Crisis of the Heart: Trauma, Addiction, and Healing – with Dr. Gerald Thomas – Episode #20

Gerald Thomas is a researcher and policy maker at the British Colubia Ministry of Health. He is the director of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and gambling policy for the region. Despite working on government policy, he is not an average government figurehead. He has sat in ceremony with Ayahuasca and was also the head of the first observational study on Ayahuasca in the country which had quantitative and qualitative elements.

Gerald has been on the forefront of some of the psychedelic medicine research over the past decade and has built his own relationship with the substances he studies. His heart-centered approach coupled with his passion for science and discovery makes him a powerful agent for change in the way we view drugs and plant medicines.

On this episode we cover:

  • Cannabis policy and standards in the province

  • The Ayahuasca research that changed the landscape

  • How trauma is stuck in the body

  • Why treating PTSD is so difficult

  • How psychedelics like Ayahuasca can heal trauma

  • Trust – as the key to facilitating healing

  • Being comfortable with discomfort – another key to healing trauma & addictions

  • Plant consciousness and Plant Spirits

  • Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

  • Healing trauma through feeling what hasn’t been felt

  • Soul Loss – losing a piece of yourself during a traumatic event

  • Soul Retrieval – getting those pieces back

  • Presence – Learning to stay present so healing can occur

  • Tapping in to Flow as a guide in life

  • Natural ways to connect to your source – Kundalini yoga, meditation, and breath work.

  • Triggers of trauma and how to work with them

  • The Crisis of the Heart we are facing now, and the call to healing

  • The Fixing Culture – the tendency to commodify medicines

Professional Bio:

Gerald Thomas is a Collaborating Scientist with the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of British Columbia, and owner/operator of Okanagan Research Consultants. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Colorado State University in 1998 and has worked in the area of Canadian addiction policy since 2004. He served on the secretariat of the working group that created Canada’s first National Alcohol Strategy in 2007, worked on several national and provincial level projects related to substance use and addictio, and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers with leading researchers in the field. He lives with his family near Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, where he enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, hiking, and windsurfing.


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