The Ancient and Modern Sciences of Altered States for Healing
…a group of medical providers and therapists dedicated to combining a cutting edge, neuroscience-based understanding of mental and physical health with an appreciation for the accumulated wisdom of ancient traditions. We offer guided experiences with psychedelic medicine, nature-connection, breathwork, and medically supervised fasting.
What do all these healing methods have in common, you may ask? They are all ancient yet extremely modern. Cutting edge medical and neuroscience research has demonstrated that each of these practices changes the brain and body in measurable ways. As respecters of science, we follow that evidence base when designing our programming. And yet we also recognize that fasting, psychedelics, breathwork and nature connection are ancient methods that were intuitively and intentionally used by our ancestors across the planet. Each of these modalities has its own rich tradition that can be researched back to the beginnings of written history, and certainly existed even before that. Somewhere along the way, as we developed what we now call modern Western medicine, we lost touch with these ways of healing, considering them less scientifically measurable or provable.
What excites us is that the science has now caught up with these time-honored approaches to healing and wellness. A simple internet search will prove to even the casual observer that our ancestors used these methods consistently over millennia, because experience had taught them that they worked. And they work in ways that science can now begin to understand. As practitioners, we have studied and practiced each of these modalities ourselves and dedicated our practice to recreating these therapies in safe, science-based ways.
We see our mission as the reuniting of the ancient with the modern and cutting-edge, approaching each offerings through both researched tradition AND recent scientific understanding.
Our clients tell us over and over again that these ways of treating mental and physical health work, often when nothing else has. We are grateful and humbled to be able to work with an amazing and expert collection of providers to offer these treatments.
Signi Goldman, M.D.
Co-Founder & Training Director
Dr. Signi Goldman is board certified Psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice. She is a certified provider for Psychedelic Assisted Therapies and Research through the California Institute of Integral Studies and has completed training through the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She has practiced in multiple clinical settings, both in hospital systems and alternative treatment centers, and integrates these approaches into an individualized, evidence-based practice. Her extensive knowledge of research-based use of psychedelics in medicine informs Concierge Medicine and Psychiatry’s Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy program for Mental Health.
Dr. Goldman has been practicing outpatient Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for many years and has more recently focused on teaching and training in this field through her video teaching series and Certificate Program.
In addition, Dr. Goldman is a trained Rites of Passage guide through the Rites of Passage Council in Asheville, NC and has a profound respect for the intersection of psychedelic medicine, nature-connection, and indigenous, ceremonial ways of healing.
Sandra Newes, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & Programming Director
Dr. Sandra Newes, aka Sandy, is a Licensed Psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience. She is a highly experienced psychedelic-assisted psychotherapist and specializes in anxiety, chronic stress, trauma and recovery. She has provided Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy through Concierge Medicine and Psychiatry since 2019 and brings a deeply trauma informed and resiliency focused approach to the work. She was originally certified through the Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate program, and she is the co-founder of the current training program. She has also participated in training through the Polaris Institute, Chacruna Institute, the PRATI institute, MAPS, and others and is a member of the Boston Psychedelic Research Group.
Dr. Newes participates in speaking engagements, publications, training workshops, and educational training on the intersection of nature connection, trauma and mental health nationally and internationally. She is past Chair of the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and also offers training to staff at therapeutic and experiential programs. She also studies earth-based medicine traditions, ancestral medicine, rites of passage, and has a deep appreciation for how ceremony and ritual, nature connection, and ancient wisdom traditions support healing.
Meidad Goldman, M.D.
Dr. Meidad Goldman is a board certified physician in both Emergency Medicine and Addiction Medicine who has worked in multiple hospital- and clinic-based settings. He is an experienced psychedelic medicine provider, with years of experience administering individualized dosing protocols for Ketamine as part of a psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy care team. He is a certified provider for Psychedelic Assisted Therapies and Research through the California Institute of Integral Studies and has completed training through the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Dr. Goldman is past Medical Director and Department Chair of the Emergency Department at Haywood Regional Medical Center, where he worked in both administrative and clinical capacities. Five years ago, he opened his private practice. Dr. Goldmam has over 17 years of experience using Ketamine for multiple conditions and serves as Medical Director for Concierge Medicine and Psychiatry’s Asheville Ketamine Clinic. He offers provider trainings in the prescribing and administering of Ketamine as a psychedelic and is a co-facilitator in our Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Certificate Program.
