I’ve been hesitant in publishing this piece. The last thing I want to do is air out my family’s dirty laundry for everyone to judge, something I’ve been taught never to do. And I know my dad wouldn’t approve of me sharing this about him, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I love my dad and respect him for all the struggle he’s gone through to survive his past and for raising me and my brothers. I’m not here to fix him or anyone, but our interaction did raise some thoughts I felt the need to share, for anyone who might resonate.
I called my dad recently and told him about my new gig as a Psychedelic Integration Coach. I explained it in a way that is similar to talk therapy where clients would see therapists to work through emotional, and sometimes physical challenges.
As a coach and guide though, I’m not administering professional therapy or psychoanalysis. Instead, I hold a safe space for the human being on the other end to express what they might have never told anyone else before, while guiding them into their own inner wisdom and intuition to find the answers. And we do so by asking profound questions that encourage new ways of thinking or new habits to commit to. And as a Psychedelic Guide, we use psychedelic medicine as a tool to accelerate their physical or emotional health transformation.
My dad and I had a very pleasant conversation by the end of it. But let’s just say, if I ever saw my dad in therapy of any kind for that matter, I would be both surprised and skeptical. Like, who’s forcing him to be there?
He came off judgmental about the people who seek out therapy or drugs to help them, questioning their education or income status. He also doubted their inability to change their own lives. According to him, he will always have the strength and trust to pull himself out of any situation he gets himself into.
While I admire the self-reliance, I couldn’t help but feel disturbed and sad about the ignorance of mental and emotional health challenges, and the loneliness from thinking he has to do everything by himself. At the same time, I wonder, could my emotional reaction be a generational and/or western privilege? Maybe that’s a topic for another day.