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This week we dive into Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy with Craig Salerno of the Boulder Wellness Ketamine Collective!

If you’ve wondered about ketamine, what it is and how it works this episode is for you. I’ve been trying to get a luminary in ketamine space on the show for a while, and I’m so glad that Craig accepted our invitation. I really enjoyed this conversation, and I hope you will, too.

Craig Salerno, is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with over a decade of experience working in the field of addiction. 

Craig is passionate about exploring psychedelic medicine work as it pertains to individuals in active addiction and recovery. Craig is the former Clinical Director of NorthStar Transitions, a treatment program offering both inpatient and outpatient services for individuals seeking recovery. Craig now works in private practice in Boulder offering psychotherapy, psychedelic integration services, and ketamine therapy for a range of mental health concerns, including addiction.

In this episode we talk about recent events in the United States, and what we as individuals can do to help the societal transition happening right now. 

We live in a really crazy world right now, with Covid and all the protests happening, it can be hard to cope. Craig has a little reminder for all of us: “Keep your eyes open, stay awake to what you’re thinking and feeling, come inside and pay attention.”

Craig spreads wisdom about ketamine and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and we discuss depression and addiction and how Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy can help. Craig addresses sensitive people and how they are the leaders we need right now.

This episode was brought to you by Fundraising Mastery (, our accelerator program that we run a few times a year for mission-driven entrepreneurs to help them raise money. In the light of recent events in the United States, we set a goal to enroll at least 50% founders of color into our next cohort that is launching on July 15th. If you know anyone who might be a good fit, please refer them to our website.


Show Notes

6:30 Craig refers to the current situation (COVID, racism) as an altered state or ceremony
7:22 What lessons from the ceremony and medicine work we can apply to deal with the pandemic, the protests, the police violence?
9:55 Craig talks about what he thinks he can do in this situation to support people
13:06 When you take a role and you have a sense of permission to act out, suddenly the humanity can get pretty scary
15:35 The power of group therapy
17:15 Craig on 12-step processes
19:48 A few words about addiction
20:50 Psychedelic medicine – it’s the power of stopping the compulsive energy, initiating the contemplation and a wake-up
21:48 Craig talks about ketamine – history of use
23:00 How Craig got introduced to ketamine
26:20 Two different types of ketamine-experience
28:35 How does the ketamine therapy work
29:47 Craig talks about Boulder Wellness Ketamine Collective
30:52 What is depression?
36:30 We have a culture that doesn’t welcome emotions
38:00 If you wanna graduate to the ultimate psychedelic, the way to do it is meditation
42:20 The first stage of recovery is denial
44:31 It’s not just awareness that sets us free, it’s also seeing and knowing intelligently how to move with what we see
45:03 Little T traumas and big T Traumas
45:58 The Trauma of Everyday Life by Mark Epstein 
48:00 How to decide which psychedelic medicine to try
50:10 Go in and feel what you did not want to feel!
50:55 What is psychedelic maturity?
52:40 Are drugs bad for me?
54:20 How to fight “drug-war”?
56:28 It’s not just the medicine that helps people – it’s the whole therapy setting and process
59:20 The ketamine still carries some portion of stigma
59:50 The future of psychedelic medicine
62:42 Craig’s experience with psilocybin as an adolescent
63:55 You need to be healed in order to help someone else heal
67:00 64k overdoses every year in the US
71:38 Psychedelic medicine work in fighting addiction
72:35 A symptom is a communication from the trauma that something is not okay
76:00 Even your recovery needs a break – Pete Walker
77:08 A lot of what we see in leadership right now is a lack of heart-centering, lack of compassion
78:00 We need leaders that really encourage us to take a breath, to slow down, to feel things

Episode Links:

Boulder Wellness Ketamine Collective: 
Craig’s website: