The Barriers and Myths surrounding Psychedelics with Jemie Sae Koo — Co-founder of Psychable

Jemie Sae Koo is the co-founder of Psychable, a “comprehensive online community connecting those who would like to legally explore the healing power of psychedelics with medically and peer-reviewed practitioners.”

Now Jemie has devoted her career to building community and democratizing knowledge about psychedelics through her work at Psychable.

Nadya: Please share more about your work in the psychedelics space!

Jemie: The reason Psychable is so special to me is that it represents a merging of so many of my life’s passions: expanding access to life-changing psychedelic medicines to help people live happier, healthier lives, growing a business from the ground up, and giving back to the indigenous communities across the world whose knowledge of these medicines goes back generations. I’ve personally had a profound and transformative experience with psychedelic medicine — it’s what inspired me to pursue my Master of Arts degree in Psychology with a focus on psychedelic-assisted therapy — and now mpersonal mission has become Psychable’s business mission: to provide even more people an opportunity to experience the healing potential of psychedelic medicines.

The community offers support for those seeking information, current patients, and practitioners wherever they are in their journey with psychedelic-assisted therapy. Our mission is to transform the lives of millions of people suffering with conditions such as depression, PTSD, and addiction by connecting them to psychedelic-based treatments, including integration, psychedelic-assisted therapy, and retreats.

Nadya: What is your personal relationship with psychedelics and how has it played a role in your own mental health journey?

Jemie: Simply put, psychedelics saved my life.

When I was in my 20s, I found myself as the youngest executive in a variety of industries, ranging from nonprofit, governmental and public sector work to consumer products in beauty, health and wellness, and food. I then went on to build multiple successful startups and worked with some of the largest brands in the world. These leadership roles came with countless responsibilities, and I found myself working 100+ hour work weeks in extremely demanding environments. I skipped meals, doctor visits, and dentist appointments. I felt invincible, but in reality, I was putting my body under constant and extreme stress. My career spent in constant adrenaline rush and stress had completely depleted my body — and without realizing it, I had fallen into a deep depression. I spent the next two years seeing countless doctors and spent tens of thousands of dollars on various healing treatment paths, but several mysterious symptoms had surfaced and no doctor found a correct diagnosis. The biggest breakthrough came when an encounter with ayahuasca not only saved her life, but completely transformed it. Through this spiritually-based healing process, I realized that the answers and solutions offered by Western and traditional medicine were not enough to address the myriad of illnesses that are rooted in emotional trauma. Ultimately, it was through integrated holistic approaches that I was able to find the path to wellness and true healing. My encounter with plant medicine is what inspired me to pursue a Masters degree in Psychology with a focus on psychedelic-assisted therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies — and now my personal mission has become Psychable’s business mission: to provide even more people an opportunity to experience the healing potential of psychedelic medicines.

My co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Psychable, Matt Zemon would tell you a similar story of work-aholism and feeling unfulfilled, except in his case it was a guided psilocybin (aka magic mushroom) psychedelic medicine experience that changed his life’s trajectory.

Nadya: What do you think is the biggest myth about psychedelics?

Jemie: The biggest myth about psychedelics is that psychedelics are drugs and not medicines. Psychedelics are medicines. I recognize that the word “psychedelics” conjures up images of the hippie culture of the 1960s for a lot of people — a recreational drug taken during the time of “free love.” And while that indeed happened, Western medical experts across the country and the world are realizing the power that substances such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin or “magic mushrooms,” have in treating ailments such as PTSD, depression and addiction, and are conducting studies to prove their medical value. They’re finally catching up to what indigenous healers across the world have known for generations — these psychedelic medicines can have profound, positive health impacts and should be legalized so more can receive healing that actually works.”

Nadya: What do you wish people knew about psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapy?

Jemie: There’s a lot of misinformation out there about psychedelics. That’s why our first guiding value at Psychable is trust and safety for both the practitioners on our site and those seeking psychedelic-assisted therapy — it’s the bedrock of who we are. We also encourage our community to review practitioners — much like Yelp — to share first-hand experiences with other community members and ensure practitioners and candidates for treatment are matched appropriately. In addition to fostering trust, Psychable aims to be the most comprehensive community for psychedelic-assisted therapy. We know people will come to us seeking treatment options at every step of their psychedelic journey — from psychedelic novices to those more experienced with psychedelic medicines. Whatever their knowledge or experience, Psychable aims to provide the most comprehensive education on treatment options and emerging research, as well as the largest practitioner list in the world. Finally, we bring passion to everything we do at Psychable. Our entire team is committed to helping make the world a happier, healthier, and harmonious place and fostering a rich, supportive psychedelic community on Psychable. This passion fuels all that we do, and we can’t wait to introduce even more people to the transformative healing power of psychedelic medicine.

Nadya: What is your vision for accessibility and education around psychedelics?

Jemie: Our vision is to make Psychable the number one most trusted and comprehensive online community for those seeking or offering legal psychedelic-assisted therapy services. To get there, in Year 1, we’re focused on growing awareness among the general public that Psychable is here to support their health in ways they may not even know exist, and rapidly expanding our database of practitioners. Currently, Psychable has nearly 2,000 legal psychedelic therapy practitioners in our database, many of which are in the Ketamine space, as Ketamine is legal in the U.S. Our goal is to continue to expand treatment options in the U.S. and abroad, as well as add more indigenous practitioners and international retreats where psychedelics are legal to the database, offering even more options for treatment to those seeking solutions.

