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Integration for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness (psychedelic integration therapy)

We offer this specialist  service, providing one to one preparation and integration support for psychedelic experiences and other non-ordinary or expanded states of consciousness. 

The term "psychedelic" , as used on the True North Psychology website, refers to pharmacological AND non-pharmacologically induced psychedelic/altered/or expanded states of consciousness (for example, those induced from deep meditative or breathwork practice), and does not include an experience of psychosis.

Preparation & Integration Support 

Our therapists support people with psychological preparation for an experience with non-ordinary states of consciousness (e.g. psychedelic, altered or expanded states). Afterward, we support people to make sense of their experience and learn how to implement changes from insights gained.

TNP therapists offer 1:1 support sessions, integration groups and workshops.

Psychedelic-Informed  Psychotherapy

Our therapists offer psychedelic-informed, relational and trauma-informed psychotherapy to help people  heal from/with difficult aspects of an individual's mental health and wellbeing.

Education & Training

 

Our therapists provide webinars, workshops, and resources to support the safe navigation of altered or expanded states (from a harm reduction approach).

We work with mental health professionals to offer education around altered and expanded states equip them with the necessary tools to support clients who have had experiences with these states. 

Psychedelic Consulting & Advisory

Our therapists offer a professional consultation service providing psychological expertise to support the needs of businesses, clients and staff members involved in psychedelic industry and research.

DISCLAIMER:

  • Our site provides information for educational purposes only, and is a platform to connect people with qualified therapists. It does not provide professional mental health or medical advice. 

  • We do not offer psychedelic-assisted therapies or access to illegal substances. Requesting such services is prohibited. 

  • We cannot help locate psychedelic-assisted therapy, guided sessions, or retreats. 

  • We may provide publicly available information about eligible clinical research trials for research participation purposes only. 

  • Our therapists provide support which adopts a harm reduction perspective and does not encourage illicit substance use. 

  • We do not work with individuals experiencing active psychosis, although we can assist in making sense of past psychotic episodes for those under professional care. 

  • We do not act as experts on psychedelics or altered states, nor provide advice on their use. 

  • We are not liable for risks associated with using information from our site.
     

“The field of psychedelic research is demonstrating promising initial results in the treatment of mental health conditions and psychedelic-assisted therapies may offer a potential alternative where existing psychopharmacological treatments fall short. However, given the rapid expansion of the psychedelic industry, the amplified media attention, and the ever-evolving cultural and political contexts, it is crucial to prioritise education regarding the safe and informed navigation of this landscape. 

 

Psychedelic experiences are not a panacea or a way to permanently rewire your brain. We are still learning how psychedelic therapy works, but the more we explore this area, the more we learn about the importance of comprehensive screening of suitability, appropriate preparation and integration.

 

While we do not engage with people whilst they undergo their psychedelic experience and do not support the illegal use of these compounds, we believe that as practitioners in this space we must provide support to people in the weeks and months following a psychedelic experience. We need to support them during this time when they may feel more sensitive and vulnerable, to create a space for processing and healing, to enable them to make meaningful changes in their lives.”

- Dr Sara Tookey (Sara is the TNP Founder & Lead of the Integration Service, she is a Clinical Psychologist working on psychedelic research trials, and advisor in psychedelic industry & research

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Therapeutic Preparation & Integration Sessions

 

Whether you have had transformative or challenging experiences, integration sessions can be helpful in processing and making sense of your journey. We can work together to understand how this experience may impact your life and explore ways to integrate the lessons and insights gained from your psychedelic journey into your daily life.

The TNP Integration Approach:

Research has shown that psychedelic experiences, when approached with intention and supported by a therapeutic framework, can have profound transformative effects on people's mental health and wellbeing.

 

True North Psychology recognises the importance of providing a non-judgmental and supportive environment for individuals to explore and integrate these experiences with trained mental health professionals that have knowledge of working with non-ordinary states of consciousness (e.g. psychedelic experiences) and offer scientific and psychological theories to support people to make sense of and integrate these experiences into their daily lives.

Integration is vital after a psychedelic experience to process emotions, perspectives, and insights for positive life changes. Our therapists provide integration support that meets each person's needs, whether they seek guidance or education for self-led practices or a more guided therapeutic approach.

