It’s easy for any city to get lost in the shadow of New York City, but Buffalo is the second-largest city in New York and is quickly becoming a modern hub for New York locals. Buffalo has all the excitement and offerings of a major city at a fraction of the price.
Situated on Lake Erie, less than 30 minutes from Niagara Falls and near the U.S. border with Canada, this city is famous for its exemplary architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and H.H. Richardson.
Recently, Buffalo has entered a new chapter: whole neighborhoods have been revitalized and former industrial areas are repurposed as parks, craft breweries, and spaces weekly concerts. The city is transforming from an industrial boom town to a modern city with green open spaces and thriving businesses just a stone’s throw away from Niagara Falls.
Along with the city’s modernization, a new wave of forward-looking psychedelic policies are on the horizon. In May 2020, State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill to remove psilocybin from the state’s list of controlled substances.
Although this was not passed into law, it helped set the precedent for the discussion surrounding psychedelics in New York. To better understand psychedelic therapy, let’s break down what it is and how someone would begin to prepare themselves for their psychedelic journey.
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy vs. Traditional Talk Therapy
Therapy of all kinds have faced an uphill battle and are just recently gaining wider, mainstream acceptance. For the first time, we’re seeing the normalization of seeking treatment for mental health issues, and there is an explosion in the number of services being offered.
For the longest time, when people talked about health, they almost exclusively referred to physical health, of course, but that’s only half the picture. Now when you turn on the TV, you see advertisements for remote mental health services and delivery clubs where you can have your medication delivered monthly.
Mental health is starting to garner the attention it deserves. Alongside this attention has come an interest in novel approaches for treating and working with mental health. Of these, the one that’s especially exciting for us is the interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
With the research being done, it’s no longer a question of proving the therapeutic value of psychedelics, but instead, it’s an inquiry into the best ways to reap its benefits. To better understand psychedelic therapy, let’s first look at both traditional and psychedelic therapies.
This will give you an idea of what you can expect throughout the process and provide you with the information needed to make an informed decision. When we speak about traditional therapy, we’re referring to psychotherapy.
During psychotherapy, a trained mental health professional will talk with you and employ several methods to help you change your behavior, increase happiness, and overcome problems.
Although many people will initially reach out and contact a therapist to overcome issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it’s becoming much more commonplace to see people from all walks of life just wanting to better their lives.
During therapy, the main goal is to better equip you to deal with the ups and downs of life. Often, this will require you to talk openly about profoundly upsetting events. Although it’s hard to say what happens during your sessions, what does take place will ultimately depend on you, your mental health professional, and the issues you’re trying to overcome.
Even though both traditional and psychedelic therapy may have similar goals, such as helping you work through challenging situations and better dealing with strong emotions, the methodologies are very different.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy relies on psychedelics, in combination with traditional therapeutic methodologies, to help change your perspective and allow you to reach your therapeutic goals. Psychedelic therapy follows the same three stages: preparation, the actual psychedelic session/ ceremony, and integration.
During the preparation phase of psychedelic therapy, you and your facilitator or therapist will work closely together. To ensure your safety, your therapist or facilitator will do a brief evaluation to ensure that you are both physically and mentally fit for this type of experience.
Once that’s done, you and your therapist will select a focus or intention. This goal will help direct your thoughts before, during, and after the ceremony. Often, people will set intentions regarding life transitions, family deaths, fears, or to explore strong emotional reactions.
During preparation, you’ll select a day to ingest your chosen psychedelic. Once you’ve consumed your psychedelic, your facilitator will help you to sit with any emotions that may surface.
All this is done to allow you to work through them mindfully and productively. On the day of your experience, the therapist is only there for support and to help make the experience as comfortable as possible.
In the weeks following the ceremony, the integration process begins in earnest. You might journal and meditate to reflect on the experience. The goal is to allow you to gain a new perspective and insight from the psychedelic experience.
Although psychedelics can be the catalyst for change, psychedelics can often uncover subconscious fears, limiting beliefs, and habits. It’s important to be in a place where you feel comfortable opening up.
