Microdosing Podcast w/ Marijn Schrieken – Your Body As Your Teacher

What our body communicates to us, through our nervous system, matters. A lot. I can help us understand and heal from different kinds of trauma; event-based trauma and developmental trauma.

In this episode we explore how we can refind balance and resilience and the role of psychedelics in it ‚ÄĒ both in high doses, and microdoses.

About Marijn Schrieken

Marijn Schrieken is a body oriented trauma therapist. She’s trained in several modalities that have revolutionized trauma therapy, such as Somatic Experiencing by Peter Levine, NARM by Laurie Heller and the Polyvagal Theory by Stephan Porch and Deb Dana, as well as other supporting techniques. The essence of these modalities are about releasing trauma through the body and her nervous system, which brings back natural flow in connection with ourselves and others. Marijn works in this field for nearly eight years professionally, but the curiosity about how our brain functions and how we relate to stress has been there for much longer. About 20 years ago, Marijn experienced her first psychedelics assisted therapy session, and she was so amazed by the possibilities that she continued doing this many times with different doses and substances.¬†

Microdosing Table Talk Episode 33

  • Explaining the work of a body-oriented trauma therapist to a 5-year old

  • A definition of trauma

  • How we humans process trauma – or not

  • What is developmental trauma?

  • Listening to the body: the bottom up approach

  • Anxiety – what is it and why do we suffer from it?

  • How working with our nervous system creates more resilience

  • Triggers and dysregulation versus having a large window of tolerance

  • Catalysts for healing: the psychedelic journey or our own body?

  • What is the value of a psychedelic guide or therapist when processing trauma?

  • How our body indicates that we feel safe (again)

  • Easy ways to nourish and balance your own nervous system

Disclaimer: Microdosing Institute is an information platform and a community with the sole purpose of providing education on microdosing. We do not encourage the illegal use of psychedelics. Even though we discuss the many benefits of microdosing, we do not claim that microdosing is proven effective as a medicine, medicinal aid or supplement, or that it could be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies or medicines.

Watch the full Microdosing Table Talk on Youtube or listen via your preferred podcasting platform.

Connect with Marijn

Microdose with us

Transcript

Today, Marijn combines psychedelics in her Amsterdambased practice for bodyoriented trauma therapy as a tool to support people on their journey towards inner healing and growth.¬†So you may have heard about research or from other people that psychedelics can help with overcoming trauma, but the truth is, it’s not that simple.¬†It’s not one plus one is two.¬†

And this is why I’ve been wanting to have Marine on the podcast for a long time, so that we can learn a little bit more about what trauma really is and also what stress and anxiety and depression really are and how we can heal from them, whether that is with or without psychedelics.¬†So, Marin, that’s where you come in today.¬†Welcome being here.¬†

Speaker 2
·
01:37
Yes. Great. 

Speaker 1
·
01:38
Yeah. So, yeah, I would love to hear from you. If you had to explain to your five year old self what it is that you do for a living, could you do that? 

Speaker 2
·
01:50
Well, I would tell my five year old or a five year old. 

Speaker 1
·
01:54
I don’t know.¬†Is there a difference?¬†

Speaker 2
·
01:55
No.¬†A five year old, I would tell that I support people in that they will feel happy in their bodies again, and when they feel not so happy, then they can feel stuck and a little bit sad.¬†And when I help them to get more space in the body so they can be creative again and playful and explore the world like you do your five year old, because that’s what kids do.¬†They play and they’re curious and they just want to explore.¬†

Speaker 1
·
02:32
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
02:34
Could be the result of when we work with drama. Yeah. 

Speaker 1
·
02:38
So what I also hear you’re saying is that it’s about achieving this pure state of being, and then the body is actually relaxed and the body is capable of accessing creativity and accessing this playfulness and this curiosity that we’re all born with.¬†

Speaker 2
·
03:01
Yeah.¬†And peer state is maybe even too big it could be safe enough.¬†So when the body feels, like, connected and relatively safe and okay in your environment, then the nervous system can open up to possibilities and can actually see what’s there and connect with whatever is around them or inside them.¬†

Speaker 1
·
03:32
Yeah.¬†I like that nuance.¬†It’s not about a pure state, but it’s about safety.¬†And then you said, safe enough.¬†

Speaker 2
·
03:40
Yeah. Really? 

Speaker 1
·
03:41
Because we’re not perfect.¬†The world is not always an easy place to be.¬†We have our occasional anxieties and all that.¬†Yeah.¬†

Speaker 2
·
03:50
And you could even say being relaxed, but alert.¬†And so it’s a nice, awake.¬†I’m alert, what’s happening, and I’m okay, but I’m not in a state of wanting to do something or ready to go or like, hey.¬†

Speaker 1
·
04:17
Yeah. It also reminds me of this state where things are not forced, but they can just emerge. You are allowing yourself to. 

Speaker 2
·
04:27
Exactly.¬†This is great, what you mentioned about allowing, because then you are in flow, and those things can evolve and unfold, which is actually inspiration because one comes after the next and whatever that is, that’s a surprise.¬†And then you are curious.¬†

Speaker 1
·
04:47
Yeah.¬†And this already makes me think a little bit of psychedelics, actually, when using a psychedelic, and especially after the journey, it’s so common, right.¬†That after the journey, we feel very light, very playful, very open, no pressure, no tension.¬†Like, all of that is gone and whatever kind of journey it has been.¬†But I think it’s that afterglow that is a really good representation of how we actually want to show up in life, how we want to live our lives.¬†Yeah.¬†

Speaker 2
·
05:26
And that in itself, quite a natural state.¬†If we’re sort of loose or off what’s bothering us, or at least that it’s not affecting us, then we can be in flow.¬†And with trauma, things get stuck to us, some patterns in us get stuck, and then you’re not in flow.¬†

Speaker 1
·
05:51
Right. 

Speaker 2
·
05:51
And that is actually when people come into my practice. 

