Clinical therapist and trauma specialist Lauren Taus sat down with Voices of Esalen’s Sam Stern recently to talk about her work in the realm of ketamine-assisted therapy and talked at length about the impact it’s had on her life. Read on to hear more about the journey that brought Lauren to psychedelic medicine, or listen to the podcast for more about her practice and techniques.
I was a very anorexic 19 year old, very, very unwell, very scared. I had a lot going on. My sister was dying, there was other stuff happening, and that was my mechanism for control. I didn't know what to do. My recovery road was supported by so many different things. Definitely therapy; I would say therapy saved my life and, and therapy is, something that I still do every day. Ketamine absolutely, ayahuasca...I'm very grateful for these tools in my own journey, in my own life. And if I didn't know them from that vantage point from my own cellular body, it would be hard for me to advocate so strongly for them.
From the outset of my own personal psychedelic journey, I was transparent with my father — who, you know, is a New York Jew who missed out on the sixties and you know, maybe smoked pot a couple of times, didn't like it, doesn't drink alcohol. He was very confused about how and why his daughter — who was straight A's, you know, student community service, blah, blah, blah — would be doing what in his mind was just drugs.And I refused to lie to him. I shared with him about my own personal growth. I shared with him resources, books, articles, and my dad, who's always a student, started to understand from a clinical vantage point. And then I persuaded him further into his own experience and experiences, and he is now the primary physician in my private practice.
I think one of my super powers is loving people and allowing them to soften in my presence. At least that's what I've been told. I've certainly been through my own pains and I like to say, the bigger the shadow the bigger the light. I'm not quiet about what my experiences have been. And I'm not afraid to go there with people. People help themselves, and I'll hold their hands and I'll walk down whatever dark road we need to go down and I will watch and I will sit and I will feel with you.
There's nothing more gratifying, satisfying, and exciting for me than the breakthroughs of my clients. And nothing motivates me more along my own path.