Psychedelic Passage co-founder, Nicholas Levich, joins David Flores, CEO of Global Trac Solutions, on the Psychedelic Spotlight podcast.
David interviews Nicholas to discover the role of a psychedelic guide, the responsibilities involved, and to understand how guides can help individuals on their journey towards self-exploration, healing, and personal growth.
In this engaging conversation, David and Nicholas discuss the distinction between a trip sitter and a guide, the importance of preparation and integration, and the unique support system a guide offers to individuals.
They also explore the different paths one can take to become a psychedelic guide, emphasizing the significance of personal experience and hands-on training in this field.
As the conversation unfolds, they address the concept of a “bad trip” and how guides can help individuals navigate challenging experiences by providing preparation, education, and co-regulation.
They highlight the crucial role of building a meaningful and safe connection between a guide and the journeyer, allowing for trust, vulnerability, and effective support throughout the psychedelic journey.
While the focus of psychedelic guiding often revolves around healing trauma, David and Nicholas explore how guides can assist individuals in various areas, such as spiritual exploration, self-exploration, addiction recovery, and breaking patterns. They highlight the power of intention, surrendering expectations, and the transformative potential of plant medicines.
Psychedelic Spotlight – “Ask a Psychedelic Guide ft. Nick Levich”
David: This is the Psychedelic Spotlight podcast, and I’m your host, David Flores, CEO of Global Trac Solutions. And with me here today is a familiar face to the Psychedelic Spotlight podcast. He is Nick Levich.
He is the cofounder and facilitator at Psychedelic Passage, and he’s here to join us as part of our Ask a Psychedelic Professional series that we are doing here on the podcast, this one being titled Ask a Psychedelic Guide.
We’re very happy to have Nick here with us given his background and expertise as a psychedelic guide. And so, with that, Nick, welcome back to the podcast. How are you doing today?
Nick: Thanks, Dave. I’m doing wonderful. How are you?
David: Very good. I’m doing very good, and excited to jump into these questions. We put these questions out there through our different social media channels, and I want to thank everyone out there that took the time to participate by submitting their questions.
We got some good ones in here, and so we’re going to cover as many of them as we possibly can. But before we get started, just to appease the legal teams here, got to read off a couple of disclaimers.
First one being, Psychedelic Passage does not provide psychoactive or controlled substances, nor are they licensed therapists, counselors, or medical professionals. They are not spiritual guides or scientists. They are a harm reduction company, and they do not provide referrals to underground or illegal psychedelic services.
Any information received through their services, including this podcast, should be considered for educational purposes and not be misconstrued as medical or legal advice. Please use your discretion to ensure their services meet your needs.
Global Trac Solutions, Inc., and Psychedelic Spotlight do not in any way encourage or condone the use, purchase, sale, or transfer of any illegal substances, nor do we encourage or condone partaking in any unlawful activities. We support a harm reduction approach for the purpose of educating and promoting individual and public safety.
If you are choosing to use psychedelic substances, please do so responsibly, and under the care or supervision of a licensed medical physician. The information and viewpoints shared in this podcast are for informational purposes only and should not in any way be considered medical advice. All right, [chuckles] now that we got– [crosstalk]
Nick: That was mouthful.
David: Yeah, it was. But now we got them out of the way, we can dive into these questions. So, I guess the first one is probably the best place to start as, what does a psychedelic guide really mean?
So, maybe with that, you can provide the answer to that direct question, but also little details in terms of just everything involving a psychedelic guide, and what it really means and what the responsibilities are.
What is The Role of a Psychedelic Guide?
Nick: Yeah. From my perspective, it’s important to differentiate between a trip sitter and a guide. And so, the way that a
A trip sitter is really someone that just sits with you along your side through the experience itself. Whereas a guide is much more focused on the preparation, the in-person facilitation, and then the integration on the backend.
