Psychedelic Peer Support: Co-Creating Communities of Compassionate Care
Featuring Zendo Project: Katrina Michelle, Ph.D., Chelsea Rose, M.A., Associate M.F.T., Ryan Jay Beauregard
Difficult psychedelic experiences can be frightening. What can you do to help someone having a difficult psychedelic or emotional experience? What techniques are available for helping transform a potentially traumatic situation into a positive one? What does it mean to create a safe container for someone going through a difficult time? What role has the Zendo Project played at festivals, and what take-home messages are available for others interested in psychedelic peer support?
The mission of the Zendo Project is to provide a supportive environment and education to help transform difficult psychedelic and psychological experiences into opportunities for learning and growth. We envision a world where communities are engaged in providing safety and support for people having psychedelic and psychological challenges; where harm reduction principles are used foremost to reduce the risks associated with substance use.
Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles Honors College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2007, and received her master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2012. She has a passion for harm reduction as a therapeutic and practical approach to drug use and abuse prevention. Chelsea also works for DanceSafe, a public health organization, as the manager for the reagent testing kit program. Additionally, she manages the Crisis Response Team in Nevada County, supporting clients who come into the emergency room during a psychiatric crisis. She lives in the Sierra foothills of California with her husband Alexandre, who is also involved in harm reduction work, their three children, and their chickens, fish, and Kisser kitty.
Ryan received his B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and spent 10 years mentoring at-risk teens and families through wilderness survival skills and nature connection. His passion for community connection, the environment, and intrapersonal healing continued with his involvement in permaculture, natural building, and ancestral grief rituals. As a volunteer with the Zendo Project since 2013, Ryan has had the opportunity to connect and expand the scope of psychedelic harm reduction in communities and festivals all over the globe. As the Zendo Project Manager, he integrates his skills in psychology, design and and community engagement. When he isn’t on the road with the Zendo Project, Ryan can be found at his home in Boulder, CO enjoying the great outdoors, experimenting with sustainable technology, and designing websites, logos and sacred geometry art.
Katrina Michelle received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a Transpersonal specialization from Sofia University at The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2017 after completing her dissertation on “Exploring Resistance to Spiritual Emergence.” Since then she has served on the board and as executive director of The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). In 2004 Katrina graduated from Stony Brook University with her Masters in Social Work and a specialization in student community development and has maintained an integrative psychotherapy practice, The Curious Spirit, in New York City since 2008. Katrina serves as adjunct faculty at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services and The Institute for the Development of Human Arts (IDHA) and is currently working on producing her first documentary film, “When Lightning Strikes “, with the intention to educate the mainstream about spiritual emergence.