The Monthly Conversation is an event the Portland Psychedelic Society hosts every first Tuesday of each month, in which members of the community come together to discuss topics surrounding the use and applications in society of psychedelics. Everyone is welcome to join regardless of experience in the realm (it is actually a great place to start as an introduction to the world of psychedelics, our community is very supportive), and we encourage everyone who joins in to share their piece and engage in the discourse. The discussions are always fascinating, as everyone brings something unique to the table. It is a great place to share information such as important authors in our field of study and interest, or recent studies that have come out regarding psychedelics.

We start with a short (about 10 minute) presentation to provide some jumping off points, and then the discussion continues on for the next ~2 hours, although it is not mandatory to stay the whole time (we start at 7 pm and end at 9 pm.) We hope to see you there!

My name is Emily and I facilitate the Monthly Conversation. I am an undergrad psychology student at Portland State University, and my focus is specifically on positive psychology, transpersonal psychology, and healing through entheogens and psychedelic experiences.

Our topic in May 2020 was Mental Health and Psychedelics, with a specific focus on the interaction between depression and addiction, and how psychedelics can help reverse certain deep-seated conceptions of the self that may be causing the depression and addictive tendencies. Through this reversal and shift in perspective, the process of healing can take place, although care must be taken within this process.

This meeting occurred on Zoom on 5.6.20, and some things that were discussed were the “Rat Park” study conducted by Bruce Alexander in the 70’s – which allowed us to start to change our understanding of addiction; we discussed addiction recovery through intense experiences such as Ibogaine and those who work in that field shared their direct knowledge and experience of that topic; there was discussion about how important the integration of the psychedelic experience is, which is one of the main factors that can allow healing to take place on a cognitive and behavioral level; there were questions about the effect of substances such as psilocybin on anxiety related disorders such as OCD; and we also had some newcomers to the world of psychedelics seeking information about how to properly and safely start their experiences. There were also questions about whether young people (under the age of 25) should be having psychedelic experiences or not, which led into quandaries about who should be taking psychedelics or who should not. The jury is still out there on this topic, which is why it will be the main topic of our next monthly discussion, which will occur on 6.2.20!