Integration Support & Coaching.
Integration from psychedelic experiences is where the real work lies. Any one can go on a 'trip', not everyone can be transformed. The transformational aspects of utilizing psychedelics as a tool comes from applying lessons and insights learned during the experience and integrating shifts in your daily life.
PSYCHEDELIC INTEGRATION |
You might feel overwhelmed by emotions and be experiencing a heightened sense of uncertainty and instability. It is understandable, working with psychedelics comes with big insights and big emotions. They can also evoke deep and profound questions. It is a potent and powerful time of expanded neuroplasticity, openness, vulnerability, and receptivity—and can be enhanced and stabilized by working with a trained professional.
Perhaps you notice there are thoughts like, What was that? Was that real? What does it mean? Who am I now? What is my purpose? Where do I go from here? You might be confronted with a deluge of sudden insights and awareness of patterns and habits that were previously unconscious.
In pivotal times, it is common to judge our intense experience and think we are ‘doing it wrong,’ because it is so much all at once. A conflation of feelings is normal and healthy during the period before and after working with psychedelics. You might notice the impulse to make major life changes, inspired by the sudden insights, and powerful feelings. That is normal! It is also advised to not make any major life changes within 30 days of choosing to work with psychedelics, unless they were already in play prior to your work.
There is no silver bullet
Working with psychedelics from THC/Cannibis, LSD, MDMA, Mescaline, Ayahuascha, Psylisibum…and more, (legal or not) is increasingly en vogue. And it has been around for centuries—first and foremost, as a sacred practice with indigenous tribes.
It is often antidotally spoken that “doing ayahuasca is like doing 20 years of psychotherapy in a night,” there is no evidence of this. However, from a cost efficiency perspective that might seem attractive. Especially, if we are not tooled, and resourced to attend to the repressed and unconscious. Or if there is an aversion or stigma about ‘going to traditional talk therapy.’
Some people think that approaching the use of psychedelics is a more efficient way to work with their emotional content, trauma, and processes, and a select few might be right. More often than not, approaching use of these powerful molecules without a guide who has been in deep study, relationship and research, in addition to foundational personal work, and a strong, safe, held environment can lead to more harm than good.
You might be feeling like a lot is coming up all at once and you want to just get it over with, and this psychedelic approach is the key. It sounds so efficient. Fortunately and unfortunately, there is no easy way through our work. But there is help.
Western culture wants a silver bullet. And often what happens in this case is individuals participate in an underground ceremony, or acquire a substance to work with on their own—and they are blown open without the foundational work, personal tools, resources, support, or community to attend to what is revealed. Maybe this is where you find yourself?
Oftentimes this casual approach, though well intended, can have the opposite effect of intention, it can lead one to a state of overwhelm with what was revealed, and with an inefficient tool box to draw from. This state of overwhelm can then catalyze one to dive into old and unhealthy coping strategies that were attempting to be resolved in the first place. It can lead to various avoidant strategies, shut down, psychosis, impulsivity, spiritual bypassing, magical thinking, frequent and dramatic shifts in mood and perspective.
Sometimes the experience can make us feel like, “I just need to consume more of the psychedelic to work through what was revealed,”—and integration never happens.
This could be considered “psychedelic bypassing,” where one avoids the deeper work, life and psychological lessons needing attending and continues to chase the altered state, peak visions, and prefers relating to altered reality rather than the work of tending to shared reality. There is no right or wrong, if this is where you find yourself. Just conscious or unconscious. Maybe, reading this is giving you an “ah-ha,” moment. Or you feel called out and confronted. This is normal! There is nothing shameful about finding yourself in this place, only an opportunity to be with what is and choose what to do next. It is a common trajectory when one begins working with these potent molecules, they can be seductive. The bold choice is to assess your intention, and psychological emotional tools, your resources, and decide if support and working one on one with a seasoned and trained professional is the right choice for you.