So, it really encompasses this sandwich of prep and integration around the psychedelic experience itself. And so, what this really provides is a far more encompassing support system for the journeyer, as opposed to just literally sitting with them for the experience itself.
David: Very cool. Okay. And so, another question that we got here is, if someone is interested in becoming a psychedelic guide, is there a path for that or where do you recommend someone to start? This person also says, obviously, personal experience plays into it. Maybe you want to touch on that as well. But are there any ways to get involved beyond just personal experience?
What’s the Path to Becoming a Psychedelic Guide?
Nick: Yes. This is a really great question, and the answer to this question is going to be ever changing. We’re in a very interesting place right now where the only legal
is in the state of Oregon, and it’s honestly pretty unclear what the qualifications are going to be to be a facilitator there. They’re still working through all of that.
And so, I think ultimately what this means is you have a number of different routes available to you. The way that I see it is there’s going to be this spectrum between medical professionals and clinicians doing things their way, and then you’re going to have the spiritual guides and medicine men doing things their way, and then there’s everything in between. And so, to me, this is really a question of which approach resonates with you.
Undoubtedly, personal experience is a must, but then there also does need to be, from my perspective, some sort of training. So, for instance, for me, that was through multiyear apprenticeship with someone who does this work professionally. But that’s not the only path available.
And so, I think it’s just important to recognize what calls to you. For some people, going and getting a psychology degree is going to make the most sense. For other people, apprenticing is going to make more sense. For other people, taking a course is going to make sense.
There’s a lot of different courses through Synthesis, and UNCA, and these different companies that are putting together very robust offerings. I think it’s really up to you as the person who’s going to be making this your life’s work to choose a path that resonates with you.
I think there must be hands-on experience, both as a journeyer and a facilitator, because there’s a certain amount of this work that just doesn’t translate well through like PowerPoints or classroom style settings. You can certainly address certain things through that mechanism of learning that way, but there really is no substitute for hands on.
The other thing is, anyone that does this work is eventually going to realize that your own healing plays a big role in this, because part of what we’re doing as a guide is holding presence, holding nonjudgmental space for the journeyer.
Part of that means clearing your own slate, so that you’re not bringing your own stuff into their experience. And so, for me, that’s one of the unspoken parts of being a guide that we don’t really talk about. And so, for me, that’s just as important as this concept of qualifications.
It’s like, “Okay, well, what are you doing to–? What does your own healing practice look like?” And to me, those are very important questions that often get overlooked because that’s where these issues of transference and countertransference come into play, where you’ve got this weird enmeshing between the guide and the journeyer. It’s not always pretty if there’s not this awareness around that possibility.
David: Yeah, there’s no question about that. I think that flows into this next question here. I think a lot of what the work that a psychedelic guide, at least from my perspective, and what you’ve created here and why I think it’s such an important service and offering is it’s really all about creating a safe and responsible environment which is so important.
That doesn’t, of course, prevent the potential of a bad trip, we use the word “bad trip”, from happening. But I know there’s a lot of people out there, and I’ve spoken with them, that the reason why they’re maybe a little shy or scared to try psychedelics is because of that potential to have a bad trip.
With that, how are you prepared, as a psychedelic guide, to deal with a situation like that if someone is maybe going through a certain challenge or experience that isn’t pleasant, let’s put it that way. How are you helping them through that? And are you reaching into your own personal experience in situations like that to help a person get through it?
How do Psychedelic Guides Prepare for Their Role?
Nick: Definitely. It’s really hard to help someone through something if you haven’t been through it yourself. And the thing with the bad trip, you’re right, so many people avoid these experiences out of this fear of a bad trip.
I think it’s important to clear up this kind of what we mean by a bad trip, first of all. And so, from my perspective, there really isn’t a bad trip. There is discomfort, there is challenge, there is these hurdles baked into the psychedelic experience that really are forcing us to overcome our own trauma, our own wounds.
