Unlike Colorado, its forward-looking neighbor, Utah has notoriously strict drug legislation. You might be surprised to hear that Salt Lake City actually has a flourishing chapter of Decriminalize Nature– an educational campaign spreading awareness about our deep connection with nature through entheogenic plants and fungi.
Legislation may not have caught up yet, but the groundwork being done lends its hand to an encouraging future. Even so, legislators recognize the shift in drug reform across the country, enough to warrant their own exploration into the benefits and complications of legalization and decriminalization.
We’ve already discussed current legislation and legal options regarding psilocybin and psychedelic-assisted therapy in Utah. Today, we’ll zoom in on the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, and explore how urbanites can find legal, therapeutic psychedelic experiences in their own city.
Though at a glance psychedelic therapy seems unattainable, we’re here to show you that’s not the case. We’ll help you identify the most important things to look out for when vetting potential psychedelic guides. What’s the difference between a therapist, facilitator and guide? Do you really need their assistance? How do you know you’ve found the right one? Let’s dig in and find out!
The Difference Between a Psychedelic Therapist, Guide, & Facilitator
We have amassed a detailed inquiry into the gold-standard of qualities in a psychedelic therapist for your further exploration, but today we will go over some basics. First, let’s define the role of a psychedelic therapist and compare it to the services of psychedelic facilitators and guides.
A psychedelic therapist is a licensed therapist who facilitates psychedelic experiences. Unfortunately, Utah hasn’t yet decriminalized psychedelics, let alone legalized them, so it would be difficult to find a licensed therapist willing to take the legal risk of facilitating your journey.
If a licensed therapist does take the risk to offer you psychedelic support, it’s likely they may only be willing to assist you during preparation and integration phases because they’re not legally allowed to be present during your actual psychedelic experience.
Here’s where psychedelic facilitators and guides step in to bridge the current gap in psychedelic services. A ‘facilitator’ and a ‘guide’ share the same responsibilities. In fact, these terms are virtually interchangeable and are really a matter of personal preference. The only difference between psychedelic facilitators/guides and psychedelic therapists is mental health licensure.
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Therapist?
A qualified psychedelic therapist/ facilitator will always have extensive first-hand experience using psychedelics themselves. Any good professional immerses themselves in their work. If they don’t first establish a personal relationship with the medicine themselves, how are they supposed to facilitate your own medicinal communion?
You should resonate with the healing philosophy of your psychedelic guide. The healing philosophy of your psychedelic guide describes their personal beliefs about personal wholeness and physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
To better understand a facilitator’s healing philosophy, ask questions about their specializations, their evolving relationship with psychedelic medicine, and on how they plan to help you support you if [xyz] were to occur. After discussing these topics with the right guide, you should feel a connectedness or closeness that comes from your aligned beliefs.
Qualified psychedelic facilitators acknowledge that you are the true healer. The relationship between you and the psychedelic medicine does not hold space for another person’s intentions to override your own. Your journey should always be given the therapeutic space to organically unfold.
If a psychedelic guide has adequate experience, they will never interfere with the instinctual relationship between you and the psychedelic medicine. They’ll know that internal and external attempts to sway the direction of someone’s journey only creates resistance to truly surrendering to the experience. No one knows your mind better than your own mind.
Therefore, no one can know what should surface during a psychedelic experience, more than your own subconscious. This means that a guide should not attempt to manipulate the direction of your journey unless you’re under severe distress or in physical danger. The term ‘guide’ can be misleading.
It creates the misconception that a guide should be intentionally prompting the trajectory of your psychedelic experience. A guided psychedelic journey is very different from talk therapy. We have clients who prefer to remain silent for almost the entirety of their journey, while others process what’s going on internally through verbalization.
Your guide will adapt to your present needs and meet you exactly where you are. Of course, a qualified psychedelic guide has earned their title through facilitating a good number of ceremonies for other clients. Don’t be afraid to ask potential guides if they can offer you access to client testimonials to better understand the quality of their services.
Last, but certainly not least, you should assess how you feel upon first meeting a potential guide. Be attentive to their space and energy. Is this someone you feel comfortable being vulnerable with? Does their presence relax and empower you?
Listen to your gut! Are there any doubts that you can’t seem to shake off? If so, your best bet is to keep searching for your psychedelic facilitator. There doesn’t have to be anything inherently wrong with a guide in order to explore your other options. Sometimes we’re just not compatible with someone, and that’s okay.
Is it Really Necessary to Hire a Psychedelic Guide?
The short answer: no. It is not necessary to hire a psychedelic guide in order to have a therapeutic psychedelic experience. As we firmly believe, you are the driving force behind your personal change.
