The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
The Trip Report
#26 Brandon Kapelow: ‘An Act of Service’- A Journey Through PTSD and Ketamine Therapy

#26 Brandon Kapelow: ‘An Act of Service’- A Journey Through PTSD and Ketamine Therapy

Welcome back to The Trip Report Podcast, a production of Beckley Waves, a Psychedelic Venture Studio.

Today, in honor of PTSD Awareness Month, we are speaking with filmmaker Brandon Kapelow, the writer and director of the short film titled An Act of Service which was published under the New York Times Op-Docs banner in the Spring of 2024.

This powerful documentary explores the journey of a fire captain from Idaho as he navigates life with PTSD and treatment through ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

I reached out to Brandon because I was taken by the film’s beauty and impact.

In a field where hyperbole reigns, An Act of Service conveys the challenge of mental illness and the potential of recovery in a soft-spoken but powerful way.

Brandon's dedication to mental health advocacy is deeply personal. 

His path began with the loss of his father to suicide when he was just 12 years old. This set him on a course of mental health advocacy and, eventually, filmmaking. 

His work has appeared in prominent outlets such as Time Magazine where he highlighted the issue of suicide in the Western United States.

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • The inspiration and development of Brandon's film An Act of Service

  • The unique mental health challenges faced by first responders and the role of psychedelic therapy in their healing

  • The intricacies of capturing real-life therapy on film while maintaining the integrity and privacy of the therapeutic process

  • The broader implications of psychedelic therapy for mental health, especially in conservative and rural areas

  • Brandon's personal journey with ketamine therapy and how it has informed his work and advocacy

Brandon's film not only sheds light on the transformative potential of psychedelic therapy but also provides a sober, nuanced portrayal of its impact on real lives. 

His thoughtful approach to storytelling offers a hopeful and optimistic view of the future of mental health treatment.

And now, I bring you my conversation with Brandon Kapelow.

Listen to the episode on Substack, Spotify, Google or Apple.


Theme music by MANCHO Sounds, Mixed and Mastered by Rollin Weary

The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
The Trip Report
The Trip Report is a podcast and newsletter about the business, science, and policy developments of the evolving psychedelic field. While the main organizing theme is psychedelics, it is really about the many different domains that are converging to bring about this field and the assembly of what many believe to be a “New Paradigm” in science, medicine, and our understanding of the human experience. Our goal is to foster an educated and informed psychedelic ecosystem, and to do that, we will feature in-depth conversations with scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders at the forefront of the psychedelic renaissance.