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DoD: Let's Talk About Drugs

Topic: Let's Talk About Drugs 

Location: TPI, 2232 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94704

Date: Friday, June 1, from 4 PM to 6 PM

Facilitators: Sara Ouimette, LMFT & Zehara Jambalos Levin, LCSW

How does our own relationship to substance use influence how we think about and treat clients who use substances? This issue is especially relevant at this time due to recent changes in marijuana legislation and current clinical trials incorporating psychedelics into psychotherapy at locations including UCSF and John's Hopkins. In this dialogue we would like to come together to discuss the diverse roles that substances play for people, ranging from harming to healing. In parallel, we will look at the roles drugs have played and continue to play in society, and how policy and legality has shaped the symbolism around drugs.

We will begin with a didactic portion defining what a drug is and the diverse categories they fall into. We will go over the history of prohibition of different drugs in America and the resulting societal perceptions of addiction and drug use. Then we will move into the recent reemergence of psychedelic science, and the role of spiritual identity and practice concerning entheogens. This will be followed by a discussion of our shared knowledge and countertransference when working with issues around drugs. We will use this opportunity to reflect on our biases and assumptions as we expand our perspectives on how to think about substances in a psychodynamic way. We will contemplate case material where substance use has felt like a hindrance to the therapeutic relationship, and why. Lastly, we will close by considering how shame and lack of understanding of substance use shows up in the therapy room, and the ways we may better understand and approach these dynamics as clinicians.

Sara Ouimette, LMFT, has a private practice on Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. She specializes in working with women’s issues, trauma, cannabis use and abuse, and psychedelic integration. Psychedelic integration supports people in making sense of profound material, insights and changes that can result from the psychedelic experience.

Zehara Jambalos Levin, LCSW, has a private practice in San Francisco and Oakland. She specializes in working with people of color, mixed folks, and second generation immigrants. She also enjoys working with people struggling with fears of intimacy. Zehara spent two and a half years doing harm-reduction focused work with the veteran population and is interested in incorporating this into psychodynamic work.

Dialogues on Difference are a free benefit to all TPI members.

Admission is free. RSVP is required to attend as space is limited. RSVP by clicking here.