THIRD WAVE PODCAST
Addiction, Transformation, and Rediscovering Our True Selves
In this podcast, Paul F. Austin, founder of Third Wave and Deanne Adamson, founder of Being True To You Transformational Recovery, have a candid discussion about overcoming addiction, the power of conversion experiences to awaken us to our life’s purpose, and aligning to your heart’s true calling. You’ll also learn about the three stages of psychedelic integration coaching, the importance of shadow work, and the differences between psychedelic coaches, guides, facilitators, sitters, and therapists.
Deanne Adamson is the founder of Being True To You Transformational Recovery, a network of psychospiritual coaches who specialize in psychedelic integration and addiction recovery. In addition to providing one-to-one and group coaching, Being True To You trains and certifies transformational coaches to help people overcome their suffering through a facilitated process of self-realization.
With a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, and a background in academic psychology, philosophy, theology, psychotherapy, and personal development, Deanne has developed processes to help people recover from addictions, change their behaviors, enhance their cognitive abilities, and reconnect to their true selves.
- Using ibogaine to treat opiate and heroin addiction.
- The power of conversion experiences to awaken us to our life’s purpose.
- How psychedelics can help you clarify your value system and tap into your core beliefs.
- The three stages of psychedelic integration coaching.
- The role of integration in crystalizing transformation.
- Avoiding the temptation of spiritual bypassing.
- Shadow work, self-reflection, and cultivating compassion.
- Understanding the differences between psychedelic coaches, guides, facilitators, sitters, and therapists.
- Healing as a multidimensional process.
- Wounds, burdens, and saving ourselves.
0:00:00 Paul Austin: Welcome to The Third Wave Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Austin, here to bring you cutting edge interviews with leading scientists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals who are exploring how we can integrate psychedelics in an intentional and responsible way for both healing and transformation. It is my honor and privilege to bring you these episodes as you get deeper and deeper into why these medicines are so critical to the future of humanity. So let’s go and let’s see what we can explore and learn together in this incredibly important time.
0:00:39 PA: The Third Wave Podcast is brought to you by Magic Mind. Do you want more creativity, flow and energy in your day-to-day routine? Then go to magicmind.co and get the two ounce shot that contains 12 magical ingredients scientifically designed to improve your productivity. I’ve been using Magic Mind over the last couple of months. It has replaced my morning coffee. It has Matcha, Lion’s Mane and a number of other nootropics and I can’t say enough about it. It is so, so useful. So if you’re interested in Magic Mind, go to magicmind.co and enter promo code “THIRDWAVE” to get 10% off and try it for yourself.
0:01:17 PA: As long time listeners know, yoga and meditation have played a huge role as complementary practices to my own responsible psychedelic use. And that’s why we’re excited to be working with Half Moon Yoga as a partner for the podcast. They carry everything from basic yoga supplies to more advanced things like bolsters and sandbags to meditation cushions that are super comfy to sit on. And right now they’re offering a 15% discount to Third Wave listeners with the promo code “THIRDWAVE”. I’d encourage you to check them out at shophalfmoon.ca if you’re looking for tools to support your yoga or meditation practice.
0:01:51 PA: Hey listeners, and we’re here recording another episode during COVID-19, and today I’m sitting virtually across from Deanne Adamson, the founder of Being True To You. Deanne, welcome to The Third Wave Podcast.
0:02:03 Deanne Adamson: Hi, Paul, thanks. I’m so excited to be here.
0:02:06 PA: I’m so excited to have you. The first time we met was at… You probably won’t remember this, but was at the Global Ibogaine Conference in Tepoztlan in Mexico in 2016, and I sort of ran into you. I don’t know, I was walking and for some reason we crossed paths, and what I was really… Just the impression you left on me was one of joy and exuberance and beauty and just sort of this pure light that came from you. And so I just wanted to acknowledge that upfront in our conversation that it was really great to have run into you at that conference because of how you presented yourself.
0:02:36 DA: Wow, wonderful. Thanks for sharing that. I don’t remember. So that is really cool. That was a long time ago. And that was one of the most beautiful psychedelic conferences I have been to. I hope we get a chance to do that again soon.
0:02:48 PA: Tell us a little bit about what brought you there, to that conference in 2016.
0:02:53 DA: Well, that was an Ibogaine Conference. So I have been involved in the Ibogaine industry since 2011. This will just get into my story if you want me to share it at the same…
0:03:06 PA: Let’s go right in, let’s go right in. That sounds great.
0:03:08 DA: Yeah, wonderful. So, well, with Ibogaine specifically, I had started a coaching business in 2010 after leaving Licensure for my master’s in counseling. I did work in the counseling field for a year and it was fantastic. I learned so much. However, I wasn’t feeling satisfied or fulfilled in that arena, and looking forward did not excite me. I didn’t feel like I was really going to be able to help and support people on a deeper level. It felt very mechanical and structured and it just didn’t fit my style.
0:03:47 DA: So I ended up starting a coaching business in 2010, named it Being True To You. I had no idea what kind of journey I was about to go on. And within a year, I met the Ibogaine community. I met a Ibogaine provider down in Mexico. So I went down and visited the clinic to see what was going on. I had a lot of opportunities on my plate at that time, and I did not expect this one to take off. It was one of those like, “Okay, I’ll go down. I’ll check it out.” I was a little bit skeptical. I hadn’t heard of it, and what I had heard was this amazing cure for opiate and heroin addiction, and I thought to myself, “Well, if it was such an amazing cure, well then why wouldn’t everyone know about it and why would it be illegal?” So I was a little skeptical.
