Veterans For Entheogenic Therapy, INC

A 501.C3 Nonprofit Veteran Organization - Healing Veterans one plant at a time

A Message of Hope from the VET Team


VET Mission Statement:  

We are a federally-recognized 501.C3 Nonprofit organization.

We, the veterans of these United States, hereby dedicate this group as a tribute to the inter-disciplinary efforts of those who have and still are dedicating their lives to the healing and betterment of all veterans, both past and present, and remembering those who fell both abroad and at home that cannot be here today. Furthermore, we as the recipients of various pathologies directly linked to service, are also active subscribers to the notion of "self-help", embodying and implementing the disciplines and values that were bestowed upon us by our specific branches of service, and turning them inward as we learn to transition back into our culture to become fully-functional members of a society that we believed in when we signed up. Through this group, we feel it necessary to recognize and address deeper areas of the human condition that can often times be overlooked by conventional 19th century models of Psychoanalysis. Among these notions include the proliferation of suffering specifically from those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, by bridging the gap between various new alternative clinical practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and the medicinal application of healing entheogens while integrating at its very foundation, the statement of "safe set and setting". By which, might, just might lead to the extrication of stigma that underlies the open discussion as it pertains to these plants.

Humbly,

America's Veterans

Veterans Matt Kahl, Michael Cooley, and VET Founder Ryan LeCompte gather ahead of Kahl and Cooley's first-ever ayahuasca sessions aimed at healing their PTSD. Kahl, Cooley, and LeCompte will be featured in the documentary "From Shock to Awe," due for release in 2017.

 From Left to Right. Dr. Rick Doblin ( MAPS ), Ryan LeCompte ( VET ) and Michael Krawitz ( VMAC ) in Washington D.C. lobbying for the removal of the PHS policy review.

From Left to Right. Dr. Rick Doblin (MAPS), Ryan LeCompte (VET) and Michael Krawitz (VMAC) in Washington D.C. lobbying for the removal of the PHS policy review.

 

Ryan LeCompte, MA (Founder/Executive Director)  USMC MOS 0311

Mindfulness-Based Clinical Psychotherapist, Naropa University Alumni

 

 Ryan LeCompte in 2007 at Parris Island, SC

Ryan LeCompte in 2007 at Parris Island, SC

Ryan LeCompte is a former United States Marine Infantryman (MOS 0311) who served on active-duty from 2007-2011. He has served out of Camp Lejeune, Quantico and White House operations in Washington, D.C. He earned his Masters Degree in Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. He is a practicing psychotherapist in Colorado and has over 8 years of experience working with addiction and trauma as an addictions counselor and Gestalt therapist. 

How did VET start?

While still on active duty, he served with his fellow combat Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, yet observed that they risked being labeled “failure to adapt” and/or discharged if they talked about their problems. The heart-ache became more personal when he found one of his brothers, a fellow infantryman Sgt. Jorge Leon-Alcivar  in his barracks room the morning after he took his own life.  Sgt. Leon had just returned from deployment to Iraq with 3rd Marines 2nd Battalion and was clearly struggling with PTSD.  Shortly thereafter, Ryan decided to retire from the military in order to help his brothers and sisters from outside the confines of military structure. He began by volunteering hours in the waiting rooms of VA clinics talking to and assisting vets awaiting treatment. He started collecting data for his undergraduate on the prescription medications being given to veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and found the same kind of cocktails being prescribed to almost every one of them. (Anti-depression, sedating anxiolitics, and heavy barbiturates for sleeping.

"These drugs seem to shut out experiences associated with trauma by numbing them.", Ryan states, "and this came across to me to be not only exacerbating the symptoms, but also creating new ones. It went against the values and virtues that we as veterans came to embody while on active duty, a few of them being courage and commitment."