Elizabeth Graves, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Graves, Ph.D., LCMHC-S, is a trained provider of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy using Ketamine through the Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate Program. She is a practicing psychotherapist in Asheville, NC, where she specializes in working with people who have life-threatening illness, terminal illness, or clients suffering complicated bereavement, grief, and loss. She previously served ten years as a faculty professor at Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University, engaged in research and training of clinical mental health counselors while maintaining her private practice, Caledonia Counseling & Consulting. Prior to this, she spent 10 years working with children and adolescents in rural Appalachian schools, 5 years as a child/adolescent/family therapist in psychiatric hospitals, crisis mental health assessment specialist in the emergency department, and as a therapist in a community mental health center for adjudicated adolescents. Currently, she works as a spiritual director (C.S.D., Sursum Corda/Shalem, 2006), LCMHC supervisor (2010), Yoga Teacher (2013) and MINT Member Motivational Interviewing trainer (2014). She graduated from The Conscious Dying Institute’s Sacred Passage Doula Program in 2020 and finds the work of companioning those in the dying process over the threshold of life the most sacred work she does. Elizabeth’s loves include kids, canines, and the woods.
Kat Houghton, Ph.D.
Dr. Kat Houghton is a Ph.D. psychologist, Forest Bathing guide, eco-therapist and certified Rites of Passage guide. She is engaged deeply in the evolution of human consciousness in the context of the natural world.
Kat gained her Ph.D. designing and implementing programs for children with autism in underserved communities. She simultaneously co-founded and ran a digital health company which delivers leading edge mobile mental health interventions to those who would otherwise have little or no access to treatment (ilumivu).
Since participating in the water protection movement at Standing Rock in 2016, Kat has been involved in climate activism. Her focus is on community rights to local self-governance and the Rights of Nature – giving legal standing to ecosystems. She co-founded an Asheville based non-profit, Community Roots, in 2017 to tackle these issues locally. She delivered a TedX talk on the Rights of Nature which you can watch here: https://www.ted.com/talks/kat_houghton_the_rights_of_nature.
Kat lives on a forest farm in the Southern Appalachian Mountains where she nurtures mushrooms and woodland medicinals and offers transformational forest bathing, soul-tending retreats, and personalized coaching.
Derek Rinaldo MA, LCMHC, LCAS-A
Psychedelic Psychotherapist, Breathwork Provider
Derek Rinaldo is a Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapist and experienced counselor in private practice. Derek holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lenoir Rhyne University. He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist with North Carolina. Derek is a trained provider of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy using Ketamine through the Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate Program.
Derek is also an experienced practitioner and provider of various styles of Breathwork and incorporates these skills in working with individuals and groups as well as as an augmentation to psychedelic psychotherapy treatment.
For 15 years, previous to his graduate and professional counseling work, he worked with adults, children, and families in community mental health agencies and private schools.
Derek has traveled extensively throughout the world, living abroad in countries such as India and Australia. In addition to Breathwork, his areas of clinical expertise include end of life anxiety, addictions, trauma, sexual assault, domestic violence, family separations, general anxiety, and depression. He believes in meeting clients just where they are, through a felt sense of authenticity and empathy for their struggles and joys, their challenges and their strengths.
Nature Immersion Instructor
Luke is a naturalist, teacher, rewilder, mentor, and survivalist. He is founder and director of Holistic Survival School in Asheville, NC, offering intensive immersion programs in nature connection and ancestral and indigenous living skills to help clients remember their connection to the natural world.
Luke learned his skills working at a primitive wilderness therapy program in the West Desert of Utah. With over 500 days on the trail, Luke has mentored hundreds of people in the wilderness and witnessed how connecting with the earth teaches us vital life lessons and brings growth, health, and vitality to life.
Luke demonstrated his primitive skills and survival abilities as a recurring cast member on the Discovery Channel’s shows, “Naked and Afraid” and “Naked and Afraid XL”, where he survived for 21 and 40 days in the wilderness.
Luke is trained in Holistic Counseling, Shadow work, and Trauma-informed breathwork. He facilitates deep nature connection groups through the Deep Remembering immersion program.
Erika Czerwiski, Ph.D.
Stas Pantelopulos, MA, LCMHC
Anastasios Pantelopulos, MA, LCMHC, is a psychotherapist providing counseling services in the Asheville, North Carolina area. He is provider of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy using Ketamine, and a graduate of the Certificate program through the Living Medicine Institute. In private practice since 2017, he has also counseled in universities, therapeutic communities, and wilderness therapy programs. In addition to a Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, he holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. He also completed 3 years of post-graduate training in gestalt therapy with the Appalachian Gestalt Therapy Institute.
Stas is also a Wilderness Rites of Passage Facilitator, trained at the School of Lost Borders in 2016. He facilitated this work with clients on a bi-weekly basis when working as a Clinical Therapist at Four Circles Recovery Center, and has continued to evolve his approach to the work since.
He loves the woods, ethnobotany, herbalism, gardening, dance, yoga, and astrology and has held a deep lifelong interest in whales.