Speaker 1
·
05:54
Yeah.¬†Okay.¬†So what is your definition of trauma?¬†Because you are a body oriented trauma therapist.¬†But the concept of trauma is quite.¬†Yeah, I’d really love to know how you define that.¬†

Speaker 2
·
06:10
Yes.¬†Well, in the very basics, you could say that trauma is a result of an overwhelming event.¬†And let’s say very simple.¬†If you cut your finger with a knife, then cutting the finger is the event, but the trauma is the wound.¬†And that is left over after the event because the cutting is done, but the wound is still there, which is, you could say, like a boundary rupture.¬†And everything in our daily lives, if something is happening to us, which is unexpected and could damage our system, our bodies.¬†Let’s say an accident.¬†Then the accident itself is an overwhelming event.¬†And then what is left over could lead into trauma when that’s not processed well enough.¬†So it does not mean that every overwhelming event leads to trauma.¬†And this actually comes from animals in the wild, mammals.¬†

Speaker 2
·
07:25
And let’s say that all the deers in the field, they are eating their grass and with their ears sort of listening to specific sounds that might give a sign to something.¬†

Speaker 1
·
07:41
Yeah, they are alert. 

Speaker 2
·
07:42
Yeah, they are sort of nicely alert.¬†And then hear a crack.¬†Like, what’s that?¬†And then they look up, they follow the sound, and then nothing is going on.¬†Okay.¬†So they bend their heads, they continue grazing, and then another crack.¬†And then they look up again.¬†And then, ho.¬†In a minute, there’s this lion very far away in the grass still.¬†It’s okay.¬†It’s far enough.¬†We’re safe.¬†And in a minute, the lion comes too close.¬†Then the nervous system says, whoa, now I got to run.¬†And the animal runs away.¬†Honestly, I forgot what this was about, what it was leaning to.¬†Yeah, you were asking me about what trauma actually is.¬†So if the deer escapes the lion, it shakes off, literally, the tension of the escape.¬†And that’s actually what we humans, and we are mammals as well, should do.¬†

Speaker 2
·
08:54
But we have a neocortex we can think.¬†Is it.¬†Oh, it’s not a problem.¬†Yeah, I had an accident.¬†Hey.¬†But I survived.¬†

Speaker 1
·
09:01
Was okay. Or I was not physically wounded. So it should be all right. Yeah, it should be, right. 

Speaker 2
·
09:08
While the crash itself, even if you were not wounded, that can be a real impact on your system, and that might lead into symptoms that get stuck and get very unpleasant in daily life. And that could be a moment to get some help there. 

Speaker 1
·
09:30
Yeah. So what I am hearing you say is that this definition of trauma has a strong focus on the nervous system. The nervous system that makes us alert one hand, and that makes us hyper alert at the moment we need to fight or flight. And that also automatically shakes off that tension that was built up. 

Speaker 2
·
10:00
Yes.¬†Can you explain a bit more about this?¬†Yes.¬†Well, and this shaking off can only occur when, again, we feel safe enough.¬†So let’s say that the deer escapes successfully from the lion.¬†That can only happen when the lion is really out of sight.¬†So then the deer will look around.¬†Am I safe?¬†Yeah, I’m safe.¬†Okay.¬†And then the system will shake out the energy.¬†If the line is still too close, there’s no way to relax and shake it off.¬†So maybe it needs another run to escape and to finish the story.¬†What if the deer cannot escape?¬†It will be grabbed by the lion and it could get into a shutdown, into a freeze and a freeze.¬†

Speaker 2
·
10:57
And that is something that we humans can know too, but that is a very intelligent way of our brain to prevent us from suffering or sensing any pain.¬†And so that feels like a sort of a dissociation.¬†It’s like, oh, you go out, you don’t feel.¬†And that is actually what you see also in nature.¬†Let’s say that the lion got distracted and then you see this deer on the ground and he looks pretty dead, very dead, but he’s not.¬†He’s just in the freeze.¬†And then suddenly you see that a big breath comes up and that system starts moving again.¬†And then they look up, look around, shake it off and run away.¬†So this is a process of fight flight, if that’s not possible, getting into a freeze.¬†And are you going to die?¬†Are you going to survive?¬†

Speaker 2
·
11:55
And then getting out of it, getting back the energy and release it.¬†And then the whole cycle is round.¬†But when there’s trauma, so the result is when that cycle is not finished.¬†So where you could not shake off the event.¬†

Speaker 1
·
12:15
Right. 

Speaker 2
·
12:15
And that is when people come into my practice because they cannot sleep, for instance, or they are very tired, or they are constant, hyper alert, constantly with their eyes looking around, or that they cannot have their system settled. 

Speaker 1
·
12:30
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
12:32
So that is one part of trauma, like shock trauma.¬†And then there are other traumas as well, which is more emotional.¬†And that is more like young children in childhood when they needed to grow up in an environment that isn’t lacking any empathy or care or love or even danger.¬†When children are not protected, the child needs to adapt to that situation.¬†And that is more developmental trauma, which is a different approach.¬†And I do that too, in my practice.¬†And most of the time the two are combined, actually.¬†I mean, a shock trauma never comes alone.¬†And how that unfolds, that’s always to be curious about.¬†

Speaker 1
·
13:29
Yeah. And also, I just want to add here that we know now that during the first seven years of our lives, we are so receptive to everything that happens around us, right? And I like to use the word set and setting just like in psychedelics, our brain is still developing. We are like a sponge. We soak up everything we take also for the truth, everything that happens around us. So if the family situation or the situation in which you are growing up is not providing that safety, is not providing that love and care, then yes, development trauma, is already being formed there. 

Speaker 2
·
14:10
Yeah, exactly.¬†You describe it perfectly and that’s one of the things a child learns or child brain develops by what it gets mirrored.¬†So when a brain gets mirrored, love, it develops love.¬†And so when it gets mirrored, unsafe stuff or maybe even dangerous or lack.¬†

Speaker 1
·
14:39
Of care and attention. Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
14:41
Then what happens?¬†So then you get a brain, a young brain that’s getting quite confused, like, oh, what’s happening here?¬†So that evolves differently.¬†

Speaker 1
·
14:52
Yeah.¬†It makes me also think of what we can then see in society because of course after that we develop our thinking brain and we start to look for these things that were lacking, but from a more of a mental perspective, thinking of what could satisfy me, what could give me love.¬†Or maybe instead of this being mirrored, we just look for it in some way until we think we found it.¬†But it’s a different strategy and it’s not the same thing that will.¬†

Speaker 2
·
15:25
It’s a strategy and it’s never ending.¬†It’s a gap that cannot be filled, especially if you don’t look underneath what’s driving it.¬†That’s actually what we do in the other part of the work that I do.¬†So the shock trauma is somatic experiencing, which is really bottom up.¬†So we use the nerve system, what the story is of our bodies.¬†And if it concerns more developmental trauma, I use the neuro effective relational model, which is norm developed by Larry Heller.¬†And then we’re going to look for, okay, what’s actually in the way for you to connect to your life force and what strategies did you have to adapt to in order to survive the situation where you’ve grown up in?¬†So that’s a different approach, but very beautiful to combine.¬†And that’s a bottom up, top down way of working.¬†

Speaker 1
·
16:29
Yeah. And just to clarify it even more, what do you mean with bottom up and top down in this? 

