“I’ve had a lot of losses and vicarious trauma in my practice and, I think, starting Back From The Abyss was also a way for me to put out just balloons of hope into the world and to remind myself that people do get better and people heal and people do the hard work of therapy.” ~Dr. Craig Heacock

Just a reminder for anyone engaged in the hard work of therapy, be it as a client or as a professional: people do venture back from the abyss of trauma. 

For every harrowing loss with which Dr. Craig Heacock has had to come to terms, his practice is also populated by people who are recovering and thriving. He created Back From The Abyss in 2019 with those clients in mind as a way to share their stories of hope and healing. 

A quick glance at the podcast’s episode guide speaks to the broad range of topics. The reoccurring focus, however, is on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, namely the use of ketamine and MDMA as therapeutic tools, of which Dr. Heacock is an advocate. Often maligned by us as street or club drugs, psychopharmacology has the potential to accelerate trust within the client/therapist relationship and enhance outcomes. 

Dr Heacock provides some much-needed context to this fascinating subject and shares his own journey to resilience before answering our favorite healer questions. 

“MDMA is all about context as are, I think, all of the psychedelic medicines [in] that they can be used to connect with nature, they could be used to dance all night, they could be used to allow you to put on eyeshades and music and sit in a room with two therapists and do an eight hour deep dive into your childhood trauma.”

HEADS UP: Be on the lookout for a Back From The Abyss episode right here on the CWH feed.

Dr. Craig Heacock is an adolescent/adult psychiatrist and addiction specialist in Colorado. In addition to producing and hosting a psychiatric storytelling podcast called Back from the Abyss, he is a co-therapist in the Phase 3 trial of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD. Dr. Heacock has a particular interest in the use of ketamine and other psychedelics to treat severe mood disorders and PTSD. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and did his psychiatry training at Brown University. 


Craig Heacock, MD.

Back From The Abyss podcast


Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Strawberries – Back from the Abyss podcast

Listening To Prozac: The Landmark Book About Antidepressants and the Remaking of the Self – by Peter D. Kramer

MDNA and the Inner Healer – Back from the Abyss podcast 

NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM)

What’s the Deal with Depression – Back from the Abyss podcast

The Enneagram

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