0:04:32 DA: I went down there and I started talking to the patients that were going through treatment, and I was just blown away. First weekend, I really couldn’t believe it. Not only how amazingly magical the medicine was and what it was doing for people, but the people themselves that had been stigmatized for five, 10, 15 years underneath a heroin addiction and pathologized and were treated as sick patients, and here I discovered that the brilliance in these gentlemen and these women and gentlemen that were down there doing the experience. So it was very exciting for me to step into the Ibogaine industry at that time, because not only was I blown away around the magnificence of a psychedelic medicine could actually put somebody in a dream state like that and allow them the opportunity to go through their entire life, pretty much, and figure out where they’re blocked, where they’re hung up, where they got off track, what their truth and their value system is and how to get back on track. And then the whole bio-physiological reset on top of that, leaving them without withdrawals and without cravings afterward, I mean, that was so miraculous.
0:05:44 DA: And then on top of that, I discovered that this stigma that we have for addicts wasn’t true. That these were actually human beings that were pretty brilliant and visionaries and passionate people that just didn’t fit in with the matrix, so to speak, and had fallen into these pretty heavy addictions, and there was a way to bring them out. And not only was there a way to bring them out, they could fully recover and make the whole addiction experience worth it. So I was down at that conference in 2016, because at that time I had been providing before and after care coaching around the Ibogaine experience for five years, and was already training and certifying coaches to do the same, and had built a community of coaches to provide Ibogaine before and after care. So I was down there as a speaker and I think about 15 of my coaches were with me, so it was a great field trip for us.
0:06:45 PA: Yeah, and I wanna acknowledge something here. To have started a company like that in 2010 is incredible. We’re just seeing a lot of momentum now in the psychedelic space with millions of dollars coming in in funding. And even with Third Wave, I started it in 2015, and I thought I was early. And having started something like Being True To You in 2010, it’s incredible that you’ve now been doing this for 10 years. I’d love to hear a little bit more about the name, specifically Being True To You. Why did you choose that as the name of the coaching camp?
0:07:18 DA: Well, at that time I had just given up a 14-year alcohol addiction. So it was the summer of 2010. I had made it through my Master’s degree, but I was a heavy drinker, a heavy social drinker, and people around me were really struggling with alcohol. And there was this morning in August, summer of 2010, when I had a major conversion experience, which really set the stage for this work. And that happened before I got involved with the psychedelic industry on a professional level.
0:07:51 DA: So one morning I had woke up, and I felt really sick to my stomach, just all the alcohol that people were consuming around the world, and realizing that people really were trapped under this reality that alcohol is life, that alcohol is fun, that alcohol is a reward, and so much so that people are addicted to it. And most people I knew were addicted to it, even socially. Sometimes it goes unrecognized, but when you look at your bank account and you look at your health and you look at your relationships and what’s going on in your life, there’s devastating effects for people who drink. It’s just becomes so normalized that people don’t even really realize it.
0:08:31 DA: And after a series of events, I woke up one morning and I felt sick in the pit of my stomach, like the deepest, deepest feeling that you could go inside of your body, and I said to myself, “There’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing I can ever do to stop people from drinking.” And a voice literally came in my head and said, “There is something you can do.” And that voice said, “You could quit yourself.” And that sounds simple but in that moment it was so profound because I realized my purpose in life had been to have fun and to be popular and to fit in and to celebrate hard work by taking the edge off with a drink. And everything I ever did, I brought wine and beer with me, if not tequila. So in that moment, that one second, I realized I had a bigger mission and purpose, and I realized I was not being true to myself. All of those years that I thought that I was really living the life, and I knew the answers. And I was very proud of the way that I had chosen to live my life because of the material rewards, and I was happy, but then I realized it was a synthetic happiness that I was creating and it was dependent on validation. It was dependent on recognition, popularity, many other things.
0:09:52 DA: So that basically changed my life, the summer of 2010. And that was when I realized I didn’t want to be a counselor. And then I realized, I chose my career by looking at a blackboard and choosing an option out of 50 different careers. I didn’t actually go into my heart and say, “What do I want to do? What am I passionate about? What is my natural talents and how am I best positioned to help people?” I didn’t have that conversation. I just chose a career, and I think we all do that in our 20s. Do we wanna be a lawyer, do we wanna be a police officer, do we wanna be a doctor, do we wanna be a counselor? I didn’t really know there was that many choices to be creative, so I just chose counselor. That seemed to be the closest fit.
0:10:37 DA: But I realized not only was the counseling career I had chosen a good fit for me but nor was my lifestyle a good fit for me. So in that moment, everything that was real for me crystallized. My values and what was important to me shifted literally on that day, and I vowed to myself to never take a drink again, and now I’ll be going on 10 years this summer without having a drink, which is a big deal from the culture that I come from and the lifestyle that I was living. I never thought that I would take that vow.
0:11:15 DA: So that’s where the name Being True To You comes from, is recognizing that often we think that we have a good life because we’re happy but when we really look at it, are we really truly fulfilling our mission and purpose for being here, and are we really living in alignment to that? I initially titled it Living True to You, and then my mentor helped me see that Being True to You would be much more profound, and I was very happy to make that shift into Being True To You. So my mission is to help people be true to themselves and to get on their path of cultivation, personal cultivation, and to use any tools that a person chooses to use, whether it’s meditation or breathwork or floating or fasting, psychedelic medicines. There’s so many different kinds of things that we can use to catalyze our consciousness. The most important thing is the integration and recalibrating ourselves back to our true self, so everything I do really ties into this concept of the true self.
0:12:19 PA: What would be your definition of the true self?
0:12:21 DA: Well, the true self would be defined in the eye of the beholder. I think each person would have to identify what that means for themselves. For most people, for me it would be connecting with our divine essence, our original true self. Where is the origin of our first consciousness and our soul’s home essentially? So for some people the true self is connecting with the godhead, with the divine, with source, and for some people it’s connecting with the original soul’s journey, but everyone would describe that differently. Some people are more spiritually-oriented and some people are less. I use the term true self because it is neutral and it allows people to decide for themselves what is the true self, what does it mean to be true to me? So for me, it’s the origin of which my consciousness and my soul came from, and cultivating back to that original essence.
