Psychedelics are popular in many cultures, particularly for mind-bending experiences, warpy visuals, and perplexing shenanigans they cause. These are varying states of consciousness that is deeply meaningful and, in some cases, challenging. The big question among many is how they can make their experience meaningful.
In addition, the period after the psychedelics experience is equally significant. During this period, you are likely to experience internal shifts and a completely different feeling. This includes seeing people differently and a change in your overall perception.
Not everyone might notice this, but the main thing to understand is that the psychedelic experience offers windows of opportunity. This makes it possible for people to interpret and examine the outcome of their experience and gain deeper insights into everything. Today, this process is known as psychedelic integration, and it’s a concept that is now widely applied in psychedelic therapies.
Psychedelic integration is a complex topic, which is why many don’t understand it. However, this article provides an introduction to the fundamentals of the topic so you can understand what the practice is all about.
What is Psychedelic Integration?
From a broader perspective, psychedelic integration involves interacting with everything that emerges from the altered state of consciousness. According to Dr. Ido Cohen, psychedelic integration is an active, reflective process and a way of being. It’s basically an attitude that is characterized by reflection, introspection, exploration, and curiosity. This implies that the process involves reflecting and connecting with sensations, images, thoughts, spiritual experiences, and feelings.
The processes involved in psychedelic integration can sometimes appear different between cultures and individuals. For some indigenous cultures, it’s not a separate formal process, while in shamanic cultures, the process does not exist. Dualism is a major influencing factor in Western cultures. This describes seeing things in discreet binaries, and for the psychedelic experience, it’s seen as what comes before and after the experience as different rather than intertwined and innate. This explains some currently available psychedelic-assisted therapies like the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Another key thing to note about psychedelic integration is that it can be a solo endeavor. In this case, it usually involves art, meditation, music, journaling, and a range of other practices. These practices make it easier for people to connect with the experience. Another benefit of integration is that it makes it easier for people to learn more about their psychedelic experience.
People usually experience psychological shifts after a psychedelic experience, even after the effects wear off. There are now studies to further explore these shifts in neuroscience. This is to fully understand the biological opportunities that the psychedelic experiences present, especially to change and reorganize brain connections.
For many, these shifts are enlightening or inspiring. However, they can also be confusing, raw, or disturbing, with the potential to leave you feeling disconnected from reality. Regardless of how it is presented, supportive processing is what will help you understand the shifts better.
Integration is not applicable in every culture, and not everyone uses psychedelics for personal changes. However, people who use it for personal changes or other intent can benefit from psychedelic integration. It basically provides the supportive path they need to navigate the process.
Psychedelic Integration Therapy
The therapy describes the professional that a professional offers to provide support to individuals. This is particularly when they approach feelings, thoughts, and memories during a psychedelic experience. Integration therapists are specialists trained in psychiatry, social work, or psychology and have clinical experience in the field. They are also trained in trauma treatment for issues like relational issues, anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Therapist is a term that’s only used when referring to someone with that has completed licensure and training in preparation for sensitive psychological clients. The specialization includes areas that cover psychedelic integration, as the right training for these areas.
What to Expect
The outlook of psychedelic integration depends on the material you bring to the session and the therapist’s approach. For the therapist approach, the main influencing factors are their professional training, identity, and culture. There are many therapeutic approaches that use integration, and this basically offers diversity when working on the psychedelic experience.
Spiritual or personal development, existential exploration, trauma processing, and symptom management can also influence a psychedelic experience. This implies that your goals and reasons for counseling are a determining factor in how things would unfold. The process can sometimes be gentle and further deepen our appreciation for creativity, self, nature, or relationships. Sometimes, this may also be turbulent, causing the person to reach depths of trauma and memory.
Difference Between Integration Therapists and Psychedelic Guides
Therapists is generally used in describing a person with mental health training. This is mostly influenced by medical and scientific practice. However, it’s important to note that licensure and training may vary across different parts of the world. The aim of therapist regulation and licensure is to enforce standards for training, experience, and ethical conduct. This implies that the licenses can be suspended or revoked in some cases.
On the other hand, guides describe people that work with integration or psychedelics out of the context of normal therapy. This role covers rites and other cultural practices for guidance. Sometimes, a psychedelic guide may have the training and experience to provide support for integration and preparation.
These are the most important things to know about psychedelic integration. In this article, we have highlighted the importance of psychedelic integration, as well as the key things to expect from the integration. We have also highlighted the roles of a psychedelic therapist and how they differ from those of a psychedelic guide.
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