Bridge Between Worlds: Psychology + Spirituality
Psychedelics are now gaining enormous popularity all over the world as agents of healing. Although it has its dangers, working with psychedelics can be one of the most rewarding, meaningful, and life-affirming aspects of a person's life.
In order to best use these potent medicines to their fullest potential in our modern world, we need to embrace a culture around psychedelics that includes integration work as an integral part of the healing process. This work acts as a bridge between worlds: our modern world of human psychology and the ancient world of spirits. Both are valid, and both must be tended to for sustainable growth to take root.
*Note: Somatic Spiritual Counseling does not facilitate access to controlled or prohibited substances. We provide harm reduction and integration support of intense or peak experiences.
* see video transcript below
+ the Nervous System
Some seekers partake with the intention of healing deep emotional wounds, some are just looking to have a good time. Yet without proper integration, these medicines can leave folks just as troubled, and sometimes even more so, then before. Even good experiences, if not properly integrated, can become simply a memory instead of a lived way of being.
The nature of psychedelics allows them to dive deep into a person’s psyche and pull wounds up to be witnessed and healed. Our body’s memories of past traumas rise to the surface to resolve the traumatic imprint that is still lingering in our nervous systems.
When this happens, the surfaced experiences can quickly become overwhelming. We might not even be aware of what is happening. When we are flooded with too much to process at one time, we lose touch with the present moment and are not able to fully metabolize what has come to light.
What often ends up happening is that things are left unfinished, and people walk away from the experience having had a positive or negative cathartic release, but lacking the tools or framework to integrate it properly. It’s like popping a cyst and draining it, but not taking care of it afterwards, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
How Can Psychedelic Integration Help?
The outcomes of integration are largely dependent on your intentions around working with psychedelics. That said, these medicines help open us up to a greater sense of being and wonder, as well as our own innate potential as humans. Some topics that frequently arise when working with psychedelic integration are:
safety + security
health issues (chronic pain, digestion, autoimmunity)
sense of personal + universal purpose
communication with plants, animals & spirits
What to Expect?
Psychedelic Integration is a newly emergent field, just starting to be recognized. Our approach in this work is holistic—meaning we will not only discuss the actual psychedelic experiences you have had, but also explore how these experiences weave into all other aspects of your lived experience.
For trauma resolution and integration, the best approach we have found is through somatic-based practices. We will focus on developing the foundation of a felt sense of safety and orient ourselves more deeply to our larger environment. Often, simply resourcing ourselves in an intentionally held space can help body sensations and any feelings that arise move through us, resolve, and release unfinished energy and emotions held in the body. Protectors, guides, and helpful spirits that we may already have a connection with through our psychedelic experiences can greatly aid in this process.
With strong rootedness in our body, we can then more safely and sustainably explore the higher levels of consciousness psychedelics opens us up to. Based on your natural strengths and abilities, we can work together to help you ground emergent spiritual qualities and abilities into this reality.
Psychedelic Integration F A Q
Do you facilitate psychedelic sessions with clients?
We do not. Partaking in psychedelics can be a profound and life-altering experience, and if you choose to walk this path, we strongly recommend doing so in a safe and nurturing space under the care of a skilled practitioner or trusted friend. Consciousness Medicine by Françoise Bourzat is an excellent resource to draw from in discerning the important elements of safety in a psychedelic space.
Does it matter what kind of psychedelics I have used?
In a word, yes. The kinds of psychedelics you have a relationship with will affect what plant or synthetic spirits you are connected to, what kind of information will come through, and how that information will be relayed. We have the most experience working with ayahuasca, mushrooms, san pedro, and cannabis. However, we are more than happy to work with clients interested in integrating experiences with LSD and other synthetics, as well as natural derivatives.
What if I haven’t taken psychedelics, but have an interest in doing so?
We always encourage people to do pre-integration work before engaging in a psychedelic experience. While we cannot legally encourage the use of psychedelics, we can say that it is certainly advisable to properly prepare for such an experience ahead of time.
Do I have to retell or relive the traumatic event/s to heal?
No, you do not. There are somatic-based methods of working with trauma that do not require the retelling or reliving of your past experiences. In fact, you do not necessarily even have to remember the experience to work it out of your body. If talking through a past experience or memory is something that you would like to do, however, that is certainly welcome.