Each quarter, Psychable highlights psychedelic nonprofits doing great work. This quarter, Psychable is working with the nonprofit Heroic Hearts Project to launch #NatureHeals, a social media movement dedicated to increasing education around natural entheogens through testimonials, and rallying donations from supporters to continue the important work of providing veterans suffering from PTSD with access to alternative forms of treatment.

Heroic Hearts Project (HHP) has a proprietary program for veterans interested in pursuing psychedelic treatment options to treat PTSD, primarily by partnering with ayahuasca retreat centers. The program is designed for veterans to get the most out of the retreat, which includes ensuring they are set up for success when they return home. The organization also provides financial scholarships to veterans to eliminate financial barriers for treatment. To date, HHP has provided more than $200,000 in support to veteran applicants.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is the use of psychedelics for healing purposes, often taking the form of a psychedelic being administered under the supervision of a therapist. Recent studies have shown that when administered under the supervision of, or with the aftercare of a therapist, psychedelic-assisted therapy can have and impactful results when it comes to treating those suffering with migraines, addiction, PTSD, depression, mental health issues, emotional trauma, and other ailments, as well as those looking for alternative, holistic options in taking care of their mental health.

The #NatureHeals campaign shines a light on the stories of those whose lives have been profoundly changed for the better with the help of psychedelics. The campaign is an important movement that is helping to break down the stigma of exploring natural psychedelics as holistic healing options.

“The first step in changing legislation around psychedelic-assisted therapy and restoring access to natural medicines is changing the conversation, and that’s exactly what we hope to do by launching #NatureHeals,” said Jemie Sae Koo, CEO & Founder, Psychable. “We encourage anyone who has had a positive, life-altering experience with any psychedelic substance or treatment method to share their story with us on social media using #NatureHeals, and are thrilled to help those who are doing great work in this space make strides towards their mission of improving well-being by expanding access to natural medicines.”

Nadya: How do psychedelics work on a day-to-day basis for you? how often and how much? (if you are comfortable sharing)

Jemie: I have my first experience with ayahuasca in 2017. Since then, I have participated specifically in indigenous ceremonies serving Ayahuasca every year. When not engaging directly with the medicine, I work with a therapist who specializes in the integration of plant medicine on a weekly basis. Oftentimes, people think doing these types of medicines are an end all be all. That is not the case. The success of these therapies is a combination of psychedelic medicines and parallel pathing it with therapy and integration.

Nadya: Please feel free to share anything else you’d like to comment on regarding the push for psychedelics to enter the mainstream mental health treatment space.

Jemie: At Psychable, we understand the value of community. It’s incredibly important to create a safe, legal, and supportive space for both practitioners and those seeking treatment, as there is so much misinformation out there about psychedelic medicine. What sets Psychable apart from other online directories and forums is our commitment to trust and safety. We provide our community an opportunity to vet each practitioner — both those who administer legal psychedelic substances and those who offer aftercare services — to ensure for themselves that practitioners are offering services legally, ethically and safely. Our community reviews empower those seeking treatment to be able to make the best possible decision by reading the experiences of others with the practitioner they are considering. The community we’re fostering is what makes Psychable special, along with the ability to connect directly with practitioners through our platform. Never before has there been a Yelp for psychedelics, and we’re proud to fill that need with Psychable.

We have been in communication with California Senator Scott Wiener and his office to support the passage of Senate Bill 519, which decriminalizes the possession and personal use of certain psychedelic substances. We’re also partnering with local governments to increase awareness in their communities of what psychedelic-assisted therapy is and how it can help them lead healthier and more harmonious lives. Last month, we teamed up with the City Council of Santa Cruz to proclaim April as Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Awareness Month in the City of Santa Cruz, and we look forward to continuing our work with local governments to advocate for psychedelics as medicines and educate more Americans that this is a real, healing option for them to explore.

Read more about psychedelic-assisted therapy in my article, Psychedelics Are Emerging Into The Mainstream Mental Health Spacepublished on May 17, 2021.

About Psychable

Psychable is the comprehensive online community connecting those who would like to legally explore the healing power of psychedelics with medically and peer-reviewed practitioners. The community offers support for those seeking information, current patients and practitioners wherever they are in their journey with psychedelic-assisted therapy. Our mission is to transform the lives of millions of people suffering with conditions such as depression, PTSD, and addiction by connecting them to psychedelic-based treatments, including integration, psychedelic-assisted therapy and retreats. Psychable was launched in 2021 by Jemie Sae Koo and Matt Zemon, successful entrepreneurs whose transformative experiences with psychedelic medicine led them to each pursue a Master of Science Degree in Psychology with a focus on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy. The platform is supported by a passionate team of experts in psychology, business, medicine, and law. For more information on our mission and community, visit https://psychable.com/, or follow us on LinkedinInstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Nadya Okamoto

Nadya Okamoto is the co-Founder of August and author of PERIOD POWER. www.nadyaokamoto.com

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