Gerard Artesona Psychedelic Therapist Oakland California

Meet Gerard Artesona: Psychedelic Integration Therapist and Spiritual Guide

Gerard Artesona is a psychedelic integration therapist from Oakland,California with a therapeutic aim to bridge Western psychology and psychedelic therapy, specifically entheogenic rituals to helps those managing psychological distress. Aside from his private practice, he works with Mindleap, a digital mental wellness platform that connects you with psychedelic integration specialists. Gerard also co-facilitates retreats at Ocean Forrest Ecolodge, a remote nature lodge in the heart of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Frshminds had the chance to ask Gerard more about his practice and thoughts on psychedelic integration therapy, see what he had to say below:

Gerard Artesona Psychedelic Integration Therapist Oakland California
Gerard Artesona

Can you tell us more about Mindleap Health and how they utilize telemedicine for psychedelic integration?

Through Mindleap and my private practice Clients are able to utilize my services digitally. Persons seeking integration can meet with me and form an ongoing therapeutic counseling relationship in which we unpack their experiences and help put them into a perspective that allows their experiences in altered states to find congruence with the rest of their lives. 

In your opinion, what makes plant medicines such a powerful option for healing?                                              

When worked with an intentional and responsible way, plant medicines can elicit a sense of knowing that transcends intellectual conceptions. Traumas and troubles that were once strictly rationalized on a mental level or previously existed as automatic responses can be understood in a much deeper way. When we know things from this vantage point, we can make changes that reflect a greater understanding of who we are and move away from a fractured and limited narrative. 

Could you tell us a little bit about how your experience with ayahuasca helped you with your psychotherapy practice?  

In short, you need to do your own healing first. Though it is ongoing, making significant steps towards unpacking your own baggage can assure less reactivity when Clients bring up difficult things. Additionally, it is important to have firsthand experience of a healing process. It

Gerard Artesona Psychedelic Integration Therapist Oakland California
Ocean Forest Ecolodge Retreat, Costa Rica: where Gerard cofacilitates entheogenic rituals

can be challenging to hold the possibility of hope and health if it is something you have yet to experience yourself. 

 What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to patients considering psychedelic integration to help them manage their mental health?                                                                                                                                

Simple- THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL and YOU ARE NEVER ONE TRIP AWAY FROM SOLVING ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS. Though psychedelics can help us make significant progress and add momentum the process, YOU STILL HAVE TO DO THE WORK. It makes little impact to sail the cosmos if you are unable to somehow apply this the betterment of your being. For this reason, IT IS IMPORTANT TO WORK WITH PRACTICIONERS THAT HAVE SUBSTANTIAL FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE.

Gerard Artesona Psychedelic Integration Therapist Oakland California

What challenges do you see for further integration of psychedelic-based therapies into more mainstream health care?  


Insurance companies have a reputation for covering a limited number of sessions with the expectation that all of you troubles will be resolved with just a few visits. As psychedelics are well known to all us to push through a lot in just a small amount of time, there is a great risk that insurance companies will use this knowledge to their benefit and ultimately shortchange a very deep and delicate process.

In your opinion, what’re some of the most exciting research findings coming out regarding plant medicines for deep inner healing?                   

The most exciting research is yet to come.

You can learn more about Gerard’s practice on his website, and if you are looking for other psychedelic integration therapists in Oakland, California you can find them on Frshminds.

To learn about psychedelics and integration therapy for mental wellness, see our Ultimate Psychedelics and Mental Wellness Guide!

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About the Author

Passionate about studying the psychedelic/mystical experience from a neuropsychological lens, Emily is a member of MAPS Canada Research Committee and graduated with an Honours BSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology from York University.  She currently leads a team of RAS with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating microdosing psilocybin for persistent depressive disorder.

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