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Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development Paperback – December 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; 1 edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594772509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594772504
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Psychedelic Healing is a comprehensive contextualized guide for harnessing psychedelics to assist in personal evolution. Neal Goldsmith introduces you to all the key players at this exciting moment in the long history of human interaction with psychedelic plants. Goldsmith’s clinical yet revealing and accessible narrative is as reassuring as it is instructional. Not since The Tibetan Book of the Dead has there been such a useful companion to the amazing array of spiritual medicines that are nature’s gift to humanity.” (Allan Badiner, adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, contributing edito)

“In synchronous timing with the publication of Jung’s precious personal vision, Neal Goldsmith presents his own Red Book of self-discovery and organizes it into a useful road map to the mystery within each of us--of who we are and why . . .” (John H. Halpern, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School)

“Written with authority and scholarship, this book is intended for the therapeutic mental health community and will find readers at any academic institution with a psychology department. However, the wider audience of seekers and free thinkers make this appropriate for most public library collections as well.” (Janet Tapper, Univ. of Western States Lib., Library Journal, February 2011)

“An analysis that looks deep into history as well as the true medical effects of the drug, Psychedelic Healing is a fascinating analysis into a taboo avenue of medicine.” (The Midwest Book Review, February 2011)

“Dr. Goldsmith proposes how psychedelic healing can be incorporated into a new, integrated psychotherapy that harnesses the emotional, mental and spiritual healing powers of these entheogenic gives guidance on safe “tripping” and on handling emergencies. . . This is a visionary approach towards a whole new reality.” (Nexus Magazine, May 2011)

“By calling on insights from personality development, Goldsmith enriches our understanding of how psychedelics can lead to a richer, more mature self and at the same time help people re-identify with the true, inner transcendent self: the path of personal, psychological growth persisted in long enough becomes a path of spiritual growth. Then, using this expertise in a large-scale institutional and social change, he proposes a number of careful steps to beneficially fit psychedelics into society. Thus Psychedelic Healing moves forward both personal maturity and institutional growth for their combined benefits” (Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is co-editor of Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Subs)

“. . . ideal combination of facts, personal experiences and most importantly, hope for the future of psychedelics. Their time has come and Neal tells us why and how to make that happen.” (Erowid, October 2011)

“Neal Goldsmith’s comprehensive, wise, and timely guide explores the impact of psychedelics throughout history and today at the level of the individual, the society, and the collective consciousness. Psychedelic Healing addresses salient theoretical questions pertinent to policy, therapy, spirituality, and philosophy and offers a bountiful harvest of hardearned insights to every reader interested in the transformative power of psychedelics. Neal has made a major contribution to ensuring the continued expansion of the psychedelic research renaissance. Psychedelic Healing will enable motivated readers to work more effectively to create a world where the mature use of psychedelics for spiritual, psychological, and medical purposes is both accepted and appreciated.” (Rick Doblin, Ph.D., executive director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)

"In terms of both academics and activism, it is the most comprehensive and readable book on this subject that I've come across." (Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, October 2010)

Psychedelic Healing is full of knowledge and wisdom, psychologically sophisticated, and up-to-date. It contains important lessons for those wishing to work with psychedelic plants and substances, which are powerful and tricky tools for accessing the psyche. Neal Goldsmith makes a well-reasoned plea for society to use them once again because they are important tools for healing inside, healing relationships, and healing society. I enjoyed his speculation about the post-postmodern synthesis of tribal and modern. Written bravely and with open eyes, this is an important, mature book” (Jeremy Narby, Ph.D., author of The Cosmic Serpent and co-editor of Shamans Through Time)

Psychedelic Healing offers the reader a wondrous journey, capturing within one volume a guide for the use of psychedelics by therapists and patients as well as a contemporary summation of relevant research and points of history. Goldsmith bravely goes where few dare to tread, especially in his autobiographical vignettes that make clear how what is learned through psychedelic-assisted therapy can usefully be applied and integrated into everyday life. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in learning how psychedelics may contribute to a healthier, richer, and more rewarding life rather than just assuming that these substances must be categorized as drugs of abuse. There is more to these substances than their pejorative categorizations within a Drug War: Psychedelic Healing offers an easy-to-read path to these deeper waters.” (John H. Halpern, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School)

“Neal Goldsmith is one of the leading architects of the emerging paradigm of psychedelic therapy. In this book he shares the personal story of his own process of growth and transformation as both a drug policy analyst and a psychotherapist and boldly calls for the acceptance and integration of psychedelics into psychiatry and society as the powerful catalysts for self-exploration and healing that they are.” (Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., assistant professor, Center for Spirituality and Healing, University of Minne)

“In this lively and provocative book, Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D., makes the case for a ‘Psychedelic Renaissance,’ one in which LSD-type substances would be rescheduled in the United States, permitting their applications in psychotherapy and medicine. Psychedelic Healing presents considerable evidence from the research and clinical literature, as well as from Goldsmith’s own experiences, that psychedelics can relieve pain, change personality, foster spiritual growth, and promote community harmony. After reading this book, many of his readers will be persuaded that this renaissance cannot come a day too soon!” (Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University, and coauthor of Pe)

