Vancouver, Washington, home to the prominent peaks of Silver Star Mountain, and an ever-expanding body of psychedelic-curious residents. Today, this Washington city is seeing hopes of psychedelic decriminalization, as state lawmakers introduced legislation earlier this year.
In a previous article, we discussed the current policy reform efforts for psilocybin and psychedelic-assisted therapy in Washington. Today, the spotlight is on Vancouver. How can this city’s residents find legal, therapeutic psychedelic experiences near them, right now?
How can prospective journeys spot a qualified psychedelic failure? We’ll review the best indicators of an experienced psychedelic guide. We’ll also compare the roles of a psychedelic therapist, guide, and facilitator. Is it necessary to hire a psychedelic guide for your next psychedelic experience?
The Difference Between a Psychedelic Therapist, Guide, & Facilitator
We’ve already dedicated an entire article to explaining the gold-standard of qualities in a psychedelic therapist. Today’s occasion though, definitely warrants a brief synopsis. First, what are the differences and similarities between a psychedelic therapist and a psychedelic guide/ facilitator?
Simply put, a psychedelic therapist is a licensed mental health professional who facilitates psychedelic experiences. Though Washington is seeing active psychedelic decriminalization efforts, we know from cannabis reform that decriminalization is still a far cry from legalization.
Because of this, a licensed therapist will rarely take the legal risk of offering psychedelic services. If they do, they’ll likely only be able to facilitate preparation and integration sessions due to the legal status of psychedelics.
This is where psychedelic facilitators and guides step in to bridge the current gap in psychedelic services. A ‘facilitator’ and a ‘guide’ share the same responsibilities.
These terms are virtually interchangeable and are really a matter of personal preference. The only real difference between psychedelic facilitators/guides and psychedelic therapists is that therapists always have mental health licensure.
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Therapist?
How could a facilitator mediate a relationship between their client and the psychedelic medicine, if they don’t first establish a personal relationship with the medicine themselves? Thus, a qualified psychedelic therapist/ facilitator will have much first-hand experience using psychedelics medicines.
The healing philosophy of your psychedelic guide describes their personal beliefs about the pillars of life that contribute to personal wholeness and physical, emotional, and spiritual health. That’s why it’s important that you resonate with the healing philosophy of your psychedelic guide.
To learn more about a guide’s healing philosophy, inquire about their specializations, the depth of their relationship with psychedelic medicine, and on how they plan to help you support yourself if (xyz) were to occur.
The relationship between you and the psychedelic medicine should always have the space to unfold organically. That’s why psychedelic facilitators should always recognize that your inner healer is the true cause for your personal change.
If a psychedelic guide has journeyed as much as they should have, they’ll know that internal and external attempts to sway the direction of someone’s journey only creates resistance and frightens surrender.
So unless you’re under severe distress or in physical danger, a guide should not attempt to manipulate the direction of your journey. The meaning of the term ‘guide’ can be counterintuitive. It creates the false belief that a guide should be intentionally prompting the trajectory of your psychedelic experience.
A guided psychedelic journey is very different from talk therapy. Some clients prefer to remain silent for most of their journey, while others process by verbally transcribing their ongoing mental events. Your guide will adapt to your present needs and meet you exactly where you are.
Arguably one of the best ways to qualify a guide is by assessing how you feel upon first meeting them. Take notice of their space and the energy within it. Is this someone you feel comfortable being vulnerable with? Does their presence relax and empower you?
If you have any unshakable doubts or concerns, it’s best to move onto another 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?
Is it absolutely necessary that you hire a psychedelic guide in order to have a therapeutic psychedelic experience? No, it is absolutely not, because once more, you are the largest contributor to the amount of personal change that you experience.
Before closer consideration, asking a close friend or relative to tripsit you may feel the most intuitive. You’ve known who they are and you trust them with your safety. But first, you should consider how in a psychedelic state we embody the most raw and vulnerable versions of ourselves.
How deeply can you really feel comfortable surrendering in the presence of someone you personally know? Be transparent with yourself about this. The truth is that for many people it can be extremely challenging to completely accept such an intimate experience in the presence of our loved ones.
It could cause distractions, both in the practical sense, and in the sense that your journey may more so reflect your relationship to the person in the room rather than your relationship to yourself.
Many times, if a journeyer is in the presence of someone they know, conscious or subconscious pressures to maintain the persona they usually project around that person, can arise. It can make us feel forced to “hold ourselves together”.
On top of that, many people seek psychedelic experiences to address issues with depression, anxiety, or PTSD. When we think about the depth of these emotional states and about the level of emotional suppression that are likely associated with them, we can understand why having a professional present would be the option most conducive to our mental comfort and ease.
A psychedelic guide also has knowledge and experience regarding safety, energetic presence, and emotional regulation, that close friends and family likely do not. Aside from this, a professional psychedelic guide has the tools to help you navigate preparation and integration processes, while friends and family likely do not.
Managing our expectations during preparation sessions is key for having as seamless of a psychedelic experience as possible. Integration is equally, if not more important for ensuring a fluid and productive transition between these altered states of consciousness.
All in all, it is definitely not necessary to have a psychedelic guide present during your ceremony. However, it is the safest, most stable and supported option, especially when you’re embarking on a trip that involves important intentions.
Where to Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences Near Vancouver 2022
Right now, two options exist for seeking therapeutic psychedelic experiences in Vancouver, Washington: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic in hospital operating rooms since the 1960s. More recently, the FDA has approved this drug for “off-label” use. This means that ketamine is now legal not only for surgical purposes, but also as a therapeutic drug.
We should note that ketamine is not a psychedelic drug, it’s a dissociative anesthetic that produces out-of-body experiences. These experiences can be extremely beneficial as journeyers can quite literally view their body and mind from a more objective and empathetic second person perspective.
Such an out-of-body experience makes us aware of the larger and deeper cosmic order that permeates our day-to-day routines. We can come to a more whole sense of purpose by aligning with the power of our minds, in and out of a ketamine session.
If you’re seeking to find a ketamine clinic near you, it’s important that you consider both the benefits and pitfalls of ketamine clinics. Many clinical protocols don’t offer preparation and integration support. Both of which are vital for instilling informed expectations and transitioning through such altered states of consciousness.
2. Guided Psychedelic Journeys with Psychedelic Passage
If you’re interested in exploring a broader scope of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, or DMT, Psychedelic Passage may offer exactly what you’re looking for. Our 5 week program is designed for personal transformation and involves thorough guidance through preparation and integration processes.
We’ve made it our mission to curate a network of psychedelic facilitators that have the necessary experience to hold a completely conscious and safe space during your psychedelic experience. We understand how vulnerable and personal this healing experience can be, and that’s why we offer our services from the comfort of your own home.
We prioritize personal autonomy every step of the way because mental health treatment should not be assessed from a one-size-fits all approach. This means that with Psychedelic Passage, you’ll have full control over how your program looks and the pace at which you’d like to traverse it.
Our facilitators will conduct a health screening to make sure 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 new-found knowledge.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Vancouver Area
- Cascade Park
- Uptown Village
- East Vancouver
- Fourth Plain International District
- Hazel Dell
- Salmon Creek
- Downtown Vancouver
- Columbia River
- Fisher’s Landing
- Presidio/North Vancouver
- The Heights
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
Navigating this fresh space of psychedelic medicine can be intimidating and you shouldn’t have to do 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 have the power to catalyze large-scale change in our lives and part of destigmatizing their therapeutic use involves sharing access to the most up-to-date information.
If you’d like to learn more about all-things-psychedelic, head on over to our resources page. That’s all for now, friends. As always, safe and mindful journeying!