Psychedelic Integration Coaching
Psychedelics – due to a new wave of scientific research initiated in 2006 by Johns Hopkins University’s Centre for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and the explosion in media attention that followed in part by the publication of Michael Pollan’s international bestselling book How to Change your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, combined with the fact that “millions of users worldwide consume psychedelic substances [outside of therapeutic settings] without serious mental health problems.” (Krebs & Johansen, 2013 as cited by Jungaberle et al., 2018), it seems as if everybody and their mum is coming out of the closet to tell the world how they’ve benefited from their psychedelic experiences.
Whether it’s a one-off high-dose trip back in the day or regular micro dosing in Silicon Valley, the anecdotal evidence for the positive effects of using psychedelics to change your life for the better is strong and the science is catching up fast. Just take a look at these brain scans from Petri et al. (2014) and Carhart-Harris et al. (2016) which show stable brain activity in a normal brain on the left and a connection points in the brain under the influence of psilocybin. From this and similar studies we have learned that brain regions that do not normally communicate with each other become strongly linked under the influence of psychedelics. Imagine the possibilities for outside-the-box thinking, creative problem solving and perspective shift.
I can also recommend this “comprehensive review of research literature on psychedelics, for the lay person” which includes a chapter on How Psychedelics Improve Well-being.
If psychedelics in combination with a limited number of therapy sessions can cure hard-to-treat depression, free addicts from long-term substance abuse and take away cancer patients’ fear of dying through inducing powerful shifts in perspective and consciousness, opening up new ways of thinking and increasing our capacity to relate to ourselves, others and the world imagine the potential benefits for those largely free from disease and disorder but eager to change, grow and improve themselves personally and professionally – which is the demographic that would typically go to seek a coach.
Psychedelic coaching already exists and is rapidly growing in popularity. Given the powerful potential of these substances I believe it’s important that seasoned professionals offer this service, as otherwise I fear that clients may either experiment on their own in unsafe environments or work with unqualified practitioners who spotted a lucrative gap in the market.
Coaching, in comparison to therapy, is generally a much more structured and interactive conversation and usually focused on creating positive outcomes and tangible results for clients who are quite able to deal with everyday life and work but who have a desire to grow, learn, understand and develop themselves.