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Why we created the Spirit Bridge Collaborative, Part 1 -- Visibility and Access

By Isabel Santis, October 9, 2022

Welcome to the Spirit Bridge Collaborative! We are thrilled you are here. We created this site to address the a growing consumer need for quality psychedelic support services. Over the coming weeks, I we will be addressing the main motivators for creating the collaborative. Briefly:

  • To provide consumers with access to reputable, ethical, and well trained practitioners

  • To feature talented, experienced, trauma-informed and equity-forward providers with years of experience that use whole-person, non-clinical methodologies to support their clients

  • To highlight the range and variety of approaches used by psychedelic support providers who operate beyond the clinical model

  • To honor and promote earth-honoring and traditional practices, used with permission by legacy holders and apprentices

  • To offer alternatives to the clinical psychology and psychiatric frameworks currently being promoted in business and the media

  • To create a community of practice where psychedelic support practitioners can participate in peer supervision, continuing education, and best-practices sharing in order to advance the field of psychedelic practices

  • To provide opportunities for practitioners to collaborate, co-create, and grow their impact

Increasing visibility and access as a response to changing times

To say that psychedelics are having a moment is quite the understatement. Just a couple of days ago, the Biden administration said it would issue pardons for people convicted of simple marihuana possession, and urged reevaluation of its status as a Schedule 1 drug. This could potentially pave the way for the legalization, or at least decriminalization of psychedelic substances. But until that happens, people currently working with psychedelics or seeking safe access to these powerful medicines struggle with finding access to practitioners that can support them in their process.

Meanwhile, thousands of psychedelic research studies are currently underway. The data is pouring in about safe and beneficial ways of working with these substances, many of which have been used medicinally and sacramentally for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Indigenous peoples around the world have maintained and preserved the knowledge and usage of sacred plants like ayahuasca, chacruna, toe, peyote, huachuma, and iboga. Humanity's heritage seems inextricably linked to the use of psychedelic mushrooms, which are present and abundant in every continent except Antartica, possibly because humans helped them spread. There is archeological evidence of pre-columbian trade of psychedelic substances between medicine people throughout the Americas. It can be said that psychedelics are humanity's birthright, despite the laws limiting their access and availability.

Despite its efforts, the war on drugs has done nothing to curb the use of these transformative substances, perhaps because using psychedelics is worth the risk for the millions of people who have been transformed by them. Still, prohibitions have forced practitioners and suppliers underground, creating a lack of visibility and transparency that leaves consumers in the dark when choosing services and suppliers, and lack of oversight and standards has created tremendous opportunities for abuse and unethical behavior.

We created the Spirit Bridge Collaborative to address some of these challenges. As decriminalization initiatives advance, as they have done here in the SF Bay Area, Oregon, Seattle, Denver, and a growing number of cities around the country, psychedelic support practitioners have the option of coming out of the underground. At launch, we will be promoting only legal psychedelic support services, including preparation, education, harm reduction, and integration of expanded states. We hope that as regulations change and rescheduling/legalization becomes a real possibility, we will be able to offer additional services on the site. In the meantime, please accept our offering.

In appreciation,

Isabel Santis

Founder, Spirit Bridge Collaborative

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