Meet Our Provider Erin Pierson

I’ve seen a lot in my career, from working with the homeless population, community outreach, psychiatric patients in an emergency department, employee assistance programs, private practice, and everything in between! My wide range of experience has taught me that at our core, we are relational beings. We are deeply impacted, marked, and shaped by our experiences with the world and people around us. As a result, we often feel like there are parts of ourselves that are acceptable, and others that should be hidden. It is often in those hidden places full of pain, isolation, heartache, and even joy that need to be reflected on with another human being. We are all in need of another person who can help us carry our experiences and stories for a season.

I believe psychotherapy has the potential to be an immensely powerful healing relationship. But sometimes talking about things doesn’t go far enough in healing the pain we’ve experienced in life, and we feel like we keep struggling with the same things over and over, no matter how much we’ve tried to talk about it. Or we find that no matter how much we trust another person, there are places inside that still don’t feel safe to be known, though we long for those parts of us to be known. Ketamine and other psychedelics offer a potential powerful healing modality to address these places of pain and stuckness. I believe these medicines, used in conjunction with a therapeutic relationship, provide a window to look into our unconscious and work through places where we might feel frozen or not finding relief from certain symptoms.

I’m trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, with over ten years of experience since graduating with my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. I also completed training in MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy through the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. In addition to Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, I also offer psychedelic integration from a harm reduction standpoint. My firm belief is that integration is just as important as the medicine you’re using, and that you will get the most benefit from these treatments alongside therapy, whether that is short term or long term.

Meet our Medical Team

Rafael Gonzalez-Vizoso, MD

Dr. Gonzalez-Vizoso started his education at Brooklyn College where he earned his BA in chemistry while fulfilling his pre-med requirements, graduating Cum Laude. He completed his medical school education at Harvard Medical School where he also did a year of research in Tropical Medicine.

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His internship was done at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a Tufts University Medical School affiliated program, and his residency in Emergency Medicine at Boston Medical Center, a Boston University Medical School affiliated program.

He has been board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine since 1996. He has been practicing Emergency Medicine in multiple settings -anywhere from Level 2 Trauma Centers in urban settings to small to medium rural hospitals- since his graduation from residency in 1994. He is currently the Medical Director for Emergency Services at a critical care access rural hospital in Eastern Washington. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Lightshine, a non profit organization dealing with the care of orphans -specifically in the setting of attachment disorder-, and has traveled extensively on behalf of this organization through Central and South America.

After arriving in Seattle in 1996, he taught Introduction to Clinical Medicine at the University of Washington Medical School as a clinical instructor for 5 years. He also engaged in outcomes research as the medical director of Health Research Associates, Inc. where he co-authored papers, wrote grants and lead studies for 10 years. For the past 18 months, he has been interested in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and has undergone all the appropriate training with The Ketamine Training Center, headed by Dr. Phil Wolfson, a leading authority on ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP) and has become certified in this treatment modality.

Dr. Gonzalez-Vizoso’s interest in KAP was sparked by the dearth of options available for mental health patients in crisis as well as people with addiction disorders. This induced him to delve into the latest research in the use of psychedelics for mental illnesses. He has used ketamine as an anesthetic in the emergency medicine setting as aid for painful procedures and rapid sequence intubation for over 25 years and is very familiar with the use and safety profile of ketamine. During his training for KAP, Dr. Gonzalez-Vizoso experienced firsthand the amazing effects of ketamine. In association with veteran, ketamine trained psychotherapists, he has become increasingly active in the field of applying psychedelics in the setting of mental illnesses and hopes to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Besides his interests in medicine, Dr. Gonzalez-Vizoso holds two black belts in two different styles of martial arts, is an avid free diver and spearfisherman as well as an avid cyclist. He is an amateur historian and has serious spiritual and religious pursuits. He also writes poetry but is too afraid to show it to anyone yet.

Getting started

If you’re ready to get started, please click the box below. If you’d like to learn more about Ketamine-Assisted Therapy please check out our section on “What is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy.”

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