It requires basically staring them straight in the face. That’s not always very comfortable. And so, the way that we prepare journeyers for this process is through preparation.
From my perspective, a bad trip is mitigated in preparation, as opposed to trying to mitigate it as it’s actually happening. And so, what we do when we work with clients in our preparation sessions is we explain to them that this stuff is a possibility that this arises.
For instance, we’ll tell people, “You can pretty much assume that anything that you’ve been suppressing or repressing is going to bubble to the surface. And if you have that awareness prior to going into the experience, then you’re not caught off guard by it.”
To me, the most common scenario in which we see bad trips arise is when people aren’t prepared for some of these universal themes that come up in psychedelic experiences, right?
So, there’s things like ego death, energetic releases, confronting your skeletons in the closet, having experiences of divinity, these aha moments, all of these things. If you’re not aware that that’s a common part of the experience, then you’re caught off guard, then you’re surprised, then you’re questioning the whole thing.
You don’t understand what’s happening. And so, the best thing I can do is prepare you for that ahead of time, so that when you actually get to that fork in the road or that part of your journey, you go, “Oh, we talked about this. I now have a tool to work through this experience with a bit more grace.” And so, that’s really how we approach it.
If someone’s actually going through one of these releases or reliving a traumatic experience, we really rely on this concept of co-regulation, which means that with two humans in a room, if I’m holding this frequency of everything’s okay, everything’s all right, you’re safe, protected, you’re not judged, I’m here for you, they feel that.
There is this capacity to co-regulate between their anxiety or their discomfort, and then my stability, my presence, my holding this frame of everything’s okay. And in fact, I encourage those releases.
So, I’m like, “Yes, that’s perfect, get it all out.” That gives them permission to just fall apart, because so often that’s what we need in order to put the puzzle pieces back together in a way that actually serves us.
David: Yeah. So, you mentioned giving someone that space where they feel comfortable enough to, as you put it, fall apart. I think that’s important, because that’s what a lot of this is about.
It’s about breaking down barriers, breaking down the ego, and getting to a point where you can confront some of these traumatic events and emotions within you that otherwise you’ve never been able to really fully immerse yourself and confront. But on that, how important is it for someone–? This ties into a question that we received here.
How important is it for the person that is going to experience a psychedelic journey to have a meaningful and perhaps, spiritual connection, if you will, with their guide going into something like this, knowing how personal it may get, and those barriers that need to come down? How important of a connection do you need to have here between the guide and the person going on a journey?
How Can You Tell if A Psychedelic Guide is a Good Fit?
Nick: Yeah, this is a wonderful question. We’ve dedicated an entire page of our website just to this kind of vetting process, because the guide is vetting you as a journeyer, just as much as you should be vetting the guide. It’s truly a good fit for both parties going both directions, because if that feeling isn’t mutual, you can pretty much assume that as a journeyer.
If there’s any hint of discomfort or question that this is the person I want to sit with, you’re not going to be able to fully open up, to be fully vulnerable with what arises. There’ll always be that little part of you that’s hanging on going, “Oh, I don’t know if I picked the right person. I don’t know if this is someone I want to open up with.”
So, everyone has a different level of spirituality and what that means to them. And so, for me, it’s not about getting hung up on that word. You’ll find guides that are “not spiritual,” and you’ll find guides that are spiritual.
From my personal experience, it’s hard to separate some of these experiences from these existential questions. But really what we’re talking about here is, do you feel good with this person? When you leave the consult or the interview process, do you feel seen, do you feel heard, do you feel respected?
If you leave that encounter feeling worse than you went in or icky in your gut, that’s a sign. Even if mentally, you can’t articulate what the issue is, listen to your body and your body will tell you, “Ooh, that felt really good. That person gets where I’m at and has a very realistic approach for how this is going to go, or I just didn’t resonate with that person.”
