Women’s Health & Psychedelics with Rebecca Kronman
In honor of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Rebecca Kronman to discuss the unique challenges women face when it comes to mental health and parenting. In addition to being a licensed clinical social worker and a psychedelic harm reduction and integration therapist, Rebecca is the founder of Plant Parenthood, a digital (and occasionally in-person) community that aims to destigmatize the use of psychedelics among parents. Through educational and community-building events, Plant Parenthood creates a safe space for parents to share their experiences of using psychedelics both recreationally and as a therapeutic tool.
Throughout their life cycles, women, nonbinary, and transgender individuals face unique societal pressures that impact their mental health. These challenges are not adequately addressed by the U.S. healthcare system. As we know, health care is doled out disproportionately depending on someone’s income and level of privilege. All these conditions make it so that women, non-binary folks, and trans folks are more regularly diagnosed or pathologized with mental illnesses, but when we zoom out beyond the individual, we can see the systemic issues that disproportionately affect these groups. So, when we treat mental health, we also need to take a comprehensive view on the root causes of the struggles women and marginalized groups face.
One life cycle transition that can cause mental health challenges for women and birthing parents is Matrescence, the transition from maidenhood to motherhood. This transition marks a significant turning point for birthing parents, as they shift from being an individual without dependents into more of a caretaking role. While early parenthood can be a beautiful and rewarding time, it can also be incredibly painful and anxiety-provoking. Raising young children can also bring up ancestral lineage traumas.
As a clinician, I believe it is essential to look at these societal conditions to support women’s mental health. Psychedelic therapy can help individuals address the root causes of mental health issues, including those related to parenting and life cycle transitions. KAP (Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy) in particular can be a tool to help people articulate their experience and do the deep work of unpacking their identity as they go through transitions in life.
As somebody who works in the psychedelic field, part of my training involves the use of non ordinary states of consciousness to be trained and well equipped to do this work myself. The outcome of that work has been that I’m able to play and engage with my children differently and feel more connected to my own lineage, which has been incredibly healing and powerful.
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I hope that we can continue to examine the societal pressures that women face and take a more comprehensive approach to mental health care, including by expanding access to potentially transformative treatments such as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.