Our therapists have worked in psychedelic research and in the community, offering one to one support as well as integration groups and workshops. We understand skilled care before, during, and after psychedelic sessions helps people safely navigate expanded states of consciousness. This allows them to find meaning, implement insights into daily life, and transform struggles into strengths.

We help people:

  • Prepare for psychedelic experiences from a harm reduction approach

  • Offer preparation for psychedelic-assisted therapies, informed by evidence from latest psychedelic research

  • Find personal meaning from intense sessions

  • Learn how to translate learnings from psychedelic experiences into lasting positive changes in their lives

  • Heal from traumatic experiences unearthed through psychedelics

  • Recover from difficult psychedelic experiences

  • Develop self-compassion practices for wellbeing

  • Connect with supportive communities

  • Integrate psychedelic perspectives into talk therapy approaches

The Mission:

At TNP we understand that the psychedelic experience is only one of the mechanisms of change, and the experience can be a catalyst for change, but is not the "magic" pill or cure on it's own. We want to do our part in shaping the culture and the narrative around psychedelics, by moving away from chasing healing, gaining enlightenment, "rewiring" or optimising the human brain, or obtaining the "cure"; and instead toward a committed focus on integration. We aim to support people in their process, to reduce potential harms, "to put in the work" and cultivate a sense of community that can nurture and support lasting change and bring a deeper sense of connectedness to people's lives.

Therapeutic Services

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Support is offered in preparing for, making sense of, integrating, and coping with the residual effects and impact of a psychedelic experience.

 

Sessions are 50 - 90 minutes, are tailored to each person's unique needs and are available on a one-off or as an ongoing process. These sessions can take place via our secure online video platform or in the serene natural setting of Richmond Park, London, UK (seasonal). 

Contact Dr Sara Tookey or book a consultation below. 

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Psychedelic-Informed Psychotherapy

Psychedelic-informed therapy considers past psychedelic experiences in the processes involved in psychotherapy. The psychedelic-informed therapy approach is a trauma-informed, compassionate, non-judgemental and exploratory. It is individualised to meet the unique needs of each person.

Sessions are 50 minutes and can take place via our secure online video platform or in person at our Richmond, UK therapy location.

Contact Dr Sara Tookey or book a consultation below. 

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Group Integration 

Group Integration provides a supportive community space to explore, make sense of and integrate a psychedelic experience. Group sessions are facilitated by Dr Sara Tookey.

 

Groups sessions are 90 minutes and take place via our secure online video platform.

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Join Our Integration Group

Our groups are currently on hold. They usually take place online on the last Wednesday of every month @7:00PM - 8:30pm BST

tickets cost £15, with concessions available at £8 (concession tickets available to psychedelic clinical trial participants- please contact to inquire)

The EMBODI project is a collaboration with Physis Integration.

 

SEE EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETING INFORMATION HERE

Subscribe to receive updates and ticketing information when it becomes available or Contact Us to inquire.

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Psychedelic Preparation and Integration Workshop

COMING SOON...

 

This workshop is being provided for members of the general public who are interested in learning about psychedelic experiences and how one can psychologically prepare for, manage and integrate a psychedelic experience. This training takes a harm-reduction approach to support the safe use of psychedelic substances. 

Subscribe to receive updates and ticketing information when it becomes available

What are non-ordinary/ altered states of consciousness?

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An altered state of consciousness is any mental state in which one’s ordinary level of wakefulness, attention, or awareness is temporarily shifted in some way. The term “altered state of consciousness”, or ASC for short, was coined by transpersonal psychologist Charles Tart in 1972. Tart defined ASCs as “a temporary change in the overall pattern of subjective experience”. 

The line between ordinary and non-ordinary states is different for each individual, depending on their personal level of sensitivity. While it is common to associate altered states with the consumption of hallucinogens, there is in fact a broad spectrum of experiences that qualify as non-ordinary states of consciousness.

 

According to Dr. Dieter Vaitl from the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, altered states of consciousness can be divided into the following categories:

 

  1. Pharmacological states- short term changes in experience induced by the consumption of psychoactive drugs

  2. Psychological states-  such dissociation by hypnosis, meditation or music.

  3. Physical and physiological- such as dreaming during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, fasting, and sex, sleep deprivation, oxygen deprivation.

