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A comprehensive guide to the safe and ethical application of expanded states of consciousness for therapists, healing practitioners, and sincere explorers
Psychedelic medicines also known as entheogens are entering the mainstream. And it’s no wonder: despite having access to the latest wellness trends and advances in technology, we’re no healthier, happier, or more meaningfully connected. Psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and LSD—as well as other time-tested techniques with the power to shift consciousness such as drumming, meditation, and vision quests—are now being recognized as potent catalysts for change and healing. But how do we ensure that we’re approaching them effectively?
Françoise Bourzat—a counselor and experienced guide with sanctioned training in the Mazatec and other indigenous traditions—and healer Kristina Hunter introduce a holistic model focusing on the threefold process of preparation, journey, and integration. Drawing from more than thirty years of experience, Bourzat’s skillful and heartfelt approach presents the therapeutic application of expanded states, without divorcing them from their traditional contexts. Consciousness Medicine delivers a coherent map for navigating nonordinary states of consciousness, offering an invaluable contribution to the field of healing and transformation.
About the Author
FRANÇOISE BOURZAT is a consciousness guide and counselor. She has a master’s degree in Somatic Psychology from New College of California and is Hakomi trained. Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has been weaving the healing potential of expanded states of consciousness and psychology together in her practice for over thirty years. After traveling the world as a young woman, Françoise found her way to San Francisco in the early 1980s. It was there she met her first teacher, a pioneer exploring the intersection of indigenous healing and psychotherapy. She later met her teacher of the last twenty years, an indigenous Mazatec woman leading healing ceremonies with sacred mushrooms in the high mountains of Southern Mexico. Drawing from years of close apprenticeship with her Mazatec teacher, as well as training in other indigenous traditions, Fran.oise has developed a comprehensive approach that bridges Western and indigenous modalities for healing and growth. She trains therapists and facilitators, teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and lectures internationally.
KRISTINA HUNTER is a healing guide, writer, and Certified Hakomi Practitioner living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has spent over ten years traveling the world, studying the transformative potential of expanded states of consciousness. Her work explores the intersection of psychology, plant medicine, and Buddhist meditation. She offers individual counseling and integration support for psychedelic and initiatory experiences. She also offers mentoring and consultation to healing practitioners who wish to integrate expanded states of consciousness into their practice.
"Consciousness Medicine is an insightful and inspiring introduction to expanded states of consciousness. Françoise Bourzat combines an intimate personal account with the most comprehensive and practical guide I have seen to transpersonal experience and shamanic work, emphasizing the three cornerstones of preparation, journeying and—of essential importance—integration."
—Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction
“A lovely reading experience and immensely informative, this book should be on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the subject of consciousness change and spiritual growth.”
—Ann Shulgin, coauthor of PiHKAL and TiHKAL
"It is a pleasure to recommend Francoise Bourzat’s Consciousness Medicine. Ms. Bourzat has an extensive background as a teacher and facilitator of altered states of consciousness, utilizing a variety of techniques including meditation, vision quests, sweat lodges, and entheogens. Regarding entheogens, also known as psychedelics and hallucinogens, Ms. Bourzat has done considerable fieldwork among the indigenous Mazatec people of Mexico, who have a vast history and knowledge of the spiritual and healing properties of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychotropic plants. Having worked closely for many years with these native healers, Ms. Bourzat has acquired considerable insight into these ancient practices that she has transmitted to the many contemporary students and seekers whom she has worked with over the past thirty-five years. Given the increasing interest in the range of effects and applications of psychedelic plants in the modern era, Ms. Bourzat’s knowledge holds great relevance to today’s world. As such, this book will make a valuable contribution to our growing knowledge base and appreciation of the salutary potential these compounds possess."
—Charles S. Grob, MD, professor of psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
"Françoise is uniquely qualified to write this book. She not only has the multicultural training and a deep and real connection with indigenous traditional healing techniques, but she has for decades applied, tested, and extended these techniques, specifically for the training of Western therapists. Her own Western training was first class, and perhaps because of that, she is not caught up in idolizing or fantasizing the value of either Western psychodynamic therapies and research or these older systems of indigenous healing. Her work blends both in a blend appropriate for this time and this culture. She has no ideological ax to grind, but only to press for effective practice for the healer and for their clients."
—James Fadiman, PhD, author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys
"Francoise Bouzat is courageously and profoundly dedicated to helping others grow and heal to their full potential using the most effective tools of which she is aware. Her commitment to her clients has been forged in the context of the global drug war, which has criminalized psychedelics and has tempered her like steel as she has continued to explore the healing potential of these substances revered in most cultures but demonized in ours. Fortunately for us all, there's a global renaissance in psychedelic research and the therapeutic and spiritual use of psychedelics. Francoise is a visionary pioneer whose life's work is making a major contribution to the process of transforming psychedelics into legal tools for healing and spirituality."
—Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
"Francoise has been a student and friend of mine for over thirty years.… When I met Francoise, she was soft-spoken, alert, respectful, and very observant. She was at home. Our Native American way of life is not a religion, it is a "Way of Life." When I met Francoise, she was living this way of life, living in the mountains, living in nature and teaching her students they are one with nature. Francoise was already connected to our Mother Earth and our Way of Life was not a mystery or difficult for her to connect to."
—Marilyn Youngbird, Chief Woman among Chiefs, Arikara Nation