Matt Vest, LCMHCA, NCC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate
For clients who are working with legal psychedelic substances provided by a licensed clinician, or those seeking support around use in other contexts, I am informed by a psychedelic harm reduction and integration (PHRI) approach to preparation and integration. The depth and scope of preparatory work may vary from client to client depending on a number of factors, but it generally includes psychoeducation around considerations and risks, clarification of intentions and goals, how to approach experiential sessions undertaken outside of our work together, and planting seeds for our integration work. Integration will usually span more sessions than preparatory work, and typically involves exploring memories, thoughts, and feelings brought back from experiences with an eye toward leveraging neuroplasticity and extracting meaning and positive narratives that can be woven into the fabric of one's life. IMPORTANT NOTE: I do not offer any services or advice related to obtaining illegal substances, nor will I ever recommend any use outside of legal, sanctioned, safe, and well-considered contexts or when better-established treatment options are feasible. At this time, my focus is on preparation and integration aspects of this work, and I do not offer experiential/use ("sitting") sessions of any kind.
I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in the Asheville, NC area. I received my Master's degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2022, and have worked since then for a local Employee Assistance Program. Recently I began my own practice, part time, in order to pursue some of my own therapeutic interests, including providing preparatory and integrative support for those using legal psychedelic substances prescribed by licensed clinicians. I am also interested in offering support from a harm-reduction perspective to those who have chosen to use psychedelics in other contexts, informed by the principles of Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration (PHRI). I have completed trainings in Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), and am pursuing additional psychedelic-related trainings. My undergraduate degree was in Psychology, with a minor in Eastern Religions. My journey after that led me into filmmaking, as an editor and researcher for documentaries. I have had a deep and abiding interest in psychedelics since the 1990s when the new wave of research began. After going through some difficult life transitions that heightened my existing anxiety challenges, I undertook a program of healing on my own that included psychedelic use, as well as individual and group therapy. It was these three factors that helped me move into a much more balanced state, and led me into my current career. I am beyond grateful to be doing the work I am now to help others find their way toward greater meaning, connection, and fulfillment.