Dave MacDonald, MSW, LCSW
Dave is a trained provider of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy using Ketamine through the Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate Program. He is a therapist in private practice in Asheville, NC, holds a BA Degree in Philosophy, an MSW Degree and a Certificate in Artistic Blacksmithing. His clinical background is grounded in Psychoanalytic Oriented Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with complimentary training in body-oriented models of psychotherapy and trauma processing. Prior to earning his MSW, Dave spent years as a Certified Addiction Counselor and has a strong understanding of addictions and their relationship to trauma. He has focused most of his 35+ year clinical career on treating Traumatic Stress in adults. He is a Certified Consultant in EMDR and has advanced training in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and HeartMath BioFeedback. His passion for learning drew him to study Attachment, Structural Dissociation and Polyvagal Theories which inform his work. In 2019 he began formal training through MAPS to provide MDMA Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy for Complex PTSD. While awaiting FDA approval to use MDMA and other psychedelics for psychotherapy, Dave has acquired skills to provide Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy through the Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate Program and taken Ketamine/ Psychedelic trainings from Polaris Institute, Center for Self Leadership, EMDR International Association and other providers. Finally, Dave is a mycophile, synthesizer lover and Artist Blacksmith. He loves creating music to facilitate trauma processing, and he forges psychologically themed metal sculpture which speaks of trauma and healing.
Rachel Shopper MS, NCC, LCMHCA
Rachel is a nature-connection therapist in Asheville, NC, and a licensed counselor. She holds a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University and has worked in a variety of behavioral health settings, including outpatient, residential, and wilderness therapy. She is trained in the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and is a Kripalu-trained yoga instructor.
Rachel combines her clinical experience with a deep appreciation of the natural world and an intimate relationship with it. She has worked as a deep nature connection educator, lived out of a backpack in Central America, studied and practiced agroforestry and permaculture design internationally, and worked as a poetry editor for a literary press. Through her clinical practice, Rachel connects her clients with the healing provided by the natural world.
Kedar Brown, LPCA
Kedar Brown is the founder and director of Rites of Passage Council, an organization offering nature based treatment and professional training programs. Kedar is a member of the International Wilderness Guides Council and known for his ability to blend many creative and expressive forms of depth psychology and therapy, with more ancient methods of healing through vision quest ceremonies, sweat lodge ceremonies, rites of passage experiences and personalized ceremonies and rituals. He works with individuals, couples, groups and communities.
In 1994 Kedar apprenticed with Steven Foster and Meredith Little at the School of Lost Borders in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the form and process of the vision quest ceremony and eco-psychology. He apprenticed for many years with Malidoma Some, PhD, initiated elder and shaman of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa learning indigenous methods of healing emotional trauma and relationship challenges through ritual processes. Kedar has also had the honor and privilege to train in healing methods through apprenticeship to Cherokee elder and medicine person, Will Rockingbear.
Kedar has worked as a professional counselor, addictions specialist, Nationally Certified Counselor, and Certified Hakomi, Body-Centered Psychotherapist through the Hakomi Institute, Kedar’s healing retreats and professional training programs are offered both nationally and internationally, across the US, and into Ireland, West Africa, England, Australia, Spain and Scotland.
William Hamilton, Ph.D.
Will Hamilton, Ph.D. is a Clinical Neuropsychologist practicing for over a decade in Asheville NC. He primarily provides Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Internal Family Systems to those struggling with chronic medical conditions and trauma. He also strongly emphasizes compassion training and self-regulation through polyvagal interventions. He has been offering psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy since 2019 and is certified through The Living Medicine Institute’s Certificate Program to offer psychotherapy with ketamine. He has also trained in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy through the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as well as Fungi Academy’s Sacred Space Holder Program in facilitation of group experiences with psychedelic medicine.
As a long-term yogi of over 25 years, Will has studied qi gong, breathwork, yoga, Pragmatic Buddhism, Zen, Tibetan essence traditions, and Western esoteric systems. As a teacher at Buddhist Geeks and Asheville Yoga Center, he offers workshops related to Meditation and Neuroscience, Chronic Pain Management, and Yoga for Hypermobile Bodies. He is also developing the Ketamine Assisted Mindfulness Program (KAMP) in a retreat setting to help maximize ketamine’s therapeutic impact while using other therapeutic modalities. He has special interest in helping long-term contemplative practitioners towards direct experiences of awakening and the integration of those experiences, helping train the open-hearted embrace of the Self through the door of compassion, and reducing the fear of death by the conscious practice of dying with the assistance of psychedelics. He believes the sense of being at home is available in all circumstances, and you can sometimes catch him feeling at home playing music, exploring nature, or on one of his many travel adventures.
From a Client
“My experience combining the natural world with psychedelic therapy work was not what I expected. It was different and hard to imagine until I tried it. I didn’t know how much my soul needed these things until these amazing, gentle people asked the right questions. Every person I worked with saw me for myself, and I’m so grateful.”
– J. L.
Combined Years of Experience
Physician: Patient Ratio
Join the Team
Are you a trained provider in breathwork, nature-connection programming, psychedelic medicine, or medical fasting?
If you are experienced and interested in offering services through our organization, reach out:)
We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of clients in our programs, or in employment and application for employment.