You have to honor that intuition from my perspective, because it is telling you what you need to know. And so, that rapport between your guide really is important. You’re relying on them to facilitate this journey for you. Well, you’re in a very altered state.
You’re susceptible, you’re vulnerable, you’re dealing with your most delicate elements of your psyche. And so, if you don’t have true comfort around them, it’s kind of a recipe for disaster.
David: Yeah, I agree. This brings me to my next question here, and that is, what is Psychedelic Passage? What are you guys doing to bring in guides that come from all walks of life?
And more specifically, I think this really resonated with me in a conversation that I was having with Rabbi Zac Kamenetz not long ago, the subject of Jewish trauma came up, and the importance of being able to connect with a guide.
Obviously, if you’re with a guy that doesn’t understand something like Jewish trauma or whatever it may be, you talk about people of color, folks from all walks of marginalized communities, that’s very specific when you really start to drill down into it.
How important is it for Psychedelic Passage to ensure that there are guides again from all walks of life, so that people can find someone that they can connect with?
What is Psychedelic Passage?
Nick: Yeah. So, what I want to stress here is that, even if it’s not us, you will find a guide who will meet you where you need to be met. It’s not about trying to convince someone that we’re the best or that our service is for you.
It’s about saying, “Look, what this is really about is understanding that there is this abundance mentality.” There is a guide that will meet you where you need to be met. And so, whether you’re focusing on ancestral trauma or you fall into the BIPOC category and want someone who knows what that struggle is like, you’re warranted in asking for what you need in a guide as a journeyer.
So, if there’s an element that’s really important to you, like, “I need to journey with a female facilitator,” or, “I need to journey with a non-binary gender person,” all of that is available to you, that it just becomes part of your criteria. And so, don’t settle for the first guide you speak to.
Talk to a couple and see what really resonates with those who’ve been through some of your struggles. And so, for instance, right now, it’s myself and my cofounder, Jimmy. We have different backgrounds. He’s an Asian-American.
He deals with unique things that I don’t. He’s been diagnosed with depression. I haven’t. So, we have these unique parts of our personal story that allow us to serve different people in different capacities.
David: Yeah. No, most definitely. I think we may have touched on this in our first podcast recording a couple of months ago, but I want to dive a little deeper into this, because there was a question presented here.
The concept of a psychedelic guide is not necessarily new. I had a conversation with Mike ‘Zappy’ Zapolin a few months ago, and he had mentioned that back in the like, Grateful Dead concerts, “Somebody would be there designated, so to speak, if someone was experiencing a trip and maybe it was not going accordingly, but someone there to help walk that person through that experience.”
So, I think a lot of that is what we’re seeing here. But now as psychedelics become a little more mainstream, I guess, if you want to say more people are gaining curiosity surrounding them.
And of course, as the potential benefits associated with psychedelics become far more clear than they’ve ever been before, you have more people out there now looking to, again, experiment with them, which is fantastic, I think.
But with that, when we talk about someone going through a psychedelic experience or journey, there’s a level of vulnerability that they are subjected to during that time. How are you making sure that people in that state of vulnerability are in a safe space, they are taken care of?
Because I would imagine so much of this is about going into an experience and a journey, feeling safe with that person. So, what steps are being taken prior to that to make sure that someone is going to be safe throughout their entire journey?
How to Prepare for a Psychedelic Experience
Nick: Yeah. So, this is really a multi-step process as opposed to just like, we do four things. So, the way that I look at it is like, we start our vetting process the second we have an initial consultation with someone, and we can gain a lot of information from just that first interaction. What are you already doing as far as your healing practices going?
What have you already tried? What’s causing you to turn towards psychedelics? What got you to hear? So then, we have a backstory. And then, we explain to them how we work, and if that meshes with what they’re looking for, okay, great. We pass that hurdle.
Then the next step is, we send them a screening and intake form, so we understand their medical history, what they’re bringing into the experience to make sure that all parties are safe. We feel safe, they feel safe, all these different factors are getting taken into account.