Speaker 2
·
16:36
Yeah, great.¬†Of course, bottom up means that we first listen to the body and how that feels and whatever there is to discover, and then maybe the thinking part can come in or maybe the analyzing or understanding.¬†So because we’re so used in the more common therapy, like cognitive.¬†What’s that?¬†

Speaker 1
·
17:04
CognitiVe behavioral therapy.¬†Yes.¬†I was going to say to mention this, like so many people that we see also in the microdosing community or generally people who say, hey, I’ve been struggling with mental health or with anxiety or depression, and I’ve done so much therapy and oftentimes it’s talk therapy.¬†

Speaker 2
·
17:22
Yeah, exactly.¬†It’s talk therapy.¬†It’s a lot with the brain and all this is all great therapy, by the way.¬†It’s very helpful.¬†And that’s most of the time how people come into my practice, because they say, I’ve done so many things and I understand everything, but I still have the symptoms.¬†Now what?¬†And I say, oh, yeah, that’s great.¬†I mean, great if you’ve done all therapy, because it’s very helpful to understand what you’ve been through.¬†And now let’s connect that with the body.¬†And so then we’re going to listen to what the story of the body is.¬†What does it have to tell?¬†And that comes through the senses and the emotions and maybe even images of movement.¬†

Speaker 1
·
18:07
And.¬†Yeah, so this is.¬†This is really why, and I think this is very important because it is something, this body centered approach, it’s something that has been lacking.¬†Our society has become so overly mental in the last, I don’t know, decades or generations or especially here in the west and in northern parts of the world.¬†Right.¬†We have all these concepts.¬†On one of the other podcast episodes, I was talking with Darren LaBaron, and he said he’s done a lot of research on African tribal cultures.¬†And they say dancing is their first and foremost practice.¬†It’s how they integrate the experience of life.¬†It’s always through dance, and all the healing happens on the dance floor.¬†So they involve the body.¬†

Speaker 2
·
18:58
Exactly. 

Speaker 1
·
19:00
They see it as a natural part of our way of being.¬†And went off so far into this mental spectrum that we really need to learn how to read our bodies and the signals that our bodies are giving.¬†Yeah.¬†So could you maybe give an example of the most common thing we hear is anxiety?¬†I think almost every person in our community mentions, like, okay, if symptoms or things that I’m dealing with, there is definitely some anxiety always there.¬†

Speaker 2
·
19:36
Yeah. 

Speaker 1
·
19:36
And what is your view on anxiety? How do you investigate it? How do you understand it? 

Speaker 2
·
19:44
Well, I always ask the client what he wants for himself or herself.¬†Yeah, of course.¬†And because if you’re going to feel what you want for yourself, what is very important for you, it also gives the body and nervous system a direction, because what you want and then what is in the way, that’s actually what we’re going to explore.¬†And so, and if people first going to feel into what they want for themselves and how that could look like, for instance, then automatically the other side shows up what is coming in the way.¬†So they come and give examples of why it’s not working, and then the anxiety shows up, and then we’re going to explore, okay, what is the anxiety about how do you feel that in a body?¬†Where is it?¬†Can you pinpoint it?¬†

Speaker 2
·
20:55
Or is it, what do you notice?¬†So we take a lot of time investigating in the response of the nervous system.¬†And anxiety is most of the time about fear.¬†And anxiety is more overall.¬†But the state is like they want to protect something or want to get away of something.¬†Fear is like the flight response.¬†It’s flight.¬†So your body wants to move away from something.¬†And what is that?¬†What is your body expecting to happen?¬†

Speaker 1
·
21:31
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
21:33
And what we do is slow down and give the person the time to feel into that.¬†So what is that actually about?¬†What could that be?¬†And that’s always in a context.¬†You always ask for an example, and the minute they sort of feel that it is fear and what it could be about, then say, oh, what’s the fantasy here?¬†What do you think that could be or look like?¬†And then maybe something from the past shows up if this is developmental trauma.¬†And so then those feelings get a context, information shows up, and maybe some differentiations start to rise and maybe like, oh, wait a minute, this is how I felt when I was a young child.¬†

Speaker 2
·
22:30
And then think, okay, how is that, like, for you as an aDult, now that we talk about the young child to feel like, to have these feelings, and then most of the time it appears to feel, okay, not nice, but of course it’s not nice to feel anxiety.¬†But it’s like, hey, I can do this.¬†It’s not that bad because things start to fall into place, into a story, into a context, like a puzzle is becoming clear.¬†And that is so helpful for the nerve system because you get clarity.¬†And then the nervous system settles down.¬†

Speaker 1
·
23:09
Okay. 

Speaker 2
·
23:10
Yeah. 

Speaker 1
·
23:11
So basically you become aware of your programming and that it’s not you suffering from this anxiety symptom, but that there’s a programming behind it that’s causing it to repeat over and over again.¬†And then your nervous system starts to sort of understand that as well.¬†

Speaker 2
·
23:29
Yeah.¬†And this understanding is about feeling into it.¬†How is the body, and emotionally and sensation wise, what’s going on there?¬†Because the mind knows, but it’s really about feeling it.¬†That in itself can be a whole process.¬†This is more what I describe now as more the area of developmental trauma.¬†But if it’s like really fear, because let’s say you experienced that you were attacked on the street and your body wanted to run away, but you couldn’t.¬†So there’s still this fear of this attacker coming up your way, and then this could still get stuck in the body, and then we can work on, okay, what is it that the body wanted to do at the time but you could not, but you can do now.¬†And that is how we finish the cycle.¬†

Speaker 2
·
24:30
And that is more in movement and sensation, and maybe even anger shows up, or maybe there is this huge rage, like what the f. Is the attacker doing? Maybe the body wants to attack as well. 