“Written with personal warmth and passionate engagement, Psychedelic Healing makes a compelling case for the medical and social benefits of a therapy practice that encompasses substance-induced experiences of transcendence. With scrupulous care, Neal Goldsmith explores the great promise of this reemerging field, while proposing a path forward that avoids the mistakes made a generation ago. This book is valuable reading for those who would like to see a crucial new chapter open in consciousness studies and the mental health field.” (Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head)

“What a brave and wonderful book! Neal Goldsmith beautifully integrates personal experience and reflections with thoughtful analysis of psychedelics: their history, prohibition and regulation, and potential for transforming our psyches, spirits, and lives.” (Ethan A. Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance)

“A wonderful blend of psychedelic history. Goldsmith has written a radical, wise, and compassionate rethinking of the nature and purpose of psychotherapy. This is the direction psychology needs to go in order to stay relevant and valuable.” (James Fadiman Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorers Guide and Personality and Personal Growth)

“A thoroughly researched and engaging discussion of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, profiling not just the drugs, but many luminaries in the psychedelic research field. Goldsmith emphasizes the importance of set, setting, and ritual on outcome. By chronicling his own growth and transformation he answers the question, ‘Is fundamental personality change possible?’ with an emphatic ‘Yes!’” (Julie Holland, M.D., editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Can)

“When we look back at the extraordinary cultural transformations of the past forty years, there is one ingredient in the recipe of social change that is consistently and inexplicably expunged from the record. And that is the fact that countless thousands, indeed millions, of young at some point in their lives lay prostrate before the gates of awe having taken a psychedelic. Neal Goldsmith’s insightful book suggests that perhaps we might do well by doing the same.” (Wade Davis, award-winning anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker, author, and photographer)

“Neal Goldsmith’s comprehensive analysis of the healing power of psychedelics puts the medical, spiritual, and legal status of these soul medicines in a passionate, well-informed voice.” (Alex Grey, author of Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations)

From the Back Cover

ENTHEOGENS / HEALTH

Psychedelic Healing is full of knowledge and wisdom, psychologically sophisticated, and up-to-date. Written bravely and with open eyes, this is an important, mature book.”
--Jeremy Narby, Ph.D., author of The Cosmic Serpent and co-editor of Shamans Through Time

“In synchronous timing with the publication of Jung’s precious personal vision, Neal Goldsmith presents his own Red Book of self-discovery and organizes it into a useful road map to the mystery within each of us--of who we are and why . . .”
--John H. Halpern, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Banned after promising research in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, the use of psychedelics as therapeutic catalysts is now being rediscovered at prestigious medical schools, such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and UCLA. Through clinical trials to assess their use, entheogens have been found to ease anxiety in the dying, interrupt the hold of addictive drugs, cure post-traumatic stress disorder, and treat other deep-seated emotional disturbances. To date, results have been positive, and the idea of psychedelics as powerful psychiatric--and spiritual--medicines is now beginning to be accepted by the medical community.

Exploring the latest cutting-edge research on psychedelics, along with their use in indigenous cultures throughout history for rites of passage and shamanic rituals, Neal Goldsmith reveals that the curative effect of entheogens comes not from a chemical effect on the body but rather by triggering a peak or spiritual experience. He provides guidelines for working with entheogens, groundbreaking analyses of the concept--and the process--of change in psychotherapy, and, ultimately, his own story of psychedelic healing. Examining the tribal roots of this knowledge, Goldsmith shows that by combining ancient wisdom and modern research we can unlock the emotional, mental, and spiritual healing powers of these unique and powerful plants, providing an integral medicine for postmodern society.

NEAL M. GOLDSMITH, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development. A frequent speaker on spiritual emergence, drug policy reform, and postmodern society, he lives in New York.

More About the Author

Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development. He is a popular speaker on drug policy reform, spiritual maturation, and the emergence of an integral society (a six-minute clip of his talk on the "Fusion of Spirit and Science" may be found at: http://vimeo.com/7517009) and an author, most recently of Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development.

Dr. Goldsmith has curated dozens of successful conferences and cross-disciplinary "meetings of minds" for corporations as well as the psychedelic community, including the Horizons and MAPS Psychedelic Science conferences. He is a founder of several discussion salons on integral philosophy, governance, media, postmodern science, healing, and the future of society.

Trained in humanistic, transpersonal, and eastern traditions, Dr. Goldsmith maintains a (non-psychedelic) psychotherapy practice in New York and Sag Harbor, NY, and may be reached via his Web site: http://www.nealgoldsmith.com/psychedelics.

