A meeting of minds around the future of American democracy | New
It seemed fitting that the Aspen Ideas Festival 2021 ended on the Thursday before the July 4th weekend – this year’s lineup was themed “American Futures”. The four-day period on the Aspen Institute campus hosted speakers ranging from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the conversations that made up the full lineup touched on everything from national security to the changing role of the CEO to bring students back to class.
The “mushroom boom”
Here, the Aspen Daily News gives a brief recap of two particularly relevant presentations. Discussing the research and clinical merits of psychedelics in psychotherapy may give a moment of pause, wondering why this conversation is considered particularly relevant right now – until the Aspen City Council is remembered. in May discussed the concept in a working session, and Denver became the first city to decriminalize the use of psilocybin mushrooms in 2019. In the past few months alone, three psychedelic drug developers have made a statement. initial public offering.
On Thursday, Rachel Yehuda and Gita Vaid, hosted by Axios Editor-in-Chief Alison Snyder, discussed their excitement about what psychedelics can mean for psychotherapy. Yehuda’s resume includes Director of the Center for the Study of Psychedelic and Trauma Psychotherapy and Director of the Division of Traumatic Stress Studies and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Vaid is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and co-founder of the Center for Natural Intelligence.
Yehuda: “We have treatments for trauma-related disorders like PTSD, depression, or anxiety, but most people who are in therapy think they need to continue therapy because they are not getting over a really big hurdle that is in them. somehow helps them get their life back or achieve ultimate healing and well-being. The history of psychedelics is well known. In the 1950s and 1960s, psychedelics were used by mental health care providers to help patients open up so they could discuss very intimate and difficult matters – then these substances were banned. I think what you are seeing now is a resurgence because a few very courageous people decided that these tools were too important to plan and launched an initiative to really test these compounds.
“At present, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has received breakthrough status from the FDA. Psilocybin has also received breakthrough status from the FDA for depression. I think that’s when academia realizes – when the FDA grants breakthrough status to a treatment, it’s very difficult to dismiss it.
Vaid: “I think psychedelics actually offer a whole different approach to mental health and healing, and we need to develop different approaches and have better practices and delivery systems. I think what’s more drastic and more ambitious is that it allows for a very different process and a deeper healing. Using the therapeutic relationship to cultivate knowledge so that a person prepares for the experience as well as the after-effects to be absorbed and treated is therefore a very different approach.
“I would say most people agree with this approach… there are other practices… like meditation or breathing work. Psychedelics are a great approach, but not really helpful for everyone. Some people may have medical or psychological issues that either make them high risk and require a lot of preparation, or it may not be the ideal treatment.
Takeaway meals: Yehuda and Vaid both have first hand experience of the benefits of psychedelics in treating trauma. Yehuda describes an eight-hour session, in which a patient receives MDMA and, in a highly structured guided setting, supervised by two therapists, explores past trauma. Once the drug is out of the patient’s system at the end of the eight hour shift, the patient and therapists “really do interpret and integrate events in a person”.
Vaid, too, has seen the benefits with his patients. She spoke of a rape victim who, using ketamine treatment, visualized her life as a tissue, in which her rape events manifested as a stain. She also saw “there are so many stitches in her fabric that encompass her story and her life experiences,” Vaid said. “After her experience, she had a very different and strong perspective on her identity and her life story.”
Local media and their importance to the community
The Roaring Fork Valley and its media landscape are increasingly rare, observed Colorado Public Radio President and CEO Stewart Vanderbilt in a discussion he had alongside Mita Kalita, CEO and editor of Epicenter-NYC and CEO and co-founder of URL Media on June 28. : There are two newspapers in Aspen and four radio stations in the valley.
It’s a welcome change from the news deserts that dot the rest of the country. Kalita – whose career has mostly been in national mainstream media such as CNN before releasing an online newsletter that now has a few thousand followers and celebrates its first advertiser – touted the real connections that local news agencies maintain with the community and how critical those relationships are. in restoring the lost trust between media consumers and media producers. Vanderwilt and Kalita both see the future as one of “radical collaboration” between smaller community entities to pool resources without sacrificing quality of content.
Kalita: “There is a reality on the ground, there is what government agencies tell you is happening, and those two things do not meet in our coverage. The way national reporting works is you call the agency, you take it at its word, and that’s what’s reported as fact. So you can understand why people who experience this injustice… start to disbelieve what is being said.
“We’re so much better as journalists… if we’re actually doing it for the people the government is supposed to serve. I’m afraid that the national report… there is not necessarily a rootedness and a concern for the community to really get out of the situation. “
Vanderwilt: “When we acquired Denverite, we didn’t just integrate it into CPR. We said we want you to do what you do, and we’re going to put the infrastructure around you so that the editor at Denverite doesn’t also update people’s credit card numbers because that was a very small operation. And we kind of see that as the future. Take what we do very well and apply it to new platforms and services.
“I think there is an opportunity for what I call radical collaboration. Cooperation is an agreement. I think there is an opportunity with stations statewide, nationwide, with limited resources – take those resources and just focus them on the needs of this community and, through cooperation, expand your service with content from other cooperative partners.
Takeaway meals: Like any industry, the pandemic has particularly changed the information industry – but it was already changing before the discovery of COVID-19. Advertising models are changing; algorithms determine the fate of news that searches Google and those that don’t; as independent retail is replaced by corporate retail, the local newspaper usually doesn’t get the new advertising deal, and Craigslist has long made the classifieds less important.
But local news is more important than ever – it holds government officials accountable, celebrates a community’s victories and mourns its losses. “The stakes are so high,” Kalita said of a declining independent news industry.