Speaker 1
·
24:53
Yeah.¬†It’s that primal urge.¬†

Speaker 2
·
24:55
Yeah. 

Speaker 1
·
24:55
Also stopped in its ways. 

Speaker 2
·
24:57
Yeah, exactly.¬†Because most of the time that’s a thing.¬†The first response or reaction is fight.¬†And this goes in split seconds.¬†So if there is a fight or wanting to fight, but that’s not possible because your attacker is much stronger than you see you’re going to flee to get away, and if that’s not going to work, then you Surrender.¬†

Speaker 1
·
25:21
Yeah.¬†And also this also, just to give another example, I think that fight or flight is decided in a split second.¬†And then the surrender, the going nump, the freeze.¬†This is also happening.¬†Right.¬†Why a lot of girls or women or men even, who got raped or sexually abused did not say no or did not defend themselves, because it’s already clear that the other options aren’t possible.¬†

Speaker 2
·
25:56
Yes, exactly.¬†And it’s so painful when people who have experienced that feel guilty because decides to say, hey, why didn’t you do something?¬†You could run away, or why didn’t you punch him?¬†Or why didn’t you scream?¬†You couldn’t because the brain already made a decision for you, and that decision was to save yourself.¬†That’s just so intelligent.¬†It’s just a protection mechanism to save yourself for more damage.¬†So that’s just great.¬†And let’s respect that instead of having a judgment about it.¬†Oh, you could have run away.¬†No, you could not, because, or else you would have done it.¬†So it’s so much stronger.¬†We cannot think that over, and we cannot think our way out of that.¬†

Speaker 2
·
26:52
So that’s when we bring in the body to help the body to finish the movement that you wanted to do at the time, but you could not.¬†So we can do that in the here and now.¬†And there are beautiful techniques to do that so that the energy can flow again, that you not feel stuck anymore.¬†And then the aliveness comes back.¬†

Speaker 1
·
27:12
Yeah. And this is beautiful. Like, I see you smiling because it must beautiful to see that in a person and to have the person experience that by themselves. And because they did it in the end, they did it. Yeah. To see that is truly a healing happening in the moment. 

Speaker 2
·
27:35
Yeah, it is.¬†And then that the life force is just there, but then it was blocked.¬†So that’s why I always say there’s nothing wrong with you and we’re not going to fix you here because you don’t need to be fixed because you had a very normal response in an abnormal situation, and we’re just going to find out what was needed there but was lacking.¬†And so what was in the way and what we get out of the way.¬†So then what’s left over the life force?¬†Because that’s actually what brings people in.¬†

Speaker 1
·
28:14
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
28:17
In that way, it’s very simple, but not easy.¬†It’s simple in a way that the reason why you and I are sitting here today is because the life force brought us here.¬†

Speaker 1
·
28:29
Yeah, exactly.¬†Yeah.¬†It’s beautiful to say this way of seeing it, this metaphor, or it’s not even a metaphor, it’s just real.¬†Like, we are able to tap into our life force and immediately become the expression of that life force, whereas the trauma response and trauma wounds keep standing in the way for those who experience that.¬†And perhaps actually, this brings up a spontaneous question, would you say that we all have?¬†Because I also know that I am not, 100% of the time, tapped into my life force.¬†There are always moments, we feel blocked.¬†There are always moments where we think, why am I even doing this?¬†Or maybe I should just.¬†Could you say then, to a certain extent, we’re all traumatized, or we all have some leftovers of a trauma or trauma response in us?¬†

Speaker 2
·
29:30
Yeah.¬†Because, I mean, trauma is a fact of life.¬†And again, very simple.¬†We are made of flesh and blood and our brain.¬†One of the function is to protect that in many ways.¬†And we have accidents, we have clashes.¬†We are witness of things that are overwhelming for us, and we cannot prevent that.¬†And it’s okay to have a trauma as long as it’s not affecting your life in such a way that you cannot function well enough anymore, to an extent that’s comfortable for you.¬†And if that’s really getting in a way, then people come to my practice or go to see another therapist, or they reach out for help, which is great, too.¬†It’s like, hey, I don’t know what it is, but I think I could use some help here.¬†

Speaker 1
·
30:35
Yeah, true.¬†This is also, I think we owe it to ourselves to really reflect and investigate.¬†And the more you go through life, the more you realize it’s not a linear process of achieving this and healing that and that.¬†And then you overcome and you keep on sort of refining yourself as a human.¬†At least if you kind of want to do the inner work or want to grow through our challenges and our struggles.¬†So, yeah, then you may reach this point where you realize, actually, I think I could feel a lot better than I do now.¬†But it’s up to me to figure out what’s going on here.¬†

Speaker 2
·
31:21
Yes.¬†And so beautiful what you say in the word refining, because that’s what the nerve system loves.¬†Because when we are in trauma, it’s really black and white.¬†You hardly have a choice.¬†

Speaker 1
·
31:34
It’s like safety or unsafe.¬†

Speaker 2
·
31:35
Yeah.¬†And that in itself, that feels so uncomfortable.¬†And what we do in this embodied work is bringing in differentiation.¬†So that’s just not black and white anymore.¬†But, hey, maybe there’s some yellow and some green.¬†Maybe there is a blue.¬†And that is actually when the nervous system starts to expand again and starts to move again, and then different sort of colors show up and with different colors.¬†I mean, like, different experiences in, like.¬†Okay, there’s not just fear, but there’s also maybe a little bit of trust or maybe uncertainty instead of complete fear, or maybe just some vulnerability or maybe some instability, which are all differentiations of different kinds of feelings.¬†So we are creating a menu of experiences.¬†Experiences.¬†

Speaker 2
·
32:43
And that is great for the nervous system and for regulation because you literally have a choice in feeling differently in a different state, and that’s how you build resilience.¬†So now, I mentioned different kind of words for maybe a little bit on the fear side, but you can have that also on the anger side, but also, of course, on the happy side.¬†

Speaker 1
·
33:12
Yeah.¬†It makes me think of this.¬†There is this beautiful wheel of emotions or emotional states, and it’s sort of categorized into the main one.¬†So fear, anger, happiness, something like that.¬†But then there are these nuances, and each of them has at least seven or more different nuances.¬†And it’s so helpful to actually know this is how I feel, specifically.¬†Yeah.¬†I did that myself, and it made me so much more tolerant of myself.¬†

Speaker 2
·
33:49
YEah, it does.¬†It really broadens your capacity.¬†And you don’t only feel in one part of the spectrum, but maybe you can even feel both.¬†You can feel and happy and sad at the same time.¬†And that is really here and now an adult consciousness that you can do both, that you can have this whole complex of feelings.¬†

Speaker 1
·
34:24
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
34:25
And the more complexity, the better it is for the nervous system.¬†Might sound strange, but it’s like.¬†Because the more complex means the more connections.¬†

Speaker 1
·
34:35
Okay. 