And so, then from there, we move into preparation and that’s where we address their concerns, their anxieties, their fears, and we equip them with tools to move through the experience with. And all of that occurs before we even get to the in-person experience.
And so, there’s this huge difference between eating acid at a festival, and all of a sudden, you’re like, “Oh s**t, I need help,” and you go to the harm reduction tent, and they do the best they can, but they don’t have the backstory.
They really don’t understand where you’re coming from and what you need. Not to say, this is not a strike against harm reduction at festivals. It’s simply just highlighting the difference between a one-on-one guided journey, and all the steps leading up to that, and then an impromptu harm reduction visit.
David: Right. So much of this is avoiding that impromptu experience, and actually planning ahead of time, which I think is so important. But with all of this, I think a lot of the focus typically is around healing trauma, which of course is very important.
But I would imagine there are folks that you work with that perhaps are maybe focused on some other things. Maybe it’s looking to improve confidence within themselves. Now it may be tied to some elements of trauma associated with their past or with their life.
But maybe aside from just focusing on the trauma aspect of it, what other benefits, I guess, can someone get from having a psychedelic guy present, if again, maybe they’re not necessarily looking to heal something like depression, anxiety, or trauma?
Nick: Totally. So, a lot of the requests that we get or inquiries that we get are related to spiritual exploration, self-exploration, some of these big questions, existential questions of being a human, of the human existence, why am I here, what’s my purpose, where do I find fulfillment? We see people working on kicking addictions.
We see people working through OCD, and these ruminating thought loops that they get stuck in. And so, not necessarily directly tied to trauma per se, but these very tangible things that they’re looking for clarity on or these breaking of patterns. And so, it’s a myriad of reasons.
What we often find is that, the intention that people initially bring into the experience is not always the root. And so, you come in with this intention, you surrender all expectations, and then you go, “Oh wow, I thought it was this, but it’s actually this.” And that’s the beauty of these plant teachers is they show it to you so clearly and you can’t unsee it.
David: Yeah, I want to ask another question here too. I know there’s a contingency here within the psychedelic community that believes that psychedelics should only be utilized in a clinical setting, that you should only have a licensed therapist there with you. I see some of their points when they’re making that conversation.
But on the other side of it, I think a lot of this is about the idea that self-exploration should be available to everyone. One of the downsides at least that I see with psychedelics in clinical settings is cost and accessibility. You’re unfortunately leaving out a lot of people out there that can potentially benefit from psychedelics and psychedelic journeys.
So, I’m curious to get your thoughts on just that whole subject in general, clinical setting versus a setting, where maybe someone wants to do something like this at home or in a more personalized environment. Are there benefits pros, cons, or anything like that with the two different settings?
The Pros & Cons of Clinical vs. At-Home Settings
Nick: Yeah. So, I want to start answering this question by emphasizing that, I do believe that we should have the freedom to explore our own consciousness and our own psyche in whatever way we feel called to do that.
And so, what I see unfolding is that there will be a spectrum of clinicians that are doing this work that have all of the credentials, and you’ll also see people that have no credentials doing the work. And I am not going to tell you which path is better.
That is an internal decision that you have to make. And ultimately, it comes down to who you feel more comfortable with. Some people feel comfortable when they see the MD, or the PsyD, or whatever the credentials are next to someone’s name.
Other people come to us so turned off from their 20 years of BS therapy that they’re like, “I don’t care what you are, I’m looking for a different approach.” And so, to me, it’s important that consumers have a choice. They have a choice as to how they want to explore this.
And frankly, I’ve seen some really disturbing, and heard some very disturbing stories from people sitting with licensed professionals, I mean, people who have been administered ketamine by someone who’s never actually used it themselves. That’s a recipe for disaster from my perspective. So, that’s like teaching someone how to fly a plane, but you’ve never flown it.