0:13:24 PA: You know what you were talking about earlier is like really letting go of external expectations, right? Like there’s so many. Whether it’s from our parents or whether it’s from our alcohol-heavy culture or whether it’s from the things we see in magazines, we as humans have a tendency to basically be imprinted upon. It’s often very difficult, especially in teenage and adolescent years, to figure out what that sense of a true self is. And you know what I noticed, at least with my own psychedelic experiences when I was 19 and 20, is when you have that moment where you can like… Like you said, the conversion moment, the moment of transformation. William James calls it “The mystical experience.” When we have this mystical experience, we come to realize that we’re one with source, and that a lot of the things that we believe to be true are not true. And I feel like this is where these altered states really help, is they sort of get us out of the everyday, “Oh, I believe this and I believe this and I believe this.” And they go… Help us to see, “Oh, actually I don’t believe that.” That, “That belief is my mom’s or that belief is my school teacher’s or that belief is… ” Whoever else. That for me has always been how psychedelics have helped me to tap into that true self.
0:14:37 DA: Psychedelics are very profound in helping us to authenticate our world view. We all have a worldview that was imprinted upon us. We’re conditioned and we’re programmed to see things in a certain way, to feel about things in a certain way. Essentially, most of our desires have been programmed into us, and we are run by our body’s desires, disconnected from our own core truth. And that is what is amazing about psychedelic experiences is they strip away the default world and you sit alone with yourself essentially as you identify, “What is my true north? What is my heart calling me toward? What is my value system? What principles am I following in life?”
0:15:24 DA: So it helps us to become more grounded in our human experience when we can authenticate that worldview for ourselves. And often it does take these mystical experiences, these conversion experiences, as I call them, to stop what we’re doing and ask those important questions, and then from that point, we recalibrate back to the true self. And I do find that psychedelics are helping people to recalibrate themselves back to their true self. Our process as integration coaches is helping to solidify and crystallize this transformational process, and to understand that it is an ongoing process of digging up wounds and burdens and shortcomings and attachments, and all of the things that prevent us from fulfilling the journey of the true self.
0:16:17 PA: So let’s go into that a little bit because I think a lot of our listeners will be really curious just about your specific approach to preparation and integration. Integration is somewhat of a buzzword now in the psychedelic space. Everyone’s talking about integration. It’s super important, obviously, which is why everyone’s talking about it, and everyone has sort of their own way of integrating. So my approach typically tends to be, at least the way that I teach is, is very much around lifestyle changes. Through a psychedelic experience, we come to recognize what’s nourishing for us, so maybe we start eating healthier, we start sleeping better, we start exercising more, we start meditating more, etcetera, etcetera. So I do my best to take a more grounded approach to the integration process about habits and changing patterns and things like that. So I’d love just to start with preparation. In terms of your approach, how you train your coaches, the process that you bring people through, how do you prepare someone to start to go inwards to identify their true self?
0:17:18 DA: Well, if we’re talking about psychedelic integration coaching specifically. So not just preparation, but psychedelic preparation. For us as psychedelic coaches, which basically just means that we’re transformational coaches helping people who are using psychedelic therapies intentionally to support their healing growth and transformation, we’re helping them through that process. So there’s three stages that we look at. We look at preparation, which is leading up to an event or series of events. We look at navigation training, which is helping somebody to maximize their experience when they’re actually engaging with psychedelics. And then we look at the integration, which starts immediately after they have the experience. Some people have one experience, some people have a series of experiences. Sometimes that series is in the same week, sometimes it’s over the course of several weeks or months. So with preparation, we’re working with people anywhere from two days to two weeks to two months in advance, usually. It just depends how fast they come to us.
0:18:28 DA: If somebody comes to you and says, “I have a journey tomorrow. Can you help me prepare?” Well, then we have one session to prepare them and then we can give them an assignment. If they come two weeks in advance, we’re gonna be able to dive in a little bit deeper, and if they come two months in advance, we really can dive in deeper. So I just wanna specify that preparation will depend on how much time you have with an individual and how much preparation and training they’re interested in. It also can depend on what medicine they’re doing and for what reason. Somebody who’s going to do as Psilocybin journey with a couple of friends in their back yard on the weekend may not need as much support as somebody who is addicted to opiates and is going to do ibogaine to recover, that person is going to need more preparation.
0:19:15 DA: So there’s different factors, but in general, when we’re looking at preparation, there’s a lot of things that you can do. And honestly, when we’re talking about integration in general, the most important thing I can share is that integration starts before the experience. If you don’t start before the experience, there’s huge missed opportunities. You’re basically capping the experience maybe 50% or more, because you still have to lay that foundation afterward. And when you’re fresh out of an experience and you’re in that window of opportunity, you don’t want to be learning about integration. You want to be actually integrating. So in the preparation, so this could be things like helping clients to become well-informed.
0:20:01 DA: That is a really big part of psychedelic therapies is understanding: What am I dealing with? What is it that I want to get out of this experience, and what medicine would be most appropriate and fitting to my intentions and my needs right now? So, well-informed can be anything from finding the right medicine to finding the right facilitator, to self-screening and identifying if somebody is actually ready. So establishing their readiness is another part of preparation. We don’t do screening for people. Practitioners and facilitators should be doing that, but we can help clients to self-screen for themselves to identify, “Am I ready for this? Is this a good experience for me? Is there any contra-indications I should be taken into consideration? Is there a particular diet that I should get on beforehand? What kind of stage do I need to set?”
0:20:56 DA: Helping clients to become well-informed, helping them to establish their readiness, helping them to look at particular considerations for the journey that they have identified for themselves. What are things they need to be looking at to do a journey like this? Setting intentions is a big part of preparation. Getting clear on: Why am I stepping into this space? Setting intentions is powerful because there’s a sentience to these plant medicines, and just like when you sit down with your counselor to have a talk with them, they’re going to ask you, “What would you like to work on?” And it’s very similar with the medicines. When you sit down, they can help you more easily if you tell them where you want to start. Now, it’s not always that you have to have specific intentions, but having some kind of awareness around what it is that you’re wanting to work through and work toward can really help a person identify their work when they’re in the experience, and also start that work in advance.
