Disclaimer: The author, Melissa McWalter, is not endorsing the recreational use or illegal therapeutic use of psychedelics.
Various psychedelic and psychedelic-like substances have entered the arena as effective treatments for depression, PTSD, OCD and other serious conditions. Psychedelics have also been found to assist in end-of-life transitions. In South Africa, Ketamine is now used legally in psychiatric settings, although it is not yet commonplace. Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) is not yet legal in South Africa, yet it is commonly used outside of medical settings for recreational or spiritual purposes.
The richness of the psychedelic experience is most often lost due to poor or inadequate preparation and/or solid integration. Psychedelic Integration Therapy allows one to psychologically, physiologically, practically and spiritually prepare for their journey as well as understand and integrate the significant images, themes and experiences that emerge. Psychedelic integration means that the gift of the journey is recognised and woven into everyday life as well as the fabric of the psyche. Most often, the journey continues into a larger, more purposeful journey in the integration work afterwards.
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy or Integration Therapy requires a commitment to gaining deeper self-knowledge and a desire to step into the unknown. Pleasant experiences or ‘good trips’ do not dictate whether meaning can be integrated (see this post). Suffering or difficult experiences often illuminate the unknown and quicken consciousness.
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy or Integration Therapy should always be undertaken when there is a history of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, other mental health issues and/or difficult life situations or transitions, such as loss or divorce. It is also advised for those seeking self-exploration and personal development at a deeper level, those who are wanting to safely maximise the opportunity provided by psychedelics.
For more information about psychedelic integration therapy in Cape Town, South Africa, click here.
[To find out about psychedelic-type guided experiences that are substance-free, click here.]
Psilocybin (‘magic mushrooms’) is not yet legal in South Africa but many individuals and groups experiment with it nevertheless. Unfortunately, these sessions are frequently facilitated in less than optimal, sometimes dangerous, conditions by guides who have little to no knowledge as to how to best contain and safely optimise such a powerful experience. As a general rule, if you do intend on exploring psilocybin, it would be most effective to take the time to prepare for the journey and integrate the material that emerges in therapy/guidance sessions afterward.
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