After 30 years as a practicing psychotherapist, Leina* has seen more than her fair share of trauma, depression, and anxiety. Yet, despite helping thousands of individuals overcome their inner challenges, she could never seem to help herself. At 71, Leina still struggled with anxiety and negativity.
”It would have been nice if 30 years of experience in therapy would have shut my self hate down, but it didn’t,” she admitted.
Even after years of therapy and personal work, she still carried residual shame and guilt from childhood. Entering into her golden years, Leina didn’t want to continue being plagued by anxiety and self-judgment. “I just wanted to be done with this negativity and constant anxiety and feeling of rejecting myself over and over and over,” she recalls.
When several clients began asking her about psilocybin mushrooms and microdosing in therapy, she got curious. So she dove into the research, reading clinical journals and books like How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan.
Leina wanted to go deeper and explore psilocybin in a safe and controlled way, but with the pandemic raging and lockdowns in place, in-person retreats weren’t an option. Then she saw an email about the Microdosing Experience, a six-week in-depth group intensive program to use microdosing as a tool for healing and personal growth.
Creating Neurological Access to Heal and Transform
Microdoses of psychedelics lower the “Default Mode Network” (DMN) activity of the brain. You can think of it as the brain’s “autopilot”. It includes all of the habits, knee-jerk reactions, and unconscious beliefs we operate from in our day-to-day lives.
Unfortunately, emotional wounds, trauma, and toxic beliefs can become deeply ingrained into the DMN. In a sense, they become the water we swim in, invisible and often inaccessible. It can be difficult to change or release these patterns without acting on the brain directly.
That may be why, even as a practicing psychotherapist, Leina struggled for 30 years to heal herself––she simply couldn’t change the neural patterns of the DMN through conventional methods. That all changed with microdosing.
“Drugs aren’t my thing.”
At first, Leina was anxious. Aside from smoking marijuana in university, she had little experience with psychedelics. They just weren’t her thing. She was nervous. Questions swirled around in her head.
After reading so much about psychedelic therapy, she had to admit her hopes were high, but what if it didn’t work for her? What if it was just more empty promises? Could she really open up on video calls with a group of people she had never met? Would the group accept her?
Although she didn’t have answers to those questions, she knew it was time to summon her courage. So she took a deep breath and stepped forward into the unknown.
The Microdosing Experience moves forward in stages. As the program became deeper and more personal, Leina peeled back her layers of anxiety and negative self-judgments, exposing her inner child.
Then, while working with a psychological modality taught in the course, Leina had a breakthrough. “I saw that little girl who was made fun of, and I saw her struggles. I saw her rejecting herself over and over because of these old messages,” she says.
For her, it came back to experiences with her mother in childhood. Only instead of becoming overpowered by emotional reactions or wrapping herself up in stories and judgments… this time, it was different.
Silencing the Voice of Negativity
As she witnessed the young girl who felt rejected, bullied, and shamed, the patterns of negativity and judgment finally began to unwind and release. For the first time in her life, the incessant self-criticism faded away.
“That negative voice in my head is so much quieter. It doesn’t come up nearly as often,” Leina marvels. “I am far more present in my life. I’m connected to Self.”
After the program, that voice of negativity remained quiet. It’s not gone. It still comes up once in a while like it does for all of us, but it doesn’t have the same power. It doesn’t dominate Leina’s daily experience like it once did.
“I feel a lot less judgmental, negative thoughts toward myself and others. I feel more open and accepting of myself, which makes me more open and accepting of others. I’m less self-absorbed.”
While this inner shift was a revelation for Leina, it also had far-reaching effects on her personal life. In her words: “I want to melt into my husband and feel his presence and his love. I want to feel that way about all of life and everyone, especially for myself. Mushrooms helped so much with all of it. I am enjoying my life!”
Rapid Personal Growth At Any Age
Her own experience aside, perhaps the most astonishing thing for Leina was how transformational the Microdosing Experience was for all the participants, regardless of age.
Self-growth at 20 is not the same as self-growth at 70. There’s a different perspective. One looks to the future, and the other tends to look back.
“There’s something big right there to learn,” Leina stresses. “We were all from different countries, ages, and backgrounds, and we all benefited. We all grew. And we were all so connected to each other in the process. That is so exciting.”
In the natural environment, fungal mycelium connects different isolated species for mutual benefit. For Leina, the Microdosing Experience connected separate participants of different ages, in different locations, in wildly different life situations for mutual benefit and growth.
The Truth About Personal Growth
As transformational as her experience was, it’s essential to understand that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Real inner growth takes work, and having a guide can make a massive difference in your results.
As Leina cautions, “There’s going to be some psychological pain. It’s going to hit those spots of discomfort, and negativity, and pain. That’s why you really need to have a guide. Don’t just go it alone.”
If you are interested in getting expert guidance and support in your microdosing journey, you can learn more about the Microdosing Experience here.
* Name changed to protect privacy