0:22:00 DA: A couple more things I’ll mention would be helping people to understand what is the role and responsibility of engaging transformational tools as powerful as psychedelic medicines. The medicine does its job but how do we work in partnership with the medicine? If I’m gonna step into and I walk the journey because I want to look at a few issues in my life and a few areas where I’m blocked in my life, it’s not sitting down with that medicine and expecting it to do the work for me. I have to actually identify, “Well, what is my role? What is my responsibility in this? What do I have to do to actually sustain any results that I get from this experience?” And this is where I find that people are often most hindered is in understanding their work in the transformational process. Like, what is the work? And then, of course, set setting and support is very important in helping people get in the right mindset. Helping people to set the right setting for their experience and then making sure they have the right support, which kinda goes back to helping them be well-informed and self-screening, and also screening any facilitators or retreats that they’ll be working with. And then of course, engaging the process. So after you set the stage for preparation, helping people to step into that and begin that work, which then gets us into navigation training.
0:23:34 PA: What’s navigation training?
0:23:39 DA: So, navigation training is, basically, when you’re inside a medicinal experience, as we know, there’s a lot activated. It’s a multi-sensory experience, so consciousness on all levels is going to be heightened. You have a heightened sense of awareness and perspective, you have a heightened ability to feel sensations and feelings in your body, even feelings from past, present and future. You can sometimes even experience, like, super normal abilities, hearing things, seeing things, communicating things that you couldn’t normally do, and it can be a very intense experience. So it is common for people to get stuck tripping on the trip, or to get locked in a place of fear and paralysis, where they’re unable to move, or get distracted by something else that’s going on in the room, or maybe get stopped up by being nauseous the whole time.
0:24:40 DA: So what we do with navigation training is to identify how do we best lean into these experiences and stay present and mindful to the whole experience and everything that is communicating, without getting attached to one particular thing, one particular frustration or disappointment or feeling. Or sometimes it’s even the good feeling that people will try to hold on to, so they’re not doing their work. So with navigation training, there’s a lot of things that people can do before they step into an experience that can be anything from body awareness, just being mindful of how a person is feeling in their body. Embodiment practices can be really huge here too because we have a tendency to leave our bodies, in general, when we’re stressed and overwhelmed and, especially, under the psychedelic experience, we might have that tendency to try to escape or resist or leave. So how do we embody ourselves? How do we come into our body and ground in our heart space? So there’s a lot of practices you can do around there. There’s mindfulness practices to start to identify thought patterns, cognitive distortions, our daily narrative.
0:26:00 DA: Our focus points, our obsessions, the more that we can see within our own mind and body, before we go in the experience, the deeper we’re going to go in the experience because we’ve already been incubating and nourishing this process of self-reflection. Other things people can work on is like having compassion. It is hard to step into a place and see the truth. The raw truth is basically what you get from psychedelic experiences is just the raw naked truth, and it can be really hard to see. So having compassion and learning how to have self-compassion for oneself so that we can work on those deep areas of shame and guilt and remorse, and in trauma, all these things. We have to have a lot of compassion for ourselves.
0:26:52 PA: And especially, just to add a note there, one of the concerns that I’ve heard communicated with the growth of interest in psychedelic substances is spiritual bypassing. I think there’s a tendency sometimes I’ve seen this in Ayahuasca circles and many places where there’s too much of an emphasis on, like you were saying before, an attachment to the light, to the good stuff and not enough of a willingness to really go into the shadow and to dig into that stuff as well. So I’d be curious, what’s your perspective on that? What’s your perspective on shadow work and spiritual bypassing? How critical is it to the healing and transformational process?
0:27:32 DA: Well, it’s a really important question that anybody who is on the professional side of psychedelics needs to understand the importance of shadow work, because that is what psychedelics are essentially doing with us as well is, they’re bringing up everything that is blocking us from our true nature. So anything that’s between me and my true self I’m likely to face in a psychedelic experience. So that’s a big part of preparation and navigation is getting familiar with all aspects of ourselves so that when we enter that space, we can lean into it. We can say, “Okay, there you are. I see you. Those burdens you’ve been holding me back for many years and I’m ready to step in and have a conversation with you. As far as spiritual bypass goes, I would say, this is one of the concerns with psychedelics is that people have these experiences, which can feel very divine.
0:28:29 DA: And when we are under the influence of them, we often feel what it feels like to be free of all of our burdens, our traumas, our shortcomings, our addictions, our impulses, our obsessions, and that freedom is so magical that when we come back, we tend to hold on to that place not realizing that we actually have to now integrate our work to get there. To me psychedelic will show you the top of the mountain, so to speak, and then it’s like, “Okay, here you are. This is what it feels like when your brain is, and your mind is tranquil. This is what it feels like when your body is cleansed and pure. This is what it feels like when you forgive all those people that you’re holding grudges against. This is what it feels like when you’re present and you’re content with your life and you don’t have attachments.”
0:29:23 DA: Now you’re gonna go back through your life and slowly, everything’s gonna start to feel like it did before the psychedelic experience, but you have this memory, you know what it feels like, now you can work your way back here. Spiritual bypass is when we continue to use synthetic or even natural substances to create that feeling of euphoria and we don’t create it for ourselves. So to me, the medicines are showing us, this is your natural state but I can’t do it for you. I can show you what it’s like, and I can pinpoint some of your work and give you homework. But now you have to go back and you have to work through each burden and each trauma on your own to get there. So what do I think, I think that, I guess it’s probably natural for us to try to skip steps, but if we really want to obtain that feeling of tranquility that we’re all after we have to do the work and recognize those tendencies to want to bypass our own shadow work. And I can speak more on the shadow work itself and what that is.
