Discerning the Ayahuasca Teachings

Reflections From My Clinical Practice

I have supported people through the integration of ayahuasca experiences and other master plants for over 20 years. In this presentation, I will share my reflections on the possibilities and pitfalls we encounter as we dive into a relationship with Ayahuasca. Ranging from somatic, to psychoemotional, spiritual experiences, and a combination of them all, the discernment of the teachings and healings received in contact with this master plant requires sustained after work and the willingness to remain open and nourish their unfolding. We will practice a sequence that allows us to anchor what I call optimal states of being.

Dr. Susana Bustos

Susana Bustos, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and music therapist trained in Chile. She co-directs the School of Psicovegetalismo, which offers education and clinical supervision to Spanish-speaking professionals whose clients work with master plants. Susana teaches and mentors students in the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies and in other international programs; developed the Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions curriculum for the Psychedelic Facilitation Training at the Berkeley Center for the Study of Psychedelics; and she also serves as a subject matter expert for the Board of Psychedelic Medicines and Therapies.


For over twenty years, Susana has oriented her clinical work, academic teaching, and research to exploring the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness, including their extreme manifestations (such as spiritual emergencies), and to the art of integrating these processes in daily life. As well, she has delved into the entheogenic shamanic traditions from the Americas, working and advocating to build adequate bridges between these traditions and Western psychotherapy.