I am ready to start . . . what is the next step?
Simply click the Get in Touch button and fill out the contact form. We will handle the rest.
Psychedelic Integration Video Transcript
Hi. This is Dara del Rio, and I’d like to talk a little bit here about psychedelic integration. So, if you’re on this page, you probably have some relationship with psychedelics. Maybe you’ve taken acid with your friends. Maybe you’ve been to Peru and worked with ayahuasca, or to Africa and worked with ibogaine. Maybe you just have an interest in this, and you’ve seen studies showing how ketamine, MDMA, LSD have all helped people expand their minds, heal from trauma, and move forward with finding their life’s purpose and mission. Whatever the case may be, psychedelic integration is a vital component of accessing the healing benefits of psychedelics.
So, what this looks like in practice is very similar to the other kind of work that Somatic Spiritual Counseling offers. Basically, we work in the body to resolve and to integrate experiences that you’ve had during psychedelics to bring a fuller sense of resolution, of embodiment, and of wisdom. So, whether you’re looking to have a psychedelic experience and you want some more guidance about how best to do that, or you’ve already had a lot of psychedelic experiences and you currently feel like you just have so much but maybe it’s not landing in your life, it’s not part of your daily life in quite the way you would like it to be, wherever you are on your journey with psychedelics, you’ve come to the right place.
And I hope to hear from you. I love talking about psychedelic integration. I think it’s a really important part of working with these medicines. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even though there are some legal issues in our culture, it is blossoming. It is a blossoming field, and so many of us are welcoming this aspect of consciousness into our lives. So, welcome, and hope to hear from you soon.
PREVIOUS PSYCHEDELIC INTEGRATION VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Hi. This is Dara with Somatic Spiritual Counseling. And in this video, I want to give you a little bit of information on psychedelic integration and its importance in the work that I do. If you have taken psychedelics before, you probably know that they’re really powerful. Some of us have had really positive experiences with psychedelics, and some of us have had really negative experiences with psychedelics, and some of us have had a mixture of both. And all of that is really normal.
What unites everyone’s experience with psychedelics is that it is big. It usually impacts us in a big way. Often, when I talk to people, and they’ve gone through different life experiences, this has happened to them, this has happened to them, they realized this, often, when they talk about their experience with psychedelics, whether it’s mushrooms or sometimes even cannabis, ayahuasca, LSD, ibogaine, MDMA, psilocybin, when they talk about those experiences, it usually has a weight and a gravity to it because it’s so significant, and it has impacted their life and how they view the world in such a significant way.
So, it’s important to take those experiences and make them into a larger part of our day-to-day living. When we have these big cathartic releases, whether they’re positive or negative, it can sometimes be really hard for the nervous system to integrate that into our momentary daily existence because it’s so apart from what our normal experience of reality is. So, the work with psychedelic integration is just that. It’s taking these experiences and digesting them slowly.
And what that process looks like is different depending, of course, on the nature of the experience you’ve had. But all of it is body-based. It’s based in somatic practices that help ground us, that help regulate us, that help titrate experiences that we’ve had into digestible, small bits of information, so that we can bring these altered states of consciousness into our day-to-day life and hopefully elevate our normal waking state of consciousness and, as a result, hopefully creating a deeper sense of connection with ourselves, in our interpersonal relationships with the natural world around us, and with the cosmos at large.
So, depending on the nature of the experience you’ve had, if you’ve had a traumatic imprint, a traumatic memory, or a feeling that lingers that feels bad, that feels unresolved in your system, that can be alleviated and assisted through the work of psychedelic integration. On the flipside, if you’ve had a really positive experience, where you felt really connected to the world or the universe in a way that you have never felt before, and it gave you the hope to live, it gave you a sense of purpose and a sense of meaning, that’s also something that needs to be integrated and titrated into our day-to-day lives to create a more grounded space for carrying that information and that wisdom forward.
So, that’s a little bit about psychedelic integration. I have more information on this subject and the emergent field in blog posts that are listed on this page. This page has a lot of valuable information as well. If any of this resonates with you, feel free to contact us using our contact form. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to hear what your experiences have been and how they’ve impacted you. So, thank you for watching, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.