0:30:32 PA: Let’s definitely go deeper into that. I think before we get deeper into that, I wanna go a little bit into the usefulness of coaching, ’cause I think that’ll intersect well with the shadow work. There’s a lot of these terms that are popping up in the psychedelic space. There’s coaches, there’s guides, there’s facilitators, there’s sitters, there’s therapists, there’s a lot of different types of roles. And I’d love if you could just explain a little bit to our listeners about what are those different roles? What’s the difference between a guide and a coach? What’s the difference between a facilitator and a coach? What’s the difference between a sitter and a guide? What are some of these distinctions between the types of folks who can help us prepare experience and integrate these alternate states?
0:31:15 DA: Great question. Well, there might be different understandings with different people. My understanding would be that sitters tend to be people that sit with people during a psychedelic experience. It could be a friend, it could be a family member, it could be someone ideally that’s more experienced with psychedelics and they have training in how to support someone. They know, not necessarily to engage in deep conversation, but really just to offer emotional support and supportive proximity. That could be handing them some lavender oil, that can be laying them down, that could be turning down the lights, getting them a glass of water, putting your hand on their forehead. There’s a lot of things you can do to just comfort someone.
0:32:02 DA: Very similar if someone was in bed sick with the flu, you would check on them. You’re not gonna be engaging in deep conversations, they’re in their own process, but you’re holding the space for them in case of an emergency and just to help them relax. We all know when you’re in a psychedelic experience, sometimes you come out of it and you think, “Am I okay? Is my heart still beating? Am I still alive? Am I still in this reality? Am I coming back?” And then you see a sitter there and it’s like, “Oh, okay. I’m okay. They’re watching me. I’m all good. I can go back into my experience.” And in certain cases, I’m sure sitters get more involved in having some dialogue.
0:32:37 DA: With sitters, there should be some training, some experience, obviously, with psychedelics, with one’s own transformational process and in how to support someone going through an experience. A guide could be synonymous with a facilitator or shaman. I imagine some people separate these, but in general, a guide, a facilitator, a shaman would be the person that’s actually administering the experience and guiding the experience in terms of a psycho-spiritual foundation. So they might be more involved. They can fulfill everything that a sitter is fulfilling, but also could engage and guide a person’s process through dialogue and narrative, or even engaging with other transformational tools. Maybe it’s the sound healing is being added, maybe there’s some kind of aromatherapy that’s added or something else. There’s a lot of things that people use in conjunction with medicines. So that’s my understanding with guides, facilitators, shamans, is that they will be more involved.
0:33:48 DA: With a psychedelic psychotherapist, this would be somebody who has actually studied and is licensed in psychotherapy, and they could provide psychotherapy under the medicine. This would usually occur with medicines where someone has more coherence, so something like MDMA or Psilocybin or LSD, maybe even Mescaline, where somebody can interact more. Oftentimes, with some of the heavier medicines like DMT or Ayahuasca or iboga, you’re not necessarily doing psychotherapy during these experiences. But a psychotherapist is a licensed psychotherapist who also has training in guiding journeys.
0:34:30 DA: Now, we’re looking at coaching. Coaching is interesting. And yeah, you’re right, when I stepped into this in 2010, there was nobody doing this. I’m sure there was individual therapists around the world doing it on their own, but I didn’t know of any organizations or any coaches that were doing this work. And I found, to my surprise, that it really was the missing piece in all of these, because coaching is going to be more active in a person’s total light, so it goes far beyond the experience. The experience could be eight hours, or it could be a three-day retreat or a week retreat. With coaching, you’re building relationships with clients over several weeks, several months, sometimes years, and helping people to truly arrive at the goals that they have set out for themselves.
0:35:18 DA: So that would be the difference. Coaches can be trained in any of these different areas. On our team, we have coaches trained in psychotherapy, we have coaches trained in sitting, we have coaches trained in facilitation. But when you’re wearing the hat of a coach, you are basically using the coaching relationship, the coaching conversation, and coaching tools and methodologies to help hold a person accountable to staying in their process, and to guiding the authentic conversation that we need to have with ourself when our stuff comes up, and naming those fears, naming that resistance, naming those shortcomings or blocks so that we actually work through them, and helping to build and stream together a longer system of care than just randomly trying this tool, then that tool, then this medicine, then this treatment, and not really getting anything out of it.
0:36:21 DA: So a coach is helping a person to look at the bigger picture and to pull together a specific set of tools and practices, and to turn it into a daily cultivation process so that it’s not, “I have depression. I have a Ayahuasca ceremony in six months, then I’ll be able to work through it.” There’s a lot of these situations where people are just waiting for their time to sit in ceremony to deal with their stuff. But what we found in coaching is when you start dealing with your stuff, sometimes people don’t even end up going to the medicines, because it really is about process, and that’s what the medicines are showing us is how to be in process and work through each thing, not to externalize something and make it our solution. That is the definition of the addiction phenomena, which pretty much runs this…
0:37:14 PA: Can you explain what you mean by that? Like to externalize something and then…
0:37:18 DA: Yeah. So what we have done in our world is we have externalized our problems and our solutions. So if something’s wrong, we find something outside to blame, and then we find a solution to fix it. So addiction is basically the premise that something outside of me will fix me. So if I have a headache, I’ll take a Tylenol. That’s what I’ve been conditioned to do, instead of saying, “I wonder why I have a headache? Maybe I’m dehydrated. Maybe I don’t have enough oxygen. Maybe I haven’t had enough movement. Maybe my electrolytes are off.” So these are the kinds of analyses that coaches will help with, is to do the personal analysis within ourselves to identify where a symptom or a hardship is coming from, and then to identify, “How did I allow or create this situation to happen? And where is it in my power to do something about it?”
