Shawn Patterson, Army Combat Veteran on Healing PTSD with Ayahuasca

On this week’s new episode of The Psychedelic Integration Podcast, we’re sharing a remarkable plant medicine and integration success story from one of our closest friends and integration coaching clients. Shawn Patterson is an Iraq combat veteran who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. In this episode, he speaks openly about the traumas he experienced both on and off the battlefield, and how those traumas ultimately led him to a path of healing his PTSD through working with ayahuasca and other plant medicines. We are honored to share this very personal and inspiring story with you.

In this episode, Shawn shares about…
*Growing up in the 90’s era of street crime, drugs, and choosing to join the Army as a way out
*Enlisting and heading into basic training one month after September 11th
*Transitioning from civilian life into military life, where emotions like fear were not encouraged or expressed
*Going into combat in Kuwait in 2003, at the beginning of the Shock and Awe phase of the Iraq War
*The reality of life in the military, getting into a rhythm, and normalizing living in a war zone
*Surviving, training, and the strong character of people living with the daily threat of combat
*Coming to terms with possibly not making it home
*Returning home after a year on the front lines, feeling older than your age, and feeling alien after the experience
*Feeling anger around veterans being portrayed as victims in the media
*What the PTSD and trauma experience looked like for him
*Using drugs and alcohol as an ineffective coping tool and hitting multiple rock bottoms
*Deciding to work with ayahuasca in Ecuador and facing unrealistic expectations
*Working with plant medicine over time with a spiritual community
*Getting help from the VA, and why the pharmaceutical approach doesn’t solve the whole problem for everyone
*The problem with 12 step programs
*Finding a winding spiritual path with plant medicine and digging into core issues
*Getting reminders and new perspectives from ayahuasca and feeling empowered to make life changes
*Shifting his consciousness toward self-care and away from the victim mentality
*Cultivating gratitude
*Making big decisions and life changes with the guidance of the medicines
*Building a long term, respectful relationship with ayahuasca, San Pedro, and peyote
*Following a minimum effective dose strategy coupled with integration and doing the work
*The BIG integration lesson
*Plant medicines and appreciating being sober
*Avoiding patterns of taking plant medicine without purpose
*Advice for veterans who are interested in working with plant medicines

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Source: Youtube