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Jesse Gould (The Heroic Hearts Project): Ayahuasca Healing for Veterans

September 4, 2020

Ayahuasca is a profound medicine that has the power to positively influence veterans’ lives, so to truly support our troops, we must also support psychedelic medicine.

MDMA therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD has gotten a lot of attention in the world of psychedelic medicine lately. Meanwhile, Jesse Gould is bringing veterans to South and Central American retreats for ayahuasca healing with his nonprofit the Heroic Hearts Project.

On the show, Jesse explains how psychedelic therapists and healers should think about working with veterans. He describes his own experience with PTSD and ayahuasca as well as the details of the Heroic Hearts program—from funding—to integration coaching. Jesse gracefully responds to the delicate question of how U.S. foreign policy plays into healing veterans in Latin American countries.

Jesse Gould is a former Army Ranger who founded the Heroic Hearts Project in 2017 to connect military veterans struggling with mental trauma to ayahuasca retreats and other psychedelic medicine resources. Heroic Hearts is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit that has raised over $350,000—all of which goes directly to supporting veterans. Jesse speaks about psychedelics and mental health around the world and his work has appeared in the New York Times as well as numerous podcasts and conferences.

Ayahuasca is a profound medicine that has the power to positively influence veterans’ lives, so to truly support our troops, we must also support psychedelic medicine.

Show notes



  • :05 - Jesse shares his stereotypes left over from growing up in the D.A.R.E. generation and the complexity of trauma and addiction
  • :17 - How to psychedelic healers should approach working with veterans
  • :23 - How the experience of a “dark cloud” after his military service brought Jesse to ayahuasca
  • :29 - Why ayahuasca instead of MDMA or other psychedelics?
  • :37 - The process by which veterans can work with Heroic Hearts and how is it funded?
  • :50 - What about the way that US foreign policy has negatively impacted Latin America, where these medicines originate?
  • 1:01- Jesse speaks to psychedelic healers
  • 1:04 - How we can support Heroic Hearts
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About Maya’s Podcast

A conversation series with leaders in the psychedelic community. Designed in service of therapists, healers, retreat leaders, and passionate enthusiasts

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