0:38:12 DA: Now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t ever use that external thing. Maybe I still wanna take that Tylenol, but I need to first step back, and I need to identify, “Wow, I haven’t had any water in 24 hours. I’m dehydrated, and my electrolytes are probably off.” And I take those steps. And if a person still wanted to take Tylenol, which wouldn’t be necessary, but they could, but it’s more about fulfilling… It’s more about identifying the core issue. So to me, one of the reasons I’m so passionate about the addiction phenomena, and most people don’t realize this. Most people compartmentalize it as something separate from psychedelic integration. A lot of people say, “I don’t wanna learn about addiction. I just wanna learn about psychedelic integration.” Well, what people haven’t realized yet, it’s the same thing. The addiction phenomena is the phenomena that takes us away from our true self and causes us to latch on to other things to fix us. Thereby we continue to lose ourself and get more and more symptoms, because we’re not addressing the core issue.
0:39:15 PA: So how does that play out for like alcohol addiction or opiate addiction or like, what are some of the specific things that are going on there psychologically that bring people into those addictions?
0:39:25 DA: I’ll try to answer it simply. I have an 800-page textbook I just published on the… So, anyone that wants to be trained, we even have family members and different kinds of professionals going through the training, just because it really is something I think that is missing in our culture, on a personal and professional level. But when it comes to substance addiction, I mean there’s a lot of different theories around why a person is susceptible to addiction ’cause we all know not everybody gets addicted to the same things. One person gets addicted to coffee, somebody else it’s sugar, somebody else it’s TV, someone else it’s sex, pornography, someone else it’s opiates. And why is that? Why are we all addicted to different things, even though we’ve all tried the same things?
0:40:09 DA: So it’s very interesting, but the reasons leading up to that are essentially that there’s unresolved stuff within us and we feel discomfort. We feel some kind of dis-ease within us, and we’re not satisfied or fulfilled, and so we end up, at some point, engaging in these external things and they feel good. And they present themselves as a solution, and then over time, as we continue to use them, we realize we’ve been deluded. We stepped into this enchantment, this false enchantment, and it has hijacked our consciousness basically, and we become dependent on it, and then is the search to discover ourselves and to actually work through all those burdens. So, is your specific question more around the cause of addiction or more around the transformation of addiction?
0:41:06 PA: Well, I think let’s go into then the transformation of addiction. And so you gave the example of the Tylenol for the headache, and like if we feel some sort of dis-ease internally, we’ll look to blame or we’ll look for an external solution to fix that. Specifically, you did the Being True To You program. Let’s look into that because you know it so well. What process do people go through then to address those addictions and to heal those addictions so that they don’t continue to recur six months down the road, or a year down the road, or two years down the road? What’s the new structure that’s put into place?
0:41:37 DA: It’s a multi-dimensional process, for sure. I mean, we talk about the addictive mindset, we talk about the addictive personality, we talk about the addictive lifestyle, and we talk about the addictive culture. So all areas are going to have to be addressed with the addictive mindset. There’s a particular way that the addiction phenomena shows up in everybody’s mind. It’s very similar. And so we have to actually get in and find the voice of addiction and see how it’s running our life. It often shows up in areas of denial and rationalizations and other cognitive distortions such as making excuses. So a person would have to go in and understand how exactly they are deluding themselves.
0:42:23 DA: Basically, when you’re under the influence of addiction, every thought you have is a lie, essentially. The whole, all of it. The addiction has you at every turn. Even when you think that you’re trying to plan your recovery, it’s in that voice too, and it gets involved so that you don’t actually get anywhere. So it’s very tricky. You have to raise, your true self really has to awaken and raise your consciousness above the addictive mindset and that inner narrative ’cause that inner narrative runs the show. So that’s why coaching can be really helpful when it comes to addiction, is engaging that conscious conversation so that again, your consciousness rises up higher than the addiction’s consciousness.
0:43:07 DA: When we’re looking at the addictive personality, there’s a lot of attributes as well that show up in a person’s character. So there’s character building is going to be essential when it comes to the recovery process. Sometimes just finding three to five principles to work on. Those things could be integrity, honesty, compassion, patience, forbearance, things like this. If a person can find three to five characteristics to work on, that can go a long way. Our character manifests. Who we are at our heart center is what is reflected to us on a daily basis. So the mental work, the character building, looking at a person’s social, environmental world is essential, looking at lifestyle. I mean, you were talking about the basics at the beginning of this call. The basics are essential. I mean, essentially, that’s what we’re missing.
0:44:00 DA: You were also talking about spiritual bypassing. That’s what we tend to do in our society. Because we have so much technology and information and opportunities at our fingertips, it’s really easy to climb to high places, and we feel like we got there ourselves, but really, we just kind of like pole-vaulted up to those places. And so it’s important that we actually have to cultivate through each step, and work through those things on our own. So when we’re talking about addiction recovery, the most important thing to know is it’s a transformational process, and you have to go through each part of yourself.
0:44:37 DA: Addiction in and of itself, it creates another personality. Essentially another you is born, and the more that you feed that other aspect of yourself, the more needy it becomes, and then it just essentially takes over, and it gets to know you better than you know yourself in a way. So it’s trickery on a daily basis. So there’s a lot to the question when it comes to addiction recovery, but like I said, the most important thing is that it’s a transformational process that you do within yourself. It’s not something that you can solve outside of yourself. There’s no cure, there’s no treatment, there’s nothing for addiction. By definition, the process of addiction recovery is a personal transformational process.
0:45:21 DA: You actually do have to go in and find all of those wounds and burdens. And I say wounds and burdens because wounds is all the pain that happened to you by other people. The burdens are all the pains that you caused for yourself. So there’s two sides of the coin there. Both of those are gonna be perpetuated in any kind of suffering: Depression, anxiety, prolonged traumatic states, obsessive compulsiveness, eating disorders, addiction. All of these things are very similar in how we perpetuate them on a mental level, and usually it’s because we just keep stuffing our stuff down further and further. And so, to get out of it is to process that stuff and how we work on a transformational coaching level is to work with the material that surfaces on any given day.