Shortly thereafter, he began his search for alternative treatment options not being used by the VA. Recently, Ryan has organized a trip to the jungles of Peru with a group of vets suffering from PTSD  to experience a ceremony and plans future excursions for healing. As a psychotherapist, he works with a self-developed western trauma-informed shamanic model as his foundation with a driving focus in Gestalt, Somatic, and Jungian approaches to trauma and addictions. He believes that PTSD and addiction are deeply rooted in childhood trauma and works from a dual-diagnostic perspective. As a patient himself diagnosed with PTSD, he has dedicated his life to addressing suffering, and has worked with both civilians and veterans with PTSD and addiction for over 8 years.

With the experience gained from his connection in his community both in the United States and abroad, Ryan has developed a practical working model that helps patients suffering from addiction and trauma that gives them the ability to integrate their sometimes difficult and sometimes “enlightening” experiences gained under the influence of ayahuasca. Ryan believes that peak experiences hold the key to recovery in regards to many forms of mental illness, but that the real work begins not on the mountain, but in the valley. (Interpersonal/Intrapersonal relationships, etc) He believes recovery and quality of life is a matter of altering consciousness, and working with crisis and trauma at the root may prove effective.

Scientific Research

Ryan is also collecting scientific data using rigorous tools of measurement including the CAPS scale, to measure the effect of ayahuasca on PTSD.  He is currently working through an Institutional Review Board to submit his findings for peer-review, and hopefully publication. He hopes to bridge the connection between psychedelics and the human experience in order to ground psychedelics into therapy. He is developing frameworks centered around psychedelics and transpersonal psychotherapy, including harm reduction and various forms of mindfulness-based practices. 


Matthew Simpson, Outreach Program Manager

 Having worked in the corporate world as an entrepreneur for 13 years Matt brings a business background to VET.  After nearly 2 years of extensive world travels in Europe and Central and South America Matt has found a home with working with our nation’s warriors that suffer from PTSD.  For nearly 3 years Matt has been working with the plant medicine ayahuasca as part of his own personal healing journey addressing childhood trauma and has witness many shifts in well being with these misunderstood plant medicines.  Humbly he has accepted the challenge and responsibility of fundraising and sharing VET’s message with the world.  Matt loves to his yoga, cacao and time in nature. Currently he resides in Chicago, IL but insists that part of his heart is still in his beloved Costa Rica.  VET is happy to have Matthew aboard, he brings a fire and spirit to our organization and walks the talk! Semper Fi Matt!

Having worked in the corporate world as an entrepreneur for 13 years Matt brings a business background to VET.  After nearly 2 years of extensive world travels in Europe and Central and South America Matt has found a home with working with our nation’s warriors that suffer from PTSD.  For nearly 3 years Matt has been working with the plant medicine ayahuasca as part of his own personal healing journey addressing childhood trauma and has witness many shifts in well being with these misunderstood plant medicines.  Humbly he has accepted the challenge and responsibility of fundraising and sharing VET’s message with the world.  Matt loves to his yoga, cacao and time in nature. Currently he resides in Chicago, IL but insists that part of his heart is still in his beloved Costa Rica.  VET is happy to have Matthew aboard, he brings a fire and spirit to our organization and walks the talk! Semper Fi Matt!

Lorena Santacruz,  PR and Social Media Manager

 Leaving the corporate world over 10 years ago Lorena has been an entrepreneur in the health and wellness industry for 10 years now with an expertise in transforming not only bodies but lives from the inside out with holistic nutrition and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. Along with her passion to help others get healthy she's helped  various companies as a marketing manager growing business from the bottom up through different marketing methods.  For two years now Lorena has lived in Costa Rica and has worked with ayahuasca, psilocybin, cannabis and DMT for healing and conscious expansion, she believes in the power of these sacred plants and has transformed not only her life but the lives of many around her. Working with the plants Lorena knows that her role is to help spread this sacred medicine with her marketing skills and also help in the integration process with her yoga breath work and mindfulness practices.  When Lorena was introduced to VET for the first time she instantly knew she had to be a part of this movement and help in any way she could!  "It's an honour to be able to use my knowledge to help raise awareness and funds for this VET movement"

Leaving the corporate world over 10 years ago Lorena has been an entrepreneur in the health and wellness industry for 10 years now with an expertise in transforming not only bodies but lives from the inside out with holistic nutrition and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation.
Along with her passion to help others get healthy she's helped  various companies as a marketing manager growing business from the bottom up through different marketing methods.

