This week’s episode of the Plant Medicine Podcast features a conversation with Rebecca Kronman, LCSW on the intersection of psychedelics and parenting. Rebecca is a licensed therapist with a private practice in Brooklyn, New York, where she helps clients integrate and prepare for psychedelic experience, in addition to providing therapeutic care for clients struggling with mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. Rebecca is also the founder of Plant Parenthood, which is an online and in-person community of parents who use psychedelics, plant medicine and cannabis looking to de-stigmatize the conversation around psychedelics and parenting.
In this wide-ranging discussion, Rebecca explores both practical and theoretical issues in the intersection of psychedelics and parenthood. The most controversial of these being, of course, minors using psychedelics themselves. Rebecca discusses the traditional cultural frameworks in societies which use psychedelics and how they handle this matter, contrasting this with the Western medical model where psychedelic use is highly stigmatized yet prescribing amphetamines to children is rather uncontroversial. Rebecca emphasizes that this is a topic which deserves more careful consideration, as ketamine treatments are already available and effective for treatment-resistant depression in teens.
She also discusses how psychedelics can help us reparent ourselves and heal generational trauma, both of which can aid in improving parents’ relationship to not only their children, but to their own parents as well.
In addition, Rebecca discusses some practical concerns, such as how parents ought to discuss psychedelic use with children. Here she draws a distinction between proactive and reactive conversations, the former being initiated by the parent, the latter by the child. Choosing to pursue a degree of proactive discussion with children around psychedelic use can have a positive impact, both in strengthening trust and openness between parent and child as well as preparing older children for encountering these things in their own lives as accessibility and awareness continue to increase. Rebecca closes this discussion talking about the high levels of scrutiny parents face socially, emphasizing the importance of parents having the opportunity to come together around this topic to determine the best solutions for their own families.
In this episode:
The future of psychedelic medicines for minors How psychedelics can inform one’s approach to parenting Taking psychedelics with family members Including children in integration practices Proactive vs reactive conversations about substance use with children Plant Parenthood’s upcoming events
“It’s something that needs to be on our minds: how do we approach this topic without stigmatizing it so that when our children inevitably find out about it, we can have an open dialogue.” [11:39]
“A lot of the work of psychedelics, is the work of reparenting yourself. It’s the work of healing intergenerational trauma.” [16:49]
“For some parents it’s not a problem for their children to be around during their psychedelic experience itself, and for some parents they feel like ‘you know what, I want this time for myself–this is my time to go inward, to journey into my psyche, and I don’t want to be a parent during that moment.’” [24:25]
“We can start talking about plant medicine or substance use or addiction from the very earliest time our kids can understand.” [29:28]
“As kids get older it does become more important to be a bit more proactive because the reality is they will be exposed to this, especially as access increases.” [32:43]
“There is a level of scrutiny that parents face that is different than what other people face and it makes people more reticent to be honest and to approach these topics in a way that feels healing and that feels complete.” [41:29]