From Street Kid to Transformational Recovery Coach | Being True To You From Street Kid to Transformational Recovery Coach | Being True To You

Everyone has a story but not everyone has the strength to be vulnerable enough to tell it. My life has been incredibly challenging and it’s important for you to understand a few of the key issues I faced and the healing that I experienced.

It all started long ago in my childhood. My parents had a very messy and painful divorce and at the tender age of three I felt like my world was falling apart. I experienced the emotional neglect that many children in that circumstance experience.  It set the tone for the rest of my childhood and adolescence. I didn’t feel loved, seen or valued and the feeling of isolation was traumatizing.

My survival response was to seek approval and affection from my parents and from others. I became addicted to that approval and when I couldn’t get it I would go completely the other direction and rebel and refuse to cooperate.  This patterning took me down a dark road towards promiscuity, rape, drug and alcohol use, running away from home and jail time. I was only 14.

After only six months of being a “street kid” and going into foster care my mother died from substance abuse and not taking care of herself.

She was an alcoholic.  My father sent me to a lockdown reform school called CEDU where I was abused verbally, emotionally and physically. I was in a state of constant despair and was diagnosed with PTSD, although no one told me. A few years later I graduated high school and went to university.

I struggled terribly with depression, anxiety and low self esteem.  I was an honor student though so most people wouldn’t know it. I often wished for the pain to end and often had suicidal thoughts.  I had to take several medical leaves from school because I was too depressed to get out of bed for weeks at a time. Eventually I graduated as an Environmental Science Technologist and began my career.

My life seemed to be getting on track. I was on anti-depressants and anti anxiety meds. I was getting counselling. I had a partner and we decided to have a baby.  Our little girl Anaya was born with a brain disease and we were told when she was four months old that it was terminal and that she might live a year – maybe two.

Camara and Anaya

Taking care of my daughter while she suffered was the most difficult experience I’ve ever had to face.  There is nothing that compares to seeing someone you love struggle with extreme pain and discomfort and not being able to do anything about it. That experience with her also taught me an incredible depth of love and an ability to be completely present.  The situation did not allow me to dwell on the past, or on the future. Both were too painful to confront. That left the present as the only option.

After her death I was wide open to the extent of my grief and once again I plummeted into an abyss of depression, grief and despair.  I felt as though my life was a failure. That I couldn’t do anything right and that I was unable to save my daughter, that my love hadn’t been enough. I was at rock bottom and didn’t see the point of living.  I reached out for help and kept going anyways. One step at a time. Day by day.

Six years passed in a haze of depression. I managed to function enough to survive and was always trying to heal, but was unable to break out of it. I still felt sad and unworthy. It didn’t matter that on the outside everything appeared alright.  You can have it “all together” and still not be well. It was then that I saw a new doctor who, after hearing my story, diagnosed me with complex post traumatic stress disorder – developmental trauma disorder. It was an enlightening moment for me because suddenly all of my symptoms made sense. I wasn’t alone and it wasn’t my fault. I read online about psychedelic therapy for resolving C-PTSD and resolved to go to an Ayahuasca retreat. Ayahuasca is an ancient psychedelic medicine made from plants that grow in the Amazon rainforest. It has been used for mental and physical ailments by the tribes there for thousands of years.

My retreat was profound. I chose to go to one where they had both the shamanic influence as well as a medical and psychological team. There were four somatic therapists present for our group of fifteen people. In my experience my blocks against my own suffering came down and I realized for the first time just how lost and afraid I was as a child and teenager. The emotions flooded through me and with the support of the retreat staff I was able to stay in them until they released and passed through me. I was safe and supported and I could finally let my guard down and grieve completely for everything that had happened and everything I had lost.

I came out of the ayahuasca retreat vulnerable and fresh. Feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. In speaking with one of the somatic therapists from the retreat I was educated about MDMA psychotherapy and how it can further heal emotional and mental wounds from PTSD.  I was able to book a session a few months in the future and looked forward to continuing my healing work.

The MDMA psychotherapy session was so significant that it’s difficult to find the words.  For the first time in my life I was able to let go of the shame I felt for being me. I was able to forgive myself and forgive everyone who had ever hurt me. I was connected to a deep source of love inside myself and in the world around me. In that moment I knew that what I’ve been through has made me who I am. It has made me sensitive and strong, deep and compassionate. It’s made me an incredible human being with so much to offer the world. I was liberated!

From that moment forward I have been completely free of the symptoms of C-PTSD that plagued my life for over 25 years.  I no longer needed medication, no longer suffered from depression, anxiety or insomnia, my relationships with my family and friends became deeper and more stable. My experience with psychedelic therapy was so transformational, so incredible, so inspiring that I knew I needed to help others experience this level of healing. I knew it was part of my purpose.

Later that year I found out about Being True To You from a friend.  He explained to me that Being True To You is a company that does addiction recovery coaching and psycho-spiritual / psychedelic coaching around transformational experiences such as iboga and ayahuasca and other entheogens.  They don’t provide or recommend the medicines to anyone but they offer coaching to people for preparation and integration afterwards. Wow! I thought. That’s fantastic! I checked out the website and saw that they offered a coach training program and after listening to the introduction lecture and speaking with Deanne Adamson I signed up to attend.

One of the things that appealed to me was being able to study part time and work full time. I didn’t have to quit my job to be able to get my coaching certification. I only needed to dedicate about ten hours a week to the training. That was very important to me as I needed to continue to support my family (I have two other children) and myself while learning.  I received the class schedule and was excited to join my first video conference call, meet my classmates and begin our studies.

The first section of the Coach Certification Program is all about addiction and recovery. I learned so much about it that I didn’t know before. It was in that section that I realized that although I didn’t have experience with major physical addictions I had long had an addiction to approval and a terrible fear of failure. Every addiction has something behind it. They don’t just manifest out of nowhere. Many addictions are a result of feeling disconnected from self, from community and from spirit. I gained enough knowledge to truly understand what people in addiction are going through. I was blown away by the depth of knowledge and research put into the course.

The second section of the Coach Certification Program is all about Transformational Recovery and how to coach clients and their families. Not only does it go over technical aspects of coaching but it was also a deep and insightful look into how to connect with a client. Developing trust and rapport are key to a successful coach-client relationship.  To connect with a client on a deep level a coach needs to be able to be completely present with them without expectation, and practice acceptance and unconditional love. A coach needs to listen with their full being and pull on the wisdom of spirit to ask powerful questions and guide the client in their process.

The third section of the Coach Certification Program is about Entheogens (psychedelic medicines) and how to coach preparation, navigation and integration with clients who choose to use these medicines for their healing experiences.  Again I was blown away by the depth of knowledge and research put into the course. I could feel my spirit resonating with purpose – that feeling of knowing fully and completely that you are on the right track and that you are getting what you need to continue on your path.

Throughout the course I attended my group video calls and also participated in the group coaching and peer mentoring.  I got to know the senior coaches as well as the other trainees and clients. I’ve never been involved with a community that was more authentic and had so many full hearted, conscious people. I graduated from the program with so much more than just a certificate. I was filled with knowledge to carry forward on my purpose and supported by a team of highly skilled mentors.

Following my graduation I successfully became a coach on contract with Being True To You and am happily accepting clients. If you resonate with my experience and would like to work with me as a client please contact Being True To You and we will schedule an initial call.

If you’re considering taking the coach training the best advice I can give is to follow your heart and have faith. You’ve been brought here for a reason.  Perhaps the reason is because, like me, you’re ready to help others on their path of healing. Perhaps it’s because you want a career that is meaningful and exciting where you are encouraged to be yourself fully and completely. I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to be involved in helping people transform their lives.

I honor your journey. Thank you for bearing witness to my story. Have a beautiful day.

~ Camara Cassin

Camara is a certified coach and is also our affiliate coordinator and marketing manager. She is a successful businesswoman and mother. Educated as an Environmental Technologist, she chose to pursue an entrepreneurial lifestyle by starting a digital marketing business and is self-taught. Her passions include yoga, dancing, gardening, and traveling.