You’ve probably heard that integration is an essential part of psychedelic therapy. As psychotherapist Jane Garnett says, “Integration takes real time and is likely to be bumpy.”
Below are some common methods that can help you integrate your psychedelic experience post-treatment.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to remember the insights you uncovered during your journey. Begin journaling soon after your experience as memories will only become foggier with time. Focus on the experience, and begin writing whatever comes to mind.
Writing in the first person and in the present tense will increase your recall. It will reduce the temptation to engage in third-person meaning-making. Investigating what your experiences mean can come later.
Don’t censor yourself, and don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Your journal is for you, so leave all judgement behind.
Journaling as a daily habit will help you make sense of your experience. It will provide you with a record of your therapeutic journey that you can refer to later for insight. If you’re not sure what to write, consider purchasing an integration workbook.
Meditation and psychedelics may have a therapeutic effect greater than the sum of its parts. Practicing mindfulness or “moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness”, begins with sitting still and noticing your breath.
When your mind begins to wander to other thoughts, accept them before returning attention to your breathing. Start by meditating for a few minutes at first. As you become more comfortable, increase the length of your sessions.
Psychiatrist Emily Williams recommends the “mandala practice”. Take the time after using psychedelics, to fill a page with whatever symbols and colors come to mind. Over the next few days, look at what you’ve drawn and try to relate it back to your experience.
Psychedelic therapist Alison McQueen, suggests contemplating your journey and thinking about what parts meant the most to you as you draw. This method will inspire further contemplation. Singing, dancing and writing poetry can also be helpful.
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