#493 – My Shamanic Healing Journey with Nathan Ehrlich M.A.

Nathan Ehrlich


Nathan Ehrlich M.A. is a freelance multimedia Journalist. After attaining his Masters degree from the Columbia Journalism School he very quickly realized his style was not suited to the rapid daily news cycle and became more attracted to making longer form and meditative human interest pieces. He is currently working on a feature-length documentary, The Wounded Healer, a film about the New York City based photographer, instrumentalist, shaman, and agoraphobic, Michael Reed. He is also working on a first novel based on his life called, Jeremy’s Journal, a story told through the diaries of a teenage boy diagnosed with Leukemia.
His work has appeared, among other places, in the Boston Globe, Backpacker Magazine, Audubon Magazine, and the podcast, Israel Story. When Ehrlich is not producing journalism he is working as a paralegal, training to be a therapist, traveling, and attending healing ceremonies. He lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn with his wife Shula, and female cats, Apple and Tigresse.



  1. Al Tabor
    Posted February 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    That was a fascinating interview.

    I was struck by the parallels to Holotropic workshops. A key element is that there are facilitators but, also, that you are paired with a sitter and take turns breathing and holding space…and, sometimes, literally holding the breather. For many, that loving regard seems to be a critical component of the experience. The combination of a safe loving framework and an altered state seems to give the opportunity for greater healing than a simple ‘set & settings’ approach that aims primarily at insight alone…although the latter can, of course, be very powerful.

    Btw, April 9th is International Breathwork Day so there are lots of workshops happening then.

  2. Posted February 28, 2016 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    This interview touched me on so many levels. I must commend Nathan for his courage in sharing so deeply and candidly the details of his unconventional healing journey and especially his commitment in doing so while dealing with continuing severe physical symptoms. I was also touched, as I often am, by Dr. Dave’s sensitive probing and obvious rapport. Listening in to this conversation was not only informative but also felt very intimate and I would put it firmly among my favourites.

    The first part of the interview from Israel Story was superb – a riveting and very high quality production. It was a good overview of Nathan’s story, beginning with his childhood illness and subsequent adventures with sacred plants in an effort to heal from the ongoing effects of his youthful cancer treatment. I particularly enjoyed Sergay and his words of wisdom when Nathan was being assaulted by his inner critic while under the influence of the San Pedro – “You have to be you. You have to want to be you. This is serious soul healing.”

    One of the things I liked about Nathan’s story is that he had done a lot of serious inner work prior to trying the plant medicine. This gives him much credibility in my view. I also liked the colourful way his New York therapist explained the way defences get built up and how resistant they can be to conventional therapeutic practices and how the plant medicine can help to dissolve them more quickly. I was interested in Nathan’s observation that although he knows that for some people the plants can have dramatic results, his own experience has led him to regard them as an ongoing practice.

    Nathan mentioned Monika Wikman’s interview and I believe the one he was referring to was Archetypal Phenomena Surrounding Death. I remember doing the transcript for that and it had a big impact on me. It was #344. There are actually 5 interviews with Monika on the Shrink Rap Radio site. After listening to Nathan’s interview I relistened to the one he mentioned and ended up listening to all of them again. I love listening to old interviews that have impacted me and often gain new information, or find that I have well and truly integrated what was revelatory at the time. That’s a real buzz.

    I completely agree with Nathan’s observations about love being the real healer in therapeutic relationships of different stripes. That has certainly been my experience but I have also found that the real healing is in finding a way to access that love within myself and to stay connected to it. If I understand him correctly, Nathan is saying that the plants have been instrumental in facilitating that heart opening process for him. There is a lot of negative programming that comes with the Judeo-Christian mindset and even if we deny or reject the cultural beliefs, they saturate the collective unconscious and it seems to be the lot of those who have the wounded healer archetype in their pantheon to do more than their fair share of shadow work.

    It is quite bizarre when considered logically that plants that have been used successfully for thousands of years are illegal, while highly toxic, synthetic, largely experimental pharmaceuticals are prescribed willy-nilly. I can only imagine what history will say about that.

  3. Posted March 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the borrowed interview from Israel Story! What a pleasurable and educational listening experience! Thank you.

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