Who We Are
Daniel McQueen, MA
Cannabis Facilitator and Educator
Daniel discovered meditation and spiritual practices at twelve and has been interested in exploring inner states ever since. He apprenticed under a number of shamanic teachers and has been a practicing intentional journeyer for over 16 years. For Daniel, working in the professional field of Cannabis and Psychedelics isn’t a career interest, but represents a core identity and life calling. Finding a place to honor such a life calling within a world that has until recently prohibited it has been an interesting challenge.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Communication, Daniel traveled down a many forked and unmarked road through the wild terrain of political activism, corporate accountability research and campaign finance reform for many years in Washington, DC. Disillusioned by the city, he moved to Florida and opened a small meditation center to explore grassroots community organizing before moving to Boulder, CO and returning to school at Naropa University.
Daniel earned a Masters Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa and received advanced training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy through a year internship with the MAPS Boulder MDMA for PTSD Study. It was his experience with MAPS that inspired Daniel to explore alternative visions in cannabis and psychedelic activism and entrepreneurship.
Daniel bridges transpersonal paradigms with the grounded clinical and organizational skills necessary to begin addressing the significant ecological and mental health crises facing our society today. Although Daniel no longer practices as a clinical psychotherapist, he supports his clients as a teacher, coach, ally and event facilitator, providing individual and group transformational experiences and deeply held intentional conversations. In his practice, Daniel quickly realized that the most important intervention he could provide to his clients, who were isolated and longed for meaningful contact with others, was a sense of community. Medicinal Mindfulness is, in a very real way, a cultural intervention that provides a safe and transformational community container for healing and awakening... a program based on skill development and not dogma. Since 2012, Daniel has been teaching a psychedelic harm prevention and intentional psychedelic use course called Psychedelic Sitters School. Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado, he has been facilitating group journey experiences called Conscious Cannabis Events and guiding individual cannabis journeys.
In addition to his work with Medicinal Mindfulness, Daniel has a successful spirituality and life coaching practice with his wife, Alison, through their company, Aspenroots Counseling LLC. Highly skilled in identifying and cultivating giftedness in young people and supporting significant life transitions, Daniel is inspired to support passionate and talented individuals striving to live into their calling. A primary focus of his practice involves assessing and addressing the benefits and difficulties related to psychedelic and cannabis use and misuse.
Daniel co-founded the Naropa Alliance for Psychedelic Studies and helped organize the first annual Psychedelic Symposium at Naropa University in 2012.
Alison K. McQueen, MA, LPC - Aspenroots Counseling LLC
Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, and MDMA Researcher
Alison K. McQueen, MA, LPC, is an internationally-trained art therapist and somatic trauma specialist, and has worked as a researcher treating chronic post-traumatic stress disorder through the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. As a transpersonal therapist and clinical investigator in an FDA-approved MDMA for PTSD research study in Boulder, Colorado, Alison received extensive experience in the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness for trauma recovery. Alison has a Masters Degree from Naropa University in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology (Art Therapy Emphasis), is on the steering committee of Medicinal Mindfulness, and has a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. Alison is particularly passionate about creating a world in which awake and aware humans are capable of loving and being loved. Cultural, familial, individual, professional and systemic trauma, when gone untreated, create unnecessary obstacles to love, which can pass through the generations. The good news is that it does not have to be that way. Alison supports innovative ways of approaching the ever-important task of healing on the planet. Unfortunately, since MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is not legal outside of the research context, Alison does not offer this service to our community. Rather, she is supporting Medicinal Mindfulness in developing legal altered states work opportunities such as the Conscious Cannabis Circles and Medicine Song Community Breathwork.
Alison has particular interest in the psychological risks and benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the stages of integration involved in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy processes, the role of resourcing in preparation for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, and the role intentional medicine use plays in conscious parenting. For more information about Alison’s work and upcoming publications see http://www.alison-mcqueen.com. For information about Alison’s group therapy opportunities, including her art-based women’s group, contact her directly.
Kelsey Armeni - Operations & Community Events Manager
Kelsey is a social scientist with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies from Naropa University. She has studied energy healing modalities and holds a certificate in Holistic Health from Front Range Community College. She studies yoga through the Shambhava School of Yoga in Boulder, CO. She is a professional member of the American Anthropology Association and works with the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness. Her research interests include non-ordinary states of consciousness, creating a supported cultural context for exploring consciousness, and the construction of healing through social memory. She has been sitting with Medicinal Mindfulness for about two years and has been greatly changed by this work. She loves sitting for non-ordinary states work and is passionate about creating accessible means for people to explore their consciousness.
Cera Ariel - Social Justice Warrior
Cera Ariel is an outspoken activist and advocate for social change. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, Cera moved to Boulder to pursue her BA in Psychology at the University of Colorado: Boulder. After graduating in 2013, Cera served Boulder’s adult homeless population as a manager at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Most of her work in and out of the shelter has been dedicated to making services safer for marginalized identities. She is passionate about using the modalities of breath, art, cannabis, and other plant medicines as a catalyst to healing the world’s deep wounds from the traumas inflicted by hierarchy. She is currently engaging in solidarity work across the US to aid communities of color and studying herbalism to reclaim the knowledge of our foremothers to heal our own bodies.