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Offlinetomk
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Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 1,559
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Psychedelic-mediated therapy among non-psychologists
    #3874619 - 03/05/05 10:14 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

OK I had a question. First a preamble. A lot of us like turning other people on to psychedelics. I know I do, I got thirteen people during the season. A lot of the good potential that comes from psychedelics comes from it's potential to induce a sort of spiritual crisis where the user can confront issues in their psychology, like PTSD, addiction, etc. However, to make the most of this positive potential in these substances, issues of set and setting, as well as guiding are important.

My question is this. As someone who likes turning people on, and usually trips with them when they use, how can I improve myself so as to better be able to support first time trippers dealing with this sort of crisis. Because the psychedelics create such an open state, the tripper is very vunerable, and I want to be better able to support new people who are experiencing this. In particular, I am looking for psychological ideas to help further development. I am not a psychologist, but I've read a lot of psychology on my own, and would consider myself equivelent to maybe a really smart 3rd year psychology undergrad with an emphisis on the bio-psychology and the existential stuff. I feel pretty confident guiding people now, but I've been talking to some people who are interested in using for psychological reasons. I have one friend who is horribly OCD, and another who falls into addictive patterns of behavior. Both these people feel psilocybin could hold potential, but it's not like they can get referred to a psychologist for it, and I'm better then nothing. But, I want to learn more about how to go about using these substances in these ways before I try and support them at that. Any comments, anecdotes, suggestions on readings (available online preferably), things not to do, ideas, warnings, etc would be appreciated.

If there is a huge response I could compile the information from our collective hivemind into a resource that could help others in this way. Thanks.


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"I am eternally free"


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Offlinedelta9
Active Ingredient
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Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 5,390
Loc: California
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Re: Psychedelic-mediated therapy among non-psychologists [Re: tomk]
    #3874973 - 03/05/05 11:28 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

If you haven't already read them, check out erowid's psychedelic crisis FAQ and section 7 (the guide) of erowid's psychedelic experience FAQ. I have found both to be full of solid advice and feel I am better able to cope with the handling of new trippers to ensure that they feel safe and comfortable, even in the deepest hell of their ego.


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delta9


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Offlinecherokee
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Registered: 10/25/02
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Re: Psychedelic-mediated therapy among non-psychologists [Re: tomk]
    #3876762 - 03/06/05 12:36 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Try and find people that are emotionally stable enough to handle the trips themselves. It's my opinion that if you're the right kind of person for a psychedelic trip that you should be able to steer your way through the confusion. But there always is the possibility of things getting out of hand. In these cases the best thing you can do is just be supportive of the person and change your surroundings to best satisfy the person.


Also, keep in mind that some people are in no condition for a trip, considering where their life might be at the moment. Someone who has never indulged will be unable to tell if they are prepared for a trip or not, that's your responsiblity and it's a rather large one at that. Which is why I have stopped tripping with unexperienced people, as most americans are very mentally unhealthy.


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Offlinewjames
Phenomenologist

Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 185
Loc: Europe
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: Psychedelic-mediated therapy among non-psychologists [Re: tomk]
    #3882164 - 03/07/05 12:50 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Keep in mind that what you suggest is not without controversy. Clearly not everyone who believes they are competent to serve as a psychedelic "guide" is in fact competent.

Formally trained psychologists and psychologists learn first and foremost: "don't confuse your sh*t with the client's sh*t." It can take years of practice, much of it with a supervisor reviewing your tapes, before you learn this. It doesn't come naturally. Even in shamanic cultures, nobody presumes to practice without a lot of *supervised* training.

Also, practicing psychology without a license is illegal. All it takes is for one person to complain to your local state board.

But if your post is really asking about how *you* can become a better person yourself, including, perhaps, engaging and productively handling your own spiritual crises (not other peoples!), then I have a suggestion: study Jung. A well-regarded general introduction is Murray Stein's, "Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction."

Some specific comments follow:

> Because the psychedelics create such an open state, the tripper is very vunerable,

Right

> and would consider myself equivelent to maybe a really smart
> 3rd year psychology undergrad

which might qualify one to, say, volunteer at on a telephone help hotline, but not to do psychotherapy.

> some people who are interested in using for psychological reasons. > I have one friend who is horribly OCD, and another who falls into

Are they seeing a professional? Even though a therapist won't give them psilocybin, they can help in other important ways. There are plenty of therapists out there who will talk to people about and help make sense of their drug experiences.

> and I'm better then nothing.

How do you know? This is precisely the humility that formal training in psychotherapy or shamanism would give.


Edited by wjames (03/07/05 01:00 PM)


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