Psychedelic IntegrationThe process of unifying the psychedelic experience
What is Psychedelic Integration?
In clinical research trials of psychedelics, there are 3 main segments - preparatory sessions, psychedelic dosing sessions, and follow-up integration. Each segment contributes to the therapeutic benefits as it is believed that the substance catalyzes a therapeutic process rather than acting solely through pharmacological mechanisms.
This concept of integration applies outside of clinical contexts where individuals who intentionally use entheogenic compounds aim for lasting positive effects beyond the psychedelic experience itself. Psychedelics induce an infinite range of possible experiences, everything from mystical bliss to frientenging confusion. After returning to normal mental states, a person will often have a sense the nature of experience was more than just a momentary shift in consciousness and has something more to offer. Discovering the personal and life significance is the process of integration. It can unfold in the days and weeks following, or throughout the person’s lifetime.
By reflecting on the insights and difficulties revealed during a journey in altered states, a person can then devise ways of taking these lessons and applying them in their life. A trusted person, whether a close friend or a therapist, can help to sort out what the experience was all about and offer support in further exploring the emotions, memories, and insights that came through. The experience and its meaning come more into focus if a person remains curious and open to the unfolding of intuitive truths. There are several practices and techniques for integration - journaling, meditation, yoga, Qi Gong, breathwork, nature hikes, dream journaling, psychotherapy, and many more. Really it's any activity (or non-activity) that allows a person to deeply listen to the wisdom of their own body and truths discovered through the non-ordinary state of consciousness.