In today’s psychedelic landscape, there are many modern terms that have been coined to describe the various nuances of the psychedelic experience. The word journey is used to describe the experience of taking psychedelic substances because for many thousands of years, these substances were known to the world in a much different way than they have been in the last few hundred years. To those who have at least touched the wisdom of past civilizations which grew adept in their use, the word journey has been passed down as a term of metaphysical understanding and profound knowledge of the truth behind the experience.
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When one has gone on a journey such as a family vacation or spring break, one often returns with stories and perhaps even humorous or meaningful realizations to share which were gained on that journey. Sometimes in pondering the journey we gain even more insights about the experience and who we were within it, perhaps even who we wanted to be instead. This entire process represents the act of integrating the experience of the journey with who we are in the Now and adjusting ourselves in accordance with our realizations and insights. The act of integrating an experience actually comes naturally to human beings and is a part of our evolutionary growth process. So why do we need a coach to help us integrate our psychedelic experiences?
|”…the word journey has been passed down as a term of metaphysical understanding and profound knowledge of the truth behind the experience.”
As I mentioned above, it has only been a handful of centuries since the world largely lost touch with the metaphysical, a part of our existence that has been known about and studied for many thousands of years. In fact, metaphysical sciences are the direct origin of many of our modern sciences today. Though this is true, it is also the evolution of modern sciences that caused the world to ultimately lose its grip on the truth of metaphysical reality. But luckily even modern sciences have begun to find their way back to the metaphysical, which has always existed but has been difficult to prove and therefore just out of our reach. With the advent of quantum sciences and technological advances like Kirlian photography however, many people are making their way back to the understanding that life is more than meets the eye.
Flammarion’s historical graphic interpretation of man’s question for knowledge of the universe 1888. Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Flammarion.jpg
Though our collective knowledge base about the metaphysical is expanding, we are still barely just beginning to remember and understand the wisdom of the past on a large scale. It is not considered normal in most western households for instance, to interact with the metaphysical to the extent that they might speak with passed loved ones, see beings from other worlds, or simply see into their own past experiences which sometimes may have been forgotten until the journey brought them back to the memory. It is for this reason that coaches are becoming more and more available to assist with the integration process after a psychedelic journey.
|”Sometimes in pondering the journey we gain even more insights about the experience and who we were within it, perhaps even who we wanted to be instead.”
One critical aspect of finding the right psychedelic coach is to know why you need one in the first place. Sometimes an integration coach will be helping you process traumatic memories that came up during a journey, or perhaps you received a message about an important life lesson and need assistance figuring out how to apply it to your life. Possibly you still have questions about the journey or something that happened within it that you don’t have anyone to talk to about who you feel will understand. The long and short of it is that there are many reasons to work with an integration coach after a psychedelic journey or series of journeys and all those reasons are good and valid.
One additional important reason for integration and therapy worth mentioning is fear. While this is not always a common response, I have encountered several people that retained some fear and anxiety from experiences they had with heavy psychedelics, and which were not allayed through other more traditional therapy sessions. In some cases, people worried that they would not be able to get back to who they were before the journey. These individuals required information about the metaphysical experience that was relatable and understandable to allow them an opportunity for integration in a cohesive way so that they could embrace and accept their experience. In some cases, people see symbolism, objects, words, or beings that can give deep clues and more profound meaning to their journey, and which can bring a greater sense of peace or even information about their destiny. When individuals have experiences or feelings, they are not able to interpret or understand, but which can be explained and clarified with metaphysical knowledge, choosing an integration coach with a deep understanding of metaphysical aspects of journeying will be most helpful.
|”The long and short of it is that there are many reasons to work with an integration coach after a psychedelic journey or series of journeys and all those reasons are good and valid.”
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Now that you know what integration coaches are and the types of things they can help with, there is one more very important thing to know before going out to select one for your next integration therapy session. Since the popularity of psychedelics has increased and even become more legal in parts of the US, the western machine has dutifully pushed out new training and certification programs aimed at providing would-be coaches with certification. Though I would not say these programs are unhelpful, I would say they are not imperative. It is important to also know that they are not based on and do not teach the traditional shamanic practices that have typically characterized integration therapies for centuries. While knowing the science behind the experience of psychedelic activity in our brain can be quite beneficial and a great addition to psychology degrees and other formal training, nothing can truly replace the awareness gained by learning about the psychedelic experience from interaction with both the substances and seasoned facilitators. The essential advice here is that when you do choose your coach, be sure they have had experiences with psychedelics and possibly shamanic facilitators to go along with whatever certifications, degrees, or knowledge they offer as a foundation for therapy.
Ultimately integration coaching can be of great benefit to individuals who have undertaken the psychedelic journey. From processing traumatic memories to learning more about your soul’s destiny, profound and expansive vistas can be encountered through this type of therapy that are difficult to achieve with other methodologies. If you’ve been on the fence about trying integration therapy but are curious, look for a coach that offers a low cost or free discovery session that will allow you to meet them and see if their therapeutic approach is right for you. Best wishes for your future integrations!