Creating a safer space

How Trauma-Informed creates an impeccable therapeutic container in Plant Medicine



Feb 8, 2021

What you will be learning

In this article you will read about one person’s account of how the plant medicine found in ayahuasca has helped her along her personal journey of healing. You will also understand the importance of understanding trauma and how it affects therapeutic efforts when combined with plant medicines.


Table of Contents

My personal healing journey with Plant Medicine

Like all humans, I have a history of trauma. From the original separation to a difficult childhood and through my own dark nights of the soul I was guided to embark on a personal, ancestral and academic healing journey in order to learn how to take care of and empower myself, naturally. In 2007 whilst completing a Naturopathy Degree and Transpersonal Art Therapy Diploma, I was initiated into my own personal development and plant medicine journey with Mother Ayahuasca. 

Over the past 14 years I have dedicated my life to my healing. Exploring and practicing many spiritual and creative healing disciplines.  I worked with over a dozen traditional and western medicine carriers, shamans, and facilitators within Australia and South America. I have witnessed and experienced quite a variety of ways in which Ayahuasca is being served as sacrament, both traditionally, and in the modern world. It is evident there are many ways in which to practice this ancient healing art form.

The majority of my encounters with Ayahuasca herself have been profoundly life changing and I have such deep respect and reverence for my teachers, my allies, the Spirit of this Power Plant and her offerings to the world. I have also witnessed and experienced varying degrees of what could only be described as malpractice. For these reasons I have been compelled to be an advocate and emissary for the responsible and therapeutic application of her healing alchemy and medicinal remedy.

Finding an impeccable therapeutic container for healing

In my years of personal and professional participation in various plant medicine ceremonies it became evident that there exists an ambiguous and questionable grey area in the responsibility and accountability of the practitioners to their participants. And vice versa. 

Discussions regarding preparation and integration (of both participants and facilitators) have been circling through communities and tribes forever. Safety is a big question on a lot of lips as boundaries are blurred and basic codes of conduct do not appear to exist. Within some traditional and modern lineages guidelines are upheld and taken very seriously, in others not so much. Safety, preparation and integration are all essential to ensure successful healing within any ‘hero’s journey’ or spiritual emergence; to touch the centre, an actualise healing. 

I have in my time encountered many participants who have confidentially shared their personal violations and retraumatization in both traditional and western plant medicine circles. I have been a front line witness to the consequences of poor screening of participants, lack of safety, boundaries and guidelines during ceremonial proceedings and non-existent support or follow through with post-ceremonial integration. A man I know very well entered a plant ceremony weekend with C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and left the same evening with fully activated and initiated Spiritual Emergency. He was not held with the therapeutic care that he personally required, which resulted in 2 months of Psychosis and hospitalisation. The facilitators and organisers of the gathering offered no practical support or aftercare and completely evaded all responsibility or accountability to him or his family. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon story.

Currently the world is in a healing crises. A global hero’s journey in the pit of its collective shadow and unconscious behavioural patterns. Trauma is being imposed on almost every living organism on this planet in subtle and extremely adverse ways. Simultaneously, we are beginning to witness a great emergence of entire fields of work that are rising to answer a call to wake up and uphold safer, more integral, and impeccable therapeutic containers for our personal and collective healing as a species; with support and guidance from natural remedies such a CBD and THC oils, psilocybin, psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, Ayahuasca, Peyote, Iboga and Kambo to name a few. It’s as though Mother Nature is taking it into her own hands, giving us the keys to our unconscious and initiating the wounded and the healers all around the globe.

“When original harmony was lost, laws were created”
-Lao Tze. Tao Te Ching

Strengthening the bridge between the Shamanic and Scientific paradigms of healing

The Trauma Informed Plant Medicine Facilitation Training Program became another vital pillar in strengthening my bridge between the shamanic and scientific paradigms of healing. Upholding clear and congruent boundaries and agreements that provide a strong sense of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual safety are fundamental to any healing modality.

Implementing the simple principle of titration; smaller, more manageable plant medicine doses or altered state experiences can only provide positive foundations for a participant to access deeper healing and complete trauma resolution. Providing and encouraging positive social engagement within the individuals previous or newly forming community is an essential key to the integration of their healing and transformation. And the basic assessment of an individual’s needs and their inner and outer resources to actually benefit from the treatment protocol on offer is paramount.

We can only guide our clients/participants/patients (and truly be with our loved ones) through the depths that we ourselves have traversed and integrated. I trust that together with these master plants we will all do our work to provide a unified field which upholds the integrity of the traditional shamanic and modern scientific application of these remedies so we may all experience everlasting love, light, personal, collective, socio-cultural healing. Once and for all, for the greater good of all.

– Written by Mele . She worked with and for many medicine carriers, healers, shaman, facilitators, and through these life changing experiences was lead to find her offerings in the world; the medicine of her ancestors the healing arts and her drums. 

Over the past 20 years Mele have been fortunate to share in regular women’s circle work as a participant, host and facilitator, fostering her natural feminine affinity for providing nourishing, healing and transformational spaces for myself and others. For the past 10 years, she has worked with a number of strong ally plants to support clearing of personal and ancestral traumas.
Mele participated to the Trauma-Informed Plant Medicine Facilitator program in 2020.


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