A. (34 jaar)

Ik heb al het grootste deel van mijn leven last van angsten en paniek en daardoor ook al heel lang last van fysieke klachten zoals mijn darmen en pijn in mijn lichaam. Ik was constant overprikkeld, alles was me teveel en ik leefde contant in overlevingsstand en stond heel ver van mijn gevoel af.

Ik heb in een jaar tijd 3 trips met MDMA (analogen) gedaan en 3 trips met psilocybine.

Ik vond het onwijs spannend en was heel angstig om de eerste trip te doen, maar

ergens voelde ik dat ik er klaar voor was en het me zou helpen. Ik ben heel blij

dat ik het uiteindelijk heb gedaan, want het heeft me al heel veel geholpen.

Ik heb veel minder last van de fysieke klachten en daarnaast slaap ik over het

algemeen gezien veel beter, voel ik me qua gevoel in langere periodes een stuk lichter

en ben ik zelfs een aantal kilo aangekomen (aangezien ik aan de vrij slanke kant ben).

De trips zelf waren sommige momenten heftig en sommige momenten magisch. De psychedelica zijn geen wondermiddel die al mijn problemen ineens hebben weggehaald. Het is echt een proces waar je doorheen moet en daar zit ik nu ook in. Ik heb zeker nog wel lastige momenten en klachten alleen leer ik mezelf steeds beter kennen, mijn grenzen beter te bewaken en wat ik nodig heb om weer te kunnen ontladen. Het verwerken van wat je tijdens de trips meemaakt is voor mij wel heel erg van belang.

De psychedelica is een heel sterk middel dat mij heeft geholpen om bij gevoelens te komen waar ik met praat therapie en lichaamsgerichte therapie niet heb kunnen komen, of met hele kleine ministapjes. Het maakt een deel van je toegankelijk die voor mij zonder het middel heel erg gesloten was. Bij mij zijn er inzichten en gevoelens los gekomen die ik moest doorvoelen en nog deels aan het verwerken ben."

Neil (60 jaar)

Robert came highly recommended to me by my osteopath of 6 years, someone I trusted. At that point, I had been diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition. Not life threatening, but certainly worth trying to work out how to stop it in its tracks. These illnesses appear to build up over 1-2 decades and largely reflect lifestyle issues - too much stress (can include legacy issues as well as ongoing); insufficient exercise; & ‘sub optimal’ diet.

The usual list of misdemeanours! DNA is a less likely to be the main driver.

So why turn to psychedelics? Well, I knew that anxiety,

even of a ‘low level’ type, was a trigger for my condition. I also knew that this

whole field of psychedelics was generating tremendous excitement in the US

where labs at top universities have been engaged in researching their effect -

especially since 2018 when the US permitted research into drugs such as MDMA,

psyilocybin, ketamine on an ‘exploratory’ basis. The final piece of this ‘triangulation

puzzle’ was to find out about and, as mentioned, to have my

osteopath’s personal recommendation. Game on!

But how should a 60-year old with no prior experience of ‘Class A’ drugs tackle this? Obvious answer: just have a go! (Nerves notwithstanding!!) After preliminary meetings with Robert, my first trip was 23 Dec 2022. I loved it.

(I later realised that that was because I didn’t actually achieve much at that first session!)

Looking back, I now know that the main point of all this is ‘talk therapy’ to tackle problems that too often mainstream psychiatrists struggle with; or take an eternity to make real progress with. MDMA - or whatever - are only enablers to the main event: and that’s talking through even known issues where what’s stored in the subconcious is still, by definition, an unknown! Taking MDMA on its own would have achieved nothing.

There is clear scientific evidence now (from large trials) that ‘psychedelics + talk therapy’ produce vastly superior results to just ‘talk therapy’ on its own. And that there are no really bad outcomes!

(Common sense should never be abandoned mind you!)

Unwrapping this further: the empathy you feel ‘on a trip’ makes delving into your brain that much more productive for both you - and your therapists. And it allows you to process trauma in a less harmful way. A skilled therapist not only understands trauma in its (very) many guises but can also ‘manipulate’ the outcomes through mood, achieved by switching between playing both melodic and then up beat music. (Again. the science backs this up too.)

This accentuates your feeling of empathy and thus your willingness to talk - and to reveal.

To achieve progress through such a process, it is therefore clear that you need to have a rapport with your therapists. If you didn’t get on with them - or like them - progress would likely be much slower. Your therapists also need to have a deep understanding of what each type of psychedelic does, dosages, etc.

And to be able to monitor you closely throughout.

I deliberately didn’t write this review too early in the process. By waiting (for six months), I know that my view is fully developed. I can say with confidence that Robert - and more recently Linda - know what they’re doing and really do have my interests at heart. Their support of me during challenging periods is something that will stay with me for life. It is really important for me to feel that I can trust them implicitly. I do.

As I mentioned, my first trip was joyous. I may have invented dancing (to progressive house magician “Miss Monique”) whilst lying prostrate on a bed!! But then not much came out. Subsequent sessions eventually culminated in what must have been the most emotional outburst I’ve ever experienced.

I won’t say why but just that I have no vivid memories of my early years.

So, it’s not always fun. It shouldn’t be if you’re there to deep cleanse your brain! But I must say that I’m glad I chose to go on this journey. And glad to have Robert guide me through it all.

Trauma can affect as many as one person in two! So there’s no need to be ashamed of anything.

One final thought: for me, ‘talk therapy’ has unearthed stuff that either I didn’t know or

I didn’t appreciate the full psychological and physiological consequences of.If this has

been a feature of your life for decades, don’t be too surprised to find that your

body has suffered along with your mind. Both are deeply interconnected.

And here I’ve also implemented substantive changes to my life, much of which

came from initial advice from Robert. I’ve shed 8 kg through intermittent

fasting and dramatically lowering my alcohol consumption. (The former allows

your gut to recover from the daily deluge of calories and stress.) I take

magnesium tablets daily; I’ve reversed my omega 3 deficiency and slashed my

excessive omega 6 to omega 3 ratio; I’m taking exercise more seriously; I engage

in breath work (for relaxation daily); & I’ve added cold showers (improved blood flow).

I also intend to start meditation (to slow an overactive mind). I’m still the same old me with all my usual foibles. I’m simply trying to move my decisions a bit more away from work and towards more fun. I’m also trying to lift what I dub my ‘happiness potential’ from 85% of peak to something better. This is really about optimising your life as much as is possible - and, for me, to tackle a recent medical development. I really genuinely don’t think that I am unusual in needing this help.

In summary; my neuro degenerative disease seems not to be progressing. Fingers crossed! That said, I still want to push it into remission. Without psychedelics and Robert’s extremely significant support for that, as well as lifestyle more broadly, my journey would be much less advanced. It could have taken years. And cost considerably more. And that’s assuming you find a therapist you’re on the same wavelength as - something you may know is actually very difficult to find.

It’s a shame that an area so incredibly helpful to humans is still largely ‘underground’. An expected breakthrough in Class 3 trials in the USA - for MDMA-supported ‘talk therapy’ for PTSD to become a mainstream prescription drug - should trigger a floodgate of legalisation throughout Europe in the next 2-3 years. Don’t wait for it. You deserve better. Give brainforest a ring! I’m delighted I did.