Reddit AMA: Jesse Gould

Heroic Hearts Project, PTSD Recovery, Suicide Prevention, ptsd, awareness, mental health, depression, military veterans, military depression, mental health awareness, ayahuasca, peru, veteran, tbi, sof, rltw, holistic, special operations, ranger battalion, ranger, regiment, alternative medicine, holistic medicine, iceers, maps, ptsd recovery, mental health warrior, you are not alone, psychedelic therapy, psychedelics, psychotherapy, psychedelic research, reddit, ama, ask me anything, army ranger, Mariya garnet, bryce montgomery, shima espahbodi, joe tafur, ultramarathon

Posted by u/Weheroichearts  - Unique Experience
For the full AMA please click here: LINK

IamA former army ranger and psychedelic research advocate. I just passed the mile 30 of a 100 mile ultramarathon. I will be joined by 4 leading psychedelic science & ayahuasca medicine experts. AMA!

Update: This concludes the live portion of the IAmA, but we will follow up to more questions over the next few days so feel free to keep the conversation going. Thank you everyone and good luck Jesse with your race!

My short bio: My name is Jesse Gould and I am a former army ranger. Currently, I am at mile 20 of a 100 mile ultramarathon called Keys100. I run a foundation for veterans with PTSD called Heroic Hearts Project ( that helps the learn and access psychedelic therapy with ayahuasca. Today I will be joined by the world's leading experts from the field of psychedelic science & ayahuasca medicine practice. Ask us anything! I am just running a major storm but for now... let's get it started!

My Proof:

Live video Update from the race [Update from Mile 30] (

Special thanks to the naturopathic medical student organization, ERA - Entheogenic Research Awareness, who are currently planning the first ever psychedelic medicine conference at a medical school next year, at SCNM in Tempe, AZ - the Southwest Conference of Entheogenic Medicine. Find them on Facebook:


  1. MARIYA GARNET is an ayahuasquera and sound healer with over 10 years of experience. Having begun doing plant dietas in Peruvian Amazon in 2008, Mariya moved to Peru and dedicated herself full time to shamanic apprenticeship and healing work. Having built and ran a retreat in the Amazon, Mariya has worked with thousands of people following both her native Siberian shamanic tradition and Amazonian vegetalismo path. These days Mariya spends most of her time in Canada dedicating herself to her family, Shamanic Sound Healing work and online counselling focused on psychological preparation and integration of the ayahuasca medicine.

Sat, May 19th @ 11am-1pm EST

Website: Proof:

2) BRYCE MONTGOMERY is the Associate Director of Communications at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and also serves as a volunteer for their Zendo harm reduction project which applies the therapeutic principles and practices developed in their research settings to alternative real-world applications where users of psychedelic drugs can benefit from the support, guidance, and nurturance of well trained and caring staff.

Sat, May 19th @ 1pm-3pm EST

Website: Proof:

3) SHIMA ESPAHBODI, PhD is trained in both clinical sciences and psychotherapeutic approaches. She is co-founder with Dr Robin Carhart-Harris of the new charity GLOBAL PSYCHEDELIC RESEARCH launching on 9/20 ( She worked as a scientist at the University of Oxford prior to returning to the Peruvian Amazon to work alongside indigenous curanderos learning about Ayahuasca's therapeutic potential. She has an integral/holistic approach to psychotherapy encompassing work with clients struggling with symptoms diagnosed as Bipolar, PTSD, CPTSD, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), depression, anxiety, and other issues. She is interested the relationship between chronic pain, depression and anxiety with patients who suffer from chronic disease and how plant medicines can be used to resolve these issues.

Website: Proof:

Sat, May 19th @ 3pm-4.30pm EST

4) JOE TAFUR, MD - For the last decade, family physician Dr. Joe Tafur, author of "The Fellowship of the River", has been exploring the role of spiritual healing in modern healthcare. At Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual - an ayahuasca healing centre in the Amazon jungle of Peru, Dr. Tafur supervised traditional education for allopathic (Western) medical students. He is now developing new educational programs for Modern Spirit. Dr. Tafur currently works part-time as a family physician in the United States and continues as a medical consultant to Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual.

Website: Proof:

Sat, May 19th @ 4.30pm-6pm EST

1.0k Comments - 82% Upvoted

For the full AMA please click here: LINK

CraigingtonTheCrate 729 points
"What is the worst outcome you have ever seen from psychedelics? If someone has a bad trip, how often do you see them learn from it and come away stronger, instead of just making their lives seem worse? I've done shrooms and lsd a few times and always had great trips, but have friends that had bad trips and seem pretty haunted by the bad trips even still."

Weheroichearts - 513 points

Mariya Garnet, Ayahuasquera

Personally all the ayahuasca ceremonies I have attended or conducted have not resulted in anything so serious and it is because we do screen people for potential mental illness, history of psychosis, medication and supplements interactions. Working slowly with an experienced facilitator is the key to safe work. I don't want to go into all scary scenarios of the worst possibilities, but yes, strong plants and substances can trigger psychosis and latent mental illness. "Shrooms" are sacred plants and medicine, which are being misused even sometimes with the best intentions.

Joe Tafur, MD

I have seen some pretty bad outcomes. I myself work within a shamanic context with advanced healers, our work is based in Peru, where we use ayahuasca in a ceremonial context. Within that expertise it is possible to help people through difficult experiences, and help them beyond those experiences

Shima Espahbodi, PhD

I think each case needs to be looked at individually - what was the experience of the 'bad trip' ? What did you see, hear, feel, experience? What i have seen is that often when people talk about/have bad trips they are referring to experiences of troublesome, unconscious memories for which they had no preparation or support. Hence my earlier point about unpredictability and importance of having trusting, experienced healers/facilitators. Some say there is no such thing as a bad trip, and those 'journeys' which are difficult are doing the deep work needed to face ones shadow, surrender and release what is not serving you. The 'worst' outcome i know of was somebody who took lsd recreationally and during the journey many repressed memories of deeply traumatic childhood events came flooding to conscious awareness. these memories had been buried for many years until the trip. It was a kind of re-traumatisation as this person had no idea this would happen and consequently needed medical attention. Unconscious memories, emotions, and fears can often be released during psychedelic journeys - that is why preparation, integration and context is very important

For the full AMA please click here: LINK

Velocirapture1227 - 97 points
"Mariya, how do you go about "psychologically preparing" someone for a dose of ayahuasca? I've seen documentaries and such where people are taking these substances under the direction of an expert, but as a psychedelic user myself, I am wondering if there are any tangible differences between doing that and simply taking it yourself without aid."

Weheroichearts - 92 points

Shima Espahbodi, PhD

Ayahuasca is a sacred plant medicine that is very powerful and unpredictable. it should not be underestimated or taken without the traditional ceremony and an experienced curandero/shamen/ayahuasquero. Psychological preparation is crucial as is cleansing the body of substances that can have potentially lethal reactions with aya. These include pork, alcohol, all recreational drugs, and many prescription drugs that act on the CNS, namely anti-depressants and especially SSRI's can be potentially lethal with aya.

It is important to feel safe and trusting with whom you drink aya in ceremony . Depending on your intentions and what the medicine shows you, you will need to be in an environment where you can be supported and your process facilitated effectively with care

One of the powers of aya is capable of accessing the unconscious and bringing to the fore material, often painful, that has been locked away. this material can be repressed memories, and accompanying emotions. Usually painful ones that were unbearable to be processed at the time. In shamanic perspective this is seen as release of energy, low vibrational that has been stored in the person and affected their lives in some way. Purging is often accompanied and is part of the healing process

For the full AMA please click here: LINK

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