Having a close friend or relative tripsit you may seem like the right thing to do. You’ve known them for a long time and you trust they have the best intentions for you at heart. We don’t deny that, but there are other things to consider. In a psychedelic state we embody the most raw and vulnerable versions of ourselves.
Honestly ask yourself how far you can really surrender in the presence of people you personally know. The truth is that for many people it can be challenging to wholly submit ourselves to such an experience in the presence of our loved ones. Your journey might end up reflecting your relationship to the person in the room rather than your relationship to yourself.
We all have a persona that we exude in the presence of others whether we realize it or not. If you’ve known someone for a while, there’s likely an identity they associate with you. Psychedelic trips have a tendency to shed us of our identity in order to open us up to change, which our loved ones may not understand.
This pressure to hold on to our identity in front of our friends can cause much internal resistance, because again, it’s a form of external influence that can alter the organic trajectory of our psychedelic journey. On top of that, many people seek psychedelic experiences to address issues with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
The depth of these emotional states and the level of emotional suppression that is likely associated with them is where an experienced professional comes in. Having a qualified facilitator present ensures your safety and allows the experience to be the most conducive to your mental comfort and ease.
A psychedelic guide also has knowledge and experience regarding more nuanced things like energetic presence and emotional regulation that close friends and family likely do not. Someone who doesn’t have extensive practice with regulating their own nervous system could unknowingly project feelings of fear, concern, or judgment.
Aside from this, a professional psychedelic guide has the tools to help you navigate pre-trip preparation and post-trip integration processes, while friends and family likely do not. This is especially important for trips that aim to address heavy intentions. So, no, it is definitely not necessary to have a psychedelic guide present during your ceremony, but it is the safest, most supported option.
Where to Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Salt Lake City 2023
Right now, two options exist for seeking therapeutic psychedelic experiences in Salt Lake City, Utah: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
- Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine treatment is an emerging therapy that targets treatment-resistant depression and PTSD. It first appeared in hospitals as a dissociative anesthetic in the 60’s, right around the time that LSD was first synthesized.
Though ketamine’s effects do alter consciousness, the drug is not a true psychedelic. Journeyers report observing themselves from a second person perspective. The benefit in such an effect is that we’re able to view our life conditions more objectively and empathetically.
In full disclosure, we want to note that about 50 percent of the clients that seek out our services are turning to more traditional psychedelics because of previous failed ketamine therapy or because they only experience short-lasting benefits.
The drug itself is not at fault for this. Unfortunately there’s a lack of consistency in the level of therapeutic support offered amongst ketamine clinics. So, if you’re seeking to find a ketamine clinic near you, do your research to ensure that you receive the therapeutic support you need.
- Guided Psychedelic Journeys with Psychedelic Passage
Here, at Psychedelic Passage, we facilitate therapeutic psychedelic experiences across the United States. Our 5 week program includes preparation, integration, and in-person ceremonial support. It’s designed to be fully tailored to your needs and intentions.
Our mission is to offer equal access to these potentially life-changing treatments by placing emphasis on harm reduction practices and by reducing the ambiguity surrounding quality psychedelic support.
We are proud to offer income-based pricing to help to ensure the success of our mission. Our job is to take the confusion out of navigating the world of psychedelic therapy. To do this we have curated a network of highly experienced psychedelic facilitators, so you only connect with guides that have already been pre-vetted by us.
Our facilitators will conduct a health screening to ensure this is a safe and healthy option for you. They’ll guide you through preparation procedures, sit with you through your psychedelic experience, and assist in the integration of your experience into your new life.
We understand how personal a psychedelic experience can be. That’s why we can facilitate therapeutic psychedelic experiences right from the comfort of your own home. Because we don’t source the psychedelic for you, you have free reign over the psychedelic medicine you choose to work with.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Salt Lake City Area
- New Rose Park
- Willow Place
- Poplar Grove
- Marmalade District
- North Cove
- East Central
- Sunnyside East
- East Bench
- Sugar House
- The Granary
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re left with a sense of empowerment over yourself and your healing. Psychedelic medicine can be intimidating and you shouldn’t have to navigate it on your own. If you’re interested in embarking on a therapeutic psychedelic journey, we empower you to book a consultation with us.
Psychedelics are a life-changing catalyst capable of great things. Part of destigmatizing their therapeutic use involves sharing access to the most up-to-date information and research. If you’d like to learn more about all-things-psychedelic, head on over to our resources page. Remember that everyone deserves a chance to live life to its fullest. Stay safe, be mindful, and radiate love!