Why is integration important before and after plant medicine?
Working with psychedelics is about taking a journey into the non-ordinary state of consciousness which, as it sounds, is not what we normally know or understand as our usual consciousness or way of thinking. Integration helps us make meaning of the plant medicine experience. This is a process that is best to be started before and continued afterward to get the most out of the journey
As Anders Beatty at Ibogaine Counselling Services says “Recent studies by Johns Hopkins University and Imperial College London have revealed that psychedelics alter connectivity in a brain network known as the Default Mode Network, which sets the tone of the mental chatter that defines how we experience reality.”
“For this reason,” he continues, “indigenous cultures worldwide have always used visionary plants as tools to transform their internal narrative and elevate their sense of self. Critically, these native communities have spent centuries developing the ritual framework that is necessary in order to connect to the wisdom of these plants and access their healing power.”
The psychedelic journey starts now
And so, as the Way of the Leaf site states, the journey starts once you make the commitment to undergo the experience. “To begin with, the process includes identifying which aspects you wish to work on, discussing expectations, and setting goals. You should pay close attention to the set and setting for the trip. The set refers to ‘mindset’, intention and fostering a positive attitude before consuming a psychedelic. Setting refers to creating a safe, comfortable, and therapeutic environment for the trip to take place.”
“When you make this mental commitment, the challenging aspects of your life, personality, and identity may come to the surface. Working with an integration specialist before the trip can help you transform these difficult issues into thoughtful intentions to anchor your psychedelic experience.” says Psychedelic Passage.
Often, you are left with new perspectives and a wealth of information after the session. These experiences are usually multilevel, multidimensional, and psycho spiritual in nature. They can be so complex at times that it boggles the mind to try and sort it out by ourselves. We may be too close to see deeper meanings, not have knowledge of archetypes and deities to best interpret the visions, and the memory will fade like the contents of our nightly dreams if not intentionally worked through and mined for the nuggets of wisdom contained within.
Integration therapy afterward also key
Psychedelic integration after the journey is about the processing and making sense of all the realities experienced including working through any unexpected traumas, memories or feelings, to facilitate healing and live a more rich and meaningful live. Having someone guide your through the myriad of meanings helps you connect more deeply to yourself and spirit, and heal what needs to be healed.
As Brittany Bannerman and Janet Nielsen say at Soul Compass “We assist in transmuting the client’s experience into wisdom through meaning making and understanding the lessons provided so that they may be embodied in one’s day to day life.”
Whether it’s Ibogaine integration or another plant medicine, integration therapy helps you get the most out of these experiences and have the personal transformation you’ve hoped for.