Another interesting trajectory where individuals exploring work with psychedelics find themselves is something called “psychedelic consumerism,” where the experience becomes a badge, a talking point, a competition of how many times a substance was done, or comparing visions and intense experiences—rather than integrating and learning lessons. Again, this is normal and common. There is no shame in recognizing that this is where you are, or something you have done. Just an opportunity to bring it into your explicit awareness, out of the unconscious and into the conscious. Then it can be worked with, if you choose to. Only you know your intentions for this work, only you can decide if you are personally resourced enough with emotional and psychological tools to continue on your path. Psychedelic work is an underground and unregulated territory, with little accountability. There are, however, seasoned and trained professionals, who are available to be a noble friend on your journey of integration and healing.
Risks, experiences and feelings
It might feel like “there are just too many feelings to feel,” or “I can’t unknow that, and I wasn’t ready to know.” You might be feeling numb, or shut down. You might be in a state of shock and overwhelm, not knowing how to address or work with what insights revealed. You might feel like you are going through the motions of your life, and do not recognize yourself. You might feel the urge to ‘blow up your life,’ and make a lot of changes all at once. This is normal! And common when working with psychedelics, especially when unsupported. You are not alone.
These risks, experiences, and feelings are normal; and the mentioning of these experiences does not invalidate the benefits available when utilizing these molecules as an ally on your healing journey, only to point to the risk anytime we consume mind altering substances. And the risks can be mitigated by having an informed professional to support you with your integration.
These and other risks can be somewhat mitigated by approaching the choice to use these substances with great care and respect. Both for yourself, your mind/body, your past, your future, and the cultures from which some of these practices and relationships originate.
Working with a trained professional
The choice to work with a trained professional who is familiar with psychedelics, navigating altered states, integration work, trauma work, in one on one, or in group setting before and after you to participate in a ceremony or use of psychedelics, can undergird and enhance your experience and integration in profound ways.
This approach can support making your choice to explore psychedelics a healing tool rather than just another thing you need to heal from.
If you are contemplating or integrating a psychedelic experience, it can hold a lot of impact and meaning. Nuanced and complex reactions are to be expected. In integration coaching, you are invited as you are, all of you.
Maybe you feel full of doubt and you notice you are questioning your choices, yourself, your life as you adjust to the insights. Maybe you have been thrust into dealing with something you never imagined, don’t want, and have no choice but to deal with it.
Integration and changes are difficult for everyone, and it can be confrontational, scary, painful, and uncomfortable. Big insights and transitions also come with the potential for big growth.
Working with a coach familiar with altered states of consciousness, during the integration period can support you in making sense of the adjustments you are having to make, track and contextualize larger themes and patterns in your life, and shed light on some areas of potential unconscious—to support you in moving as lucid and grounded as possible through what can feel like unsteady times. Integrating from psychedelic experiences are often filled with the paradox of complex beauty, deep interconnectivity and oneness, and difficulty and uncertainty as to how to navigate our individual lives in the face of it all; and with that they are fertile fields for transformation and healing.
As a seasoned psychedelic integration coach, I have supported people through complex and nuanced integration experiences, supporting them in harnessing their wisdom and utilizing that to inform and direct action, integration, and perspective in their lives, in areas included above and more.
There is a powerful and creative space in groundlessness, and to access the potentiality takes some boldness and bravery. I offer a safe and supportive space to feel all your feelings. No feeling is ever wrong, “too big,” or “too much!” There is no “right” timeframe for feelings, or the process you are traversing. It is my goal to align with the cadence of your own healing journey. By honoring you and your rhythm, we encourage recognition and guidance from your inherent wisdom. In honoring this deep knowing, you will come through your process with integration and wholeness.
Perhaps, you think your integration process is not “that big,” and you can do it alone. Or, perhaps you think, “I have friends, I don’t need a coach.” Possibly, you think it’s just something to get through, or tough out. If you’re wondering if coaching is right for you right now, feel free to reach out! I offer a free consultation session, which means we can talk about what you’re going through, and discuss honestly whether we feel like coaching is a good option for you at this point.
* I do not provide or encourage the use of psychedelics. As a coach and holistic guide, I work in compliance with all laws in your state of residence. I accept that consenting adults will seek supports they deem helpful in their healing journey and sometimes they are psychedelic in nature. I support in working with the landscape of the mind/body and integration of experiences.