We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Lawrence and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Greg, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
It was more of an inevitability than an idea. Psychedelics, in combination with psychotherapy and coaching, helped me turn my life around. Not too many years ago I was an angry, impatient person who was carrying around a lot of unresolved childhood trauma. Psychedelics provided me with seemingly life-changing epiphanies, but I found that within a few weeks that the insights I gained hadn’t led to any substantial changes in my life – I would be right back where I started. Then I found out about integration; the process of taking the lessons learned during a psychedelic journey and integrating them into my life. This was a game changer for me. I soon became a regular in the Los Angeles psychedelic community and was asked to lead community integration circles, where people come to share and process their own experiences. This led to me doing individual counseling with people, then becoming a certified Psychedelic Integration Coach and I’ve never looked back. Helping people navigate the path of personal and spiritual development is my passion, and it’s something I get to do every day.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a Psychedelic Integration Coach I work with people before and/or after a psychedelic experience, helping them to prepare for the journey beforehand and then working with them afterward to figure out how to take the lessons they learned (and there’s always a lesson in the psychedelic experience) and integrate those into their daily lives. Basically, my job is to help people get the most out of the psychedelic experience and then help them keep some of it with them through integration. I’m also contacted on a regular basis by people who have had difficult experiences, or what are sometimes referred to as “bad trips” with psychedelic substances. Sometimes they need extensive grounding, other times they might just need to get some context and understanding around what it was they saw, heard or felt. Again, the ultimate goal is to try to discover what the experience is trying to teach us. No matter who I’m working with the sad fact is that my clients are often breaking the law just by virtue of exploring their own consciousness with plant medicines or other substances. So when I tell people what I do they are often confused as to whether I give people illicit substances (I don’t), if what I do is illegal (it isn’t), or if I am a psychedelic therapist (I’m not a therapist, I’m a coach). Since many people still think of psychedelics as “party drugs” I spend a lot of time educating people about the healing potential of these substances and dispelling a lot of the myths surrounding their use. This remains a challenge.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely try for a concert at Hollywood Bowl (season allowing), go for tacos at Tacos Tu Madre in Los Feliz, take a drive to Universal City Overlook (or one of the places that offers spectacular views of L.A. or the Valley) and then I’d ask my wife what we should do – these kind of things are much more in her lane than mine.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I have to thank my wife, Catherine Auman. She’s the love of my life, my best friend, biggest supporter and partner in crime. We have our individual careers and we also work together teaching others how to have the kind of relationship we have; a true soulmate connection. I’m also fortunate to count Shiri Malcolm Godasi and Ashley Booth as friends and mentors. Shiri and Ashley started two of the largest psychedelic advocacy and education groups here in Los Angeles, and both have been ongoing sources of support and inspiration.
Catherine Auman, John Lawrence