0:46:09 DA: So you don’t necessarily have to go digging up stuff. I mean, with psychedelics, you’re gonna go digging up stuff, so that’s when we’re taking it to the next level, which is really profound, which really intersects with transformational work in such a great way, because these are the people that say, “You know, I’ve ignored these things for so much time. I just wanna jump in and deal with the bunch.” And a lot of times, I don’t think people understand what they’re getting themselves into because it’s gonna be a lot of work. But we are in a phase in our human experience where we gotta do it, we’ve gotta get this stuff out. So you can go in and dig a lot of it out, but the daily cultivation process is dealing with the matters that show up, moment to moment, and everybody has matters every single day, moment to moment, that we can either heal, dissolve, integrate or release.
0:47:00 PA: Wow, that was really well said. Let’s go a little bit deeper into the wounds and burdens ’cause there’s something that resonated with me, and I’ll just tell a little bit about my story for context. When I think of wounds, I think of depression, and when I think of burdens, I think of anxiety. This is just my personal take. The burdens that I’ve taken on create anxiety in my life, whereas the wounds that have affected me in the past are largely around peer group isolation, peer group judgment, which leads to depression, ’cause isolation leads to depression because it’s disconnection. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. Like, first, what are some of the most common wounds and burdens that we tend to take on, especially people who live in a Western culture and are living this sort of lifestyle? And then how do those wounds and burdens manifest in disease?
0:47:46 DA: Yeah, such a great question, and I like to talk about it because right now, we are only talking about wounds. I feel like we’re talking about all of the things that happened to us. The trauma industry has just blown up. There’s so much going on, and I think it’s absolutely incredible because addiction, underneath it is pain, and we do need to resolve our pain. It’s not like people choose to be addicted or choose to be depressed or anxious. But things that they’re doing do lead to these scenarios, and we need to go back and look at those things. I like looking at both sides of the coin because I feel that many times, our heaviest weight that we’re carrying is our own remorse and guilt about things, just as much as the things that have happened to us.
0:48:29 DA: And so I like what you’re saying. Your comparison there between wounds and depression, and burdens and anxiety, it makes sense. If I’m not in alignment with myself, I’m not being true to myself, I get anxious. I get anxious when I’m not in alignment. And so, burdens, being things that I did to myself or that I did to others, you know, I’m anxious until I deal with them. Anxiety and depression is a message system, it’s communicating to us. It’s like, when I’m anxious, I’m like, “Oh, there’s some material here that I need to resolve. That’s why I have anxiety.” It’s not about taking a pill to get rid of my anxiety. It’s about looking at what that is.
0:49:09 DA: And with wounds, it’s interesting what you say. Depression. Well, if people have hurt me, and I have not resolved those pains over many years, we fall into despair. The emotions get heavier, and then depression is really a conglomeration of emotion. So what you’re saying makes sense. I never heard it like that. But in terms of what causes wounds, well, usually it’s going to be something interpersonal, usually it’s gonna be something that stems from a relationship with a family member or a caretaker or a stranger when we’re younger. These can be anything from abuse, this could be neglect, this could be things like rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal. Things like this when we’re younger, or even in our formative years beyond childhood, these things leave quite an impression upon us, and often, we bury them, we don’t remember.
0:50:18 DA: And wounds can be any kind of adversity or hardship as well that we didn’t have the means to forbear at the moment. At the time that it happened, we didn’t have the ability to understand what was going on, to process what was going on, and to navigate in a healthy, productive way what was going on, and so it left a wound. Whereas when we’re older, sometimes, and these wounds happen, we have the tools and skills and wherewithal to say, “Okay, life happens. I’m gonna process and let this go.” So a lot of our wounds are stemming from our younger years and our formative years where we didn’t have those skills, abilities or that container to process what was happening, nor did we have the ability to even acknowledge what was happening.
0:51:05 DA: So we went into fight or flight or freeze. We developed a strategy to cope and survive, and then those strategies essentially stick with us through life. Those are the trauma patterns and those are the addictive patterns that we use to stay grounded. And then eventually, those consequences overcome the benefits and then we have to face it later in life. And to be honest, I think it’s okay, because sometimes when we’re younger, we don’t have that ability. Sometimes we work with teenagers and they’ll tell us, “Hey, I don’t want to do inner child work. I don’t want to heal my trauma. I’m a teenager. I wanna be a teenager.” They don’t have the mental and emotional maturity and the container for their own development set yet, so we have to recognize that some things maybe just are meant for dealing with when we’re older. And then, the burdens, those are all the things that we did to ourselves. And that’s just how I define it, but there’s different ways to look at it.
0:52:03 PA: Thank you for providing this insight, because for me, it’s like the burdens that I’ve chosen to take on create a high level of anxiety, which tends to lead to poor quality sleep, which then creates anxious depressive states in a way. And so in my own work, I’ve been very fortunate in that I didn’t have any adverse childhood experiences, I had a great family life. I had obviously, everyone has their core wounds and I have mine, but they were later on in my formative years, and I’ve dealt with those. I’ve integrated those through therapy and coaching and things like that, so a lot of the wounding I’ve healed, and there’s still elements of burdens that I’ve chosen to take on for one reason or another that continue to lead to, I would say anxious cycles.
0:52:48 PA: And like you were saying, like when it comes to trauma and wounding, that’s the big thing that’s talked about, but I’ve never heard of someone talking about burdens that we take on. I think that is so important to emphasize and really bring out because when we’ve completed at least elements of our healing then the choices that we make… Like for me, it’s work, I work a lot because I love what I do, and it’s important and etcetera, etcetera, and it’s like an element around boundaries. I haven’t set appropriate boundaries for myself to ensure that I’m being true to myself, to ensure that I’m nourishing myself, and getting the sleep that I need and all these sorts of things. So I just yeah, I appreciate you providing this insight ’cause I’m having a bit of a breakthrough just talking with you about it.