We’ve actually had a staggering number of people reach out to us saying, “I tried ketamine therapy, and it made me worse, or I had terrible experiences. They let me drive after,” all these different things. I’m sitting there going, “Wow, credentials alone are not enough.”
That’s what I want to stress as someone who’s seen this kind of spectrum is credentials alone just aren’t enough. Please do your due diligence. If you need some help as to what that looks like, we have a page under the resources tab on our website.
That’s what to look for in a psychedelic guide or sitter, and that gives you a myriad of questions to consider as you’re interviewing a potential guide or considering how to move forward.
The other thing is, the root use of these substances comes from indigenous cultures with no background or formal training. Their training comes from thousands of years of ceremonial use with these plants and fungi. And so, it’s a little bit naive to say that the Western way is the only way that these things can be used.
David: Yeah. It’s an interesting conversation, and I’m seeing a lot of this unfold here in the state of Oregon as the psilocybin therapy initiative starts to roll out.
But you have companies out there that are trying to work their way in from a commercial aspect, trying to patent certain ways that psychedelics are going to be administered and psychedelic therapy is going to be administered to patients.
But like you mentioned, there’s been indigenous cultures that have utilized psychedelics for centuries, and now to try to come in and try to patent this, it’s frustrating, it’s infuriating.
But on that, what do you–? I don’t know, I guess, the question is, where do you see things going when you see so much of here in the psychedelic space becoming somewhat commercialized and taking the path of big pharma with some of the bigger companies out there? Do you think there’s a middle ground where we can still keep ourselves in touch with the sanctity, if you will, of psychedelic healing without big pharma just poisoning it, or do you think it’s one or the other?
Discussing the Commercialization of Psychedelic Medicine
Nick: I hope so. I really hope there is a middle ground. In my gut, I feel like there will be room for both to coexist, frankly, because I think they’re drawing on different populations.
David: Mm-hmm. That’s a great point.
Nick: I can never appease someone who’s dead set on sitting with the clinician. I will never be able to satisfy– There’s nothing that I can do to satisfy that requirement for you. So, you have to go somewhere else.
And on the flip side, there’s people who go, “I’m done with mental health professionals. I’m going to a more spiritually oriented person,” that I can help you with. And so, ultimately, this comes down to consumers and consumer education.
You, as a journeyer, can vote with your dollar and where you spend your money dictates how this future will unfold. If you support big pharma style companies, guess who’s going to take over them? If you support these small boutique companies that really are here for you and not for shareholders or purely profit, they will stay alive.
So, to me, this is really an element of painting a picture where consumers feel and understand and see the power that they really have to vote with their dollar, because every dollar you spend in this space dictates how the future is going to unfold.
David: Yeah, absolutely. Some fantastic points there. Final question here that I just want to put out. For someone out there who maybe has never tried or experimented with psychedelics, but is very interested in it, and is interested in Psychedelic Passage, and finding a guide that they can, I guess, team up with or work with, where do they start?
Can you walk us through that entire process? Where do they start, and from that point, what happens next up until the point of their first journey?
Nick: Yeah, it’s a really good question. So, we start everything off with a free 30-minute consult. No obligations, just ask whatever questions you have, get to know us, we’ll explain to you how our program works. From there, we leave you with a PDF that goes over everything we talked about on our call, so you’ve got that for reference.
As the potential journeyer, take as much time as you need to really sit with whether this offering even makes sense to you, because we don’t do one off trip sitting. Everything we do is bundled with prep on the front end and integration on the back end, that alleviates the biggest mishaps that we see in the space, which is people going through this without the proper support.
From there, if you decide you want to move forward, we have you fill out a screening and intake form. This is to ensure your safety as a journeyer and ours as a facilitator. It ensures that we have a good understanding of your medical history.
We also, at this point, have the option to loop in therapist of your choice if you want a multipronged approach. And so, nothing we do has to be exclusive of a mental health professional.
