California is no stranger to the nation-wide psychedelic surge permeating science, legislation, and culture. We’ve previously discussed the current legislation of psychedelics in California. Today we’ll be honing in on Los Angeles to explore how residents can seek legal, therapeutic psychedelic experiences near them.
As we often tell readers, selecting a psychedelic guide is about engaging with someone who has the skill set to offer valuable support prior to, during, and after a psychedelic experience. That’s why we’ll explain concrete methods to identify whether or not a facilitator is suitable for you and your specific needs.
We’ll also explain the responsibilities of a psychedelic guide/ facilitator in more detail. Is having a psychedelic guide present during your ceremony truly necessary? Perhaps most crucially, how can Los Angeles folks connect with reliable and experienced psychedelic facilitators near them?
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Therapist?
In the past, we’ve gone over the most important qualities in a psychedelic therapist. For the purposes of today’s discussion, let’s review some of the article’s highlights. First though, it’s important that we discern the differences and similarities between a psychedelic therapist, facilitator, and guide.
To put it simply, a psychedelic therapist is a licensed mental health counselor who connects with prospective journeys in order to facilitate their psychedelic experience. As you already know, San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Cruz are the only California cities that opted in favor of psychedelic decriminalization.
Unfortunately, cannabis reform measures have demonstrated that decriminalization is far from legalization. That’s why licensed therapists are rarely willing to take the legal risk of being present during a journeyer’s trip, though they may assist in preparation and integration processes.
Psychedelic facilitator or guides are different terms for the same role. In many cases, they do not hold medical licensure which allows them to be present during your psychedelic experience, without risking any credentials.
That being said, everything else about the role of a psychedelic therapist and facilitators/ guide is very similar. They all assist in preparation and integration services. Facilitators also tend to have more widespread experience with psychedelics since their training comes from first-hand experiences with these medicines, sometimes in psychedelic retreat settings or from shamanic mentoring.
One of the most valuable assets of a psychedelic guide is that they have a vast range of personal experience with psychedelics. In some industries, namely in ketamine therapy, journeyers don’t attain the benefits they were looking for, or at least, long term benefits.
This isn’t the fault of the drug, but rather because most ketamine clinic staff are nurse practitioners and doctors who do not have any experience journeying with ketamine themselves. In fact, about 50% of our clients approach us due to failed ketamine treatments.
The idea that a medical professional is most fit to administer these treatments seems to lose its value when we assess the extent of a medical professional’s personal experience with psychedelics. After all, what support can a psychedelic professional offer if they’ve never been in the shoes of a journeyer?
It’s also very important that you resonate with the healing philosophy of your psychedelic guide. There’s several questions that could help you gauge this. Ask prospective guides about their specialties, their motivations for healing with psychedelics, and about their level of involvement throughout the process.
Psychedelic guides must recognize that your inner healer is the largest contributor to your personal change. Unless there is a threat of emotional or physical danger, your guide should not attempt to change the unfolding relationship between you and the psychedelic medicine.
This may seem counterintuitive. Because the term “guide” infers that someone will be swaying the trajectory of your journey through verbal cues, prompts, or visualizations, there’s an inherent misconception about the influence of a guide on psychedelic experiences.
A qualified guide should acknowledge the importance of personal accountability over your journey. From personal experience, they should know that each journeyer comes to their own individualized realizations that are specific to their life circumstances.
Thus, external manipulation of the experience would only be a fruitless effort to impose personal beliefs onto a journeyer. This would assume that something or someone outside of ourselves is more capable of locating, surfacing, and healing our wounds, than ourselves.
It’s also important that you ask for access to client testimonials. A qualified psychedelic guide is someone who has facilitated psychedelic experiences for others. Thus, you should ask potential guides to share their experiences with other clients and provide testimonials that support the quality of their services.
This last qualifier is equally important to all of the other points we’ve presented. Upon meeting a potential guide, take note of their space and energy. Is this someone you’d feel comfortable sharing some of the rawest moments of your life with? Does their presence relax and empower you?
If there’s a feeling of incompatibility or doubt that you can’t seem to shake, we highly suggest you move onto another guide. You should feel no judgment coming from your facilitator. Assess their level of openness, empathy, and honesty to get a better sense of the person you’re working with.
What is The Role of a Psychedelic Guide?
In its simplest terms, a guide/ facilitator makes your psychedelic experience easier to navigate. This begins even before the preparation phase. Your facilitator should give you a health screening to ensure that your physical, emotional, and mental circumstances are in line with an experience of this magnitude.
Your facilitator will ask you questions about your personal and family history. They’ll inquire about your intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships in order to help you align with your highest intentions for this experience.
In preparation, they will offer valuable information about what to expect and how to navigate those expectations if they do come to fruition. They ensure that you have more than enough knowledge in order to enter this journey safely and with therapeutic trust in the medicine and in them.
An appropriate dosage and ceremonial environment is also suggested by your facilitator, though at the end of the day, you’ll have the final decision over these factors. Because a psychedelic guide has been a part of many psychedelic journeys, they’re experienced in holding a space that’s conducive to your comfort and healing.
They observe your energy and behaviors to gauge where you are in your journey and how they can be of support to you. If you’re going through a challenging time, they will help you touch base with the reality of the circumstance by coaching you through anxiety-relieving practices.
