‘From Shock To Awe’ documents a cure for PTSD

Healing in "From Shock to Awe"

Healing in “From Shock to Awe”

“Had psychedelic
therapy not come
into our lives …
there is a
solid chance that
one or both of us
wouldn’t be alive”

A powerful new documentary, From Shock to Awe, will premiere on November 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Chicago’s ShowPlace Icon.

From Shock to Awe is “an intimate look” at how a pair of combat veterans overcame Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by journeying through “the mind-expanding world of psychedelics.”

At the center of the story are veterans Matt Kahl and Mike Cooley and their wives, Aimee and Brooke. Upon returning from duty, the husbands suffered from symptoms of war that threatened to shatter their lives until an unorthodox form of treatment alleviated their condition.

“Ayahuasca and MDMA saved me, my husband, and my family,” explains Brooke Cooley. “Had psychedelic therapy not come into our lives, not only would Mike and I be divorced, but there is a solid chance that one or both of us wouldn’t be alive.”



Besides offering new insights into the process of healing, From Shock to Awe asks fundamental questions about war, the pharmaceutical industry, and the US legal system.

The November 12 screening will be one of 20 happening across the nation as the centerpiece of an event titled, “Coming Home: Beyond Veterans Day.”

In addition to marking the film’s premiere, the “Coming Home” event will launch “a national campaign to raise awareness about psychedelic therapy and the struggles of war veterans, and address some of our nation’s most pressing mental health issues (e.g. opioid addiction and suicide epidemic).”

The screening will be followed by a live-streamed Q&A with cast and filmmakers. For more information, click here.

Send your film updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.