Member Feature March 2, 2024

Meet Kaira Otero

Kaira Otero LCSW, KAP Provider
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Kaira Otero is a licensed clinical social worker who runs a private practice called Mayari Healing and Wellness, which focuses on working with BIPOC clients and children of immigrants. Kaira is based in New York City and delivers therapy via telehealth, and 1:1 or intimate group psychedelic therapy sessions in-person from her office in Queens.

Why did you decide to become a KAP provider?

Psychedelics have shaped my own personal healing journey and I’ve always wanted to get into it. I was interested in KAP because it has been approved and is legal. After having my own KAP experience, I realized how powerful this treatment can be in a therapeutic setting. When paired with psychedelics, therapy is even more powerful. Given how powerful and transformative it was for me, I realized that this was another level of healing that I needed to bring to my community.

How did you hear about Journey Clinical?

I heard about Journey clinical through IPI, the Integrative Psychiatry Institute. During their certification program, a guest speaker came on and spoke about Journey Clinical and its collaborative approach. The fact that it’s community-based resonated with me. 

What has been your experience collaborating with other Journey Clinical members?

I collaborated with two other facilitators to run a group KAP series funded by Psychedelic Access Fund for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, incarceration and diagnosed PTSD. It was a really powerful experience. It was a five-session experience offered within two weeks. There were five individuals who were chosen to be a part of this journey, and there was such a clear difference with folks from day one versus their last session.One of the participants even explained, “What’s happening to my brain right now? Because I feel like I’m a completely different person from these last 30 years.”, which really speaks to how transformative this medicine is and the healing that it brings.

What kinds of outcomes have you seen from your KAP patients in your regular practice?

I work with BIPOC folks and children of immigrants and I think that these populations often carry a unique set of complex experiences related to intergenerational trauma, discrimination, and cultural issues. Bringing this offering to these communities poses a really special experience, especially when conducted with cultural competence and sensitivity. We get to now address these deeply rooted issues and offer this really profound healing that talk therapy by itself can’t always do.

A common theme that I notice is this sense of relief, as if they’re able to breathe again. It’s different across the board, but there is this common sense of, “Wow, I know myself now. I accept myself.” For children of immigrants, there’s a theme of feeling like we have to live for other people such as our parents because they’ve made so many sacrifices for us. And we lose our own identity in that pressure. Many of my clients report feeling like they can live for themselves now. Being able to witness that immediate shift just after one session is powerful. The therapeutic setting and the medicine offer this safe container.

How has incorporating KAP into your practice changed your relationship to your work and your business?

Strictly doing talk therapy was burning me out. Once I was able to make Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy a business offering as part of my practice, I noticed a new sense of motivation running my business. Bringing KAP into my practice has changed the direction of my business because I feel a lot more confident about bringing other practitioners on board and confident about shifting more into psychedelic-assisted therapy versus strictly talk therapy.