Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Series: Psychedelics and Nuclear War with Thought Leader and Esalen Inst. Dr. Howard Kornfeld | POP 999

Share this content

Why has there been a psychedelic renaissance these past few years? Why are psychedelics important in this modern context? What do nuclear war, global consciousness, and psychedelics have in common?

In the last podcast episode in the psychedelic-assisted therapy series, Joe Sanok speaks about psychedelics and nuclear war with psychedelic thought leader and Esalen doctor Dr. Howard Kornfeld.

Podcast Sponsor: Psychiatry Institute

An image of the podcast sponsor, The Integrative Psychiatry Institute is captured. IPI's comprehensive training and in-person experiential practicums will elevate you both personally and professionally.  This in-depth curriculum is the gold-standard certification in the field. IPI sponsors the Practice of the Practice podcast.

Imagine the impact you could have on your clients when you are able to practice the most cutting-edge modality available today. Psychedelic therapy is the future of mental healthcare, and the Integrative Psychiatry Institute will empower you with the tools and knowledge you need to master this exciting modality.

IPI’s comprehensive training and in-person experiential practicums will elevate you both personally and professionally.  This in-depth curriculum is the gold-standard certification in the field.

When you join you will step into a global community of thousands of innovative colleagues who are integrating psychedelic therapy into their practices.

Visit  where you will find all the information you need about IPI’s training.

And when you visit  you will also receive IPI’s free e-report on The Current State of Psychedelic Therapy so you can get the most up-to-date information immediately.

Meet Dr. Howard Kornfeld

A photo of Howard Kornfeld, MD, is captured. He is a nationally recognized leader in the utilization of buprenorphine (also known as Suboxone™) for pain and addiction. Dr. Kornfeld is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.Howard Kornfeld, MD, is a nationally recognized leader in the utilization of buprenorphine (also known as Suboxone™) for pain and addiction. Dr. Kornfeld is a veteran of the psychedelic medicine field, having convened one of the first-ever psychedelic research conferences—the 1994/1995 Pacific Symposium on Psychedelic Drugs—while a visiting physician-in-residence at the world-famous Esalen Institute. Dr. Kornfeld has also served as an addiction consultant and expert in various capacities, including prominent celebrity cases. In addition to founding and acting as Director of Recovery Medicine at Recovery Without Walls, Howard has spent decades as an activist physician, fighting for causes such as the end of the use of the gas chamber in California and the prevention of nuclear war.
 Visit Howard’s website and connect on Facebook and Instagram.





In this Podcast

  • Dealing with illegality in the 70s and 80s
  • The psychedelic renaissance
  • Why psychedelics are important in the world today 
  • Activism in Nuclear War Awareness 
  • Dr. Kornfield’s advice to private practitioners 

Dealing with illegality in the 70s and 80s 

Even though many substances have been tested and scientifically proven to be helpful healing and therapeutic tools under the correct circumstances, many of these have been banned or are still illegal due to various political or economic reasons. 

These types of bans on access end up harming or hindering research and learning more about these psychedelic substances above ground, which ultimately is a loss for everyone. 

There has been this big hole that we were not allowed to use anything that was considered a psychedelic or had been placed in “schedule 1”, which is the place where the government and the DEA has put these medications … like MDMA, like LSD, like psilocybin … There’s a hole in modern medicine [because] we’ve not been able to use those substances. (Dr. Kornfield) 

Now, the FDA is evaluating a complex set of research studies that have been submitted by big pharmaceutical companies that will be in charge of releasing MDMA once the FDA approves the drug. 

The psychedelic renaissance 

There’s a pattern that some researchers have noticed that when there is a lot of death and destruction being done there are also many remedies that are invented around the same time. 

In the 1940s during the pains of World War II, a man rediscovered LSD in the Western world and began experimenting with it as a medicine. 

There is this link between … the “Thanatos”, the death wish, and then “Eros”, the life wish, that could be represented by a psychedelic switch [which] can enlarge and expand the human mind and consciousness, and that’s why he said; ‘This is why I do what I do’ … That’s why he invented hundreds of other potentially psychedelic compounds. (Dr. Kornfield) 

However, in the ’90s, psychedelic medicine had its renaissance, and there was a whole new generation of scientists, doctors, therapists, and researchers who were getting interested in this new field of medicine. 

Why psychedelics are important in the world today

I am convinced that the way forward for humanity is to open itself up to these psychedelic medicines. They’re not pancreas, they need to be cultivated carefully within the medical system … But we all know that they can’t be confined to the medical system because in a sense they belong to humanity. (Dr. Kornfield)

These psychedelic substances were most likely involved with the inception of different religions across multiple countries and communities in the world, over thousands of years. 

Therefore, a lot of care needs to be exercised in introducing these medicines – especially since the world is in a precarious place again, as the pattern has shown before. 

My sense is that there’s a link between this emergence right now in the 2020s and the fact that so much has been neglected in our consciousness in terms of creating a safer world. (Dr. Kornfield) 

Of course, many people note that a lot of people in the world suffer from addiction and that these substances may be dangerous to them. 

However, these medicines are medicines; they are not meant to be taken out of context and used for any purpose. 

We have to be very careful with these substances … Although most of them are not intrinsically addictive, some of them like Ketamine can have an addictive quality for those that are very vulnerable and those who might be taken advantage of by commercial interests that … don’t have the ethics that are needed to shepherd these psychedelic technologies into our community. (Dr. Kornfield)

Activism in Nuclear War Awareness 

Dr. Kornfield has seen that a lack of consciousness and awareness for human expansion and protection leads to more destruction and unnecessary struggle. 

He explains that we need a global consciousness movement again, especially in America, since the threat of nuclear war continues to grow, alongside the planet suffering from things like global warming. 

I don’t think it’s coincidental that psychedelics are reemerging, the treaty on the prohibitions on nuclear weapons is emerging, and we just need to get people talking to each other, I think [is necessary] to catalyze a new movement, towards not only global consciousness, but to global peace and security. (Dr. Kornfield) 

Dr. Kornfield’s advice to private practitioners

The challenges that you face are complex but integrating ecology and psychedelic consciousness is the way forward. It may not be easy, but it would be hugely rewarding.

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

Books mentioned in this episode:

Rachel Nuwer – I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Essential Conversations and Clinical Issues from Missing and Exploited Children Expert with Carol Ryan | POP 998

Events – click on the event’s dropdown

Sign up to join the free webinars and events here

Podcast Launch School

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network

Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale

Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share the social media below!