Backpacking

Things to keep in mind

Expectation management

  • It is likely that you will not get the experience that you expect.

  • Don't believe (all) the stories; because it is both essentially impossible to put into words and hard to sufficiently respect the highly individual nature of the psychedelic experience, other peoples accounts of their experiences are rarely anything like the way you experience yours. As convincing as their accounts may sound.

  • Psilocybin truffles are not a magic pill and most likely will not cure your problem in one or two sessions. But they can help you make an invaluable step forward.

  • You will most likely have to make active changes in your day to day life to maintain the benefits of your experience (but you may find that those changes turn out to be very fun to make :).

  • It is likely that your symptoms will slowly return in time (but probably with a slightly different quality). This is why we focus on developing a healthy relationship with them.

  • Even a beneficial experience may be very difficult at times.

  • The therapeutic effort will determine at least as much of the lasting positive outcomes of the experience as the Psilocybin truffles.

  • Your trip may be a purely physical experience with little or even no particularly strong emotions; or you may have a purely emotional one with little else going on, it may be a purely cognitive one with very little noteworthy emotions or physical experiences, or you may have a very spiritual experience. Don’t try to predict what you will get and know that all types can be equally beneficial.

  • Mystical experiences are not common nor are they necessarily crucial for helping you with your specific problem (*).


(*) The idea of the crucial value of a mystical experience is based on Roland Griffiths’ research at the Johns Hopkins University where 60% of the 36 participants had what can be classified as a ‘Full mystical experience’ based on The Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) (developed by Pahnke) and that two months later, 79% of subjects reported moderately or greatly increased well-being or life satisfaction compared to the control group.

Our concerns are that you may not have the same benefit from a mystical experience. This research was based on a group of healthy test subjects that all had active spiritual practices and were ‘hallucinogen-naive’ (no previous experience). You can imagine that for a healthy person with a spiritual mindset and no experience with the power of psychedelics such a mystical experience will be incredibly inspiring and have a great positive effect on their lives.

However, if you are struggling with a serious problem like depression and are not interested in spirituality, even if you have a mystical experience it in itself may not help you much. You may be more interested... in improving your depression. Having said that, every one's problems are unique and so are their paths towards healing. So it may be that you dó have a mystical experience and it somehow helps you understand your problem in a way that helps you take care of it better. 

Note also that 40% of the subjects did nót have a mystical experience even though they had an active spiritual practice.

We would also like to point out that even though the participants were carefully prepared to minimise the chance of difficult experiences (this was one of the reasons why participants with an active spiritual practice were chosen) some admitted extreme anxiety or other unpleasant effects during their experience. And I assume that after proper integration and help seeing the value of this struggle at least some of those were among the 79% of the subjects that reported an increase in wellbeing.

 

Our approach

We deeply  agree with the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) approach to psychedelic assisted therapy of not using a cognition focused model of psychotherapy but one focussed on working with the subconscious. Just as MAPS, we base our way of working strongly on the two psychotherapeutic models called IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Hakomi (Hakomi mindfulness based somatic psychotherapy). What these models share with each other and what sets them both apart from conventional models like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is that they do not aim at understanding your behaviour in order to help you manage your actions but they aim at investigating the subconscious drives and beliefs that govern our behaviour from just beyond our awareness. So we will not be diagnosing your behaviour, pathologize or try to teach you how to manage the way you behave. By connecting to and investigating the subconscious messages of your system you will get a first hand account of what is happening and alive in your system and why instead of a (however well-informed) interpretation from us or any other specialist.

Because our subconscious mind communicates through body sensations, emotions, memories, images and imagination that is what we will be focussing on. The psilocybin truffles, because of their psychedelic power of connecting us to the subconscious mind, greatly magnifies the potency of this approach. Interestingly, once you can connect deeply to what is alive in your subconscious mind and get your first hand account of what is alive there, driving your behaviour and your feelings, insights and understanding come naturally and almost as a by-product of this method. In addition to the investigative nature of these two models they both provide tools to help relieve the deep seated emotional tension and pain that we find in the subconscious mind. 

And this is effective; IFS is evidence based, is growing steadily and so is the scientific support for its principles. And the results of the MAPS trials speak for themselves.

Apart from amplifying our therapeutic work the psilocybin truffles also bring their own unique kind of support that is still barely understood by (western) science. This introduces a mysterious element that forces and/or allows us to let go of some or all of our preconceived ideas and knowledge and humbly adjust to the process as it unfolds. But it also allows the process to heal in ways that we alone cannot.

 

©2019 by Therapeutic Sitting Service.