If that’s someone you want to bring into the mix, we’re happy to all work together, because for anyone that is looking to work with a mental health professional, it’s important to know that they most likely will not be able to sit with you during the experience itself out of jeopardy of losing their licensure.
So, they can help on the front end and the back end, pre and post, but the experience itself, they’re going to basically tell you, good luck. And to me, that’s a big issue. So, I just wanted to throw that in there that we can work with other professionals.
If you have a therapist you’ve been working with for 10 years, we’re not going to tell you stop working with them. We just want to connect with them, so that we have this continuous chain of care. You now have a trifecta team that’s working for your wellbeing and not just these functional silos of different people.
Then, if everything looks good on the screening and intake form, then we go ahead and schedule a ceremony date, which is the actual date that we go to you or you come to us for the experience, which is about a six-hour to eight-hour experience, all said and done.
And then we schedule preparation sessions. So, depending, we do minimum one preparation session, that typically takes place one to two weeks before the journey. If you need another one, we can always build in another one.
The key here is, we provide a base level program of the minimum that we need to ensure the most successful experience. But if you need more support than that, we cater to your needs.
We’ll a la carte prep integration sessions. Nothing is set in stone. We want to make sure that you, as a journeyer, feel as comfortable as you possibly can leading up to that in person experience.
Once that’s all scheduled, the final piece is, after the journey minimum of a week after we’ll do the first integration session. We find that people need that week to let all of the pieces fall back into place before we even try to unpack the whole thing.
There’s so much processing that occurs after the experience itself that we just give people the time and space to let that unfold naturally before we try to dig back into the whole thing and then make implementations into your daily life of some of these changes, insights, downloads, realizations.
And so, that’s really the full journey from initial console all the way through to integration. Typically, that whole process is about a month. So, that’s what you can expect. Yeah, that’s really what that looks like.
David: Then, that period of time after the ceremony, I would imagine you guys are still available to connect. Let’s just say, I woke up one night, and all of a sudden, I’m overcome with these emotions and these feelings from that ceremony, from that journey. Am I able to connect with you just to just go through it?
How Long After the Journey Do Psychedelic Guides Offer Support?
Nick: Yeah. So, all of our packages include text and email support for that very reason, because we may have a session on the calendar in four days, but it’s midnight and you’re up ruminating over something that happened and need some help. We’re not going to just kick you to the curb.
I think that that’s the other important delineation or difference to highlight between what we hear from clients that have worked with mental health professionals, and then those who have sought out services more like ours is that, we have the time and the space to help you outside of sessions, whereas– Bless this person’s heart.
I had someone reach out to me saying that they are working with a licensed therapist who’s doing this work underground, but they can only do one session a month.
Nick: So, for someone that needs weekly support or even more frequent support than that, that therapist is not going to work for you. And so, it’s really important to consider as a journeyer, how much support do you need?
What really makes you feel supported? Do you need someone that’s on call for you? Do you need it once a month? Do you need once a week? That takes an honest inward look as to where you’re at and how much support you need.
So, really one of the considerations that I want to stress for journeyers is like, make sure they can meet you where you need to be met. The expectations have to be aligned, otherwise you’re going to go, “Well, shoot, this therapist just hung me out to dry.”
It’s not their intention. Therapists are booked up right now. It’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t have a waitlist given the kind of mental and emotional deterioration we experienced as a collective during COVID.
David: Yeah. That’s the other thing too. I guess, that’s just the final point that I want to make here is, you mentioned the fact that therapists are booked up, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not people out there who need the space to heal, that need the resources to heal. What are they left to do? Just sit and not do anything? Wait on a waitlist?
I don’t think that’s the solution. I go back to where I think Psychedelic Passage is such an important resource is we can do one of two things here as a society. We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend, “Well, psychedelics are illegal.
