In this episode, Jonathan talks with Veterans For Enthegenic Therapy (VET) Founder and President Ryan LeCompte about healing psychological wounds, being a dad, and helping to change the world!
Jonathan and Ryan met at Psymposia 2015 where they were both speakers (watch both talks here). When Jonathan found out that Ryan was a dad, he couldn’t wait to include Ryan in the conversation. In this talk, Jonathan and Ryan also share their collective debt to Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and how much both consider him an example and personal inspiration
Ryan LeCompte is a former United States Marine Infantryman (MOS 0311) who served on active-duty from 2007-2011. He has served out of Camp Lejeune, Quantico and White House operations in Washington, D.C.
While still on active duty, he served with his fellow combat Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, yet observed that they risked being labeled “failure to adapt” and/or discharged if they talked about their problems. The heart-ache became more personal when he found one of his brothers, a fellow infantryman Sgt. Jorge Leon-Alcivar in his barracks room the morning after he took his own life. Sgt. Leon had just returned from deployment to Iraq with 3rd Marines 2nd Battalion and was clearly struggling with PTSD. Shortly thereafter, Ryan decided to retire from the military in order to help his brothers and sisters from outside the confines of military structure. He began by volunteering hours in the waiting rooms of VA clinics talking to and assisting vets awaiting treatment. He started collecting data for his undergraduate on the prescription medications being given to veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and found the same kind of cocktails being prescribed to almost every one of them. (Anti-depression, sedating anxiolitics, and heavy barbiturates for sleeping.
“These drugs seem to shut out experiences associated with trauma by numbing them.”, Ryan states, “and this came across to me to be not only exacerbating the symptoms, but also creating new ones. It went against the values and virtues that we as veterans came to embody while on active duty, a few of them being courage and commitment.”
Shortly thereafter, he began his search for alternative treatment options not being used by the VA. Recently, Ryan has organized a trip to the jungles of Peru with a group of vets suffering from PTSD to experience an ayahuasca ceremony and plans future excursions for healing.