Nonprofit Clinic Director on Putting the ‘Client’s Voice’ at the Center of Their Care

The 2023 reMind Psychedelics Business Forum was held Nov. 28-29, 2023, at the Westgate Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. More than 30 expert speakers presented the latest insights and information in the field of psychedelics with the goal of advancing this emerging industry responsibly and ethically. The videos of the sessions are now available online.

***

Whether dedicated to expanding access and equity or reaching specific populations in need, mission-oriented firms have unique opportunities — and challenges. Deidra Somerville, former Executive Director of the Alchemy Community Therapy Center in Oakland, Calif., shared some her experiences at the the reMind Psychedelics Business Forum.

The session, titled “The Power of Nonprofits: The Story of Alchemy Community Therapy Center,” explored how Somerville and her team made it their mission to put people ahead of profits. She said one of the most important things was to relearn how to really listen to people with different backgrounds.

“What does it mean to hold therapy space for somebody who is coming off of benzos but wants to do it safely through psychedelic assisted therapy? What does it mean to hold space for somebody who’s in a shelter but doesn’t really have any support outside of that? How do we help them to find safety?,” she said. “We had to do a lot of listening. We had to make sure that the client’s voice was at the center of all of these decisions.”

Watch the full session here

More about our speakers:

Deidra Somerville, PhD MSW, was born in Ramaytush Ohlone territory (San Francisco, CA), and is a mother, activist scholar and healer whose work is intentional in organizing, cooperative development, healing from trauma, and advancing decolonized principles and practices in organizational spaces. Dr. Somerville is trained in clinical and liberatory based healing strategies and draws upon these approaches in her work with clients and communities. She is a lifelong learner and carries this interest into the veins of her approaches to organizational development, leadership, organizing and her work as a healer. She is a proud graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (BA Sociology, Political Science) and Boston