People shouldn’t be doing them. They should only be done in clinical settings.” Or we can acknowledge the fact that, “Listen, there’s not an infrastructure in place currently that’s going to allow people to access them safely and responsibly. Why don’t we create that?” Let’s acknowledge the fact that, yes, people are going to experiment with them and they should have the right to.
So, having a resource like this is so very important, because it does create an optimal environment for safety and responsibility. And so, I’ve learned a lot from this conversation, Nick. I just want to thank you so much.
Again, this has been really, really great. I want to encourage anybody out there, if they have any follow up questions, please reach out to us on our social media channels. We’ll be happy to get those over to Nick, who I know we’ll be happy to answer them, because there’s a lot to unpack here. But, Nick, this has been great. Thank you so much.
Psychedelic Passage as a Safe Container for Healing
Nick: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for the wonderful questions. These were all really good. I’m happy that your following is even thinking about these questions. These are all really important, and these are the kind of questions that will actually shape how this all unfolds.
And I guess, one other note that I wanted to make that just came to me based on your question of accessibility is, that is a real concern
. The more licensure a person has, the higher their rate will be just undoubtedly.
And so, it’s not about better or worse. It’s just understanding that the amount of education, and training, and credentials that you have next to your name pretty much directly correlates to the hourly rate that you need to charge someone. And so, that’s something to take into consideration.
Part of what we’ve done at Psychedelic Passage in an effort to increase accessibility is a tiered pricing system based on income, so that we can serve people from all different economic backgrounds, and those with more means help offset those with less means, so that we, as facilitators, can still make a living.
Because it’s a very real challenge as providers in this space is how do you make it accessible while also making a living yourself. Otherwise, it’s just not sustainable. And so, there’s got to be a middle ground. We do live in a capitalistic society, and we all need to pay rent and pay our bills. So, within that framework, how do you make this service available and accessible to all people?
How is Psychedelic Passage Made Accessible?
We’ve really experimented with this tiered pricing model, and it’s gone over wonderfully with our clients, because those that have more feel really good about helping those that don’t, and those that don’t are like, “Cool, I can still make this work.”
And so, it’s always a work in progress, but that’s really something that we have really strived to solve to the best of our ability given the economic system that we all exist in.
David: Yeah, and just recognizing that that challenge exists and putting together even if like you said, it’s a work in progress, a solution to it, I think it’s so important. That’s what encourages me the most about the psychedelic community right now.
It’s really the psychedelic community that’s not on the corporate side of things, but there really is this interconnectedness that I’m seeing. Everyone wants to help one another out and making sure that no one is left out or left behind.
And so, I love that, and I commend you for going above and beyond to really focus on that and making sure that there is a solution in place here that’s going to help inspire inclusivity and ensure that people can access this, because I think everyone has the right and should have the right to access this type of healing.
So, again, thank you so much for everything, Nick. And I hope to keep in touch with you and I look forward to having you on again. There’s always so much to talk about, and I love your perspective, so I would love to have you on another episode here.
Nick: Yeah, cool. Thanks, David. Really appreciate the time. Please, if you guys, as listeners do have follow up questions, reach out on the Psychedelic Spotlight pages or us directly, but we’d be happy to keep the conversation going.
David: Yeah, absolutely. We’ll make sure that we get the Psychedelic Passage website included here with the podcast, so if anybody wants to reach out directly to you or your team, they’ll be able to do so. But with that, thank you again, I appreciate it, Nick.
Nick: Yeah, likewise. Thank you.
David: Global Trac Solutions, Inc and Psychedelic Spotlight does not in any way encourage or condone the use, purchase, sale, or transfer of any illegal substances, nor do we encourage or condone partaking in any unlawful activities.
We support a harm reduction approach for the purpose of education, and promoting individual and public safety. If you are choosing to use psychedelic substances, please do so responsibly.
The views and opinions expressed by the guests on the Psychedelic Spotlight podcast are those of their own, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Psychedelics Spotlight and Global Trac Solutions, Inc.
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