Speaker 2
·
34:35
And the more connections, the more choice. 

Speaker 1
·
34:38
Yeah. Wow. And this is a beautiful segue towards psychedelics. Right? Psychedelics make more areas of our brain connect to each other. 

Speaker 2
·
34:50
Yes. 

Speaker 1
·
34:51
And that literally translates, oftentimes, to seeing more possibilities, understanding more. Actually, were just in the other podcast that were recording, were saying, like, hey, suddenly you realize this is true, but also this is true. And this and this. Like, you see so many things that are true at the same time, and you develop your capacity to hold that also. 

Speaker 2
·
35:16
Exactly.¬†Yeah.¬†To have those nuances is so helpful for regulation.¬†So whenever comes up in daily life, because we cannot prevent that, bad things will happen to us.¬†But the more we build capacity inside of us, the better we can handle, and then we can contain a lot.¬†And that’s what we call the window of tolerance.¬†When someone is very deeply traumatized, they have a really small window, they have a very narrow range because something happens and they’re off.¬†

Speaker 1
·
35:58
Yeah.¬†They easily get triggered by things that aren’t even triggered.¬†

Speaker 2
·
36:02
Exactly.¬†Yeah.¬†And then their whole system is dysregulated, or they get activated, or they get into a nump state, or they just lost or get dissociated, which is, again, very helpful.¬†So absolutely no judgment about that.¬†And if we grow that capacity, so we’re going to widen that window, then the more you can contain.¬†So if something, a wave comes up, you can hold it.¬†It’s not running over you, it’s not overwhelming.¬†And even if it is overwhelming, you know, oh, this will pass.¬†Yeah, it will pass.¬†

Speaker 1
·
36:40
Yeah.¬†Before we continue with the rest of the interview, I’d like to inform you one of the programs we run at Microdosing Institute that might interest you.¬†Our six week microdosing intensive is the most holistic and powerful option we offer for microdosing support.¬†95% of participants indicate that they had a positive personal transformation in just six weeks.¬†Additionally, many participants gained lifelong community connections and valuable tools to continue exploring and integrating insights even after the program has ended.¬†One participant noted, the arc of the program worked well and guided us through our experiences.¬†It was very clear from everyone’s sharing that we had all been through a profound process together that touched each of us deeply.¬†To start your journey of personal transformation with microdosing, please visit the link in our show notes or head to our website.¬†

Speaker 1
·
37:42
Yeah, that’s really beautiful to understand.¬†And the diversity.¬†So the diversity of all the things we can feel and accept that they are there, even if they are not so pleasant, that strengthens our nervous system, builds resilience, and we still feel it all.¬†It doesn’t mean.¬†Right, like moments of stress or moments of you get a bit like knocked off your feet, but you immediately can go back into your window of tolerance, into your comfort zone without being too affected by it.¬†

Speaker 2
·
38:20
Yeah, exactly. 

Speaker 1
·
38:21
Yeah, that’s beautiful.¬†How do you see?¬†Because you also work and you have experience since more than 20 or 25 years with psychedelic journey work.¬†And in the Netherlands, this can be done legally with the truffles.¬†How do you see this in your practice?¬†Like, would you say working with psychedelics as an add on to trauma therapy is helpful because it’s just the way that it mimics or that it helps us actually make more connections and build that resilience and have people also go through an experience that is, let’s say, more diverse and more unique and more such a different realm in which we can feel those emotions also on a much deeper level, what role is there for a psychedelic experience?¬†

Speaker 2
·
39:18
Yes, well, I’m a bit conservative despite the fact that I have a lot of experience myself, but that is where my vision got developed out.¬†Because indeed I see psychedelics as an add on, as a tool, because due to the body work and what I’m trained in and what I’ve experienced myself is that what I learned is that the wisdom really lies within ourselves.¬†And that’s what I think about what we call today.¬†Psychedelics as a medicine gives the assumption that it could heal something and it doesn’t.¬†It brothers perspective and it brings insights and what people sometimes say.¬†Me too, I’ve been there myself, like the experience of five years of therapy in a day, during one big journey.¬†But that does not mean five years of embodied experience and that you really live that through.¬†

Speaker 2
·
40:35
So I really want to make that nuance.¬†And that is why if I combine psychedelics in my therapy with clients, I really want them first to have just normal sessions and that they can experience that.¬†Indeed they have inner healing capacity, but there’s just something in a way to access that and that they actually feel that it’s there and that they have control over that they are able to regulate that feelings are not that dangerous.¬†And then psychedelics, if we’re going to bring that in, then you can actually feel that indeed it’s a tool, that it’s just a support to deepen the process they’re already in.¬†Because if people think that’s the silver bullet that is going to change their lives, then that’s not realistic.¬†It would be unfair to promise that.¬†

Speaker 2
·
41:39
And that’s what you see today with all the, by the way, very beautiful documentaries and everything, what you can find online about what people share about their experiences, how much psychedelics has helped them, that it’s great.¬†But what do we know about these people?¬†We don’t know their histories.¬†We don’t know what past they’ve gone through.¬†We don’t know all that.¬†We only hear the result of WoW was so gReat.¬†I can really rely to that.¬†But I had experienced this too.¬†Like, oh yeah, this was so great, but why was that?¬†Because I went from heaven to hell and everything in between and beyond.¬†These were not nice experiences.¬†

Speaker 1
·
42:23
Right. 

