Clinical psychologist and University of Ottawa professor Monnica Williams is on a mission to bring psychedelics to therapists’ offices to help people heal from their racial traumas. To do this, she’s jumping over some big hurdles. Intergenerational trauma is something Williams has experienced personally. Her parents grew up in the Deep South in the United States during the Jim Crow era. As African Americans, they were subject to segregation and extreme oppression. She says that affected the whole African-American community. With racial trauma, therapists like herself are also looking at events beyond an individual’s lifetime. “We’re looking at historical trauma, that may have happened decades or even centuries ago, that is still associated with the person’s cultural group. These could be catastrophes that happened to a whole group of people, like ethnic cleansing or genocide, the Holocaust, or it could be a natural disaster.”
In this episode, they explore how psychedelics — including psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) and MDMA — can help heal racial trauma. Racial trauma, Williams explains, is not necessarily something that happens through one event. It’s usually ongoing experiences of stress, including “daily insults to your person.”
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