Molly Benoit-Leach, MSW, RSW, RYT
As a holistically trained psychotherapist and yoga teacher, my role with clients is to provide a safe for psychedelic planning, preparation, integration. I am most comfortable with working with individuals who are sitting with psilocybin. I work with clients to encourage them to allow whatever comes up in their experience. Because my background is in family work, I am able to explore with clients how their present day patterns and challenges may be linked to their childhood experiences and parental or other attachments. Approaches I use include: mindfulness, spiritual and yoga-centric philosophy, internal family systems, attachment theory, and harm reduction. I believe that we have the ability to heal ourselves, and that psychedelic medicines can help to catalyze the process. My role is to simply sit with you before and after their psychedelic experiences, but not during. As it becomes more popular to use psychedelics to support mental health, I find it imperative to offer safe containers to integrate these experiences. For some, the integration process can last days, weeks, months, or even years. One of my favourite slogans in mental health is “You gotta feel it to heal it!” Psychedelics can often be the catalysts for people to feel deeply which can facilitate profound healing. This isn’t always fun and this is sometimes what people think of as a “bad trip.” I am here to help individuals navigate these challenging experiences so that deeper healing can be accessed and emotions can be met with acceptance. I am able to offer “psychotherapy” sessions to individuals who live in BC or ON, Canada as I am registered to provide psychotherapy in those two provinces. I offer psychedelic and plant medicine planning and/or integration “coaching” sessions to individuals who live outside of BC and ON. These sessions differ in that we may not be able to explore as deeply into any potential childhood traumas or address mental health difficulties directly. Instead we may explore themes that come up and work together to explore those themes. This could include a referral to ongoing psychotherapy depending on the needs of the client.
From an early age I tried to understand the people around me. I have always been a deep feeler. Being around adults who were abusing substances as a child led me to be very empathic and an advocate for compassion for individuals who struggle. With curiosity, I began to believe that substance use can be helpful if done properly. This led me to complete a degree in Psychology and Master of Social Work, specializing in understanding substances, family systems and mental health. I have 10 years experience coaching, counselling, and supporting individuals and families. While I strongly believe in the power of psychotherapy, I also find it to be limited. In 2016 I felt burnt out, so I left my counselling job and travelled to Mexico seeking alternative methods of healing and I experienced a spiritual awakening. I completed a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and became a certified yoga teacher. Since that time I have also completed training in mindfulness based cognitive therapy, trauma informed yoga, and restorative yoga. I believe in holistic health, and that health includes overlapping physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. I am also trained by the Zendo project, and believe in their principle that a difficult “trip” is not necessarily bad - and can actually be the gateway to profound healing. I have participated in psilocybin mushroom, peyote, and ayahuasca ceremonies in Mexico and Peru. I feel that the healing I have experienced through yoga, meditation, and psychedelic / plant medicines - as well as working with a therapist who helps me integrate these experiences - far exceeds what psychotherapy alone had offered me. I feel passionately about the potential of psychedelic medicine revolutionizing mental health. I also believe that one person’s healing contributes to healing the collective as well as the planet, and I am honoured to participate in that process. These days I am living between Mexico and Canada. I balance my time between being a furmama, musician, teaching yoga, and providing psychedelic preparation and integration psychotherapy and coaching sessions.