Exploring Psychedelic Therapy

Denise Rue on Healing and Transformation

by Mike Ham

Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s as intriguing as it is transformative: psychedelic therapy. I’m your host, Mike Ham, and joining me is Denise Rue, the founder of the New Jersey Psychedelic Therapy Association and a licensed clinical social worker. Denise’s journey from a speech-language pathologist to a leading advocate for psychedelic therapy offers a unique perspective on the healing power of psilocybin.

Denise’s path to New Jersey was anything but straightforward. Originally from California, she moved east to attend graduate school at NYU. After living in New York and the South, she eventually settled in New Jersey. Her career has seen many transformations, from working as a speech-language pathologist to becoming deeply involved in the New Jersey poetry scene, and later, exploring the realms of hypnosis and hospice care.

Denise’s interest in hypnosis began during a challenging period in her life. A friend’s positive experience with hypnosis piqued her curiosity, leading her to explore its potential. After undergoing a few transformative sessions herself, she decided to get certified and eventually started her own hypnosis business. This experience profoundly influenced her approach to therapy, emphasizing the power of the unconscious mind and the importance of addressing the shadow aspects of our psyche.

Denise’s journey into psychedelic therapy began with a friend’s son who was involved in research at Johns Hopkins. Intrigued by the potential of psychedelics to alleviate suffering, she delved into the research and decided to experience psilocybin herself. This led her to a retreat in Jamaica, where she had a life-changing experience. The retreat provided a safe and supportive environment, allowing her to confront her grief and embrace life more fully.

Denise’s experience in Jamaica was so transformative that she decided to stay and work as a therapist, eventually becoming the clinical director of the retreat. She witnessed firsthand the profound healing that psilocybin could facilitate, especially for individuals who had exhausted other treatment options. The structured approach of preparation, administration, and integration sessions proved to be highly effective in catalyzing deep, lasting change.

Upon returning to New Jersey, Denise founded the New Jersey Psychedelic Therapy Association. The organization focuses on advocacy, education, and support for therapists and individuals interested in psychedelic therapy. One of their primary goals is to support the Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act, which aims to establish regulated psilocybin service centers in the state.

While the bill has made progress, there is still a long way to go. If passed, it will take time to establish the necessary infrastructure and regulations. However, the experiences of other states like Oregon and Colorado provide valuable insights that can help shape New Jersey’s approach.

Denise emphasizes the importance of tending to our inner lives, whether through traditional therapy, meditation, or other means. The potential of psilocybin to facilitate deep healing is immense, but it must be approached with care and support. For those interested in learning more, there are numerous resources available, including documentaries, research studies, and the New Jersey Psychedelic Therapy Association’s website.

If you’re interested in supporting the Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act or learning more about psychedelic therapy, visit the New Jersey Psychedelic Therapy Association’s website at njpta.net . You can also find templates for writing to your local representatives and information on upcoming webinars and events.


About the Author/s

Mike Ham is the voice behind the popular podcast, "Greetings From the Garden State". Traveling up and down New Jersey, Mike brings his listeners the stories of the people and places shaping the Garden State. Not only is he a Jersey diehard, he is also a respected member of the podcast community and has spoken at several podcasting conferences. As he continues to amplify the voices of New Jersey, Mike Ham remains a passionate advocate for the diverse narratives woven into the fabric of the Garden State.

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