The Misconception about Psychedelics and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy
It’s a thrilling time for psychedelics. Tales of these magical substances are filtering into mainstream discourse, and research into their potential benefits is burgeoning. This exposure is certainly well-deserved and exciting. However, it has also given rise to some misunderstandings about psychedelics.
The Truth About Psychedelics: More Than Just a ‘Magic Pill’
Some have come to see these substances as magical pills, capable of wiping away the trials and tribulations we’ve been grappling with for a prolonged duration. The concept of psychedelics as a magic bullet isn’t entirely wrong. We do indeed see it play out that way in our practice with about 10 to 20% of our clients: they came to us for one or two psilocybin assisted therapy sessions or to our psilocybin assisted therapy retreat and their life changed forever. They reported their depression disappeared immediately or their 20 year long alcohol addiction and all cravings were gone and never returned. These are amazing results and these are the results that are highlighted in the media, which reports about Psilocybin or Ayahuasca as ‘reset of the brain’.
However, while these amazing life transforming experiences happen – they are not the norm. Having worked with hundreds upon hundreds of individuals, we can confidently state that the experience is largely varied.
“For many of us, there’s work that we need to do in our everyday life to really integrate these experiences.”
Psychedelic Assisted Therapy: The Gateway, Not the Destination
Here’s the thing: psychedelic journeys and psychedelic assisted therapy are not about instant gratification. They are not a miracle fix. What they do excel at, though, is opening doors— doors we didn’t even realize existed. Psychedelics can reveal entire avenues of insight and understanding that were previously inaccessible to our conscious minds.
However, the responsibility is still on us to walk the path these substances have unveiled. To draw benefit from this newfound awareness, we must acknowledge and accept the invitation that psychedelics extend to us.
To put it metaphorically, think of psychedelics as opening a door to a better understanding of oneself, revealing our hidden anxieties, pains, potential, and much more. Nevertheless, merely standing on the threshold isn’t enough. It falls to us to cross it.
Importance of Integration: Translating the Psychedelic Experience Into Daily Life
This brings us to why we place such an emphasis on integration at our psilocybin assisted therapy retreat Integration refers to the process of using the insights and experiences given by psychedelics in your day-to-day life. It’s this journey of personal growth that really makes the psychedelic experience worthwhile. This could range from changes in lifestyle choices to shifts in our mindset and behavior.
Our content, though not always explicitly linking back to psychedelics, tends to revolve around this concept. And that is because we believe integration to be an integral part of the psychedelic experience.
”It’s the work we do in our everyday lives, the choices we make in our everyday lives.”
The bottom line is this: Psychedelics are often not the complete treatment; they are the first step. They provide us with access to deep reservoirs of our mind which were previously unknown. But we must put in the work to apply those insights and experiences into our daily lives.
The potential of psychedelics goes well beyond being a ‘magic pill’ cure-all. It’s the willingness to walk the path that these substances illuminate which leads to true growth and healing, thus using psychedelics for what they truly are: a tool, an opener of doors, a beginning. Let’s embark on this journey of deep reflection, integration, and transformation together.
Photo by Kylli Sparre.