Speaker 2
·
42:24
And I was very grateful that I had some really experienced therapists besides me to help me getting through those processes. 

Speaker 1
·
42:36
Yeah, I very much agree with you that in all these beautiful documentaries and media appearances, and the focus still relies heavily on the psychedelic experience in itself.¬†And of course, there’s so much richness in it and it is truly an experience that matters.¬†But there could be much more focus on what is the actual therapeutic work that the person is doing when they are not lying down there on the mat with the dose just ingested.¬†There is so much that goes into it.¬†And basically we bring all of ourselves into it and all of our history, everything we’ve understood, all our beliefs, all our convictions, the way we’ve been treated, the way we’ve been treating ourselves up until that point.¬†That is definitely something that will show up.¬†In your experience, in your psychedelic experience, how have you been treating yourself?¬†

Speaker 1
·
43:36
How have you been treated by others?¬†I think it’s very beautiful what you said.¬†Also, all these five or ten years of embodied lived experience that can result from therapy and doing the inner work, those are not usually captured in those documentaries and in those healing journeys.¬†

Speaker 2
·
44:01
No, they’re not.¬†Yeah, they are not.¬†Another for me, very important thing also in my work, ninotherapy is like a condition or like a pillar.¬†Under the work is again, this knowledge that we spoke about at the beginning, that our brain is wired to connect so that we learn by connection with others, with ourselves, with our environment.¬†And in a psychedelic journey, whether that’s big or small, whatever substance you take, the one who is beside you, who is guiding you, is a very relevant and very important companion because you are in an altered state and we don’t know what’s going to show up.¬†We don’t know what the substance is doing with your brain or with your state, I should say.¬†So when you’re in there, you have to be 100% sure that your guide can contain that.¬†

Speaker 2
·
45:14
Because concerning, let’s say that me as a guide, what if I would be a little bit nervous myself?¬†What do you think that would do to the state of the person who is laying there?¬†That’s not going to work because they will get affected.¬†And that is why it’s so important.¬†Well, I said, what is I want to say, like, when I am regulated, that is helpful for the other.¬†Yeah.¬†And so that is also why I think it’s important how I do it, to do psychedelic work in a therapeutical process so that we can build a relationship, as in that the person knows, oh, marine is able to hold this because we both have to be absolutely sure, if we’re going to do it, that it’s going to be safe.¬†Just from the fact.¬†From this biological idea we talked about.¬†

Speaker 1
·
46:27
Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
46:27
Like, the nerve has to be safe enough. 

Speaker 1
·
46:29
And this goes beyond words, right?¬†This goes beyond someone looking at all your credentials and all your experience and reading your website or your curriculum and saying, oh, this person I trust.¬†Because, yes.¬†No, it’s really telling the nervous system we are safe here because you’re attuned and you’re somehow nonverbally communicating that safety and that capacity to hold whatever will come up.¬†

Speaker 2
·
46:57
Yeah, I know we talk about now when you do bigger doses, deeper journeys, but if you take that back to just therapeutical content, just without the psychedelic.¬†That’s what I mean with my more conservative idea.¬†First the body.¬†So to build the capacity there and that you can trust on that.¬†And then, okay, if we still want, we can add a psychedelic to deepen, but not the other way around.¬†

Speaker 1
·
47:42
Right? 

Speaker 2
·
47:42
So that we might hope that something comes out of it.¬†Because psychedelic.¬†And even on a microdose, it brings up what is already there.¬†It does not create, although we might think, no, it’s an addition.¬†We are the basics.¬†It starts with us, which means that we also have to do the work.¬†And that is why I think that even after a journey, integration is so important because what have you taken out of the journey and how does that affect you in daily life?¬†What do you bump into?¬†Oh, okay.¬†How I’m going to relate to that is very important because that’s where you have to do it.¬†That’s where the work starts, right in the here and now when we encounter again other nervous systems who have their own stuff going on.¬†

Speaker 1
·
48:43
Right. Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
48:44
How do you regular relate and relate to those? 

Speaker 1
·
48:46
Oh, yeah, exactly.¬†You’re back in daily life with all the challenges, all the people, all the relationships around you.¬†And this is also some people after a psychedelic experience, a deep one, they say, okay, now I know I have to quit.¬†My job and I have to make all these changes.¬†But is that because now you know what you don’t want?¬†Or is it that you feel that you want to get away from things, but you’re going to end up in a new place where you’re going to have challenges again and interactions?¬†

Speaker 2
·
49:17
Life is still the same, but maybe you’ve changed perspectives.¬†

Speaker 1
·
49:20
Exactly. 

Speaker 2
·
49:20
Life, then how do you relate to that? 

Speaker 1
·
49:22
Yeah, life is still life. And this is also why I start to see more and more that in this integration process, we also need to keep connecting to our body and keep listening to all those signs. So your body is then your teacher as you integrate? 

Speaker 2
·
49:41
Exactly, yeah, exactly. 

Speaker 1
·
49:44
And this is what I like and why I think this whole approach of listening to the body and understanding the nervous system is so crucial, because it’s the tool we always carry with us.¬†We live inside of it.¬†But we’ve never been taught, really in general culture, we aren’t taught to listen to our.¬†Yeah, I wanted touch also a little bit more on microdosing still, because we, you and us, microdosing institute, we’ve been working together quite a lot.¬†We have a lot of community members and clients who’ve been working both with you and also with us, or who have been microdosing, but also working on this body awarenesS.¬†Yeah.¬†Can you just speak a bit more to what is the benefit?¬†Let’s start with the benefit.¬†When people are microdosing, what happens there when it comes together?¬†

Speaker 2
·
50:49
Yeah, well, what microdosing does in the brain is that it sort of tickles a bit of neuroplasticity.¬†So like sort of fixed patterns are suddenly not that fixed anymore.¬†So in a high dose, everything is completely loose.¬†But with microdose, it loosens up a tiny bit.¬†And that can be so helpful.¬†And what I see with clients who microdose, and just to be clear, I do not guide microdosing.¬†I’m not a microdosing coach, I’m therapist.¬†If deeper things are going on, I guide people in their processes.¬†So they microdose during therapy work.¬†And then what they report back is, let’s say that there’s a whole mixture of pile of emotions, and during marketosing they feel less resistance to it.¬†So they’re more clear about what’s going on.¬†

