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Beyond The Narrow Life: A Guide For Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration

By Kile M. Ortigo, Ph.D.

Foreword by William A. Richards, Ph.D.

Beyond the Narrow Life seeks to ‘thread a needle’ by addressing profound themes elicited by psychospiritual and therapeutic use of psychedelics while avoiding merely ‘preaching to the choir.’ This book explores common topics that emerge during psychedelic journeys by integrating several frameworks, spanning evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, Jungian depth psychology, existential philosophy, compassion and mindfulness practices, comparative mythology, pop culture, film, and scientific understandings of the cosmos. Instead of a dry overview of big ideas, Dr. Ortigo gently guides readers through an awe-inspiring journey that confronts the deeper questions and concerns we all face as humans in this modern time.

I’d like to heartily recommend Dr. Kile Ortigo’s Beyond the Narrow Life to you as a unique work that offers a thoughtful and well-developed map and user’s guide for exploring one’s psyche – from preparation through encounter through integration into the activities of daily life. The field of psychotherapy will very much benefit from the availability of this material.” — David Presti

Kile M. Ortigo, Ph.D.

Kile M. Ortigo, Ph.D., is an award-winning clinical psychologist and founder of the Center for Existential Exploration, which supports people exploring profound questions about identity, meaning, life transitions, and psychospiritual development. He also serves on advisory boards of Psychedelic Support, an online training and clinician directory for legal, psychedelic-informed care, and Project New Day, a non-profit organization providing harm reduction resources for people using psychedelics in their addiction recovery process. For several years, Dr. Ortigo worked at the National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD) where he collaborated on technology development and implementation projects, ranging from apps like Mindfulness Coach to online programs like webSTAIR. With colleagues at NC-PTSD, NYU, and Harvard, Dr. Ortigo coauthored Treating Survivors of Child Abuse & Interpersonal Trauma: STAIR Narrative Therapy (2nd Edition), which was released in June 2020.

Description

With the second renaissance and re-emergence of psychedelics in Western society, the public and therapists alike are confronting new areas of exploration with few comprehensive models available to aid in the profound process of integrating such powerful and mystical-like experiences into one’s life. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy offers one useful model for this work, but access to even traditional therapy is limited due to expense and inadequate specialized training. With questions surrounding legal access, criminalization, and medical indications and contraindications, the immediate future of psychedelic-assisted therapy remains shrouded in uncertainty, even in the face of expanding interest and promise.

Beyond the Narrow Life seeks to ‘thread a needle’ by addressing profound themes elicited by psychospiritual and therapeutic use of psychedelics while avoiding merely ‘preaching to the choir.’ This book explores common topics that emerge during psychedelic journeys by integrating several frameworks, spanning evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, Jungian depth psychology, existential philosophy, compassion and mindfulness practices, comparative mythology, pop culture, film, and scientific understandings of the cosmos. Instead of a dry overview of big ideas, Dr. Ortigo gently guides readers through an awe-inspiring journey that confronts the deeper questions and concerns we all face as humans in this modern time.

Interested in learning more about Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy? Please visit the Center for Existential Exploration Resources page for more information.

Related: Should Psychedelic Therapists Have Psychedelic Experiences?

Additional information

Weight 1.875 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 7 × 1 in
Format

Paperback, eBook

Pages 0

Endorsements

Kile is offering a unique synthesis not previously available in the field. His work offers an unexpected integration of existential, Jungian, cognitive-behavioral, and relational psychodynamic perspectives. In his book, Kile helps the reader to maximize the safety/grounding, meaning making and transformational elements of psychedelic usage and treatment. The book will be useful to both clinicians and non-clinicians alike. Most psychedelic usage happens outside of the realm of clinics and laboratories, and this book will be a great asset to all those who are considering using, infrequently or regularly using and/or trying to maximize the benefit of using psychedelic substances. I strongly recommend this cutting-edge book in a field that is on the edge of exploding into the clinical, scientific, and academic worlds. — Harvey Schwartz, PhD

What makes this book stand out from others I’ve seen is his depth of knowledge of psychology and existential philosophy and his writing skills at ‘meeting the reader and taking him/her on a journey.’ He writes clearly and directly, using words that communicate well to most people. That’s a real strength! His writing also reflects openness rather than dogma and a very patient ability to let readers explore their cognitive processes and meditative depths at their own paces….Kile has plenty to say to the world and the skills to do it well. His particular strengths include his knowledge base, openness and compassion, and his exceptionally fine writing style. His dialogues with the reader reflect a lot of patient wisdom—the river flows at different paces at different times, and he gently guides while knowing that there’s no need to push it. — Bill Richards, PhD

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