How Intentional Microdosing Helps You ‘Face the Truth and Connect with Your Heart’

Rome Shadanloo is a psychedelic therapist specializing in CPTSD and attachment injury, and studied holistic psychology with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology. In 2021, she founded Mycology Psychology, which offers healing and integration services, as well as proprietary microdosing blends.

Shadanloo recently shared the story of how she launched Mycology Psychology, the importance of setting intentions when microdosing, and her difficult experiences immigrating from Iran at age 3.


What brought you to this line of work and to psychedelics in general?

I’m an immigrant and came from a revolution in a war-torn country, which meant I was born to parents who both had pretty bad PTSD by the time I arrived. They did their best, but my nervous system was co-regulating with the nervous system of two really traumatized people. It was also a really tough acclimating into America as a child in this situation. But everything is a double-edged sword, there’s polarity, and it gave me a lot of gifts as well. Through the journey of trying to heal myself and my nervous system, I became really fascinated with psychology at a young age. I started therapy when I was 9, and I also began playing therapist when I was young. But you can’t stuff things down forever. So when I was 16 or 17, I found drugs and I was like, “Oh, this must be what other people feel like all the time.” Of course it became a problem as it usually does. It starts out as a solution to the problem, and then eventually it becomes an additional problem.

So when I was 21, I went to AA. In fact, I was really, really deep in it for 15 years. I sponsored over 100 women. I did the coffee cleanup. I helped clean up the chairs. I never said no to a request. I did the 12 steps. But after 15 years, even though it had saved my life and I hadn’t touched alcohol or drugs, I was still suffering. I didn’t understand why. Alcoholics Anonymous is an incredible program, but there’s some limitations. They tell you that you’re powerless. You’re powerless, and your brain is broken. But I realized that in order to heal you need to be empowered — because trauma itself comes from disempowerment.

Around this time, I was given an opportunity to sit with ayahuasca. I thought about it for a long time, because I knew that I might lose my AA community as it is considered a drug. But I was desperate, and I realized that desperation is a gift. When we hit an emotional or psychological or spiritual or physical bottom, that is the portal through which we can access deep healing. So I decided to sit with ayahuasca, and it showed me that all the work I’d been doing in all the 12 steps were culminating into this moment. Finally, I was able to feel the gratitude inside me, instead of having to make a gratitude list because somebody else told me to. Psychedelics are medicines, not “drugs.” The difference is drugs divorce you from yourself, from your feelings, you use them to escape. But intentional work with psychedelics does the polar opposite: You face yourself, you face the truth, and you connect with your heart.

Did that experience change your career path? Where did the idea for Mycology Psychology come from?

Yes, after this experience I became trained as a psychedelic facilitator, and the initial idea of Mycology Psychology was just wanting to educate people about the medicine. I started an Instagram page, where I shared research studies, memes, all sorts of things. I thought it would be a cool way to get information out there, and also maybe to find some clients for myself as a facilitator. Then in 2021, I met somebody who became fascinated with the page and wanted to help me build on it. He introduced me to a great designer who created a website with new kind of vibe. Then he introduced me to an incredible mycologist/ neuroscientist in Mexico who taught me about different mushroom strains and how they match certain nervous systems. So Mycology Psychology then became a microdosing company. I was incredibly grateful for this person’s help. He went off and started his own thing, and after that many other helpers came in. There no way I could have done any of this by myself.

How did you go about developing your own microdosing products?

From the very beginning, we were very focused on our blends and using 100% active mushroom compounds. For us it’s about the alkaloid content, we go by color and strain and the entourage effect of different strains. Our blends each have unique alkaloid content based on their tendencies. For example, we’ve found a tendency that albinos are better for anxiety, and the truffles tend to be better for depression. Is this 100% of the time? No, because we all have unique nervous systems, and the mushrooms sentiently adapt to what your body needs. We created our blends based on the results they tend to produce, however, I think it’s impossible to quantify the medicine’s past tendencies. Then, we make sure we use the right blend to match the intentional microdosing a person wants to do.

What process do you have for identifying your clients’ intentions?

When we do our intakes, we have a personal conversation. “What brings you to microdosing? What’s going on in your life? What do you want to let go of? What do you want to gain?” We talk about childhood because a lot of our sense of self is built when we’re children, and we carry that sense of self inside us even though we change. There’s a little piece of us that always stays the same. So we bring that into the conversation because anything you talk about before microdosing, the mushrooms are going to pick up on and start working with. That’s why this conversation is so important.

In your experience, does intentional microdosing have better results than just following a specific stack or protocol?

Absolutely. The main reason prep and intention-setting are so important is that, even if you know you have a high-quality microdose, there’s a chance your first dose will be like, “Uhh, I don’t feel anything. This isn’t working.” And what a shame, what a missed opportunity. Because for some people it takes time, and they give up before the miracle happens because they didn’t have anyone to talk to, to reflect back to.

For example, a couple of years ago a woman called me and said, “I don’t feel anything.” She was irritated, and 10 minutes into the call she said she had pulled over on the freeway the day before and started crying because she remembered something about her childhood. I said, “Well, it is working. Microdosing is not just about mood enhancement, or creativity, or your energy level. It’s about healing at the root.” She paused and said, “Ohhh. I think I understand now.” And then she continued the journey, whereas maybe she would have given up and missed the opportunity. We think the intake is so important, we actually do it for free. Because we just want you to get the most out of it.

So how’s business going?

It’s going very well. We’re down maybe 15% from our peak last year, which is when we had a video go viral on TikTok that somebody else made about how much our product helped them. That alone brought in 3,000 inquiries in one week. Of course it’s a fractal — the way mycelium spreads. Every person that comes in goes and tells another friend. Not long after that, Instagram suppressed us. But it’s still booming, and I think it’s because we’ve established a good reputation. We also work with many doctors, therapists, and naturopaths who refer their clients to us.

How do you feel about the rise of grow kits, and the mentality of grow your own and figure it out for yourself?

It’s wonderful. I completely support people growing their own medicine. I think it’s really beautiful to grow your own because your love and your intention is going into the medicine. We’re here for people who either don’t want to, or who don’t have the energy or time or patience. That’s who we serve. But yes, if you do have the time and energy, I believe in it absolutely.

What’s next for Mycology Psychology? Do you have plans expand into new services or other areas?

That’s a really important question. First, we’re trying to NOT grow too fast. So many organizations collapse when they do, and especially when you’re doing this delicate work. We don’t want major media attention, we just want to continue to believe that the right people will show up and that we’ll be able to assist them. Beyond that, I’ve never felt that the microdosing piece of it was something that would go on forever. Laws might change, the landscape might change, so it’s important to be adaptable. My main wish and purpose is to start turning this into back into an educational arm. We have a course called “The Holonic Practitioner Course,” where we train microdosing facilitators. We take a dual approach of bringing in ceremony and indigenous knowledge and also modern science, because we think the new paradigm is to merge these together. Then the other piece is we want to start doing retreats in Colorado. We’re having our first one this August at Ceremonia. But, for me, I just feel so fortunate to be surrounded by really good people doing really wonderful work — and if it all ended tomorrow, I would still feel like we were a success.