Dr. Gabor Mate (a man much referenced on this site)(by me)(also someone I spoke about extensively in my most recent one man show) leads retreats twice a year in which a number of participants ingest the Peruvian psychotropic plant medicine ayahuasca, in the context of what can best be described as group therapy. I hesitate to use that term, actually. I participated in one of these retreats this past March, and the experience was.... well, I can't sum it up in less than an hour (every time I tell the story, it goes on at least that long)(so I'll probably make it the subject of my next one man show). In short, it helped me understand a few things that have probably changed the course of my life.
But if someone had told me in advance that I was in for a week of group therapy, I would have pictured a certain thing, and that wouldn't have been what that retreat actually was. Although it did involve a couple dozen people sitting in a large circle, and talking. About serious, personal things. But touchy feely airy fairy group therapy? Nah. Wasn't that. But it was.
A documentary film crew has been chronicling Dr. Mate's research into the healing potential of ayahuasca - helping break people's addictive cycles, whether to chemical substances, or to any fixation of the ego. The preview below gives a taste of what he has discovered, and what how he leads groups in Canada through this healing process. As far as I know, some of this footage will be used in an upcoming episode of David Suzuki's The Nature of Things on CBC (though there's no set air date yet). The documentary, so says the project's website, is being shopped around to distributors and film festivals. I'm eager to see it.