11 episodes

An investigative series from New York magazine. Season One: Power Trip. Psychedelic therapy is going mainstream. But are we overlooking a pattern of deception and abuse among some of the movement’s leaders? And it’s not just in the psychedelic underground. In the second half of the series, we investigate some of the above ground institutions working to legalize psychedelic therapy.
Cover Story, Season One: Power Trip, returns March 1st.
From New York magazine and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Cover Story New York Magazine

    • True Crime
    • 4.0 • 883 Ratings

An investigative series from New York magazine. Season One: Power Trip. Psychedelic therapy is going mainstream. But are we overlooking a pattern of deception and abuse among some of the movement’s leaders? And it’s not just in the psychedelic underground. In the second half of the series, we investigate some of the above ground institutions working to legalize psychedelic therapy.
Cover Story, Season One: Power Trip, returns March 1st.
From New York magazine and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    I See a Sh*tshow

    I See a Sh*tshow

    After years of experimenting with drugs, Lily discovers the psychedelic underground. It’s a world of shamans and guides - people illegally practicing psychedelic therapy to treat trauma. Their secret mission is make this treatment more widely available in order to “promote the evolution of humankind.” But what will they overlook to get there?

    Credits
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power Trip is co-created, produced, and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Hosted and produced by iO Tillett Wright.
    Senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn and Liza Yeager.
    Executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    Music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Cover Story’s Theme music by Santigold.
    Sound design and engineering by Mike Cruz and technical production by Sharif Youssef.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen and Samantha Mason. And also to Isabel Dahn, Paul Schneider, Crystal Finn, Harmony Stempel, and Karen Racanelli.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 32 min
    That's an Old Story

    That's an Old Story

    Lily visits the Ecuadorian Amazon to work on a project when something terrible happens to her. She barely escapes and makes it home alive. But it’s what happens next that really sets the course of her life. Meanwhile, the psychedelic renaissance is really starting to take off.

    Credits
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power Trip is co-created, produced and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Hosted and produced by iO Tillett Wright.
    Senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn and Liza Yeager.
    Executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    Music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Cover Story’s Theme music by Santigold.
    Sound design and engineering by Mike Cruz and technical production by Sharif Youssef.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen and Samantha Mason. And also to Isabel Dahn, Rachel Monroe, and Genevieve Smith.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 39 min
    I Am the Wolf

    I Am the Wolf

    We cross through the portal to the underground where “Susan” goes through the training to become a psychedelic therapist. Her mentor Eyal crosses way too many boundaries. (Is he the wolf?). And we finally meet Francoise Bourzat, honey-voiced trainer of trainers.

    In an earlier version of episode 3, we misidentified Eyal Goren as a “licensed therapist.” He became a licensed therapist in the State of California in November of 2019. When "Susan" became his client, he was still registered as an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist. We’ve updated the episode to correct the mistake.

    Credits
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power Trip is co-created, produced and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Hosted and produced by iO Tillett Wright.
    Senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn and Liza Yeager.
    Executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    Music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Cover Story’s Theme music by Santigold.
    Sound design and engineering by Mike Cruz and Sharif Youssef.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Crystal Finn is the voice of Susan.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen and Samantha Mason. And also to Isabel Dahn and James Kent.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 52 min
    Bad Hug

    Bad Hug

    We go to the source - a Mexican psychotherapist named Salvador Roquet, who is known as a “master of bad trips.” It starts to dawn on “Susan” that the problem is not her one rogue mentor. What if boundary crossing is baked into the psychedelic guide training, and implicates Francoise Bourzat and her husband Aharon Grossbard?

    Credits
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power Trip is co-created, produced and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Hosted and produced by iO Tillett Wright.
    Senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn and Liza Yeager.
    Executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    Sound design and scoring by Mike Cruz, Brandon McFarland, and Sharif Youssef, who also engineered the show.
    Cover Story’s Theme music by Santigold.
    More Music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Crystal Finn is the voice of Susan.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen and Samantha Mason. Also to Gaby Grossman.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 38 min
    House Full of Sh*t

    House Full of Sh*t

    Stories of transgressions multiply. Psychedelic therapists are meddling in marriages, dating their clients, and worse. Francoise Bourzat herself tells us what she thinks is going on, and how her psychedelic community has handled complaints in the past.

