Dean: I Faced Off With Myself In a Six Hour Psilocybin Treatment Trip And Here’s What Happened

Jul 8, 2024

Last weekend, I did something 25-year-old Dean would have never done.

What Happened?

During a breakfast with my friend, former Olympic bobsledder Jesse Lumsden, last January, we had a very heartfelt conversation about where we were.

We met at “Monki” for breakfast in Calgary, and what started as two old friends connecting for a laugh turned into a journey of two men who’ve battled some of life’s hardest things without the other knowing.

Jesse is the king – One of those people in your life who you ALWAYS enjoy being with and laugh your balls off between heartfelt conversations. He’s a renaissance man, and going places with him sucks because he’s really good looking too.

It was a 3-hour breakfast that made me feel a closer kinship and not alone and holy shit did we laugh.

Jesse’s professional football/bobsleigh life was in the rearview. He was now working in the banking/fintech industry.

My years as a morning show host and all the trappings of my prime earning years as a performer had also passed. I now operate a blog/podcast network.

We were incredibly honest and open between trading stories of getting ripped at the Underground in Toronto, and there was nothing performative about it. It was incredible to connect with a man I trust and appreciate who effectively asked the same questions that had been dogging me while we mocked each other.

We stayed in touch. A month ago, Jesse reached out to introduce me to another Olympic Athlete, Dylan Moscovitch. Like Jesse and I, he is a fellow traveler whose purpose was begging to be changed after becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist.

Dylan sent me an email and invited me to a “healing retreat,” a psilocybin healing retreat, to be more precise. If Jesse trusted Dylan, so did I.

Dylan facilitates retreats focused on personal growth and wellness, working with organizations like Sovereign X Nature and TIERRA Viviente in Costa Rica. His six-year journey has taken him from the same transformative dark place so many of us experience post-trauma.


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This past weekend, I met Dylan, his lovely wife, and about eight other human beings who were desperate and courageous enough to show up for themselves.

It was, without question, the second most transformative experience of my life (the birth of my sons will NEVER be usurped:).

After 24 hours of sharing, education, and personal/educational prep work, I begrudgingly sat on my mat with a pen, notebook, water, psilocybin tea, and mushroom stems. What took place over the next 6 hours makes me emotional to recount. And though I’m not supposed to share it, I want to and will.

Why I Went.

Trauma. That’s why. Life is full of trauma, and I’m not immune to the effects of it.

I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, PTSD, and severe depression 7 years ago. I was almost emotionally catatonic after a 15-year run in Radio. I developed a serious drinking problem, almost lost my eldest to drug addiction multiple times, and was a broken, broken man. Mix in a divorce that cost me everything and lasted 10 years, another relationship with a physically abusive woman, being blacklisted from an industry I loved, starting a business with little or no money, making little or no money for years, and whammo. It catches up. All of it.

I grew up in an emotionally bipolar home for the first 15 years of my life. I had it tough at home and at school. For 15 years. When you spend the first 15 years of your life scared to be at home and school, you live in fear unless you sleep. I remember deciding to pretend that wasn’t my reality. I knew my dad/other kids couldn’t hurt/hit me “forever,” and that was my only comfort some days. Knowing that being hurt only came in small windows of time. I developed armor, which was more like camouflage to survive until I was sent away to a Christian Boarding school, which, as strict as it was, brought pure relief from the sometimes waking terror that was my baseline.

Over the course of my life, that scared little boy became who he needed to become to survive in every setting. I took on the personalities of people who were well-liked. I became an athlete and excelled at sports in HS and university not because I loved it but because I loved that it made me something worthy to others. Finally.

After University, I became the biggest (angriest) and most controversial radio host in Canada’s broadcasting Pangea, which ultimately led to removing that false foundation, armor, and camouflage after getting fired for being really good at my job. Mix in a divorce and 4000 liters of vodka over an 18-year stretch – Deaner was a nuclear mess of loose ends and nerves of his own making. And a total fucking victim.

