Ryan LeCompte is a former United States Marine Infantryman (MOS 0311), a husband and father of two. He founded the Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET), a nonprofit dedicated to spreading awareness about alternative medicines for the treatment of PTSD from combat and sexual trauma. He holds a bachelor degree in psychology and is an M.A. candidate enrolled in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
While still on active duty, he served with his fellow combat Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, yet observed that they risked being labeled “failure to adapt” and/or discharged if they talked about their problems. The heart-ache became more personal when he found one of his brothers, a fellow infantryman, Sgt. Jorge Leon-Alcivar who clearly suffered from PTSD, in his barracks room the morning after he took his own life. Shortly thereafter, Ryan decided to retire from the military in order to help his brothers and sisters from outside the confines of military structure. He began by volunteering hours in the waiting rooms of VA clinics talking to and assisting vets waiting for treatment. He started collecting information on the prescription medications being given to veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and found the same kind of cocktails being prescribed to almost every one of them. (Anti-depression, sedating anxiolitics, and heavy barbiturates for sleeping. ) Ryan explains, "These drugs seem to shut out experiences associated with trauma by numbing them. This came across to me to be not only exacerbating the symptoms, but creating new ones. It went against the values and virtues that we as veterans came to embody, one of them being courage and commitment." Shortly thereafter, he began his search for alternative treatment options not being used by the VA.
Recently, Ryan has taken a group of vets to Peru to experience ayahuasca ceremonies and plans future excursions for healing.
Ryan is also the principal investor of a MAPS-sponsored IRB-approved observational study that will look at the effects of Ayahuasca-assisted psychotherapy on chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD in veterans.