Since your comfort and safety are paramount, we recommend reading our article discussing the qualities you should look for in a facilitator. In it, you’ll find everything you need to help you make a well-informed decision about your prospective psychedelic facilitator or therapist.
Finding the correct facilitator or therapist that offers a rigorous program and plan and an environment of loving support during and after the ceremony will ensure you get the most from the experience.
The Role of Set and Setting in Psychedelic Therapy
There is no doubt that psychedelics are powerful tools. When they are used with care and intention, they can be the catalyst for immense change. Although powerful, there is a less favorable side of all psychedelics, the “bad trip.”
Generally speaking, a “bad trip” or challenging experience– as we like to call it, is just that– a challenging experience. As we touched on earlier, psychedelics can bring to the surface subconscious fears, limiting beliefs, and repressed habits, and frequently this is accompanied by strong emotional reactions.
Already, we touched on the importance of having a rigorous plan of preparation and integration. Not only will it put you in the best position to gain and implement everything you learn from your experience, but it also helps ensure your safety.
If a proper preparation plan isn’t instituted, the chances of a challenging experience are more likely. At first glance, this may seem intimidating, but this connection to your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings is part of the magic.
If you are not in the right frame of mind, it can be easy to get caught in these negative thought spirals. While we have a whole article on how to mitigate the chances of a bad trip, one of the main components of this is known in the psychedelic community as “Set and Setting.”
Because psychedelics are known to amplify pre-existing thoughts and emotions, it’s vital to make sure that you are mentally ready for a psychedelic experience, and the best way to do this is to make sure that both your mindset (‘Set’) and Setting, are just right.
‘Set’ refers to both your mindset and your intention, or goals for the experience. You must be in a reasonably stable mindset. Not only does this pave the way for a safe experience, but also one that is productive.
The other half of your preparation plan is your Setting. This refers to the environment in which you’ll have your psychedelic experience. Psychedelic facilitators and therapists will go to great lengths to make the Setting as comfortable and inviting as possible.
They want to help ease you into the experience. Setting up a room for your journey will often involve incorporating soft lighting, familiar objects to help keep you present, and soothing music to encourage relaxation and inward exploration.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Buffalo 2023
Although there are still laws against psychedelics in Buffalo, New York state is quickly moving toward decriminalization. For the time being, there are two options available for those wishing to engage with psychedelic medicine: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
- Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine has a long history of being used as a dissociative anesthetic. It’s widely used throughout our medical system and has become easy to access for treating illnesses like PTSD, depression, and chronic pain.
Although this is a great option, as it is easily accessible and there are multiple clinics in the Buffalo area, clients often report that ketamine therapy only seems to offer temporary relief. This primarily stems from the fact that most clinics lack preparation and integration practices.
In fact, at Psychedelic Passage, around 50% of clients approach us after having undergone failed ketamine therapy. If you’re looking for ketamine clinics near you, ensure you choose a clinic that offers full-service therapeutic support from start to finish.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we’re dedicated to spreading the message of psychedelic healing and allowing everyone to benefit from these medicines. In our mission to reduce harm and hassle and spread the message of healing from the inside out.
We’ve gone to great lengths to curate a pre-vetted network of experienced psychedelic facilitators that are ready and willing to help you along the way. From the comfort of your own home, you can embark on a psychedelic journey, trusting that all of you’re well prepared and well supported.
Our 5-week program will be completely customized to fit your needs. Our in-network facilitators are experienced in working with a wide range of psychedelics. This gives you the personalized experience that your psychedelic journey truly demands.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Buffalo Area
- West Seneca
- North Tonawanda
- University Heights
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
Navigating this new psychedelic horizon can be intimidating. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re interested in embarking on a psychedelic healing journey, we invite you to speak to one of our psychedelic concierges by booking a consultation.
When used intentionally, psychedelics can promote large-scale healing and growth. Visit our resources page for more information. Have fun, enjoy the journey of self-discovery, and stay safe!