Psychedelic and Altered State Integration Therapy
Have you had an altered state of consciousness experience that you are having trouble processing or having reoccurring trauma/anxiety from an altered state experience? Are you seeking support in making the most of your mystical experiences? Are you interested in the healing and growth potential that can come from these journeys?
An altered or non-ordinary state of consciousness experience may occur during a variety of different practices including: psychedelic experiences, Holotropic breath work, meditation/yoga, a near death experience, or shamanic journeying. These experiences can be confusing, not taken seriously, or sometimes even pathologized. People often need support after having consciousness expanding experiences.
Powerful experiences like these are often misunderstood or even dismissed leaving some people without necessary support, validation and/or guidance
Psychedelic Experience/Holotropic Breath Work
Have you had a past experience with LSD, MDMA, Ayahuasca, Iboga, or Psilocybin or another psychedelic that was challenging or even possibly traumatizing?
Are you struggling to process difficult information that came up during your journey?
Did you have an experience that you can't make sense of and are having trouble integrating it into your life?
Are you thinking of using psychedelic medicines to work through a past trauma or micro-dosing to enhance your creativity at work?
Are you considering participating in an Ayahuasca or Iboga ceremony in the future and feeling hesitant, confused, or even afraid? Have you done your homework on these ceremonies?
Did you try Holotropic Breath work and now you're experiencing heightened anxiety, panic attacks, unpleasant memories, or reexperiencing past traumatic events?
Psychedelic drugs, including MDMA, Psilocybin, and LSD have great healing potential and psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is being actively investigated in FDA approved studies by organizations like the Multidisciplanary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the Heffter Research Institute, with encouraging results.
Research is showing promising outcomes for individuals who suffer with PTSD, end of life anxiety, depression, and more. Because these drugs are not legal, some people are trying to heal their own past traumas and mental health issues with these substances. I caution anyone attempting this on their own. The research being conducted is based upon using psychedelic medications in conjunction with psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, not solely using psychedelics. Extensive screening of subjects and months of pre and post counseling occur with this treatment. I do not offer psychedelic assisted psychotherapy at this time as it is illegal, but I do offer support and help with integration for those that have tried or are thinking about trying this on their own.
· Have you begun to practice meditation and but find yourself becoming more anxious or irritable?
· Have you had disturbing thoughts and feelings while meditating and you don't know if it's normal or not?
· Are you avoiding yoga because of past unpleasant experiences that have come up during your practice?
· Have certain poses brought up intense anxiety and panic?
Near Death Experience/Shamanic Journeying
· Have you had a near death experience that was so profound that you are afraid to talk about it for fear of judgment?
· Are you starting to experiment with shamanic journeying and finding yourself confused, scared or feeling like your entire belief system has been shaken up?
How common are these experiences? Am I the only one?
You aren't alone. People often have similar experiences but we tend to only hear about the positive experiences from people’s experimentation with psychedelic drugs, yoga/meditation, shamanic journeying, etc. Currently, there has been a resurgence in alternative methods of self-discovery, however not everyone has the same outcome and many suffer from not knowing how to integrate their experiences into day-to-day life. Many people have a preconceived expectation of how it “should” turn out, or what their experience "should" look like only to struggle with not knowing what to do with their less than positive, even traumatic, experience.
How can I help?
While I am not condoning the use of psychedelic medicines, I am trained in harm reduction and can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to share your questions and concerns about your experiences. I am a Transpersonal psychotherapist and I help people to explore beyond the self. I facilitate a monthly psychedelic integration group and have counseled many clients who have either experienced or are thinking about trying psychedelics for varying reasons.
I have also worked with many people who don't realize that one can experience altered states just from meditating. Meditation has grown in popularity and unfortunately not everyone is aware of some of the things that can happen during meditation. I've been meditating for many years and have experienced my own altered states. Any type of meditation or shamanic journeying can bring up unexpected experiences.
Because our mind and body have such a deep connection, moving the body through yoga can also stir things up. A certain pose can bring up memories of past events, or cause anxiety and panic that you might not understand. I am trained in several somatic approaches including Somatic Experiencing, Hakomi, and EMDR that can help process these body memories quite effectively.
You may still have questions or concerns about seeking out therapy for your altered or non-ordinary state experiences
Perhaps you fear that people will think that you're crazy. People have many different experiences during an altered state and therapy can be a way of processing and navigating these experiences in a safe and non-judgmental environment. The reality is that stuff happens and it does not necessarily mean that you're having a psychotic breakdown.
To be clear: I am not encouraging or prescribing use of psychedelics in therapy. It is illegal to do so. And it is not appropriate to show up for therapy while under the influence of psychedelics. I am here to assist you if you have sought out this type of non-ordinary state of consciousness on your own and are having trouble processing the experience. Psychedelics are in the news right now, being touted as the next great way to heal. While there is a lot of promise with regard to psychedelic assisted therapy, there's also a lot of inaccurate information and varying opinions. People are micro-dosing psychedelics or using psychedelics on their own to process past trauma, and this can be very dangerous. I am not here to scold or chastise you if you have sought out psychedelics to heal. I am offering a safe place for you to talk about it if you have and to help you understand and grow from your experience.