Psychedelic Healing in the Hamptons
Double board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Lea Lis on her Ketamine clinic
Welcome back to Psychedelic Wisdom – a Mind Body Health & Politics production. This publication features insights gleaned from thousands of psychedelic experiences of healing, creativity, connection, and consciousness expansion. I invite you to become a monthly subscriber or, if your budget allows it, a founding member. Paid subscribers get access to the videos and transcripts, and make the effort it takes to produce them possible.
I’ve interviewed dozens of pioneers in psychedelic medicine on this program, but my conversation with Dr. Lea Lis is among the most memorable – in part because when I invited her to be on the show, I wasn’t aware of her ketamine clinic in the Hamptons.
Instead, I invited her to the program to speak about her book No Shame: Real Talk With Your Kids About Sex, Self-Confidence, and Healthy Relationships, which spoke to me with its wisdom about human sexuality, and the problems that arise when we treat a natural function as something deviant, to be repressed.
Lea’s wisdom and ‘real talk’ on this and all subjects flows in part from her personal experiences with psychedelics, both as a legal practitioner of ketamine therapy at her clinic in the Hamptons, and as a Burning Man veteran with nearly a dozen “Burns” under her belt. We discuss our shared connection with Rick Doblin of MAPS, and why she favors ketamine over psilocybin as a treatment for certain kinds of depression.
In addition to being a double board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Lea Lis is a mother of two adolescents. Her book is essentially a parenting book about how to have conversations with your children that limit the harmful effects of shame on their maturing psyches.
Those of you who already listened to my interview with Dr. Lea Lis will surely join me as the newest members of her fan club.
If you would rather watch or listen to the interview, I hope you will consider becoming a subscriber and member of the tribe. Your support makes interviews like these possible.
Wishing you Golden Light,
Dr. Richard Louis Miller
The Shameless Psychiatrist - Dr. Lis’s Website
Psychedelic Wisdom – Dr. Richard L. Miller
Psychedelic Medicine – Dr. Richard L. Miller
No Shame – Dr. Lea Lis
Roland Griffiths Interview on Mind, Body, Health, and Politics
Virginia Satir and Family Therapy
Tall Girl (Netflix)
The Year of Living Danishly – Helen Russell
Introducing double board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Lea Lis
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Today on Mind Body Health & Politics, we have with us Dr. Lea Lis. She is a double board-certified psychiatrist both in child and adult psychiatry. Welcome to Mind Body Health & Politics, Lea.
Dr. Lea Lis: Thank you for having me, Richard.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Let's begin by your telling us what does it mean to be double board certified and what did it take to get certified in two different areas?
Dr. Lea Lis: Well, it's so easy. It just is 13 years after high school [laughs] and about a half a million dollars of studying. It is college, then medical school. So, that's four and four. And then, three years of residency, one year where you are working 90 hours a week in ventilator floors and being used as a doormat. Then, you do a year of neurology. Then, you do a year of adult psychiatry. Then, you do two years of child psychiatry after you finish your adult psychiatry. Then, you take two really expensive tests in Texas, where you interview patients in front of other people, not to mention nine boards [laughs] that cost a fortune and take six months to study for each- [laughs] [crosstalk]
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: When you say the tests cost a fortune, Lea, does that mean they charge you to take the examinations for these-? [crosstalk]
Dr. Lea Lis: Oh, yeah. The MCAT is 500 bucks. Each board was $700. The board, when I had to fly to Texas and interview patients, was $1,400. It was astronomically expensive, which is why it takes so much money to train doctors. We talked about the expensive healthcare system, we can factor that in – our loans.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Well, I don't often meet people who spent more years in college after high school than myself. I did 11 years. But 13 years, I tip my hat to you. That's quite something.
Dr. Lea Lis: Yeah.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: One of the things we're going to be talking about today is this book, No Shame. Lea refers to herself as the Shameless Psychiatrist. But I also know that you have started a ketamine clinic in Southampton. Is that correct?
Dr. Lea Lis: Yeah, I'm calling it a psychedelic clinic, because I'm hoping it starts with ketamine and expands over time with MDMA and mushrooms as soon as I can get legal access to them, which I think will be sooner rather than later. So, I'm calling it the psychedelic clinic.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: You do know that the city of Oakland, California, Denver, Colorado, and the entire state of Oregon have legalized the use of psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms. So, we do have a precedent.
Dr. Lea Lis: For therapeutic purposes.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Correct.
Dr. Lea Lis: Yes, I do. And as a matter of fact, I'm researching now the idea of becoming a priest or shaman and creating a church – the Church of the Shameless Psychiatrist – in the Hamptons and trying to get permission to use it for ceremonial purposes legally. So, that's on my agenda.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: I guess then that we do have precedent for that as well. There are two Native American churches in the United States that allow the use of certain psychedelics.
Dr. Lea Lis: Yeah, and I think the community is coming around to the idea. It’s a murky area what constitutes a church. I am a healer. It's what I've always done and all I know. So, I hope at some point to be able to give that kind of therapy to my patients as well.
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Yes, it's been a long slog– over 50 years of having these potentially important medicines suppressed by our government, mostly for political reasons, of course.
Dr. Lea Lis: We have a Native American tribe called the Shinnecock Nation in the Hamptons. I'm thinking about working with them and see if we could do it legally over there in collaboration with some of their leaders as well. So, I'm looking for whatever loopholes I can find to deliver this really important therapy to patients.
How Burning Man has influenced her work
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: To what extent, if any, has your interest in psychedelic psychotherapy been influenced by your trip to Burning Man in 2009?
Dr. Lea Lis: [laughs]
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