Integration

“The psychedelic state itself can spark an opportunity for powerful growth, but it doesn’t automatically translate to changes in behavior in our daily life. To see lasting change, we need to have the support of what we call integration. Integration is the process of taking insights or teachings from altered states and incorporating them into our lives in ways that benefit us and our communities. It’s the way we translate symbolic material into concrete actions for personal betterment and healing.”

Emily Willow, psychedelic psychiatrist and clinical researcher at MAPS,

What is integration?

Integration is the process of weaving profound experiences into your day-to-day life - into your mind and body.  It proceeds in waves and isn't something to 'finish' but to return to. 
Without investing the time and attention to make sense of non-ordinary experiences, we may miss opportunities for change and growth that can support our well-being and happiness.  

Creating and stepping into new possibilities in our lives after profound experiences can be an exhilarating or daunting process.  Psychedelics push us outside of our comfort zones, often dissolving some of what we thought we knew to be undeniable truths. Integration offers an intentional process to make sense of engage with the questions and themes (emotional, spiritual, somatic, ecological, relational, etc.) that may have arisen. 

Integration is also a very individual and personal process.  Please consider the suggestion we offer here as some tools available to you in your journey.  

What are some strategies for integration?

Journaling

Slowing down and putting thoughts to paper (or a digital notepad) has been proven to help people process events.  These can be structured journaling sessions or free-form.  One powerful strategy is to write a letter to yourself -- it could be a part of your self, a past self, future self, an inner child, your higher self, etc. --- or to someone else.   

Some useful journal prompts:

Integration Circles

Integration Circle provide an opportunity to share and process your experiences in a group.  These typically run for 1-2 hrs and are hosted by coaches, therapists, guides, or psychedelic societies. 

Tahoe Psychedelic Society is often hosting integration circles.  Please check our events page to see if there is an integration circle that you can attend. 


Integration Therapy

A more 1:1 approach is to work with an integration therapist.  These are often therapists who have special training or experience related to psychedelics that provide them the ability to better relate to and help you process your experience.  Many sites offer vetted directories where you can find integration therapist. 


Embodiment and Movement

Our bodies are power tools and teachers for healing.  By tuning into our body through breathwork, meditation, yoga, massage, etc. we can hear messages our bodies are trying to send us. Embodiment and movement practices are a type of somatic healing that can ground, support, and enhance a psychedelic experience. 

Examples of this type of integration practice are body based meditations, dance, sensory awareness, yoga, and breathwork. With embodiment and movement, somatic psychology implies that major events must and can be processed through our sensory systems. 


Reference: https://unlimitedsciences.org/4-methods-of-psychedelic-integration/