My name is Ashley, I was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
I am a licensed professional counselor with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Rosalind Franklin University, with a specialty in Psychedelic Therapy. I am currently the first individual at Rosalind Franklin University to both specialize and teach Psychedelic Therapy for therapists. Through this work, I am helping re-educate and de-stigmatize these therapies so patients and clinicians, alike, can feel less shame and more comfortability exploring such avenues of healing.
For the past seven years, psychedelic therapy has touched my life profoundly, in both professional and personal settings. I help those who wish to undergo this path themselves feel safe and supported throughout their own personal journey.
The clients that I work with are typically preparing or are already working through a psychedelic experience(s). The majority of my current clients are using or; are interested in, Ketamine treatments as their first exposure to psychedelics given that it is the only legal one in the United States thus far.
Aside from Ketamine, I offer my services as an unlimited resource for my clients to gain more information on other psychedelics (not yet legal).
Right now, I am unable to provide these substances or the adjacent treatment until they are legal in IL, but what I can do is provide enough information for my clients to be able to start doing their own research with the future ideas of therapy ahead. So they can be better prepared for once it becomes available.
We will go over general information about psychedelics, how to use them in a safe and respectful manner, and what to expect given the different substances + their experiences. My therapeutic philosophy is heavily based in harm reduction. Meaning it is important for clients to know the risks/benefits to these treatments and while I can support them in making their own decisions, I cannot advise for or against the use of any psychedelics outside a legal clinic at this time.
The information that I use to educate and help to de-stigmatize these therapies are all backed by empirical evidence. However, I also acknowledge and respect other ways of knowledge when it comes to these treatments. Referring to the indigenous cultures and individuals that have used these sacred medicines for thousands of years.
Some of the important topics that we will go over in our sessions together include:
Preparing or working up to the first experience.
Creating realistic expectations about one’s healing journey with psychedelics.
Helping the individual assimilate back into everyday life after each experience and the challenges that this can have.
Concept that life itself is psychedelic and these experiences are not the “end all” goal or main thing that helps us heal.
Risks of medication interactions and impacts on treatment progress.
Potential risks of psychosis and how this can be managed or even integrated into one’s healing experience.
Opening a dialogue about the risk of uncertainty with safety and purity when it comes to recreational substance use.
Creating a safe non-judgmental therapeutic environment that is aligned with the individual’s goals.
Processing sudden changes in perspective or gaining insights and how to apply them.
Accepting the changes in oneself and the relationships in their lives as they embark on their healing journey.
During our sessions together, I will regularly emphasize the importance of acceptance and surrender when it comes to this style of therapy-treatment. This is because with an open mindset, the individual will be able to reduce the changes of them running into a challenging experience. This can happen when an individual meets the experience with resistance, which creates more distress.
Our sessions will also go over in detail the full range of possible psychedelic experiences so that each person will be prepared for what may be ahead.
The vast majority of clients that come to me for psychedelic therapy include:
Clients who have failed traditional treatments (meds, therapy).
Clients who want to incorporate psychedelic medicines into traditional therapy.
Clients who want informational sessions or extended resource conversations.
Clients who have had prior psychedelic experiences (positive, difficult, or neutral) and want more support with them.
Clients who want to confront their pasts to move forward with the bigger picture.
Psychedelic therapy is not a therapy that one should navigate alone. There are many instances where individuals choose to embark on this path and without proper guidance can have more difficulty understanding the experiences, how to apply them, and reach their bigger healing goals. With support, this therapy will become easier in terms of normalizing these experiences, understanding how it connects to ourselves and our story, receiving basic emotional support, developing coping/safety plans, applying the lessons from the experience into daily life, and planning for future experiences. The right support can be a major difference in the progress of this therapy.
I look forward to guiding and supporting you along your journey with psychedelics.