Celina M. De Leon, BA in Human Biology Stanford University, Posada Natura Retreat Center, Costa Rica
The therapeutic benefits of ayahuasca have gained significant attention over the past decade. This has resulted in the development of centers dedicated to ayahuasca-assisted therapies and the emergent international expansion of ayahuasca at large. This presentation will discuss the therapeutic potential of interdisciplinary approaches that validate the traditional indigenous context of ayahuasca in combination with adjunct therapies that draw upon other bodies of knowledge, within traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM). On a global level there is a tremendous need for better access to mental health services and more efficacious treatments. With this, there is a great opportunity to draw upon the collective resources of all TCAM systems and the latest advancements of what truly defines health and human potential. Drawing upon case studies of treatments facilitated within an interdisciplinary context at Posada Natura Retreat Center in Costa Rica and also treatments facilitated within a traditional indigenous context in Sibundoy, Colombia, this presentation will discuss considerations, challenges, and promising areas for future research and therapeutic exploration. Holistic healing approaches that include ayahuasca and other interdisciplinary adjunct therapies represent a larger movement towards a different type of health-care service. This new system embodies a more feminine approach of healing that honors the multidimensionality of our human experience and connection to nature. With the expansion of ayahuasca and the emergence of ayahuasca healing centers that use adjunct therapies, there is a great need and an opportunity to understand the utility of these services from multiple perspectives.