I had a “me” problem. Fair or unfair, I had no tools to deal with conflict, life, fear, sadness, failure, or anger. I was never taught about the business of life. I was only ever told to “pray about it,” and Jesus would figure it out…LOLZ.

AA helped for a couple of years. I got sober in those rooms, and I’m grateful.

Stoic Philosophy and CBT brought me to a humble understanding that my Character was more important than anything and that I was devoid of the kind of Character I wanted to have and the man I wanted to be.

But the underlying restlessness, self-loathing, impostor syndrome, and depressive paralysis still affected me and, over the past 6 months, has gotten much worse. Worse to the point that I said yes to something I used to think was reserved for hippie d-gens and all four members of the Beatles.

The Treatment/Ceremony

After drinking the tea to start the six-hour treatment ceremony, I immediately felt significant discomfort and restlessness.

That was the point.

I can’t recall how long that discomfort lasted, but it wasn’t ideal. There were definitely “wtf did I do” moments.

“I had become entirely comfortable living in misery, so how much worse could this be?” I thought…

I can’t tell you when my brain started to tingle or when I started to see patterns, stars, and roots moving through my mind’s eye, but I did.

I can’t tell you when I started to see sound as Dylan and Marianna serenaded us with therapeutic music (for 6 solid hours), but that was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. The restlessness disappeared and turned into extreme comfort and emotionally balanced euphoria.

I can’t tell you when a voice told me to “stop feeding the algorithm and that it was okay to be the best of myself in my work without the approval of others,” but I heard it.

What I can tell you is the second dose, as I ramped up, is hard to talk about or write about.

I vividly remember walking down a long gothic hallway. It was Narrow. There was an altar at the end of the hallway. As I was walking, I held the hand of a little boy with blond hair and a red turtleneck. It was me. I was 6.

As we walked down this hallway, tired versions of me came out to walk with me (us) to the altar.

Fear Dean

Scared Dean

Failure Dean

Tired Dean

Hurt Dean

Each version was wearing battle-tested armor, tired and silent.

I put every version on this altar. I looked down at little Dean and said, “It’s time. Let’s kill them all”.

The little boy looked up at me and smiled.

“Please don’t – we need them.”

We helped the tired, beaten, bruised, and fragmented versions of myself off the altar. Little Dean squeezed my hand and told me to turn around and take all those versions with us – to honor the journey and the purpose each one served in keeping me alive when life became seemingly impossible and to honor my past self for the courage to keep going.

As I left the altar, I was ten feet tall. I was wearing shiny new armor, and the peace, serenity, comfort, and power I felt in that moment CHANGED me. For the first time in decades, I experienced joy—pure joy—and pride—real pride in who I was and for every broken version of myself from every part of this journey that used to cause me tremendous shame.

I opened my eyes, stood up, and tears streamed down my face—real tears for the first time in decades—tears of gratefulness for that little boy who thanked me for being good to him. Finally, I am rallying the shameful parts of myself and putting them on like armor to continue my journey, unafraid, hopeful, grateful, and present.

“Now, do life for the right reasons—stop performing. You don’t need to anymore. Take us with you, and don’t be afraid.” Those were the last words Mini Dean spoke before my girlfriend’s beautiful face appeared as we walked out of a door into blinding light together (an incredible cap to a six-hour trip;).

I came home from the retreat yesterday exhausted (I ate pizza and watched Fantastic Fungi (watch it, I’m serious) and GOT until the New House of the Dragon episode, which was AWESOME. I slept most of the day and slept all night.

The Best Part – The Little Things

Getting smoked on Psychedelics for therapeutic reasons might be the best part for some. I’m not saying it wasn’t fucking awesome because it was.

The best part? That happened this morning.

I have woken up with “dread” for 7 years. Imagine waking up thinking the world is ending, and it’s somehow your fault for 7 years.

Today was the first time I woke up happy in the past 2600 days. I am not just happy, hopeful, and at peace with my life and the one I have—today, I woke up proud of myself.

Today, the colors amaze me. The way the trees move and the clouds roll through the morning sky made me happy. Five years ago, I never would have noticed the vibrancy of life, color, and the natural world.

