Transforming Trauma Episode 101: Training, Ethics and Agency in the Emerging Field of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy with Monti Pal
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In this episode of Transforming Trauma, Emily is joined by Monti Pal, Licensed Professional Counselor and NARM Therapist with a special focus in the emerging field of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy. Monti’s vast experience in clinical settings, psychiatric hospitals, and now private practice, have provided her with a unique way of understanding the diversity of people’s healing journeys. Like many inquisitive clinicians, she is reflecting on how to best provide supportive and transformative care for her clients, and this professional journey has led her to studying both the NeuroAffective Relational Model and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.
Right around the same time Monti was introduced to NARM, she was also introduced to the field of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy. While she was training in NARM, she began the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Program at CIIS, a MDMA Therapy training with MAPS, and began studying with the Polaris Insight Center to further her knowledge of Ketamine Assisted Therapy. Over the past few years Monti has been passionate about bringing together these two powerful models in treating complex trauma and other life challenges that clients bring into psychotherapy.
In her upcoming webinar with the NARM Training Institute – Healing Complex Trauma with Psychedelics and Plant Medicine – Monti will provide an overview about how to integrate NARM and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy to support helping professionals in this field. She will more clearly define Psychedelic Assisted Therapy, and provide context for how it is seen as a new field in the realm of psychology even though it has deep roots in indigenous cultures and religions.
While Monti is so excited about being part of this burgeoning field, she is also transparent about the challenges associated with it, for example that most of these medicines are still illegal in the United States, even for clinical use. Therefore, Monti is a strong advocate for proper training, ongoing ethical conversations, and clinical consultation for anyone working within this field.
Monti highlights how NARM-oriented clinical principles such as agency, intention, inquiry, embodiment, intersubjectivity and countertransference make NARM a great modality to integrate with Psychedelic Assisted Therapy. NARM looks at a client’s capacity, which is about how much a person can stay present to and contain an experience without it overwhelming them. Monti’s hypothesis is that clients who are experiencing severe levels of disconnection in their life need a lot more support before diving into plant medicine and psychedelics, and that is where NARM comes in. She recognizes that many clients require a supportive framework like NARM that centers agency and consent, which prepare clients for their psychedelic-assisted sessions. Additionally, these clinical skills can be used for integration after psychedelic-assisted sessions.
We are grateful to Monti for sharing the exciting possibilities and current challenges in this emerging field. We invite you to listen to the full episode to learn more about Monti’s journey and how she is integrating NARM to best support Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.
About Monti Pal:
Monti is a Licensed Professional Counselor who runs a private psychotherapy practice in Austin, TX. Monti attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology. Monti has past experience working at SafePlace, Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, Rock Springs Hospital, and other sites. Monti is also a NARM Therapist trained in using the Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) to support the healing of complex trauma.
Monti is interested in psychedelic therapies for mental health and how NARM can be an essential therapeutic tool to help lead psychedelic assisted therapy sessions. Monti completed her certification in Psychedelic therapy through the CIIS program at the Center for Psychedelic Therapy and Research in 2021.
In her free time, Monti likes to spend time with her two kids, likes to learn to cook different types of cuisine, enjoys learning new skills and trying new activities, and loves to travel.
Website – Mindfulness with Monti
Webinar with NARM – Healing Complex Trauma with Psychedelics and Plant Medicine
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