I Tried Psychedelic Therapy to Help Get Over My Father’s Death

I spent a day tripping on shrooms in a sunny London garden in an attempt to jump-start my grieving process.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor Tom Fortes Mayer were involved in the supply of illegal drugs. Tom Fortes Mayer agreed to take part to ensure the safety of all participants. VICE does not encourage or condone the use of illegal drugs.

Now is not the right time for me to meet my inner child. My (largely absent) father has just died, and I’m up—way, way up—on magic mushrooms. Half a dozen other participants are lying on the grass around me, their eyes closed, in a deep hypnotic state. “Think of a time when you felt abandoned or let down by one of your parents,” the hypnotherapist guiding the experimental psychedelic therapy session instructs, “and take that scared, angry child by the hand.”

I bolt for the “quiet room”—this is too much, much too soon.

Psychedelic hypnotherapy is the new frontier. It’s not legal—not in the UK, anyway—but it probably should be. Psychedelics can work miracles; science says so. Recent studies have shown that, when used correctly, they can rid addicts of their cravings, relieve depression, anxiety, and PTSD, induce long-lasting positive behavioral changes, help the terminally ill overcome their terror of death—and even put mere mortals in touch with the divine.


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