected]

In This Episode

• How EMDR works to help people process traumatic memories
• Similar neurological effects of psychedelic therapies and EMDR
• Understanding the adaptive information processing (AIP) framework
• Hannah and Jocelyn’s novel hypothesis for the basis of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)
• Using EMDR as an integration therapy for past psychedelic experiences
• Making psychedelic treatments more accessible and inclusive

Quotes

“Like with indigenous shamanic practices, EMDR uses simple rhythms to alter consciousness. So EMDR is like an ancient healing mechanism that’s been adapted to treat the modern soul.” [4:56]

“When we reprocess these memories using bilateral stimulation of the brain, you start thinking and feeling differently about the same events. So trauma therapy isn’t about changing the past, it’s about how you think and feel about those experiences.” [5:26]

“Some of the resistance that would normally be present in an EMDR session is diminished when someone has had a recent psychedelic experience.” [12:02]

“Research has shown that EMDR taps into the same mechanisms as REM [sleep]. It’s like adding the healing benefits of dreaming whilst on psychedelics but being more in control of what gets reprocessed.” [14:42]

“The people who are most likely to have adverse drug reactions to psychedelics—whether that’s HPPD or tolerance—tend to be the people who also have adverse childhood experiences or have traumatic complexity in their biographical content. And so we recognize that there’s a need for trauma-focused psychedelic treatments if we’re going to make these treatments available to the people who need them most and make them scalable—and we think EMDR is a good enough fit for that work to happen.” [25:46]

Links

* 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.