top of page

Coming Full Circle – Healing Trauma Using Psychedelics

Written by: Ben "Doc" Askins, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Ben "Doc" Askins

During my very brief stint as a preacher (three or four lifetimes ago) sometimes I would have this experience of attending church and listening to an excellent sermon that would make me interested in diving deeper into the scriptural text under discussion. The way the preacher would expound on the text would inspire me to want to preach my own sermon in my own way based on the same text. Pretty often, though, by the end of the sermon I would just be glad to have heard that excellent preacher do their thing. I would have to acknowledge that they had said it better than I ever could anyway and I would be filled with gratefulness for the opportunity to listen.

 Arrangement of human profile and fractal forms on the subject of inner reality, mental health, imagination, thinking and dreaming.

As an author, I had a very similar experience listening to the audiobook version of Shannon Duncan’s recently published book Coming Full Circle: Healing Trauma Using Psychedelics. Each chapter I would think to myself, “I wanted to write something like this.” Then by the end of the chapter I would just have to acknowledge that I’m glad Shannon wrote it, because it’s much better than I could’ve done. I benefited from it and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of trauma recovery with psychedelic medicines.

I’m an analytical reader and a clinician, so there were a few minor quibbles that I might have had along the way about some science nerd stuff or some psychology nerd stuff, but not anything worth mentioning in a review and certainly nothing which would detract at all from the book’s overall message. I’m just mentioning this in the spirit of giving an honest, thorough review rather than writing some hagiographic advertisement for the book.

It’s a good book and you should read it. Part 1 is especially endearing and enjoyable and it’s clear that Shannon has done a great deal of medicine and integration work in his own soul and the reader gets to enjoy the fruits of those labors. He threw in a few Monty Python quotes and I felt like I was listening to a wise, old friend tell his story.

I have to admit that I found myself frustrated listening to Part 2 – not in any way because of anything that Shannon has to say. Part 2 is a well-written and thorough guide for navigating the psychedelic therapy world today. It was frustrating to me simply because it is a reflection of the current legal and cultural moment that our current generations have inherited. The fact that Part 2 of the book is necessary and that people must learn how to wisely navigate the risks associated with pursuing trauma recovery in an “underground” psychedelic scene is frustrating to me. You couldn’t ask for a better guide than Shannon in that regard, but I’d certainly like to ask for better legislation and some cultural evolution at this point, please. But that’s an unrelated topic, which is frankly above my pay grade anyway. Again, I include it in an effort at giving a forthright, honest review.

Bottom line: Shannon Duncan’s Coming Full Circle: Healing Trauma Using Psychedelics is an excellent book that deserves a wide readership and you should go out and buy a copy today and five more for your best friends. More copies if you’re an extra friendly person. I’ll be passing some out to my inner circle as well. Cheers!

If you found this article interesting, you might enjoy some of my other psychedelic science war stories here. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Threads to join the conversation about the psychedelic science research renaissance. Also visit my website for more info!

Ben "Doc" Askins  Brainz Magazine

Ben "Doc" Askins, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ben "Doc" Askins has degrees in Outdoor Education, Intercultural Studies, Physician Assistant Studies, and Divinity. He has two decades of experience practicing and teaching wilderness, tactical, and expeditionary medicine in the military. In civilian life, he is a Psychiatric Physician Assistant with an integrative approach to mental health and extensive experience providing psychedelic-assisted therapy and precision medicine. He is certified with the Multidisciplinary Association on Psychedelic Studies in MDMA-assisted therapy. Doc is a National Outdoor Leadership school alum, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, and has postgraduate training in Neuropsychiatry and Genomics.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page