Speaker 2
·
52:11
And because they’re more clear about what they’re feeling, then again, it’s like they almost start organizing.¬†Oh, so this and this.¬†And this is what I’m feeling.¬†Ha.¬†And that itself, as we talked at the beginning, the nerve system can settle just by clarifying what’s going on.¬†That’s something that can be so literally overwhelming if so many emotions or physical sensations are overcoupled.¬†That’s how we call that stuck together.¬†That in itself can be so overwhelming and confusing and like, yeah, I don’t know this, and, oh, no, I want to.¬†Let’s move away from.¬†

Speaker 1
·
52:58
Yeah, or they think they’re in the wrong place.¬†Like, I’m trying, but this is not working because I still feel like shit.¬†And they put that all one pile.¬†

Speaker 2
·
53:06
Exactly.¬†And then with microdosing, it’s like this filter of resistance or thoughts, maybe, or, like, I should not feel this, or whatever meaning or convictions that are there are maybe a little bit more off, there’s a little bit more distance, and then they can see more clearly what’s going on.¬†And that in itself can be so helpful.¬†Just clarifying.¬†Maybe a little bit less pain or a little bit less sorrow, or Maybe even deeper sorrow, but then it’s really clear what it is about.¬†And then it supports, like, oh, yeah, so this is what I’m experiencing now.¬†And literally be with that and sense that and allowing that to be there because that’s, most of the time, the most crucial.¬†And that’s what happens in a session.¬†

Speaker 2
·
54:00
Because I am there as a regulated person, then their nervous system is able to hold a little bit longer and better.¬†Like, oh, this is what I’m feeling because I am there as a witness, as a compassionate, empathetic witness without a judge, without judgment.¬†Like, okay, what’s going on there?¬†And then you can actually be with that and sense that and feel that, and then maybe, okay, it’s still not nice.¬†They like, okay, I can do this.¬†And then things can unfold, and other things show up, or new experiences show up, or the body starts to respond.¬†Like, oh, I noticed things are settling down or relaxing.¬†Or it’s more soft.¬†Or this pain that I felt on my chest is sorrow.¬†It’s lessening now.¬†It’s becoming softer, less sharp, less.¬†

Speaker 1
·
55:02
So you call this a compassionate witness? Yeah. 

Speaker 2
·
55:06
Or an empathetic witness?¬†Yeah.¬†And actually, that is another definition from Peter Levine.¬†What is trauma?¬†One of the definitions is the lack or the absence of an empathetic.¬†Because, let’s say something happens to you, and if someone else comes in and say, hey, whoa, what happened there?¬†Oh, come here, let me take care of you.¬†And then the nerve system can slow down.¬†But what if someone comes in and say, hey, what’s up here?¬†What’s the problem?¬†Get away here.¬†I don’t want this, what you’re doing here, I don’t like it.¬†Get away.¬†Well, maybe you’re even in pain.¬†So what does that do to the nerve system?¬†And then when compassion comes in, whether it’s from yourself or another person, that it’s just really helpful to allow what’s going on.¬†

Speaker 2
·
56:09
And that is what, most of the time is the most difficult part for people to allow that in and be with that and even enjoy when they feel anger or aggression, because if that’s suppressed, I mean, wow, that Takes a lot of energy.¬†But when I help them just to allow to be with that, to feel that and how the energy moves through their bodies, like, oh, it’s even great because aggression is life force, because something wants to defend here most of the time, it’s always about boundaries and that has been crossed.¬†And when it can really allow that, like, oh, wow, this is so great to be angry.¬†

Speaker 1
·
56:48
Yeah, true. 

Speaker 2
·
56:51
That’s beautiful force to work with.¬†

Speaker 1
·
56:53
And it’s movement as well.¬†Right.¬†Emotion, I think it literally means energy in motion.¬†

Speaker 2
·
56:59
Exactly. 

Speaker 1
·
57:00
So when that was stuck or it wasn’t allowed and it can be released, and there is someone who is there to hold that together with you.¬†And I have also experienced this myself.¬†Then you move into the next stage just to give some words to it.¬†Right.¬†You move into the next stage.¬†It creates room for something else to pop up that otherwise you would not reach because you would just feel so tensed or so contracted in that reaction.¬†

Speaker 2
·
57:32
Yeah, exactly. 

Speaker 1
·
57:34
And whatever it is that is in the next stage.¬†But usually there’s clarity and it also starts to feel different.¬†And then you immediately know, like, I made some progress here.¬†Yeah.¬†And you connect bit by bit to that life force more and more.¬†It’s a very natural process, as you just said.¬†Actually, it’s very natural.¬†

Speaker 2
·
57:57
Yes.¬†And when this happens in a session, it can come with this discharge.¬†If the unstuckness starts to release a little bit, then tension will release.¬†And that can come with yawning or burbs come up like air from the stomach or tingling or heat waves or tears, or maybe even that the body wants to move or deep sighing or swallowing.¬†These are all signals that the nerve system is expanding because you enter into the parasympathetic nerve system, which means, oh, I can slow down a little bit here, I can relax, release, and then the belly starts working again, digest again.¬†These are all things that cannot happen when you are in a state of alert because all the energy goes to the limbs because you need to run or fight.¬†So that’s where the energy goes.¬†

Speaker 1
·
59:10
Yeah.¬†And this brings us into this whole other topic.¬†Right.¬†Why people have gut problems, digestive problems, like a lot of these seemingly inexplicable symptoms that are not directly related to something physical that we could see.¬†Yeah, it’s a very important one.¬†Yeah.¬†

Speaker 2
·
59:32
And I always love it when people are in my practice. And when they do want to yawn, for instance, they sort of, like, ashamed, like, a little bit. 

Speaker 1
·
59:38
Or they start burping, let it come. 

