Psychedelic & Spiritual Integration Therapy
Psychedelic therapy: we’re not quite there yet…
Psychedelics such as MDMA, LSD, ayahuasca/DMT, and psilocybin are being researched for their therapeutic potential by organizations like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with promising results, but the research is still in progress. Most psychedelics are classified as schedule I substances and are therefore illegal. For this reason, I do not offer guided sessions or promote the use of these substances. Psychedelic integration therapy is different than psychedelic therapy where there is a therapist or guide present during the actual psychedelic experience. In contrast, psychedelic integration therapy is the process of making sense of and reducing any harm associated with a previous psychedelic or spiritual experience within the context of an ongoing therapeutic relationship.
As a psychotherapist, integrationist, and spiritual seeker, I help people who yearn to connect more deeply with themselves and with spirit. I’m here to support those who fear being misunderstood or judged about their spiritual experiences, including those with psychedelic medicines like MDMA, LSD, ayahuasca/DMT and psilocybin.
What does “psychedelic integration” mean?
Although humans have been using psychedelic substances for thousands of years, current mainstream culture lacks much awareness about both their healing potential and their dangers.
Psychedelics are inherently dis-integrating. They can disintegrate your ego or your sense of self. Things feel like they’re coming apart. You may lose a sense of reality as you knew it.
After such an intensely fragmenting experience, coming back together can feel like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, blindfolded, with your hands tied behind your back. Everything may feel new, different, suddenly very wrong, or suddenly very right. Maybe you’re not even sure what you experienced. It may have been the single most spiritual and wonderful experience of your life, or it may have been terrifying and traumatic. Having the support of someone who’s informed about the integration of different psychedelic substances and experiences can make all the difference.
Integrating can mean continuing to process and make meaning out of what you experienced, restructuring your life on various levels, bringing awareness to what might be new for you, or paying attention to your dreams (where the journey may resume).
If you’ve had insightful or mystical experiences with psychedelics, I can help you further understand and integrate these experiences into your everyday life. Your journey may continue to unfold for weeks, months, or even years.
Perhaps you had a powerful vision, but the meaning isn’t clear to you yet. Maybe you’re struggling to hold onto the message you received. You may even feel greater sensitivity to noise, smells, toxins, and people.
It's been said that psychedelics will give you what you need, not necessarily what you want. So you may have found yourself suddenly faced with a traumatic memory, overwhelming feelings, or revelatory insights. Because psychedelics can make our unconscious minds more accessible, possibly even exposing us to different realms or beings, sometimes this is just a lot for our bodies and psyches to handle. In our integration work together, I can help you process this intense, profound material that may have arisen in seemingly bizarre and unexpected ways. Even if you've had a challenging experience in an expanded state, psychedelic integration therapy can help you come to deep insights by exploring the feelings, images, sensations and thoughts that came up for you.
One definition of healing is to make the self whole again. This is exactly what integration work involves. Let's get started. I'd love to hear from you.
Psychedelic Harm Reduction
"Will I ever be the same again?"
Psychedelics can put people into extremely vulnerable states. When they’re used alone, in an improper context, or without adequate information about source, dosage, and likely effects, you are at risk for all kinds of unintended outcomes. I can help inform you about these risks and assist you in overcoming the harm that may have come from the use of these powerful substances.
If it already happened, we’ll work with it. In some cases, there can be complex layers of trauma when you’ve ingested something unwillingly, you were totally unprepared, something terrible happened when you were “tripping,” or you’re continuing to experience unpleasant after-effects.
Contact me to discuss how I can help you minimize risk, reduce harm and/or overcome the unwanted effects of your psychedelic use.
Occasionally, people report having spontaneous spiritual experiences, with or without the use of psychedelic substances, that can be quite difficult to explain or understand. Much like psychedelic experiences, these powerful experiences are all too often dismissed or pathologized, leaving people without support in making sense of what happened, or what may be happening in the aftermath.
A spiritual emergency is an "emergence" of the spirit. However, it can feel overwhelming, confusing and scary when it happens. It's different for everyone, but you may be having rapid insights, a desire to make drastic changes in your life, experiencing feelings or "knowings" that are difficult to communicate, or generally feeling like you just "woke up" to things. Some people question their own sanity in such situations, and it is important to see a professional if this is happening to assure your safety and receive support.
If you’re looking for help processing a spiritual or mystical experience, give me a call.
The Post-Burning Man Blues; Integrating After The Burn
You were looking forward to it all year (and preparing), and now it's over. Back to the default world, which really doesn't feel right. You dropped your defenses, practiced radical expression and radical self-enfunment. You surpassed your physical, mental, emotional, and perhaps spiritual boundaries. You've never been so exhausted, open, or dusty. Maybe you had some realizations or experiences that are making it very hard to go back to everyday life. Perhaps the words you're seeing here aren't coming close to doing it justice, because there are no words.
Be gentle with yourself. It takes time to "re-enter;" to adjust to life again. Maybe things happened on the playa that you need to talk about with someone who understands the culture. Call (510) 859-7724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for support with your re-entry or integration.
Please note: Phone consultations are strictly for people interested in psychotherapy with a therapist who has some expertise in psychedelic experiences that take place outside of therapy and spiritual emergencies/kundalini awakenings. I will not respond to inquiries about where to find guides, ceremonies, or any other ways of possibly accessing illegal substances. If you are coming for therapy, please do not attend under the influence of any consciousness-altering substance unless prescribed by a physician (or unless we have previously agreed to do cannabis-assisted psychotherapy).