If you’ve ever struggled to find meaning in life, or with anxiety, depression, addiction, or PTSD, then do we have the Listening to Ayahuasca show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with researcher and psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD. She’s received a National Institute of Health New Investigator’s award, published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of a brilliant new read that’s sure to change lives, Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety.

And that’s just what I want to talk with her about today, about wisdom from the plant world, for hope, guidance, healing, and direction in our lives.

This is a very special interview. I share my own personal journey with Ayahuasca and how it transformed my life. Rachel Harris, PhD shares her journey, and how she was called to research this amazing medicine for the jungle. And she shares her research on how Ayahuasca has affected, healed, and transformed the lives of people around the world. This is truly a mind-blowing, world-view changing interview.





Psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety. She was in private practice for thirty-five years working with people interested in psychospiritual development. During a decade working in research, Rachel received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award and published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations.

Rachel was in the 1968 Esalen Residential Program, Big Sur, CA. This intensive six-month program focused on meditation and body work. In the early seventies, Rachel studied with Dorothy Nolte in the movement system, Structural Awareness, based on Dr. Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration (Rolfing). Rachel also co-edited the Journal of the American Dance Therapy Association for three years. Awareness of how people live and move in their bodies has always been an aspect of Rachel’s approach to psychotherapy.

During the mid-eighties into the early aughts, Rachel led workshops at Omega Institute, NY and Esalen Institute, CA. She wrote Twenty Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices (NY: Holt, 2000). This book describes many of the psychological, meditative and body awareness exercises she taught in her workshops.

In 2005 Rachel traveled to a retreat center in Costa Rica and serendipitously found herself with the opportunity to drink ayahuasca with Ecuadorian shamans. The morning after her first ceremony, Rachel began asking questions about the therapeutic potential of this medicine. She conducted a three-year research project with Lee Gurel, PhD that resulted in “A Study of Ayahuasca Use in North America,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Summer, 2012).

Rachel has a married daughter, Ashley Mason, who sings in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Rachel is the co-author with Dorothy Nolte of Children Learn What They Live and Teenagers Learn What They Live (NY: Workman, 1998 and 2002) and the author of 20 Minute Retreats (Holt, 2000).Rachel spends eight months of the year on a remote island in Penobscot Bay, ME and winters in Napa, CA.


Rachel Harris, PhD Online: Website | Facebook

Key Topics:

  • What is Ayahuasca?
  • Where is it found?
  • How was it found?
  • What conditions can Ayahuasca help with?
  • What is its purpose?
  • Is Ayahuasca a drug or a medicine?
  • What is an Ayahuasca ceremony like?
  • How did Ayahuasca find researcher Rachel Harris PhD?
  • What was her first experience in Costa Rica?
  • What was the intention she set before the Ayahuasca ceremony?
  • What did she want to do after that?
  • What does it mean to be called to do the work?
  • What did she first learn from her experience with Ayahuasca?
  • What does Ayahuasca teach us about ourselves
  • How did Rachel begin researching Ayahuasca and people’s experiences?
  • What are some of the key learning’s people have gotten from their experiences?
  • What are some of the key themes?
  • What does love have to do with Ayahuasca?
  • How do relationships change after Ayahuasca?
  • How does emotional healing from depression, anxiety, and even PTSD take place?
  • Can people physically heal from illness, or even cancer after taking Ayahuasca?
  • What’s the importance of having a guide?
  • How does Ayahuasca help people contact the deceased?
  • How does it change people perceptually?
  • What does divine gratitude have to do with anything
  • Are there any risks with Ayahuasca?
  • What is a good bad trip?
  • What does it mean to enter a relationship with grandmother Ayahuasca?
  • How does it change one’s spiritual perspective with the world
  • Why is Grandmother Ayahuasca here in the west from the Amazonian Rain Forest?
  • What one homework assignment can we take away from here?
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