Speaker 2
·
59:41
Because that’s exactly what the body wants to do.¬†When the belly, there’s a lot of noise from the belly, the rumbling.¬†Is it great.¬†So for me, that’s a great sign if they don’t pick it up.¬†Sometimes people don’t hear it.¬†Oh, your belly is doing some nice work here.¬†Oh, really?¬†So, yeah, I heard some rumbling there.¬†That’s just great, because it means that the body feels, again, safe enough.¬†And then what happens?¬†That naturally, people start to reconnect with the surroundings.¬†Or they say, hey, I see more.¬†The light is brighter.¬†Or, hey, I never saw that plant in your garden.¬†Oh, that’s so beautiful.¬†Or they hear sounds.¬†Or for the first time, they hear the birds.¬†We got a lot of birds around.¬†

Most of the time, I have the window open, and I hear the birds sometimes think, oh, God, they’re so loud.¬†But they don’t hear it because due to what they’re in the contraction of the system, that shuts out because they go into small range.¬†But then the system opens up.¬†It opens up for vision, for sounds, for smell, for texture, for emotions.¬†And they can feel happy again, or at least happier.¬†Yeah.¬†

And maybe this is a beautiful note to wrap up with.¬†This is also where I see a big parallel with intentional microdosing, as we call it.¬†When you go through the process of really building a relationship with your microdose, with your substance, and you really become a very good observer because you want to know exactly what it’s doing to you.¬†And that takes time.¬†It requires you to slow down and to listen more carefully to your body, to kind of stop and stand still when you’re feeling an emotion.¬†And it can amplify all of that, and it makes us better observers.¬†And then suddenly we start to hear those birds again or see those colors or to actually just be more in our aliveness.¬†And from there, we can achieve many things.¬†

From there, we can know what we want to work on or know which relationships we want to nurture more or just step even more into the aliveness.¬†It’s also a cycle.¬†

Yes, exactly.¬†Yeah.¬†Because then it opens up more and more because we connect with creativity, with compassion, with care, with love, with complexity, we can suddenly build.¬†And the more we build, the bigger it’s gonna be.¬†

Yeah. 

And it. It can unfold and unfold. 

Yeah. 

That is so strong.¬†That’s just so helpful if we learn to regulate ourselves, because regulated people have great access to all those things I just mentioned.¬†Yeah.¬†

Great. Thank you so much for giving all these beautiful explanations and so much clarity on. 

I hope so. 

This process. 

So much to talk about or so much to. There is. 

Yeah, there is.¬†But I feel like we’ve really touched on the core of it all.¬†I have two questions for you, actually, to wrap up.¬†Are there any books or podcasts or films or.¬†So that if people want to know more about trauma, healing and body oriented work, is there anything that you could recommend in that sense?¬†

That’s my first question.¬†Yeah, well, of course.¬†What I’m trained in is somatic experiencing from Peter Levine.¬†If you Google Peter Levine, somatic experiencing, YouTube, you get a lot of great movies about how he works, about how the nerve system works.¬†Related to that, Stefan Porches, he developed the polyvagal theory.¬†And Deb, Dana, she transformed that in a really workable method, which is great.¬†I can really strongly advise people to look into that because she has really beautiful, simple exercises to reconnect with the body and to explore more decides of what is nice for me, what is workable for me, actually, to nourish the nervous system, because actually, today, if you talk about trauma, it’s so much about the activation and the unpleasant sides.¬†And Abdana brings you more into the side, to the other side we call the ventral vagal.¬†

So that’s the safe enough part of us to nourish that.¬†And what is your way of nourishing your nerve system?¬†Because that is really a personal path, because your nerve system is different than mine.¬†I need different things to settle down than you do.¬†

Yeah, true.¬†Some people need to go into nature or run or connect with others.¬†And for another one, meditation is the way to go and find stillness.¬†Yes, it’s true.¬†We’re so diverse here.¬†Yeah.¬†

And this nourishment of the nerve system, you can do very small things.¬†She called that the glimmers.¬†We have the triggers.¬†We know the triggers, things that activate our nervous system in an unpleasant way.¬†But how does our nervous system is affected in the other way more?¬†The glimmers, like, what do you notice when the sun is on your face, what do you notice when you feel the warmth?¬†How is your body expressing that?¬†It likes it and can be with food, can be with whatever, what you wear, what you taste in connection with others can be really small.¬†And to discover that is so helpful to get this very refined differentiation of experiences of the nervous system.¬†And I really hope that after today, what we’ve discussed, that people feel inspired to go into that because trauma is a really big thing.¬†

But there’s a lot before we can do ourselves, which is fun.¬†

Yeah. 

Just explore. Okay. What do I think? Nice. What about colors that I like? Or what about texture or taste? Or what is that for me? And how is my body giving expression too? Nice feelings. 

Because these nice feelings, these glimmers that you said, that is almost like a shortcut to that aliveness, like a short access way.¬†And that doesn’t mean that there is no trauma or that there may not be other things going on as well, but these are also there at the same time.¬†And why not explore them as well?¬†

Yes. 

And I heard this from, I think it is Esther Perel, the famous relationship therapist.¬†She calls it, like, it’s about eroticism, actually means connecting to life and connecting to our aliveness.¬†Like, that’s the broadest sense of the word.¬†And I think that’s what you’re touching on here.¬†And it’s.¬†Yeah, it’s very important.¬†Yes.¬†

You know, and it gives balance to the other side if you’re so used to easily being triggered or activated.¬†And if you want to bring some balance.¬†This is a very light sort of.¬†You could call it exercise.¬†I call it home fun.¬†If I give this to people, no, home, pleasure, work, then it’s pressure.¬†Don’t do it.¬†So only do it when it’s fun.¬†Yeah.¬†Just give yourself time and space for that.¬†

Yeah. 

So that is something I can strongly advise. 

Yes, thank you.¬†This is an important message.¬†I’m really glad you brought that up.¬†And, yeah, I think this is a beautiful moment to close the conversation.¬†And I really want to thank you for sharing this.¬†And also I feel it also demonstrates a little bit how you work because you are very attuned and I sense that when you’re speaking, I wonder if the listeners also do that.¬†But it really shows.¬†Yeah, it is actually a very good demonstration of how the work takes place.¬†And, yeah.¬†Other than that, I hope that this has been very inspiring for our listeners just in the same way as it was for me.¬†I learned a lot.¬†

I learned a lot about stress and our window of tolerance, our resilience, and basically how we can really use our bodies as teachers to cultivate a more flexible and alive and resilient way of being. Yeah. So thank you, Moraine. 

You’re most welcome.¬†Lovely sharing this with you.¬†Thank you.¬†