Located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and just a stone’s throw away from the southern border of California, San Diego is widely known as “America’s Finest City” and consistently ranks as one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.
San Diego’s sheer beauty and laid-back beach vibes are not the only reason it holds a special place for many. Drawing in an average of 35 million tourists annually, the city has a very well-established and thriving psychedelic community.
For the past few decades, when it comes to psychedelic therapy in California, San Diego has acted as a mecca for many psychonauts and therapy groups. Although San Diego is not yet included in the list of California counties that have decriminalized psychedelics, progress is being made.
As of 2021, Senate Bill 519 was passed, which, once in effect, will decriminalize the use of psychedelic tools, such as psilocybin and other natural psychedelics, for use in both personal and professional settings throughout California.
So, how would someone get started on their psychedelic journey in this beautiful seaside town? What are some things to consider? Do I really need a therapist, guide, or facilitator? What therapies are available near me?
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Guide?
First, let’s take a moment to define what psychedelic-assisted therapy is. This type of therapy involves the ingestion of psychedelic drugs in the presence of a trained professional. It is often done in a controlled setting with the goal of exploring issues or traumas.
The main reason for participating in this type of therapy is that during the experience, clients often have an easier time lowering their guard, allowing them to bring up issues they may have repressed.
It will also enable the client to view any issues that arise with a fresh new perspective, allowing them to change their old thought patterns. This makes it much easier for clients to progress through their healing journey.
Since this experience is very emotionally open and vulnerable, it’s crucial to vet any prospective therapist extensively. In your first meeting, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- What services do they offer? Do they offer in-person ceremonial support, or just preparation and integration assistance?
- Are you comfortable with the therapist/facilitator? Do you feel safe in the environment?
- Will you work directly with the therapist/facilitator, or will you work with different staff members throughout different stages of the process?
Although these questions are a good starting point and will help you get a general feel for the environment and the facilitator, these are just a few factors that should be considered.
To learn more, we highly recommend referencing our article on the qualities to look for in a psychedelic therapist. Not only do you want to make sure you get the most out of your sessions, but this will also be the beginning of a very intimate relationship, and your comfort is vital.
The Role of a Psychedelic Guide
Though you should always consider hiring a psychedelic therapist to lead you through your psychedelic experience, it’s essential that you take your facilitator’s level of personal psychedelic experience into consideration.
As they say, experience is the best teacher. Although a psychedelic therapist is a licensed mental health professional, they may not be the best equipped to help guide someone during their psychedelic journey.
Since psychedelic therapy is still in its infancy, it’s unlikely that current therapists have had sufficient specialized experience integrating psychedelics into their pre-existing clinical models. It would be challenging for someone who has never taken psychedelics to help others navigate the ups and downs that are common with a psychedelic experience.
This is where psychedelic guides and facilitators shine through. Guides and trip sitters are here to facilitate intentional psychedelic experiences. Their main goal is to ensure you feel supported throughout the entire journey.
Drawing on their own experience, they will help you prepare for your journey and facilitate a safe environment that is free of judgment where you can feel comfortable digging deep into the issues of your past and present. After your ceremony, they will close out the sessions with integration support.
Do You Really Need a Psychedelic Guide?
Of course, you can always do it alone when it comes to psychedelics. A journey of this magnitude is highly personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You should always choose the option best suited to your goals, intentions, and comfort.
Although solo journeying is an option, this isn’t typically recommended, especially if this is your first time using psychedelics. Multiple scientific studies have shown that for many, a psychedelic journey will rank amongst the top three most impactful experiences a person will have in their lifetime.
Just as you would want a midwife guiding you through the birth of your first child, many would benefit from having a guide or sitter during their psychedelic journey. Not only will they help ensure your safety throughout the whole process, but they will also be there to help deal with the powerful feelings that are sure to arise.
Whether you experience an intense feeling of oneness and connectedness, or you experience a complete dissolution of the ego, a qualified psychedelic guide can ground you into the experience using their knowledge on psychedelics and psychedelic experiences.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences In San Diego 2023
Though psychedelic decriminalization measures are still under development in San Diego, city residents have a few options for engaging with psychedelic medicine: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Currently, in San Diego, the only psychedelic therapy that can be prescribed by a doctor for at-home use or to be administered in a clinic under their direct supervision is ketamine. While ketamine may not be considered a classical psychedelic, such as psilocybin, LSD, or DMT, it’s the only FDA-approved psychedelic-like drug available in medicalized therapeutic settings.
It’s shown excellent efficacy in treating conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Although this is a great option, a few significant components are often missing: preparation, proper in-ceremony support, and integration.
Due to the common lack of integration practices in ketamine clinics, benefits are often short-lived, and many who undergo ketamine treatment will end up seeking other psychedelic therapy. To learn more, check out our article on the benefits and pitfalls of ketamine therapy.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we are dedicated to spreading the message of psychedelic healing and to giving everyone equal opportunity to benefit from these medicines. Every part of our 5-week program is designed for personal transformation and customization to each client’s specific needs.
Not only can you choose from a wide range of psychedelics, but you have full autonomy over the direction of your journey and the pace of your experience. In fact, you even have the freedom to choose where your experience takes place.
You can choose to be hosted by one of our host facilitators or you can choose to have your journey in any San Diego landscape, in a private residence. Our facilitators can even travel to you, allowing your journey to unfold from the comfort of your own home.
Our program includes preparation and integration, as well as in-person ceremonial support. Whether aiding financially with our sliding payment scale or connecting you with the perfect pre-vetted facilitator, Psychedelic Passage will meet you exactly where you are.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major San Diego Area
- Del Mar
- Barrio Logan
- Mission Valley
- Rancho Bernardo
- Gaslamp Quarter
- La Jolla
- Little Italy
- Mission Bay
- Point Loma
- South Bay
Starting Your Psychedelic Journey in San Diego
You may be feeling ready to take the dive and begin your psychedelic journey. So how do you start? Fortunately, here at Psychedelic Passage, we are able to guide everyone, whether it is your first time or your hundredth psychedelic experience.
We are not here to dictate the trajectory of your journey, but to provide you with the most supportive environment for personal growth and healing. You set the pace at which you navigate the process, and of course, you choose which facilitator you feel most comfortable working with.
To get started, book a consultation with any of our qualified psychedelic concierges, or take a moment to check out our resources page for more information on the life-changing benefits of psychedelic therapy. Have fun, enjoy the journey of self-discovery, and stay safe!