    Credits
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power Trip is co-created, produced and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Hosted and produced by iO Tillett Wright.
    Senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn and Liza Yeager.
    Executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    Sound design and scoring by Mike Cruz, Brandon McFarland, and Sharif Youssef, who also engineered the show.
    Cover Story’s Theme music by Santigold.
    More Music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Crystal Finn is the voice of Susan, Harmony Stempel is the voice of Connie, and Karen Racanelli is the voice of Catherine.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen and Samantha Mason. Also to Gaby Grossman, and to the band Night Lunch for use of their song “House Full of Shit”.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 54 min
    Open Heart Surgery

    Open Heart Surgery

    We talk to participants in the most advanced clinical trials on MDMA as a treatment for trauma. On paper, they are success stories. In reality they are a mess. And one of them was put in a terrible bind by her trial therapists.

    CREDITS:
    Cover Story is a production of New York magazine.
    Power trip is co-created, produced and reported by David Nickles and Lily Kay Ross.
    Our senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Tarkor Zehn, Liza Yeager, Noor Bouzidi, and iO Tillett Wright.
    Our executive producer and editor is Hanna Rosin.
    With additional editing help by Nichole Hill.
    Sound design and scoring by Brandon McFarland.
    Additional sound design by Sharif Youssef, who also mixed the show.
    Cover Story’s theme music by Santigold.
    Additional music by Lynx DeMuth and John Ellis.
    Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart.
    Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen, Jillian Robbins, and Samantha Mason. And also to Russell Hausfeld.
    Power Trip is also produced with Psymposia, a non-profit watchdog group. For a deeper dive into some of these issues visit psymposia.com/powertrip.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
883 Ratings

883 Ratings

Susseroni ,

So important

I think I am an unbiased listener. I know lots of people who use or used psychedelics for pleasure and enlightenment. I witnessed my older sister tripping many many times. It is important that we pull back the covers before we hand over people who are already broken to be further traumatized. This certainly tells one side of a story. I’m sure someone else is telling the other side as well. We need to be willing to hear them both and be as informed as possible. Peoples’ lives are

mid continent ,

Needed information

As someone who’s familiar with psychedelics via underground therapy/ guides, and has benefited from their use, I welcome this information. All the bad reviews make me wonder if those leaving them are afraid of repercussions of this information getting out into the general public. My training and earlier career included studying childhood trauma, attachment, and polyvagal theory. Watching the video of the couple in that therapy room with the speed skater from Canada made me sick to my stomach. Clearly they were out of their league. Anyone who understands the body’s response to trauma, when there’s a release of the trauma through shaking or kicking or fighting, would never hold someone down in the way those two “therapists” did. In effect, they thwarted her body’s need to release the trauma and re-traumatized her. Don’t even get me going about them laying down with her - they’ve in effect trapped her between them. I wouldn’t want that when straight- would any of you?! That MAPS has such loose protocols has left me with an entirely different view of their work, much of it hidden rather than transparent. I no longer support their work.

As for Francois, et. al. I had read about issues with her, her husband, and their trainers. This series has given me an even clearer eyed view of their work; it seems cult-like. All around creepy. And the way many of those involved justify their behaviors with very slick talking points and gaslighting clients is a red flag. No ownership of their behavior.

Is it possible to find healing with psychedelics? Absolutely. But transparency about all facets of the work being done is important so that people aren’t further damaged.

Thanks for an excellent podcast. Shed light on the entire community which is turning into a money making industry. Sunlight is the best antiseptic.

nsnyder777 ,

Open mind

I tried listening to this with an open mind. To look at the benefit/risk analysis of psychedelics as most of us in our profession (psychiatry) do. However, Mel sounds completely uneducated (yes, if you fill out your post survey that you had a great experience and felt better it’s going to be included in the clinical data??? - not sure why you’d expect otherwise?). And Leila sounds *slightly* more educated but still with an intense bias that I am uncomfortable with. Not everyone responds to every treatment in this field. Psychedelics are a new opportunity but not a cure. These people are placing unrealistic expectations on a drug that is not able to cure everyone of their ailment. However, these treatments ARE promising to many. I’m appalled at the lack of knowledge/education by these participants and also by the producers who are clearly taking a one sided look at psychedelics.

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