Customer Reviews

Add to this that the book is somewhat muddled both in writing and lay out.
Bodhi Heeren
This book is not only an easy read, it is also well written for many different readers.
Amy
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in psychedelics or healing.
David K. Wilder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Ortner on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Goldsmith is one of the world's leading experts on psychedelic plants and chemicals, and their effect on the Psyche. In this fascinating book, Goldsmith takes us on a personal journey of discovery. Along the way he discusses the use of psychedelics for spiritual, psychological and medical purposes. From their original use by ancient indigenous cultures to the most recent scientific research, Goldsmith reviews the possible medical and spiritual potential of these Entheogens. He profiles the key figures in the history of psychedelics, including cultural icon Timothy Leary and the relatively unknown botanical researchers, Alexander T and Ann Shulgin. Some of his most important conclusions are covered in a chapter titled Implications For The Future. If Goldsmith is correct in his analysis, then the study and understanding of psychedelics, and their effect on consciousness, will be an ever expanding and important field of research and discovery in the future of psychiatry. Goldsmith's comprehensive guide includes extensive footnotes, a highly informative Appendix, and a thought provoking list of Recommended Reading.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By reb on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
this is an excellent book for anyone interested in the field of psychology, psychedelic plants, shamanism, relationships or self-evolution. it is essential on my bookshelf where it is often referenced and sits alongside works by pinchbeck, leary, metzner, mckenna and ram dass.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TarikofGotham on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Goldsmith has shared a wonderful piece of himself in this book. This combination of a memoir, a how-to and an overview of many aspects of psychedelics, therapy and healing is a resounding addition to the burgeoning body of literature concerning the usage of psychedelics in both the therapeutic journey he goes on himself, and how it affects how he interacts with his clients. A luminary in the New York psychotherapy world, this book is a delightful companion for anyone who is following the explosion of psychedelics research at major research universities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David J. Brown VINE VOICE on May 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Psychedelic Healing is a wonderful summary of what we've learned from psychedelic psychotherapy research, and where the explosive renaissance with all these fascinating new studies is headed. The medical potential of politically-controversial, pharmacological agents like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT appears enormous, and they are currently being integrated into mainstream Western culture. This is truly a cause for celebration, and Neal Goldsmith does a marvelous job explaining this important research and tying it all together. But, perhaps even more valuable and interesting, is Goldsmith's personal story and insights, which make up a significant portion of this hard-to-put-down volume. Goldsmith's alchemical blend of research summary, practical information, biographical profiles, and personal experience is delightful to read, and the book is simply bursting at the seams with psychological and spiritual insights. I highly recommend Psychedelic Healing to anyone interested in the exciting new psychedelic research and the frontiers of human psychology. I treasure and absolutely cherish this valuable addition to my library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Brown on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this fine book, Dr. Goldsmith shares his personal and professional odyssey through innerspace with the assistance of psychedelics -- also known as entheogens -- which have been maligned too long and, consequently, lumped in, by various reactionary laws and unenlightened views, with a motley crew of other psycho-active substances, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, which are pharmacologically different from psychedelics.

Dr. Goldsmith's timely book helps to expose the vicious slanders and libels hurled at psychedelics by various political, medical, and legal "experts" who were -- and possibly may remain -- apparently ignorant of the beneficial use of psychedelics in a variety of contexts throughout humanity's development and history. By proposing a pragmatic analytical framework to help dig deep into the individual psyche, Dr. Goldsmith persuasively argues that psychedelics, when used properly with respect and reverence in an appropriate setting, may facilitate spiritual and psychological healing of individuals and, eventually, whole societies.

The founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, is credited with saying: "Those who know, don't speak; those who speak, don't know." This wisdom is often applied to the field of psychedelics, but Dr. Goldsmith's engaging book proves that experience coupled with extraordinary professional expertise and compassion can be shared with a general audience through an entertaining, jargon-free format, thereby furthering society's movement towards the light.

Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bodhi Heeren on February 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Although the scope of this book is sympathetic: to change the cultural bias against psychedelic substances, it seems to me to be a rather lame effort.

I was immediatly taken aback when I realized he hardly mentioned Grof's groundbreaking research at all, how can you completely ignore the most profound authority on the subject? Why he did it became abundantly clear when he presented his own - rather simplistic - theories entitled 'psycheology'. Theories that lean heavily on the dubious theories of Jean Piaget.

Grof has the courage and vision to see the human life in a transpersonal perspective, accepting karmic and archetypical influences and determinants and ofc the birth trauma for which he's famous. Whereas for Goldsmith the development of the human psyche is exclusively determined by what happens in the earliest childhood (which sounds very familiar and Freudian, although Goldsmith doesn't accept the sexual component).

It is always good when an author lays bare his personal story, but in this case we get a very long CV. And a story about how he - finally - was able to forgive his mother for not loving him as much as she did her brother (as if Love is some quantifiable entity), but only after she had appologized to him. Which ofc shows he doesn't know what Forgiveness is. And here it could have been very interesting to look deeper into the perinatal and karmic roots of their relation.

Add to this that the book is somewhat muddled both in writing and lay out.

It might entail some useful information for people interested in the scientific and legal aspects of psychedelic research. For anyone with an interest in the spiritual and experimental dimensions of entheogenes there's very little of value.
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