WHAT WE TREAT
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD develops after we experience a traumatic event. The event is so jarring, unexpected, and painful that we become terrified that it may happen again, and we recreate ourselves in attempts to avoid this pain. Encounters with death, sexual aggression, violence, and war are common experiences that can trigger the development of PTSD.
Depression & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders in the world, with 5% of people worldwide and nearly 20% of adults in the US experiencing depression and anxiety, respectively. Depression is characterized by lethargy, anhedonia (lack of pleasure), decreased motivation, difficulty making decisions, and little hope for things getting better. Individuals often experience low-self esteem, and in more severe cases of depression, can entertain thoughts of, attempt, or complete suidice.
Substance Use & Alcohol Abuse Disorders
Substance abuse carries a massive stigma in our society, but the reality is that those struggling with substance abuse are managing as best as they can. Whether it be cocaine or amphetamines, alcohol or marijuana, prescription opioids or fentanyl, there is something within us that feels missing that our drug of choice provides. “Getting high” is a spiritual aim sought through material means. Substance use and addiction are incredibly destructive to individuals, relationships, families, and society.
Trauma occurs when we are confronted with an experience that exceeds our capacity to make meaning of and cope with. It is stored in the body as tensions or pains, which can be processed when we are more mature and better resourced. Trauma can be as stark as sexual abuse by a caregiver or as mundane as being yelled at by a stressed out parent.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts from incredibly outgoing and exuberant behavior (manic episode) to deep and painful depression. Formerly labeled as “manic-depressive disorder,” it is challenging both for the individual with bipolar disorder and their close relationships. Most with bipolar disorder have a close relative with the disorder, signifying its heritability and genetic components. Bipolar disorder can emerge as early as late childhood or as late as early elderhood (around age 50). The median age for onset of symptoms is 25 years.
Each of us has a personality, or an ego structure: a set of traits, likes and dislikes, talents, curiosities, and weaknesses. Ideally, our personality forms around an authentic center of self. However, when personalities are formed around core and complex traumas, it can become organized in such a way as to invite consistent pain and conflict to the individual and their community. Personality disorders are the most common of all psychiatric diagnoses comprising 40-60% of all psychiatric patients.
Gambling is one of the better understood process addictions that people commonly suffer from. Winning a bet gives just as powerful a neurological signal as a shot of morphine, and losing streaks carry the same symptoms as an addict in withdrawal. Like any addiction, gambling addiction is incredibly destructive to a person’s emotional, physical, and psychological health, with far-reaching implications for their loved ones. The promise that one can win it all after losing everything, then do it all over again, is a difficult cycle to break.
Our relationship to food is one of our most primary, its impact on us greater than most anything else. Food literally comprises our body, and how and what we eat are often clear signs as to how we feel towards ourselves. Our therapists and psychedelic-assisted therapy protocol can help you regain a sense of agency around your relationship to food and help you to feel more at home in your body.
Smartphone and Screen Addiction
Smartphones and computation technology has completely revolutionized our world, connecting most of the world population to one another, making communication and world events happen at the speed of light. But it has also revolutionized our pain and exploited hacks of the human system. Our attention has become one of the most valuable commodities, and Big Tech invests billions of dollars into seeking out and channeling that attention, for good and ill.
Video Game Addiction
Video games are a powerful technology. They are immersive worlds that we can become stuck in, at the extreme unable to differentiate between reality and the game. Just like with smartphones, internet, and social media addiction, the lobes of the prefrontal cortex deactivate as the player takes on the passive act of receiving, rather than creating, the world. Video games produce trance-like states where hours can go by, stimulate the same pleasure centers as sex, and produce analgesic effects strong enough to treat burn victims.
Codependency is a form of addiction to people in our lives, where each reinforces the limited, separate, and often painful aspects of our identity. Just like someone struggling with substance addiction, someone in a codependent relationship feels like they cannot live without the other, while the other in the relationship harbors resentment but is likewise dependent on the feeling of being needed. And while it happens often in romantic relationships, we can have codependent relationships with family, friends, and coworkers as well.
Psychedelics (also known as hallucinogens) are a group of psychoactive substances that alter one’s perception of time, the environment, and themselves. Acting primarily on the serotonin 2A receptor, these compounds, whether derived from nature in the form of ayahuasca, peyote, or mushrooms, or synthesized in the lab to their active compounds (N,N-dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, and psilocybin, respectively), produce powerful alterations in perception, mood, and cognition. They are known for producing powerful visionary states where users see, hear, or experience things that cannot be verified in consensual reality. The experiences are very intense, often described as being more real than waking life.
Sex addiction is one of the most difficult issues to talk about. There is a great deal of shame placed on sex. This drives many people into secrecy where it can be very difficult to reach out for help. Sex is one of our most powerful biological drives, influencing much of the neurochemistry of motivation. With over-sexualized imagery everywhere and pornography ubiquitously available, pornography addiction is one of the quietest epidemics of our time. Engaging in risky sexual behavior and entering into destructive relationships is a signpost for us to look within and how we view ourselves.