Tim Read

Tim Read

Tim Read, Independent practice: London

The Dark Place – Developing a Comprehensive Model for Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy


The current renaissance of interest into psychedelic compounds is driven primarily by neuroscience, clinical research and the need for a sober evaluation of risks and benefits. Much of the clinical research has been performed with one to three drug sessions, the integrative process is relatively brief and the phenomenological details of the psychological process are rarely explored in depth. This talk explores how the clinical psychedelic assisted psychotherapeutic practice of the future could develop a longer and more complex trajectory. Early research into psychedelics suggests that accessing progressively deeper layers of the psyche exposes early traumas and the deepest wounds, which then become available for healing if fully supported towards resolution. Rather than connection, compassion and empowerment, these darker places of psyche often have an emotional tone of un-love, disconnection and alienation, of jagged edges and hopelessness. There are layers of psyche that lie within conscious memory and layers beyond memory, words and even beyond the bounds of our individual psyche. This talk offers a framework to engage with the deep psychological resistances that can be encountered in ongoing psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. Drawing on models from psychoanalysis, archetypal psychology and transpersonal psychiatry, this talk will present a cartography of psyche that promotes an understanding of the complexity of psychedelic states complementary to contemporary shorter psychotherapeutic trajectories, and offers models to fruitfully work with the rich material of psychedelic experiences.


Tim is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in London. After degrees in neuroscience and medicine, he was consultant psychiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years heading the services for psychiatric emergencies and crisis intervention. He has completed trainings in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (IGA) and transpersonal psychology with Stanislav Grof (GTT), he is a certified facilitator of holotropic breathwork. Tim is author of Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth and co-editor of books on psychedelic integration and spiritual emergencies, both due to be published in 2020.