Psychedelic Integration: What It Is & How It Can Help

FEATURED
October 18, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life
6 MIN READ

Taking the first step is often the hardest. Like all worthy travels, the journey toward mental well-being can be full of twists and turns.

Psychedelic integration is an innovative form of mental health treatment that can help you find the emotional healing you are searching for. Here at Nue Life, we offer integrative ketamine treatments that can help you build new, positive neural pathways and work through emotional hardship.

Psychedelic integration can help you process and make sense of your feelings — but what exactly does psychedelic integration mean, and how does it work? Let’s explore.

What Is Psychedelic Integration?

Psychedelic integration involves revisiting and examining your psychedelic experience in greater depth in order to find meaningful takeaways. The goal is to uncover and utilize personal insights and integrate them into your daily life to support your healing journey outside of your sessions.

Therapy sessions and integration services are typically done in person with the help of trained mental healthcare providers (psychotherapists or psychedelic therapists) or integration facilitators.

Most researchers and healthcare professionals agree that psychedelic integration and harm reduction are essential parts of the healing journey.

In fact, integration work allows time to digest notable insights and paves the way toward taking practical steps after a psychedelic journey, which can be a challenging experience for many.

Our integration groups at Nue Life are an important part of our ketamine therapy process. This integration process begins even before your first ketamine treatment.

Research on Psychedelics

Research into the clinical use of psychedelics as a psychotherapy companion began in the 1950s. Unfortunately, conducting psychedelic science has been a challenge at times, but things have come a long way since then, and the legalization and use of some psychedelics (ketamine) in clinical settings is now commonplace.

In short, psychedelic drugs are loosely defined as a grouped class of drugs that can elicit and induce altered thoughts and sensory perceptions — such as hallucinations, dissociation, and transpersonal and mystical experiences.

These are often referred to as non-ordinary states of consciousness. The most common psychedelics include LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, DMT, ayahuasca, and ketamine, though ketamine is not quite classified as the same type of psychedelic as the other drugs mentioned.

Psychedelics produce perception-altering effects, and the field of psychedelic research and psychedelic medicine is growing.

What Are the Benefits of Psychedelic Integration?

The integration process and journey can look different for everyone. For example, physical or somatic integration emphasizes the body, while others tend to be more introspective. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable benefits of psychedelic integration.

Clinician-Led

One of the benefits of integration during ketamine therapy is clinician-led support. You’re not left to travel the psychedelic journey alone.

Integration specialists are there to help facilitate the process, whether that involves ketamine preparation groups, discussing your expectations, preparing your set and setting, and more.

Promote Mental Health

Integration support continues for days, weeks, and months after treatment. So, there is no need to wallow in isolation, which is a real issue for those who struggle with mental health issues.

Also, a cascade of feelings, ideas, and emotions will follow a psychedelic experience. Our integration group and holistic Nue Care aftercare program can promote mental health by helping to answer the question of “Now what?”

Support Better Mental Habits

A classic companion of major depressive disorder and other mental health disorders is negative thought patterns or cognitive distortions. This refers to incorrect assumptions and unrealistic self-criticisms that we level against ourselves. Breaking the cycle can be tough.

Psychedelics and psychedelic integration can help break the cycle — chemically, psychedelics like ketamine can help promote neuroplasticity, helping form new, positive neural pathways for your brain.

This can support better mental habits by improving the brain’s ability to change, modify, and adapt. From a practical standpoint, this can help those stuck in negative thought patterns by helping to open the door to new experiences.

Actionable Steps

Part of self-care is the willingness to take actionable steps. At the end of the day, the goal of integration is to help promote lasting change rather than temporary relief.

Exploring the feelings, ideas, and sensations during integration can help give you the courage to take actionable steps toward integrating new insights into your daily life.

These can include new self-management skills like meditation, breathwork, and mental and emotional self-care.

How Is Psychedelic Integration Different?

One thing is clear, psychedelics alone will not be enough to make lasting changes in your life. In fact, the whole psychedelic experience will be all for naught if you’re not willing or committed to peeling back the layers of the experiences afterward.

As stated, psychedelic integration is meant to encourage patients to recognize and digest the experiences and implement these new insights and new realizations into their daily lives. It is this practical side of psychedelic integration that sets it apart.

Our integration groups involve a holistic process that helps prepare for the psychedelic journey, understand the journey, and incorporate the experiences in a positive way.

Also, group integration sessions are meant to help patients connect with others to amplify the healing process that stems from ketamine therapy.

Nue Care aftercare continues the integration process with health coaching and integration specialist check-ins to ensure the proper steps are being taken to make the most of the group sessions.

How Can Ketamine Therapy Help?

Many promising studies and clinical trials have explored the efficacy of ketamine for the treatment of mental health disorders.

It is most well known for its use in clinical settings as an anesthetic, but sublingual ketamine has become a therapeutic alternative to traditional treatment modalities. It can be used to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), BPD, and anxiety.

For those struggling with mental health conditions like depression, ketamine therapy could be an effective alternative to SSRI antidepressants. Ketamine is fast-acting, which is great news for those who have struggled for years without relief.

In fact, studies have shown the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression with symptom relief for 64% of patients — within 24 hours. In short, ketamine therapy can help you on your journey to better mental health.

The Bottom Line

Psychedelic integration is essential for processing the feelings, ideas, and sensations that come with a psychedelic experience. It helps provide insights that can drive the journey toward mental wellness. If you’re looking for an alternative treatment to address your depression, you can get started today by scheduling a free evaluation.

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.

Sources:

Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration: A Transtheoretical Model for Clinical Practice | PMC

MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD – Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies | MAPS

Study Shows How Ketamine Reverses Depression—and How its Benefits Could Be Extended | Newsroom | Weill Cornell Medicine

Safety, effectiveness and tolerability of sublingual ketamine in depression and anxiety: A retrospective study of off-label, at-home use | Frontiers

Antidepressant Efficacy of Ketamine in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression: A Two-Site Randomized Controlled Trial | NIH

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