Talking to your therapist about psychedelics can be hard for them too. It may bring up uncomfortable emotions or memories, so they may be hesitant at first. But therapists are people too – they care about you and want to help in any way they can. So it’s important to show your professionalism as a patient.
When you go to see your therapist, they have only had about 20 or 30 years of training. That’s not a lot, so it’s understandable that they might not know about the more up-to-date practices. With time and guidance, though, you may be able to help them become more open-minded and knowledgeable – even about psychedelic therapy!
How Does That Make You Feel?
One of the first things you can do is see how your therapist feels about psychedelics. Maybe start with something like cannabis, Burning Man, Tim Ferriss or Inception and see what they think. Next, consider their demographics. Your therapist might be an older person who remembers 1960s culture. Be aware of any negative reaction they might have to your desire for psychedelic therapy, and act accordingly. Whoa, running too fast there! Any therapist who is experienced and knowledgeable will make sure to listen and go over different possibilities for you. So keep an open mind and remember that it’s important to be courteous or else you may find yourself without a professional treatment available to you.
Do You Feel Valued?
Some therapists might be hesitant about the idea of you trying something new. They might feel like it’s a way for you to tell them that they’re not good enough. Here’s a few guidelines: Let your therapist know that you care deeply about them and that your interest in exploring does not necessarily mean you want to end the relationship.
Tell Me About Your Mother.
It can be helpful to learn something about your therapist’s background. For example, what “psychotherapeutic tradition” is their approach based on? You can then use the language of their chosen approach to explain things.
- Have you seen the TV series “Quantico”? The protagonist roleplays with her father after he dies. Would it be possible to play so well that I could actually communicate with my deceased dad?
- Have a Psychodynamic or Psychoanalytic therapist? Try:
“If dreams are the royal road to the unconscious, then psychedelics
are the super highway.” Tread carefully here: Psychoanalysis and
psychedelics have history, so your therapist probably has strong
feelings for or against them already.
- Have a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist? You might say,
“Psychedelics have helped patients to recognize and reevaluate
patterns of thinking in order to optimize their performance. Here’s a
- Have a Client-Centered Therapist? Just tell them you’re doing this.
Everything You Say in Here is Confidential.
The first thing therapists may think of is whether or not integration sessions are legal. But don’t worry because there’s nothing illegal about these meetings. They don’t actually involve anything like: discussing psychedelic research, answering questions, or even setting a plan.That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the benefits of psychedelics when they’re officially approved by the FDA.. But your therapist is not liable for your actions. So, for better or worse, you are assuming any risk on your own.
You might also want to consider whether your therapist is being overly cautious about recommending psychedelics to you. Therapists are optimistic because the science behind them is so promising, but they can’t risk their future because of the law. When it comes to psychedelic therapy, have any of your therapist’s views.
Could You Challenge That Thought?
If your therapist is skeptical of or unaware of psychedelic research, are they open to hearing about it? You may not be able to change their mind entirely, but you should at least try and present the evidence. Remember that we’re all on the same side.
What Are Your Goals Here?
Sometimes a good thing to remember is that it’s a collaboration- your therapist might forget your goals, but you can remind them. There are a lot of different issues that psychedelic therapy can help with, and the benefits can really add up!
This might help facilitate the necessary changes in your behavior to reach your goals. You need to remind your therapist that you’re both on the same side of things – trying to change these bad habits.
You Are Not Alone.
Psychedelic psychotherapy is a new, or recently revived, type of therapy. It’s reasonable that your therapist isn’t aware of the latest advances – it’s common for them to be up on recent studies. There’s a lot of resources for people interested in psychedelics. MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has a comprehensive bibliography of all research papers on the benefits of psychedelic therapy and a timeline of legalization. When it’s time, you may want to get further info on integration.
Great session, thanks for listening!
When you feel like your therapist isn’t understanding or standing by your side during the psychedelic therapy process, you need to put up boundaries and not let their opinions dictate yours. If you’re really intent on a psychedelic therapy session then it might come with a difficulty. It can be hard to have a psychedelic experience and then work with another therapist. Or it might be difficult to not talk about your psychedelics session with your current therapist. A lot of time, research and conversations are what it takes to convince a therapist to work with you on integrating experiences. But in my experience, they’re usually worth it.