For two years now Lorena has lived in Costa Rica and has worked with ayahuasca, psilocybin, cannabis and DMT for healing and conscious expansion, she believes in the power of these sacred plants and has transformed not only her life but the lives of many around her. Working with the plants Lorena knows that her role is to help spread this sacred medicine with her marketing skills and also help in the integration process with her yoga breath work and mindfulness practices.

When Lorena was introduced to VET for the first time she instantly knew she had to be a part of this movement and help in any way she could!  "It's an honour to be able to use my knowledge to help raise awareness and funds for this VET movement"

James Reed, Street Team Manager and Special Events Coordinator

 James is first and foremost a veteran's veteran.  He is active in adventure tourism - skydiving, scuba diving, and hiking, just to name a few, and still embodies the military love for his fellow brothers and sisters.   James served in the military for over 13 years. He spent his first 4 years in the USMC and then the next 9 years in the Army Reserves, with activations throughout his time. He spent the last 3 years working overseas with Global Integrated Secutiry, providing mobile and close proximate security to our diplomats.  During this time, James felt drawn in another direction, and retired from both. He began going to school to educate himself and find a way to help his brothers in arms, specifically those dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, something that he deals with himself. James finished his education with 2 associates degrees, and a bachelor's in science, studying hospitality and tourism management, with a focus on event management. During college, James' journey to VET began with an interest in meditation, yoga, and the possibility of alternative therapies to treat PTSD for veterans. This last year, James made the step from researching and investigation, to practice, and participated in his first ayahuasca retreat through VET. James' experiences have helped him make leaps and bounds in his personal and professional life, and has lead him to a place of happiness and contentedness for the first time in 10 years. He is now an avid advocate, promoter, and sponsor of the VET organization and its practices. Through his experiences, he has been able to break away from the 8 pharmaceutical prescriptions that his life revolved around for so long.  James is well-grounded and clear minded on his goals that Ayahuasca and other entheogenics can be used to help heal our veteran community. “I am so blessed and humbled to be able to help spread the word, and help bring awareness to our brothers and sisters.”

James is first and foremost a veteran's veteran.  He is active in adventure tourism - skydiving, scuba
diving, and hiking, just to name a few, and still embodies the military love for his fellow brothers and
sisters. 

James served in the military for over 13 years. He spent his first 4 years in the USMC and then the
next 9 years in the Army Reserves, with activations throughout his time. He spent the last 3 years
working overseas with Global Integrated Secutiry, providing mobile and close proximate security to
our diplomats.

During this time, James felt drawn in another direction, and retired from both. He began going to
school to educate himself and find a way to help his brothers in arms, specifically those dealing with
post traumatic stress disorder, something that he deals with himself.
James finished his education with 2 associates degrees, and a bachelor's in science, studying hospitality
and tourism management, with a focus on event management.
During college, James' journey to VET began with an interest in meditation, yoga, and the possibility
of alternative therapies to treat PTSD for veterans. This last year, James made the step from researching
and investigation, to practice, and participated in his first ayahuasca retreat through VET. James'
experiences have helped him make leaps and bounds in his personal and professional life, and has lead
him to a place of happiness and contentedness for the first time in 10 years. He is now an avid
advocate, promoter, and sponsor of the VET organization and its practices. Through his experiences,
he has been able to break away from the 8 pharmaceutical prescriptions that his life revolved around
for so long.

James is well-grounded and clear minded on his goals that Ayahuasca and other entheogenics can be
used to help heal our veteran community. “I am so blessed and humbled to be able to help spread the
word, and help bring awareness to our brothers and sisters.”

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