More practically, your psychedelic guide will ensure that you’re properly hydrated throughout your experience and that you have access to the bathroom or any other basic needs. It’s common for prospective journeys to imagine the process of psychedelic facilitation very similarly to talk therapy.
However, this isn’t the case. We see clients who prefer to remain silent for most of their journey, while others process the experiences by verbalizing what’s going on in their mind’s eye. Your guide will adapt to your present needs and meet you exactly where you are.
Later, your psychedelic guide will lead you through integration processes. Here, you’ll be given the space and time to process and digest your experience. Such changes in perspectives require active efforts to maintain the personal change. During integration you’re given the tools to ensure a fluid transition between these layered states of consciousness.
Is it Really Necessary to Hire a Psychedelic Guide?
Is it absolutely necessary to hire a psychedelic guide for your therapeutic psychedelic experience? In short, no, it is most definitely not a necessity to have a psychedelic guide present during your trip. This goes back to our point on how you are the primary cause for your personal change.
It may feel almost intuitive for a close friend or family member to tripsit you. You know them, you trust them, and you’re comfortable with them. In actuality though, it can be very difficult to fully surrender in a psychedelic experience when you’re in the presence of someone you personally know.
As we mentioned earlier, in a psychedelic state we embody the most raw and vulnerable versions of ourselves. Many times, journeyers feel great inhibition to fully surrender because they feel that they have to contain themselves or uphold the persona they typically have around that person.
Because many journeyers are seeking to address their depression, anxiety, or PTSD, there’s much emotional suppression and catharsis involved in this experience. It can be very challenging, and for some, downright impossible, to release the true depth of those feelings around someone they know.
A psychedelic guide is knowledgeable and experienced not only in safety, but also in energetic presence. These are skills that family members or close friends likely do not have, and if they do, it’s likely not specialized in the realm of psychedelic mental states. Another factor to consider is that in these states, we are very energetically in-tune with the environment and the people around us.
In a psychedelic experience, we’re very in-synch with the energies of our environment and the people within it. Thus, if your tripsitter is someone you personally know, it’s more likely that they’ll impose some form of subconscious judgment onto your behaviors.
This judgment, intentional or not, can be sensed by the journeyer and often causes them to embody the fear or worry that is being emitted by the tripsitter. A psychedelic guide is not only unbiased because they don’t personally know you, but they’ve had extensive practice with regulating their own nervous system, which allows them to remain calm under all circumstances.
Of course, preparation and integration processes are parts of the psychedelic experience that friends and family may not be able to assist with, whether it’s from lack of experience with psychedelics or from an inability to understand and support emotional needs.
The bottom line is that a psychedelic guide absolutely does not need to be present during your ceremony. You are the most influential variable in your healing. However, hiring a guide is the safest, most supported option, specifically for journeyers seeking to address deep-seated mental health conditions.
Where to Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences Near Los Angeles 2022
Right now, two options exist for seeking therapeutic psychedelic experiences in Los Angeles: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
- Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine is being used as a new treatment for PTSD and depression. Because it’s a dissociative anesthetic, ketamine isn’t a traditional psychedelic, though its effects do alter consciousness. The drug allows journeyers to observe their life circumstances from a more objective and empathic perspective.
Because we honor truth and full disclosure, we should clarify that about half of our clients at Psychedelic Passage come to us seeking an experience with traditional psychedelics because prior ketamine sessions only provided temporary relief or failed to treat their symptoms all together.
Thus, if you are interested in finding a ketamine clinic near you, make sure that you’re supported with the proper therapeutic tools and processes. This means you should receive preparation and integration sessions, along with the unhindered attention of a psychedelic therapist during your ketamine journey.
- Guided Psychedelic Journeys with Psychedelic Passage
Here, at Psychedelic Passage we offer facilitation of psychedelic experiences with the psychedelic substances of your choice. Power of the medicine you choose to journey with is just a start because we believe that everyone has the right to exercise full autonomy over their healing journey.
That’s exactly why every facet of our 5 week program is completely customized to your needs, personal intentions, and yes, even your financial situation. Our program includes both preparation and integration, as well as in-person ceremonial support, and program costs are determined by your income.
Not only will you be connected to our entire pre-vetted network of experienced psychedelic facilitators, but you can also embark on your therapeutic psychedelic journey from the comfort of your own couch.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Los Angeles Area
- Santa Monica
- Venice Beach
- Marina del Rey
- Beverly Hills
- Century City
- Los Angeles Historic District
- Silver Lake
- The San Fernando Valley
- Hidden Hills
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
What does it mean to know yourself? What does it feel like to inhabit a life that mentally accounts for, and positively harnesses the natural conditioning of our biological infrastructures? What does reclaiming emotional control over our lives really look like?
Unfortunately, we cannot answer that question for you, but Psychedelic Passage would be honored to facilitate your journey of self-discovery and self-actualization. If you’d like to get connected with our network of pre-vetted facilitators, we encourage you to book a consultation with us.
It’s very likely that we’ve already written an entire article on your most pressing inquiries, so if you’re interested, we suggest peeking over at our resources page for an abundant and comprehensive library on all-things psychedelic. That’s all for now, friends. Safe journeying!