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A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor

- Franklin Roosevelt

          Psychedelics: again the pilgrimage - current experience, lessons

" ... the current system for bringing promising biomedical research to the bedside is operating at an obsolete level of efficiency, causing great delay, and consequently resulting in the loss of many lives."  Roger Rosenberg (JAMA 2003;289:1305-6)

  "Any unexplained phenomenon passes through three stages before the reality of it is accepted. During the first stage it is considered laughable. During the second stage, it is adamantly opposed. Finally, during the third stage, it is accepted as self-evident."  Arthur Schopenhauer

In the first post of this sequence of four - "Psychedelics: again the pilgrimage - current experience, preparing" - 

And here are a series of questions I would like better answers to:

* Who do I feel comfortable mentioning when clients (or friends/colleagues) ask who I feel is a good 'tripsitterto help maintain safety during (legal) psychedelic exploration using psilocybin truffles here in the Netherlands?

* What dose of truffles (and what kind) is it likely to be helpful to take?

* If one's going to use a music playlist during one's psychedelic journey, what are the pluses & minuses of using a home-made one or of using a pre-designed one ... for example those offered by John Hopkins or Imperial College?  And what are some of the practical issues about doing this?

* How is it good to prepare for a psychedelic trip ... and to respond once one is in it?

* When does it make sense to take psychedelics in a group setting and when on one's own (typically with tripsitting support)?

* How is it good to integrate one's experiences?

No doubt there will be other issues as well that will emerge over the next few days!  I flew in from Scotland yesterday and I'm due to take a high-dose trip tomorrow.  Three months ago, I took a first trip just the day after arriving in the Netherlands.  I notice that it feels good to have this first settling-in day before taking the trip itself, and the same is likely to be true for allowing space after the trip as well.

A major way I see these experiences is in trying to find paths ... paths through the high mountains of psychedelic experience.  How can people come here as safely as possible?  How best prepare, how manage the trip itself, how integrate the experience afterwards?  Emerging research suggests that a significant percentage of those who come to me for psychotherapeutic help could quite probably benefit from well-prepared, well-managed, well-followed up psychedelic experience.  My job is to help them be clear about current scientific understanding of how this terrritory might be personally releveant for them & and the struggles they have.  It's certainly not my job to try to persuade anybody to take psychedelics ... not my job either legally or ethically ... but I would very much like to be of real help for any of my clients, colleagues & friends who decide for themselves that this is a pilgrimage they want to make. 

More to follow ...

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