Seeing my son this morning made me unreasonably happy. Phone calls and meetings aren’t being ignored, and I look forward to working for the first time in months.

I am not just happy, hopeful, and at peace with my life and the one I have—today, I woke up proud of myself. Proud of my courage and so incredibly grateful for every battle-tested part of myself that kept showing up for myself. For the first time ever.

I can talk and organize thoughts today – more than ever in the past 7 years, to the best of my recollection. I don’t have fear. I don’t feel like I’m an imposter.

I find myself giggling about it in weird moments when I notice things my mind was too poisoned to care about.

I’m grateful for the kindness and love of strangers who shared their medicine and lives with me and went to war for the same reasons.

And today, I get to honor that scared little boy who had nowhere to go and who saved me when I needed to be saved by every version of myself.

The business of getting better never sleeps. Not for those who want to love life. My treatment follows 6 years of therapy, two years of AA, Cognitive behavioral therapy, and a year-long stint (5 years ago) of antidepressants. The effort toward wellness is collective, so my experience with Psilocybin treatment might not be yours. But I can tell you it was the most transformative of all, and because of that, my perspective will be forever changed.


Postscript: Neurological Benefits of Psilocybin for PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety

Recent scientific research has shown promising results regarding the use of psilocybin in treating various mental health conditions:

  1. PTSD: Studies suggest that psilocybin may help reduce fear response in the amygdala, potentially alleviating PTSD symptoms.
  2. Depression: Psilocybin has been found to increase neural connectivity, potentially “resetting” depressive thought patterns.
  3. Anxiety: Research indicates that psilocybin may reduce activity in the default mode network, associated with rumination and anxiety.
  4. Neuroplasticity: Psilocybin appears to promote neuroplasticity, allowing for new neural connections and potentially facilitating cognitive flexibility.
  5. Long-term Effects: Some studies report sustained positive effects months after treatment, suggesting lasting neurological changes.

While more research is needed, these findings highlight the potential of psilocybin as a breakthrough treatment for various mental health disorders.

Psilocybin Treatment Outcomes: One-Year Statistics


  1. A 2020 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that 71% of participants showed a clinically significant response to psilocybin-assisted therapy for major depressive disorder (MDD) at the 1-month follow-up, with 54% meeting the criteria for remission.
  2. In a 2016 study on treatment-resistant depression, 65% of participants showed a clinically significant response at 1 week, with benefits still evident for many at 6 months. However, specific one-year data was not provided.
  3. A 2022 study in Nature Medicine reported that psilocybin was as effective as escitalopram (an SSRI) for treating depression, with effects lasting up to 6 weeks. Longer-term data is still being collected.


  1. While specific one-year data for psilocybin and PTSD is limited, a 2020 review in Frontiers in Psychiatry suggested that psilocybin shows promise for treating PTSD, with some patients reporting long-lasting benefits.
  2. A study on MDMA (another psychedelic) for PTSD showed that 67% of participants no longer met PTSD diagnostic criteria 12 months after treatment, suggesting the potential for long-term benefits from psychedelic therapies.


  1. A 2016 study on cancer-related anxiety and depression found that 60-80% of participants treated with psilocybin showed clinically significant reductions in depression or anxiety at the 6.5-month follow-up.
  2. Another study on anxiety in terminal cancer patients reported that 60-70% of participants experienced significant reductions in anxiety that persisted at least 6 months after treatment.

General Observations

  1. Many studies report that the positive effects of psilocybin therapy tend to be sustained over time, with some participants reporting continued benefits a year or more after treatment.
  2. The long-term efficacy appears to be influenced by the integration of the psychedelic experience through follow-up therapy sessions.
  3. Research consistently shows that psilocybin therapy has a favorable safety profile with a low risk of adverse effects or addiction.

Note: Psilocybin therapy should only be conducted under professional supervision in legal, controlled settings. Always consult with a healthcare provider before considering any new treatment.

If you have questions and any of this resonates with you, visit

Be well.



Dean Blundell

Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.

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