Demystifying Plant Medicine Integration

Guided integration is a transformative tool in plant medicine journeys. Explore 5 key benefits for a profound and lasting experience.
Guided Integration. Top view of various plant medicines on white wood. Some are in bowls.
Author: Nina Izel
By Nina Izel
November 14, 2023(Updated: February 12, 2024)

What Is Psychedelic Integration?

When you embark on the plant medicine path, integration is a must to take the most out of your experience. It’s great to see that more and more integration resources are available on this subject. Yet, still, many don’t understand what integration is and how it can benefit them.

In this article, I will demystify the integration process and explain to you how integration can really change your life:

  • Making sense of your experience
  • Embodying insights into your everyday life
  • Integrating the body-mind-spirit complex

The integration process is when you make sense of your experience. Oftentimes, psychedelic experiences are symbolic, and you need to ‘decode’ or understand the deeper meaning behind them.

Integration also refers to integrating your insights into your everyday life. In other words, it’s embodying the lessons you have learned and putting them into practice in your daily behavior. 

Last but not least, integration means integrating fragmented aspects of body, mind, and spirit back into wholeness, alignment, and balance. 

Two Types of Integration

Unconscious Integration

To a certain extent, integration happens naturally, especially because our being wants to go toward wholeness and balance. So, you can say that integration is a natural process. 

Many people experience sudden improvements in their lives after a plant medicine ceremony. That said, we carry so much baggage from the past. Without dedicated integration work, most fall back into their old habitual behavior when the afterglow of plant medicines wears off. 

Without conscious integration, we can stay stuck in victim mode and continue the blame game. If you still feel stuck, confused, and lonely, please reach out and get support from an experienced integration guide. 

Conscious or Guided Integration

We talk about a conscious or guided integration process when an individual has regular support and guidance from an experienced integration facilitator. This is when the person is committed to engaging in various integration practices for a period of time. I always say to my clients that you get out what you put in. And if you want real and lasting changes, you have to put in your effort, commitment, openness, and willingness to see through this process. 

My experience as an integration specialist shows that the chances of success increase dramatically when somebody applies the same dedication to their integration process as to their ceremony experience. One of the milestones that signals progress in your integration is leaving behind the victim and the blame and taking full responsibility for your life and your behavior.

5 Benefits of Guided Integration

Just because you know what you should do, doesn’t mean you will do it. 

Integration means translating insights and intentions into behavior. This may include adopting healthier habits, setting boundaries, improving relationships, pursuing new interests or passions, or making changes aligned with your new personal values. 

Guided Integration. Mandala made of Dahlia flower petals on white background.

Let’s look at some more ways in which conscious integration can benefit you:

  1. Increased Awareness
    Integration helps to cultivate a reflective mindset and expand awareness of the mental patterns that cause suffering. This may involve journaling, meditation, or discussing your experience with your integration specialist. 
  2. Recognizing Blind Spots
    We often say that you can’t change what you don’t know. The first step towards change is awareness. However, often we have a complete lack of awareness—so-called blind spots—and we find ourselves stuck in repetition. It can be hard to see all parts of your story when you are in your story! An experienced integration facilitator can spot those blind spots much easier and reflect them back to you. When it comes to ‘blind spots,’ someone like this is a tremendous help.
  3. Changing Behavior 
    A guided integration process allows the individual to process mental and emotional content as it arises. The process helps them go deeper, eventually reaching the root of the problem. Only when we manage to uproot our suffering does real change occur that will last over time. 
  4. Emotional Processing and Support
    Psychedelic experiences can evoke an emotional release of long-stored suppressed emotions. These experiences can sometimes be overwhelming. They, therefore, require guidance and support to let go and not suppress what arises. A safe container is a must to support deep emotional healing and expression. This may involve engaging in practices such as breathwork, somatic experiencing, or expressive arts to safely explore and release emotions.
  5. Faster and Easier Process
    When you have a map and an experienced guide, you have a smoother journey—even in an unknown territory. Without a map and a guide, you are more likely to get lost, stuck, or give up on your journey. Even if you find your way out, it will take more time, and you will definitely endure more pain. 

    Remember that you are not alone—support is always available. 

Why Do You Need a Professional Guide for Integration?

Maybe you can do it alone, but why would you? Why wouldn’t you save yourself unnecessary pain and suffering? 

Integration can be a deeply challenging process because it takes a lot of effort and time to create real change. Your best asset is an experienced guide who has made journeys like these many times. They hold your hand during this process, especially if it is your first time. 

Benefits of an Experienced Guide:

  • Creates a safe container for deeper healing to happen
  • Helps you see the blind spots and the bigger picture, raising your awareness
  • Teaches you useful skills and tools
  • Provides comfort and reassurance

I trust that this article helps you gain more clarity about the integration process and supports you in preparing for your personal integration. 

Do you need support? Connect with me for our free, biweekly ayahuasca integration room or to receive personal support.

Blessings on your integration path!

Follow your Curiosity

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The content provided is for educational and informational purposes only and should be a substitute for medical or other professional advice. Articles are based on personal opinions, research, and experiences of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Psychedelic Support.

Published by:
Author: Nina Izel
Nina Izel
Nina Izel is a healer, teacher, and author of the book: Heart Medicine, Ayahuasca Assisted Therapy and the Integration Process. Nina combines psychology, holistic healing tools and shamanic healing technologies to assist individuals to take back the power over their health and life. Nina's motto is "You are the healer and love is the medicine!" Learn more at Nina's website or her Psychedelic Support community group.

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