Therapy is my Therapy
A mental health professional, and a professional trying to become mentally healthy, get real about what happens in that 50-minute hour.

Why did it have to be snakes?

"We are not drugs, and we are tired of people thinking that." - Mother Ayahuasca

Join us in this special bonus episode as we delve into a transformative experience with Plant Medicine Facilitator, Dr. David Zwoboda, DPT.

Discover how a pivotal Ayahuasca encounter shattered preconceptions and revealed a deeper connection with consciousness. David shares personal insights, from breaking the rules of preparation to encountering the tobacco spirit, offering a unique perspective on the healing power of plant medicine. Plus, Tanya makes it weird by talking about dreams of going to school with no pants on.


  • (00:00:00) Introduction
  • (00:00:29) Understanding the Dietta and Ayahuasca Experience
  • (00:00:48) The Impact of Stricter Dietta Adherence
  • (00:01:22) The Profound Revelation: "We Are Not Drugs"
  • (00:02:38) The Influence of Mapacho: A Medicine Dream
  • (00:03:42) Connecting with the Tobacco Spirit
  • (00:04:03) Wisdom and Integration
  • (00:04:25)Messages from Dreams: A Shift in Perspective
  • (00:05:04) Conclusion

Find out more at

Speaker A:

Nuts. We're excited to bring you a special bonus excerpt from our conversation with plant medicine facilitator Dr. David Swaboda. Here he discusses a pivotal Ayahuasca experience where he learns that this plant is very much conscious and it is taking exactly zero of his bullshit. I pipe in with a quote from Siddhartha, and just before I start sounding too smart, I go off on a tangent about having dreams where I go to school with no pants on and proceed to make the conversation weird. Enjoy the clip.

Speaker B:

One thing that I experienced personally the very first time that I went to do Ayahuasca, I broke a lot of the rules of the dieta. So the dieta is this process of preparing yourself for it, which I'm in right now. So basically, things like no alcohol, no weed, no sex, no pork, no red meat, no dairy, stuff like that. I had broken all of the rules leading up to this first time. I know now that the more strictly you take the dieta, the more deeply you're going to connect with the medicine. And so that first time I drink the Ayahuasca, I go back to my mat. I'm sitting there, time is going by, and I feel nothing. Like 45 minutes had elapsed at least, and I felt nothing. And I was thinking to myself, this is so strange, because I took a drug, it should have an effect. Like, if I take LSD, it affects my neurochemistry. I notice something. I consume psilocybin. I take a drug, there's an effect. So I'm like, I took a drug. Why is there no effect? And I swear to God, the second that I had that thought, a voice entered my head clear as day, that said, we are not drugs, and we are tired of people thinking that. I was like, oh, shit. Okay. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend anybody. But that was like a light bulb moment for me of, this shit is different. This is not just cause and effect on your neurochemistry. There's something else going on here. And after that night, I went on to connect with the medicine a little bit better. I still didn't have a deeply intense experience, but it was very healing. I would definitely say it had the desired effect, but I never had any visions. When I drink Ayahuasca, I really don't have visual hallucinations. I don't have visions. I kind of just have insights and new thoughts. And that first week of ceremony was the first time I ever smoked tobacco in my whole life. And so we smoke it during the ceremonies, and then I was carrying around this cigar with me. It's called mapacho. It's like ceremonial Peruvian tobacco. And I'm carrying around this tobacco all day. I'm smelling it. I'm meditating with it in my hand. And the way the week was was two nights of drinking Ayahuasca, and then a night off, and then two more nights of drinking. It on the night off where we're not drinking Ayahuasca, carrying this thing in my hand all day, connecting with it. I fall asleep with the tobacco right next to me on my nightstand. That night is the only night where I had a sort of visionary experience, what they would call a medicine dream, where I had this visionary experience. In my dream, I feel like I was visited by the tobacco spirit, by the grandfather spirit. And the only reason I say that is that I felt like I was walking with this elderly man who I felt all of this love coming towards me from him. It felt like my grandfather, and he showed me all these things about my life. One of the things I thought I would see with Ayahuasca was like, I want to see snakes because I read all these books and they all talked about seeing snakes and serpent imagery. I saw no snakes during the actual ceremonies, but this grandfather spirit guy shows me all of these dead snakes hanging in a tree. That was like my vision. Again, I have nothing to go off of other than my experience, which was I'm convinced I was visited by the tobacco spirit where I connected with him for the first time. It was the one night where I didn't drink Ayahuasca. I had this visionary kind of an experience which I chalk up to the tobacco and have had similar experiences since then. I can't deny it, right? I can't convince other people to accept that shit, but I know what happened to me and I try to bring whatever lessons I can back from that to just help normal people in their day to day life. The answer isn't you have to go have that experience, but trying to pull some wisdom out of know, and it's.

Speaker A:

Also what you do with it. Just I have a quote that came up, it's from Herman Hesses Siddhartha, if I pronounce that properly. But it's wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else. Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders with it, but one cannot communicate and teach it. It just brought to mind because you could give me the most important lesson, like a therapist or whomever could give me the most important lesson, but if I don't become it, if I don't integrate it and live it, it sounds like foolishness. It is foolishness at the end. And I came from a very hard atheistic stance, and over time I have definitely softened my stance on it, especially in regards to spirituality and these weird ass dreams. Not on any substances as far as I can understand, but I have had essentially messages from dead grandparents asking me to pass on messages to say, my mother and these things that have left this indelible imprint on my soul. Most of the time you forget your dreams, but these ones I still remember. It's like they live outside of the typical dreams where you don't have pants on at school or something. Those silly ones. And I'm just so fascinated by how Ayahuasca does seem to be something far and away from a lot of other substances or other plants. And that concludes this episode of therapy is my therapy. If you enjoyed today's episode, please consider subscribing to our podcast so you never miss an update. Once again, thanks for tuning in. The content discussed on this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only and does not act as a replacement for therapy. Although we may share tools that have worked for us and talk about symptoms that we've experienced, it is not meant to be used for diagnostic purposes and does not constitute medical advice.