0:53:40 DA: Yeah, me too. I think about the heart-centered map, this is what we do as one of our coaching techniques here at Being True To You and authenticating what is real and true for us is to identify on 10 different points. Our value system and where we draw truth and wisdom and anchoring into that each day so that we have discernment about what we commit to, ’cause you’re absolutely right, what we commit to every time we say yes to something, we have just taken that responsibility, that commitment into our energy field, and now it’s going to weigh us down. So we have to be very careful and selective, especially in this transformational healing process moving forward, is to identify what we are bringing into our mind and our body, what are we? The foods that we’re eating, the products that we’re using, the movies and news that we’re watching, the people we’re surrounded by, the environment, because the transformational work initially is just getting through the burdens and wounds of this life. And then we awaken to our mission and purpose and our vow for this life, and then we get started.
0:54:56 DA: It’s hard to get started and have clarity on what we’re here to do when we’re 10, 50 feet deep in our own burdens, we just have so much stuff, we’re just sitting in mounds and mounds of karma and trauma, that’s another way to look at wounds and burdens, is karma and trauma. The pain that was done on to me and the pain that I have done on to myself or others in the world, and so initially in this transformational process, we have to work through all that stuff. Eventually we catch up pretty much to the present moment, and then it’s about not continuing to bring in that toxicity, that negativity, that drama, and all of the things that we did before that perpetuate our suffering.
0:55:44 DA: So, yeah, I like how you said having to look at those commitments because every time we say yes or no to something, we are having an exchange of energy in our energy field and we don’t realize it. Someone says, “Hey, can you do this or can we do that?” And you think, “Yes.” You don’t realize what you’ve just said yes to, what you you’ve just brought in might be a burden that you’re gonna carry for 18 months. And how many times have we said yes to a relationship, or to a business deal, or to any thing that completely derails us for six to 12 months or more, only to say, “Oh gosh, I shouldn’t have said yes to that. It wasn’t within my value system.” So we use a 10-point system that we call the heart-centered map, or heart-centered recovery map to help clients anchor into what is most real and true for them, so that they can make well-informed decisions on a daily basis about what to bring in to their mind, body and life and what not to.
0:56:44 PA: Thank you, that was fantastic. We’re about to hit the hour mark, so I just wanna make sure we respect your time and the time of our listeners. So before we wrap, Deanne, I would love if you could just provide a few details on where people could find out more information about your work and Being True To You, and including any upcoming programs that you might be rolling out, if people are interested in coaching and the your work with preparation and integration and whatnot?
0:57:07 DA: Yeah, well, thank you so much for having me on, Paul, I really appreciate the opportunity to come on and talk about these things. We are still in the midst of a mental health epidemic, and addiction crisis, and a suicide crisis. I mean there are people killing themselves, taking their own lives, whether immediately or whether they’re doing it through destructive behaviors over a period of time, and there’s a lot of families upside down. And right now in this time of crisis, I feel like a lot of people are turning an eye and saying, “Okay, I get it, I actually have to get myself out of this, there isn’t a solution, there’s no savior, nothing is gonna come in and bail me out of this. I have to get out of the trenches.” So I just wanna thank you for having me on the show. I’m delighted to be able to talk about these things, and always inviting people to step into the this space, whether you’re stepping in with psychedelics or whether you’re using different transformational tools, whether you’re using coaching or counselling, however you do it, just starting this transformational process is the most beautiful aspect of our lives.
0:58:10 DA: Even though it’s hard and it’s daunting, this is what we’re here to do, is to transform ourselves so that we can find our life purpose and fulfill our soul’s mission. Now, as far as what I’m up to, I have Being True To You, you can find us at beingtruetoyou.com. I have two companies, so this is my one company, what we do is transformational coaching, we offer transformational coaching to individuals and to families, and we also offer it on a group level as well for people that are wanting to get unstuck from addictions and other states of suffering and just to step it up in life and again, find what we’re here to do. Now, of course, that’s up to you and in your process, but we can help guide that process. Within being Being True To You, we’re all virtual, so everything we do is going to be over the phone and over the internet, a lot of video calls, a lot of group community calls, which are just absolutely amazing.
0:59:10 DA: But in addition to the services that we offer directly to individuals, we also offer services to retreats, so retreat centers who are doing really great work with treatments but are not supporting people before and after. That’s what we do. We have a couple of hundred coaches, we actually have a lot more than that. We have a lot of coaches that stay engaged, these are very high-level coaches. We do offer training and certification and mentoring in ongoing education year-round. So it’s a great community, we have to partner with individuals or retreats, and then the coach trainings. So anybody that wants to elevate your own practice, whether you’re already a licensed professional, and we have a lot of licensed professionals that come through here, or whether you’re just stepping into this, maybe you’re retired, and you wanna get back into this, however it is you can talk to us about it. The other thing that I’m doing, I started a video channel called The Human Experience, it is under a TV channel called edgeofwonder.tv, it’s subscription only, but I do have a TV channel called The Human Experience, where I talk about the transformational process in depth, and so if anyone wants to check that out, that would be great. Simply, you can find us at Being True To You on Facebook or Instagram. And if you have any thoughts or questions, we’d love to hear your story, learn from you, and support you however we can.
1:00:35 PA: Well, again, Deanne I just wanna thank you for coming on the podcast, for providing what I’ve found to be an incredibly unique and insightful perspective. I wanna thank you for the work that you’ve been doing now for 10 years. Being True To You started back in 2010 as we mentioned earlier and that took a lot of courage, and that took a lot of work. So I just appreciate everything that you’ve done for your clients, for your community, for your coaches, really is something special that you’ve built and created.
1:01:02 DA: Well, thank you so much, same to you, Paul Austin, for what you have put together. It’s a pleasure to know you and to be in conversation with you on different things and to do this podcast today, so thank you so much and thanks to everybody listening, really appreciate you listening to our talk today.