Psychedelic Therapy: Individual versus Group Sessions

If you’re considering psychedelic therapy, then set and setting cannot be overstated. Your environment and state of mind is so important to the quality of your psychedelic trip. And there are a number of factors to consider. One, in particular, is whether to take the psychedelics on your own or as part of a group.

Psychedelic Therapy Individual Sessions 

Individual therapy involves the patient sitting alone with a trained professional. They receive one-on-one attention before, during and after ketamine infusions. The therapist works with their patient to prepare and set clear intentions, is on hand to help guide them through their experience, and post-infusion integration sessions are tailored specifically to the individual’s needs.

Best for:

Introverts may be more comfortable sharing their experiences with one person than with a roomful of people. The same goes for anyone especially concerned about confidentiality. Patients with full calendars might also prefer the added flexibility.

Advantages of individual sessions:

  • Treatment is tailored to you
  • You get a deeper level of analysis from your therapist
  • Easier to find meeting times that fit your schedule

Psychedelic Therapy Group Sessions

One study found that a feeling of communitas—an intense sense of togetherness and shared humanity—improves psychological wellbeing and connectedness. This may explain the long history of success for group-oriented programs like AA, Weight Watchers, grief support groups, and many others. Not only do these groups foster connections but they also allow people to recognize similar traumas in others and to see paths forward to heal.

Psychedelics have been used for 6,000 years—usually in group settings. Provided the whole group is on the same page, these can make for beneficial therapeutic experiences. The present psychedelic moment has galvanized around group settings with the explosive popularity of psychedelic retreats.

At Nushama, group therapy is limited to eight participants and involves six in-person intramuscular ketamine sessions, and six integration sessions conducted over Zoom. In addition to heightening feelings of universal love, the shared experience also allows participants to see that they are not alone and to learn from people with similar struggles.

Best for:

Extroverts may prefer taking psychedelics with a group. For patients looking to improve their social skills and interpersonal interactions, group therapy is also a great option. It may be a significantly more affordable option as well.

Advantages of Group Sessions:

  • Lower cost
  • Combats feelings of isolation
  • Creates a sense of affinity and connectedness with other attendees

Psychedelic Therapy for Couples

Taking psychedelics with one other person can deepen a relationship, particularly a romantic one. In fact, psychedelics like MDMA were first used for relationship counseling. If taking a psychedelic with just one other person, make sure it’s a person with whom you want to go deep!

The Takeaway

All models of psychedelic therapy have their advantages and disadvantages. Which one to engage in is a personal choice. It depends on one’s personal issues, goals, and what’s accessible.

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