Oregon stands as a leader in the psychedelic movement, emerging as a pioneering hub for therapeutic healing. The progressive state has made groundbreaking advancements in the world of psychedelics, most notably through the recent legalization of mushrooms.
While psilocybin remains illegal in other parts of the United States, Oregon proudly stands as the first state to embrace the legalization of mushrooms. The measure was passed on November 3, 2022, and the program officially commenced on January 2, 2023.
Thanks to Measure 109, also known as the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act, psychedelic therapy is coming to life in Portland, Oregon, primarily focusing on psilocybin mushrooms for now. This measure allows the use of medicinal psilocybin for adults within approved facilities.
Measure 109 mandates that psilocybin therapy be facilitated exclusively by trained facilitators who have completed the Oregon Health Authority-approved training program and obtained licensure or by licensed healthcare professionals.
It’s important to note that this measure does not extend to recreational use, and only licensed manufacturers are authorized to produce and sell psilocybin.
Mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent in today’s society, with Oregon being no exception. As finding effective treatment can often prove challenging, this measure offers accessible and affordable alternatives.
Additionally, Measure 110 was passed, decriminalizing personal possession of small quantities of drugs, including psychedelic substances. Individuals found in possession of these substances will receive a citation rather than face incarceration, as was previously the case.
These measures signify a remarkable shift away from harsh punishments aimed at drug users, placing emphasis instead on harm reduction and addiction treatment instead.
Given the new legal landscape, it’s important to know what qualities to look for in a psychedelic guide prior to embarking on a psychedelic journey. In this article, we will discuss the differences between psychedelic therapists and guides, as well as how to find a qualified guide.
Additionally, we will address the question of whether a psychedelic guide is necessary. Continuing from our Oregon state article, we will also discuss where you can find psychedelic therapy options in Portland, Oregon.
The Difference Between a Psychedelic Therapist, Guide, & Facilitator
Because individuals are at a higher risk for psychological injury during psychedelic experiences, having a knowledgeable and experienced presence by your side, such as a therapist, guide, or facilitator, can be beneficial to your health. But, don’t these terms mean the same thing?
A therapist refers to a mental health professional, such as a counselor or psychologist, who possesses expertise in addressing psychological well-being. Psychedelic therapists received certification in psychedelic therapy and integrate psychedelics into their practice.
Measure 109 acknowledges that therapists may not necessarily have extensive experience with psychedelics due to existing legal constraints. If you opt for the therapist route, we recommend reading our article on the key qualities to look for to ensure a suitable match.
On the other hand, the terms ‘guide’ and ‘facilitator’ can be used interchangeably. Guides offer assistance throughout every stage of your psychedelic experience, unlike a therapist due to legality, as they possess a well-rounded understanding of psychedelics and their effects.
The main difference from a psychedelic therapist lies in the absence of a medical license, which is compensated for by their extensive years of firsthand psychedelic use and years of facilitating practice.
During the preparation stage, your guide will conduct a thorough health screening to ensure your suitability for the experience. They will inquire about any health conditions affecting you or your family members, current medications, and overall lifestyle and habits.
Furthermore, guides can teach breathing techniques or meditation practices before your experience, as the intensity of the journey may require these coping mechanisms to manage overwhelming emotions.
In the event that you feel overwhelmed during your psychedelic experience, your guide will offer reassurance without attempting to divert your attention from the experience itself, as suppressing emotions can lead to negative outcomes.
Integration sessions take place after your psychedelic experience, during which your guide assists you in applying the insights gained and lessons learned into your daily life. These sessions aim to help you make sense of your feelings and experiences.
While guides undoubtedly provide valuable support, finding a guide who resonates with your preferences is crucial in ensuring a positive and personalized journey, as each guide approaches the experience in their own unique way.
Seeking psychedelic assisted therapy?
We'll walk you through every step of the process after getting to know you and your unique needs. Book your consultation call for $49 and we’ll connect you to a trusted provider.
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Guide?
Despite not possessing a medical license, the qualification of guides may raise concerns. However, it is important to recognize that guides bring invaluable expertise to the table.
As previously mentioned, guides have accumulated years of firsthand knowledge through their experiences with personal use of psychedelics and extensive experience in facilitating healing sessions.
Guides have undergone their own transformative journeys with psychedelics and possess a deep understanding of their effects. They have willingly immersed themselves in the psychedelic experience and are fully committed to their own healing process, as well as facilitating your healing journey.
Guides are ordinary individuals who have likely experienced challenging trips themselves, to which they possess a profound empathy and understanding of what you may go through during a difficult psychedelic experience. Therefore, they have learned effective strategies to navigate such situations.
When selecting the right guide for your journey, it’s crucial to ask appropriate questions, such as what services they offer, the number of sessions provided, whether they offer remote or in-person guidance, their location, and their experience, licensure, and training.
Keep in mind that every guide is unique, just as you are, so it may take speaking with multiple psychedelic guides to determine what you are truly seeking to find the perfect match.
In Oregon, it’s possible to become a qualified professional through Oregon Psilocybin Services. The requirements include being 21 years or older, a resident of Oregon for at least two years, having a positive legal standing with the state, and being a reputable and law-abiding citizen.
