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Psychedelic Integration

Break through personal barriers and explore your self—and the world—through new perspectives

Why Psychedelics?

Mind-altering plants and compounds have been used for thousands of years, more recently finding their way into modern clinical settings. Some areas they have demonstrated benefit:

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Depression and anxiety

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Alcoholism and addictions

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Reconnecting to emotions

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Releasing trapped grief

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Childhood trauma

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Fear of death; end of life

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Spirituality and 'waking up'

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Rewiring old habits

N

Inner child work

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Identity and authenticity

Media such as Michael Pollan’s How To Change Your Mind has created great excitement about psychedelics and healing. Thrive wants to meet this enthusiasm with realistic caution, helping to educate the public on when psychedelics are and are not a good idea.

Possibly Recommended

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Willing to view healing as a process that takes time and patience

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Can commit to planning and followup counselling sessions

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Have a safe support network

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Can afford to invest in yourself

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Basic level of emotional stability

Not

Recommended

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People looking for a 'quick fix' that bypasses therapy

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Desperation or last resort

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Psychosis, Bipolar I or II or Cluster B diagnoses

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Current use of antidepressants

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Basing expectations off a book or TV

Psychedelic Therapy Vancouver Room Setup with comfy sofas.

Want to explore if psychedelics may be safe and effective in the case of your own healing?

Contemporary research is helping us to know when and for whom psychedelics are safe and appropriate

How Do Psychedelics Affect the Brain?

The habits of how we think and feel across our whole lives start as early as when we are in the womb. With age, these patterns of emotion and identity tend to become very fixed and rigid. What happens if our emotional momentum is guided by traumatic memories? Is there a way to steer ourselves off a path of anxious and depressive symptoms that respond to events that aren’t even happening anymore?

Psychedelics may present hope. In many cases, safe and well planned use of psychedelics can help to interrupt deeply practiced neural-patterns, creating the opportunity to ‘rehearse’ new ways of being—thoughts, emotions and actions based on safety, connection and purpose. 

The process by which this happens is not as simple as ordinary western thinking (i.e., take the right drug and cure the symptoms). In fact, the mechanism by which psychedelics have healed people for millenia is still not well understood.

 

One modern theory has to do with how psychedelic treatment may deactivate our stubborn, fear-based storytelling—created in part by the brain’s Default Mode Network—allowing us to write a new story.

Other research focuses on the rapid growth of new brain cells in the prefrontal cortex—the area that regulates and calms emotion. Termed neuroplastogens, psychedelics are now in a new era of rigorous scientific study, helping us to better understand them. This is incomplete research however, as we don’t know clearly yet when and where it’s beneficial to grow brain cells.

At Thrive, we consider the most important aspect of change in the use of psychedelics the process of letting go, surrender and learning to quit fighting our emotions. This has been supported by Johns Hopkin’s researcher Matt Johnson who proposes change happens when individuals give up fighting to regulate the anxiety they spend most of their lives fighting. The relief of releasing control paradoxically allows the completion of years of traumatic grief that we weren’t safe to process when we were younger and more vulnerable.

 

If you are in an appropriately ready place, educated use of psychedelics may help to restore the safety and possibility of the present

Thrive’s Stance

We observe that when used safety, psychedelics can be transformative. Evidence shows us that recreational use has only a fraction of the benefit when compared to therapeutic use.

Don’t be surprised, however, if we actively discourage the use of psychedelics. We are most concerned with determining when psychedelics are and aren’t safe and effective. As a result, we tend to suggest holding off for a fair amount of people inquiring (often for reasons of rushing the process, desperation or severe anxiety that may risk worsening of symptoms).

For those assessed to be in a safe and ready spot, we assist you to minimize risks and explore best practices in using psychedelics as part of your healing journey.

The insights, behaviour changes and lifestyle shifts after the trip are where most of the actual change happens

The symbolic experiences of psychedelics are often hard to translate to the real world, and over time can fade until they become like a half-forgotten dream.

Psychedelic Integration refers to the therapy that happens after a trip. It describes the process of turning psychedelic journeys into meaningful life change that lasts long after the trip.

We consider it irresponsible and ill-advised to take transformational doses of psychedelics without a plan for integration. Our therapists are here to help you ground your trips into practical change.

Three keys for integration work

Body Experiencing

Emotional Processing

Making Sense Of The Trip

Are Psychedelics Appropriate In My Healing?

If you are willing to commit to planning and integration sessions, understand that healing requires patience and learning to connect to your body, and understand it is possible we will recommend that you don’t take psychedelics, we would love to hear from you.

Want to learn more?