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Classic psychedelics such as LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Ayahuasca, Mescaline, DMT, Cannabis etc, are considered very safe physically and extremely low risk for triggering mental health disorders.  People do sometimes have 'bad trips',  but most 'trips' are in general mainly positive although there may be some aspects of the journey some people can find uncomfortable or possibly distressing; and that can be for many different reasons.  'Set and Setting' -  as well as the substance used, will have the greatest influence over whether a trip will be a more positive than negative experience for someone. 


As the ever growing tourist trade for psychedelic retreats has increased I have over the last few years been contacted by a number of people for whom the psychedelic experience brought into consciousness unexpected material, such as unresolved childhood trauma or  unresolved grief.   Those for whom this happened have reported to me how they are reliving the emotional pain afresh and with similar intensity to when the event  originally occurred.  


The psychedelic experience is totally immersive, affecting each one of our senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch etc,) to variable degrees and intensity.  As an example of the sensory impact the psychedelic experience can have, it may in itself confront us with a our fear of death, which society has for the most part successfully kept hidden from us; and some people can feel terrified   Alternatively, people also report having experienced a degree of rapture that  was so all consuming they felt completely 'one' with God,  or Spirit, the Absolute, the Source.  


Some people  occasionally report how they have been feeling separated, disconnected from the known and familiar - internally and externally, since they used psychedelics. This type of post psychedelic experience symptom is referred to as depersonalization or derealization.   The good news is these symptoms are transient and disappear, typically, within a few days; or at most within a couple of weeks.  However, they can 'initially' feel very scary and a person may feel they will never get back to feeling 'normal' again.  


The above examples are reasons why it is important  that when people come away from their psychedelic experience  they have the proper support - they have access to someone they can talk to about how they are feeling in total privacy and know they are assured of confidentiality about what they disclose. (Please read my privacy notice).  This cannot be guaranteed in a group setting.


Psychedelic integration therapists are professionally qualified psychotherapist and counsellors who have personal experience of both using psychedelics and supporting others who use psychedelics  and, ideally, they will have received support themselves.   Additionally, they will be conversant with the effects a range of psychedelic substances/entheogens can have on both the human psyche (mind) and body (physiology) even if they have not used all of them personally.  


The psychedelic experience will often change a person and the degree of change can sometimes be perceived subjectively as being extremely positive or extremely negative.  It is important not to make any life-changing decisions in the immediate days and weeks - or months even, following a psychedelic experience.  A dialectical approach to examining your subjective experience can help to ground you and thereby reduce the risk of acting on impulse.


If you  feel that your psychedelic experience has had a major impact on your life, or a particular area of your life, to a degree you feel unable to function as you would like to, then perhaps one-to-one integration therapy is something you might wish to consider.