Integration is an essential component of psychedelic therapy. Psychedelic experiences without adequate integration are more akin to visiting the movies than they are a profoundly transformative experience: you watch the movie unfold, then it’s over and you return to your life.
But you’re here because you want to change your life. To heal, find wholeness, and become the person that you want to be.
Integration is an essential component in turning your dreams from ideas into actions.
“Integration is taking action on what we’ve learned so far by incorporating it into who we are (internal or external).” — Asha Urban, Mindbloom Guide Lead
The experiences, emotions, and insights we have in sessions are not always straightforward. The use of paradox, metaphor, myths, abstraction, or fragments of memories/ideas can leave you wondering what exactly you are meant to do to integrate this.
It’s helpful to have tools and practices that can help you glean more clarity and insight into your experience and how to integrate it.
Journaling is one of these practices. It forces you to put abstract thought into concrete language. It visually shows you your own thoughts and emotions, on the page in front of you.
“Journaling as a form of processing stressful events has been shown to help facilitate positive growth specifically when looking at both the emotional expression AND cognitive processing (trying to make sense of the event and the emotions it caused).” — Chelsea, Mindbloom Clinician
To help you glean core insights and process more of your experiences/emotions, we have a list of 10 journaling prompts you may consider using in the days/weeks following your session.
How you use these is completely up to you. You could go through all of these questions after a single session. Ultimately, we suggest using these as a prompt, to get you started, and then simply allow yourself to write uninhibited once you have started.
Allow whatever wants to come out. You don’t need to edit your responses because there’s no mistake you can make with journaling.
- “The core lesson/experience I received from my session is…”
- “If a loved one had this experience, the advice I would give them when moving forward is…”
- “3 direct actions I am going to take this month to honor and integrate my session are…”
- “In the time since my last session, I have felt…”
- “The best version of myself would want me to know that…”
- “An unexpected moment I had during my session was…”
- “There are several things I wish to stop doing/do less of. These include…”
- “X is someone I can ask for support with my process, because…”
- “This session reminded me that I value X. I value X because…”
- “If I had to represent my last experience as an object with shape, color, and texture, it would be a… because…” (ex: A silky, purple scarf. A spiky camouflaged ball.)
This is just the beginning. You can revisit these questions over time, you can use them as daily journaling prompts after sessions – feel free to explore how these might work best for you and your unique healing journey.
There’s no length requirement, no one grading these afterwards. Allow yourself to immerse yourself in the questions. See what arises spontaneously from your deepest wisdom and inner healing intelligence.
The answers may clarify scattered thoughts, may help you understand emotions or experiences that surfaced during your session, and identify key steps forward to help you embody long-lasting, positive behavioral changes moving forward.
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call, text, or chat the National Suicide Prevention Line at 988 or +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Important FDA Safety Information
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety