Eric Sienknecht, Psy.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Co-founder of Polaris Insight Center, a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic in San Francisco. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and World Religions from Georgetown University in 2000 and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2011. He has undergone training in psychedelic psychotherapy with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and serves as Sub-investigator and Study Therapist on the Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy clinical trials for treatment of PTSD. His areas of expertise include treatment of depression, chronic pain, trauma, and integration of psychedelic experiences. His professional interests include psychoanalysis, consciousness research, mystical and peak experiences, mindfulness, and studying the synergistic effects of yoga, music, and psychedelics. He writes articles for Chacruna.net and Psychedelic Support Network and presents regularly at psychedelic conferences on topics such as Set and Setting in Psychedelic Therapy and Ethics of Psychedelic Therapy and Research.
How I work with clients
I believe that a good psychotherapy treatment should facilitate a process of self-inquiry, where one discovers, over time, how to become more authentic, both with oneself and with others. I practice deep listening with my patients and hold space while they explore their inner world, thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and visions. I specialize in treating people with mood disorders, distress associated with chronic medical conditions, and substance abuse problems. I also work well with people in crisis, who are dealing with a recent loss or with adjusting to a major life change and may be struggling with symptoms of depression and general withdrawal from the world or symptoms of anxiety and intensified distress around making decisions and moving forward. I work closely with people to examine the ways in which they may be sabotaging themselves and work with them to find clarity so that they can take the next step towards discovering a deeper level of fulfillment. I am also interested in the healing potential of mindfulness-based wellness activities, such as yoga, meditation, pranayama and breathing exercises, and Tai Chi and Qigong. I further believe in the important role of nutrition in maintaining emotional and psychological balance and well-being. Finally, I am a devoted music lover and strongly believe in the healing power of sound and music. I maintain a regular practice of yoga and music-listening for my own self-care.