Additionally, applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and complete 200 hours of education and training approved by the program. More specifically, this includes 160 hours of coursework and 40 hours of training.
It’s important to note that personal experience with psychedelics or facilitation is not a prerequisite for this license. However, such experience can be profoundly meaningful for a guide to possess.
Is It Really Necessary to Hire a Psychedelic Guide?
While it’s not necessary to have a guide during a psychedelic experience, it can be immensely beneficial and provide a sense of safety and stability. The decision to have a guide is up to you, as it is your personal journey.
Think of it as embarking on a voyage to an unfamiliar place at sea and you are in complete control. Would you prefer to navigate the waters alone, without knowledge of the destination or operate the boat?
Or, would you rather have an experienced captain by your side, offering guidance and support as needed? The captain won’t take control, but they would be there to provide assistance and help you along the way.
Your guide will utilize their expertise to tailor the experience to your individual needs. The ultimate goal of a psychedelic journey is self-improvement, personal growth, and self-actualization.
While your guide cannot intervene or suppress these anxiety-filled feelings, they can support you in navigating and working through any negative thoughts and emotions that may arise.
Your guide will help keep you focused on your intentions, preventing you from getting caught in negative thought loops that psychedelics can sometimes bring out, particularly when deep-seated traumas resurface.
Additionally, your guide will assist you in integrating the lessons and insights gained from the experience into your daily life. While the experience itself is beneficial, the true benefits come from the process of integration.
Some may consider having a family member as their guide due to comfort and trust. However, it’s important to recognize that relatives may lack the expertise and crisis management skills that trained guides have.
During a psychedelic experience, you are encouraged to fully surrender to the journey, but doing so in the presence of family members can be challenging. In a psychedelic state, we become raw and vulnerable, making it difficult to express these emotions around people we are familiar with.
There may be an underlying pressure to maintain the persona that your family members know, preventing the true expression of emotions. Additionally, family members may show feelings of judgment or worry unknowingly.
Especially for your first psychedelic experience, it’s highly recommended to have an experienced guide by your side. Psychedelics are potent substances that induce intense emotions, which can be challenging to navigate on your own.
Overall, having a guide by your side during a psychedelic experience is strongly advised. To learn more, we encourage you to read our article on how to choose the right guide.
Options For Legal Therapeutic Experiences in Portland, Oregon
Therapeutic psychedelic experiences have become a reality, thanks to Measure 109. Although the details are still being fine-tuned, there are currently two options available for those seeking a transformative experience: ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Due to the illegal status of psychedelics throughout the United States, with the exception of Oregon and its legalization of mushrooms, ketamine therapy have emerged as the closest alternative for individuals seeking a therapeutic psychedelic experience.
Like other psychedelics, ketamine has demonstrated efficacy in reducing symptoms of various mental health disorders, including depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Ketamine has also shown promise in alleviating symptoms of chronic pain and migraines.
It’s important to note that although ketamine therapy provides rapid relief, multiple sessions are typically required to maintain the benefits and these sessions can be expensive, especially if you don’t have health insurance.
Additionally, ketamine therapy may not always encompass the essential stages of preparation and integration, which are key components of an effective healing journey. Even in cases where these stages are offered, it’s unlikely that they will be conducted by the same person.
For instance, your therapist may be involved in all stages besides the actual experience. This absence can result in a significant gap in your journey, as they are unable to monitor your experience, observe your reactions, or address any distress you may have encountered.
While ketamine clinics provide a valuable option for individuals seeking therapeutic relief, it is important to be aware of these limitations and consider the potential impact on the depth and continuity of your healing process.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, our main objective is to empower you on your transformative healing journey, which you deserve.
Through our extensive network of carefully selected facilitators located across the country, we can effortlessly connect you with a suitable guide. Our guides are proficient in providing support during the preparation, session, and integration stages of your psychedelic experience.
While Measure 109 in Oregon mandates that psychedelic psilocybin therapy must occur within licensed facilities, we recognize the importance of the setting, as clinical settings can be uncomfortable.
With that being said, our facilitators are prepared to meet you in the comfort of your own home, ensuring a more personalized and comfortable environment. Traveling to these licensed centers can lead to accessibility issues as well, especially since multiple sessions are required.
Furthermore, our guides possess expertise in working with a wide range of psychedelics, extending beyond mushrooms, to accommodate various preferences and needs.
Our 5-week program is entirely tailored to your unique requirements. It encompasses preparatory and integration sessions, in-person ceremonial support, and even microdosing guidance, ensuring a holistic and personalized approach to your journey.
Our Network of Guides Service Every Major Portland Area
- St. Johns
- Downtown Portland
- Northwest District
- Pearl District
- Alberta Arts District
Take The First Step: Speak With One of Our Psychedelic Concierges
Are you ready to find a psychedelic guide for your journey? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We encourage you to book a consultation with one of our psychedelic concierges who will match you with a guide tailored to your specific needs and aspirations.
If you still have questions about anything psychedelic-related, please check out our resources page. We hope that this article was a good overview of the role of a psychedelic guide and where to find one in Portland. That’s all for now; embrace the journey!