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Psychedelic & Plant-Medicine Integration

Integration is the process of unifying or making whole. It is the practice of embodying and incorporating the meaningful lessons, teachings, and insights from psychedelic and plant medicine experiences into our daily lives. This can often also involve clearing away and transforming aspects that no longer align with us.

In the Western world, we face the further challenge of understanding our experiences with a fragmented view of humanity. Unlike indigenous societies that have used plant medicines for thousands of years for intentional community purposes, our mainstream culture lacks an expansive cosmology to frame numinous and spiritual experiences. While many ancient societies create a community-integrated support system around profound spiritual experiences, we in the modern world often feel stuck and lost between different realities. This is why the element of integration is so essential.

A common misconception about working with psychedelics and plant medicine is that all healing and transformation occur during the ceremony. While miraculous healing from a single ceremony is possible, it is rare for one's life to be completely transformed through just this experience. As with any psychospiritual undertaking, often the Mystery tends to meet us halfway and the real work begins when the ceremony ends:

 

How will you tend to those seeds that were planted in the experience so that they might grow and eventually bear fruit? 

Embracing the wisdom that emerges from deep experience leads to genuine personal growth and ask us to deeply connect with ourselves, develop the courage to make gradual and difficult changes, and find both strength and humility as we navigate inevitable difficulties.


Each encounter with psychedelics can serve as a catalyst for profound change, initiating a profound journey—an experience that may bring about a death and rebirth of our identity, challenging us to reemerge into the world in a renewed way for ourselves and our community. However, upon returning home, you might find yourself lacking the inner resources, appropriate relational support, or external guidance to sustain this transformation.

My role as an integration guide

The contrast between the powerful energies experienced in ceremony or on retreat and the superficiality of the world at home can feel isolating and disorienting. Without adequate nurturing, this recalibration process can become overwhelming or even become a crisis, instead of being experienced as a transformative journey. Indeed, it can be overwhelming to navigate this process alone. In absence of a community with open arms welcoming the individual back home, an integration therapist or guide can offer the appropriate relational container for deep witnessing, meaning making and support. 

Integration work can support you to preserve insight in well resolved experience, helping you to harness meaning and transform the experience into enduring life change. 

 

Where there has been unresolved experience or overwhelm, integration can support to slow down and ground, reviving the capacity for you to integrate through containment and closure of the emotional material, supporting you to return to a sense of self that can sustain you in everyday life.

 

After transcendental experience, while the external world and the demands of everyday life may still be the same, there is an opportunity for deep change in personal meaning making, in how one makes sense of life at a fundamental level. Conscious integration maximises the potential of this being carried over into the ongoing relationships in your life: with others, with the world, and with yourself.

I am a professional member and a registered psychedelic integration practitioner with The Institute of Psychedelic Therapy. I am a founding member of the Hereford Psychedelic Integration Group (HPIG) and facilitate a bi-monthly Psychedelic Integration Circle

In my therapeutic practice, I facilitate ‘deep-dive’ one-to-one 5-hour experiential psychotherapeutic sessions for men and woman. The work is rooted in Jungian psychology and archetypal theory and employs various tools of facilitation to work with the inner experience and the inner and outer relational field. My therapeutic approach has strong parallels with the model of therapeutic work used in expanded states offered by MAPS and others.

I offer 60 - 90-minute integration sessions. Please get in touch for availability.

Please follow this link to useful resources and information related to psychedelic harm reduction.

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The use of psychedelic substances is currently illegal in the UK. Please do not contact me with requests for illegal psychedelic assisted work. I offer preparation and integration support only. I do not support or encourage the use of illicit substances in unregulated and illegal frameworks.

“A psychedelic journey can offer valuable and significant insights that support the unlocking of deeply ingrained patterns. But often insight by itself is not a sufficient force of change, and psychedelic experiences can't replace the necessity for our inner work. If we outsource our healing and growth to psychedelics with out making the effort to support and integrate these experiences, abdicate responsibility, and adopt a passive stance towards our unconscious, we are taking an enormous risk in allowing unprocessed experiences to dictate our choices and our life trajectory. To genuinely transcend our wounds, defences, and early conditioning, it is essential to maintain our responsibility of bringing back the gifts of the imaginal world into a relationship with everyday life”

Maria Papaspyrou

Psychedelic therapy and the shadow

Psychedelic therapy and the shadow

Psychedelics and the shadowChris Bache
00:00 / 06:06

Chris Bache talks about the shadow and the ultimate necessity to take radical responsibility for oneself. The full interview from the Adventures Through The Mind podcast can be found here.

Ann Shulgin - Psychedelic therapy and the shadowAnn Shulgin
00:00 / 52:10

Ann Shulgin, who died July 9 2022 at the age of 91, pioneered the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Listen here to her speak about "The Shadow" at the 2019 Women's Visionary Congress in Oakland, California.

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