Psychedelic Integration

Support for Psychedelic Experiences

I have qualifications and training in psychedelic integration from my previous work with Mind Medicine Australia (for further information about my qualifications click About). The personal use of psychedelic plant medicines for personal growth, development, and healing has been increasing over the past decade. I offer a unique form of psychedelic integration therapy that blends evidence-based techniques taken from Western and Eastern Psychology to support the integration of psychedelic plant medicine experiences.

What is Psychedelic Integration?

Psychedelic integration involves exploring, with a trained professional, the themes and content of a psychedelic experience after a psychedelic journey has completed. Often, people have strong feelings and deep insights after a psychedelic experience. They may feel more sensitive to people, nature, and the world around them. They may experience new or a heightened sense of particular emotions, or have uncovered a new way of understanding themselves or their relationship with the world. The essence of transformative power, in my view, lies in how we integrate these experiences into our daily lives.

The profound insights can sometimes benefit from a third-arty perspective in supporting you to unpack the deeper meanings and take the new learnings forward into your life. Sometimes this is to

I understand that psychedelics, though enlightening, can sometimes be overwhelmingly intense and abstract. Sometimes people can experience a ‘bad trip’, where emotional content or past traumas can be revealed or even re-experienced during the journey. These experiences can frightening and can significantly benefit from professional support and assistance to navigate, integrate, process, and heal from.

The Legal Status of Psychedelic-assisted Psychotherapy in Australia

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has been approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration for treating certain mental health conditions such as Treatment-resistant Depression and severe Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, under the supervision of an approved-psychiatrist. However, there are still accessibility issues that are in the process of being worked out by State health agencies and regulatory bodies. The personal possession of any psychedelic substances is still a criminal offence in all states and territories of Australia except the ACT (for small quantities). Therefore, taking psychedelic substances on your own and in an unsupervised environment environment carries inherent personal and legal risks. It is also illegal and unethical for therapists to provide psychedelic-assisted therapy in Australia, unless under guidance from an approved psychiatrist and TGA approved treatment protocol.

The Potential Risks and Benefits of Psychedelic Use

Psychedelic substances, when used in therapeutic contexts, have shown promising results in the treatment of various mental health disorders and personal growth challenges. Clinical studies have indicated that psychedelics, such as psilocybin and MDMA, can be effective in treating conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. Many users report profound spiritual experiences, a sense of interconnectedness, and a deeper understanding of themselves. This often leads to improved emotional processing, better interpersonal relationships, and a reduced fear of death. Furthermore, when combined with therapy, these substances can catalyze breakthroughs that might take years to achieve in conventional therapeutic settings.

However, psychedelic use is not without its risks. Physiologically, these substances are generally considered safe when used at appropriate dose levels, and have a low potential for addiction, but they can lead to challenging psychological effects. Acute adverse reactions can include anxiety, paranoia, and dangerous behaviors if the user is not in a controlled environment. Without proper guidance or in non-therapeutic settings, individuals may misinterpret or become overwhelmed by the intense experiences, leading to exacerbated mental health issues. There’s also the potential for disturbing hallucinations, known as “bad trips”, which can result in lingering psychological distress. Moreover, individuals with a family history or predisposition to certain mental health conditions that include forms of psychosis or trauma, could be at risk of triggering or exacerbating these conditions. For example, regarding psilocybin use, certain cognitive states (e.g., preoccupation and confusion) are correlated with memorable, adverse experiences linked to feelings of discomfort, vulnerability, and fear (Russ et al., 2019). Individuals who use ayahuasca have reported reliving memories of past events, and thus may be at risk for re-traumatization if these past events were traumatic in nature (Nielson and Megler, 2014Kaasik and Kreegipuu, 2020). It’s crucial to approach psychedelic use with caution, in appropriate settings, and ideally under the guidance of trained professionals.

Research on Psychedelic Integration

The present research is demonstrating that having integration support post-psychedelic experiences can significantly help the psychological benefits of these substances and most importantly, minimise the risk of harm. For more information about psychedelic integration, please check out:

Bathje, G. J., Majeski, E., & Kudowor, M. (2022). Psychedelic integration: An analysis of the concept and its practice. Frontiers in Psychology13, 824077.

Gorman, I., Nielson, E. M., Molinar, A., Cassidy, K., & Sabbagh, J. (2021). Psychedelic harm reduction and integration: A transtheoretical model for clinical practice. Frontiers in psychology, 710.

The integration process I’ve structured has multiple layers to it. I motivate individuals to dive deep into self-reflection, using tools like journaling as a medium to encapsulate their experiences. I deeply believe in the healing power of open dialogues, and thus create avenues for meaningful discussions, offering fresh perspectives and facilitating a deeper understanding of their journey. My guidance is custom-tailored to each individual, ensuring a comprehensive and systematic approach to integration. I stand by my clients every step of the way, especially as they embark on implementing positive life changes, ensuring that the transformation echoes in daily lives.

For additional support, please check out my article on on Ways to Support Psychedelic Integration on your own.

If you’d like to book a session with myself for psychedelic integration support, please fill out the appointment request form below: