Emily Peck

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 of July 2020 was about how one can use psychedelics to change their attitude towards life, with a specific focus on depression. A major discussing point was the Default Mode Network and it’s role in deep-seated negative self-conceptions and how the brain functions while experiencing depression – and how psychedelics can disrupt the function of the DMN, which results in a relief of depression symptoms. We also looked at what true “happiness” really is, through looking at the hedonic view vs eudaemonic view of well-being. Essentially, striving for long-term contentedness (eudaemonic view) rather than short-term pleasure (hedonic view), and how psychedelics can facilitate the process of moving towards that long-term contentedness. 

This meeting occurred on Zoom on 7.7.20, and some things that were discussed after the presentation were: the idea of priming your brain before a trip and how to integrate your trip into your life after the fact, as well as that process therein and how to combine that with other therapeutic techniques; the differences between microdosing and macrodosing, and which dose can be most useful when; and the individual differences between how people use psychedelics as therapy (there are a lot of ways to go about this!) There were also several members who shared how psychedelics had positively affected their lives, in very major ways. For any future attendees, know that you can be as vulnerable about your life experiences as you are comfortable being – this community is here to hear you out and have your back! There is so much empathy and unconditional love from this community, so please come check it out and share your piece, and learn along the way! 

The next monthly conversation (8.4.20 at 7 pm) shall be somewhat similar to what was discussed today, but with the added layer of how mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga can help supplement the healing process in between micro and macrodosing. I shall also discuss the psychological/science side of mindfulness, and tie that into the idea of the Default Mode Network – and how you can start the positive upward cycle of healing by utilizing not just psychedelics, but other forms of healing as well. 

Psychedelics, the Self, and Attitude Changes Slide deck – http://www.portlandpsychedelicsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Psychedelics-the-Self-and-Attitude-Changes.pptx

DMN, depression, psychedelics transcript for Slide deck – http://www.portlandpsychedelicsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DMN-depression-psychdelics-transcript-for-PPS.docx