  4. Pathological- such as in episodes of psychosis, epilepsy, or as a result of brain damage.

  5. Spontaneous- such as dissociation caused by day-dreaming, near-death experiences, and out-of-body experiences

 

Other experiences that are not explicitly named within this framework, but which are commonly known to induce ASCs, include sensory deprivation conditions, trance states, spiritual possession, mystical or religious experiences, physical exercise, dance, and breathwork.

What is Psychedelic Integration?

Read our blog to learn more

While the definition is ever evolving, the term "Integration" that we are referring to in this context,  is related to the process of assimilating the mind, body, and spirit after experiencing an altered state, for the purpose of improving wellbeing, healing and growth.“Psychedelic integration is a process in which the patient integrates the insights of their experience into their life” (Gorman et al., 2021, p. 8) Most definitions of integration emphasise the need to revisit, work through, and make sense of the material and content of experiences with psychedelic or altered states (Bathje et al., 2022).

 

The actions taken to integrate an experience will vary from person to person, from one experience to the next, and may include:

  1. Exploring the visual, physical, and psychological experiences from an experience to gain insight into your past, present, and future

  2. Using lessons from a psychedelic experience to make positive changes in your everyday life

  3. Managing any new perspectives around reality or relation to the self and others that may arise during a psychedelic experience

  4. Learning to cope with the trauma of difficult psychedelic experiences

  5. Making sense of any aspects of the psychedelic experience that were particularly confusing

 

As well as discussing experiences and exploring meaning in sessions, as a client engaging in therapeutic integration sessions, you may be invited to do additional tasks between sessions to support your integration process.

This may include:

  • Speaking with others about your experience (e.g. group integration sessions), journaling about your experience and insights

  • Exploring experience and meaning through art, connecting with your body, meditation, connecting with nature, and/or connecting with music. 

Group Integration: Recent research shows supportive communities play an important role in integrating psychedelic experiences. Western approaches have focused on individual psychotherapy, findings indicate communal practices such as sharing experiences, participating in rituals, and receiving empathy from others can greatly aid integration. This aligns with indigenous views of healing as intertwined with community and the collective wisdom of the culture. The research points to an expanded definition of integration that goes beyond the individual to include mutual understanding and holistic healing through communal support. This underscores the vital role communities can play in sustaining personal growth during the integration process by instilling a sense of belonging and collective responsibility in supporting the emotional, mental, and spiritual processes of integration.

 

Who is preparation and integration for? 

  • Anyone with interest in altered or expanded states of consciousness.

  • Those with an interest or curiosity about psychedelic-assisted therapies, those wanting to prepare for a psychedelic experience, or make-sense of profound, challenging or confusing psychedelic experiences. 

  • Those needing support to manage challenging after-effects of a psychedelic experience (these could include: existential depression, lack of meaning, low mood, anxiety, depression, increased sensitivities to thoughts, feelings or one's environment, experiences of derealisation or depersonalisation, feeling generally unsettled, etc.)

  • Those who want to learn how to integrate insights from psychedelic experiences into their daily lives. 

 

How is integration therapy similar or different from psychotherapy? 

Typically there is a clear distinction between integration sessions and traditional psychotherapy, where a person is seen for integration sessions to explore and integrate a specific experience or set of psychedelic experiences into their daily lives. During the course of integration sessions, issues may be brought to light that require further focus in psychotherapy.  Then it is decided between the therapist and the client how and when this transition will be made to move away from a direct exploration of the specific experience with an expanded or psychedelic state and into more psychotherapeutic content. We, at TNP, refer to this kind of therapy as psychedelic-informed psychotherapy, because often the information derived from the integration sessions or the experiences with non-ordinary or psychedelic states informs this psychotherapeutic work.

This can also be seen in other formats, for example, where a person engages with us in a therapeutic programme that will support the preparation, integration and ongoing psychotherapy sessions.

 

Learn more about psychedelic integration, preparation and psychedelic science from our blog

NEED IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR A CHALLENGING PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE?

TNP does not offer crisis support.

Contact Fireside Project Peer Support Helpline: 62-FIRESIDE

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES

More on Non-psychedelic Altered States of Consciousness

 

More on Psychedelic Integration

Resources on Adverse Experiences or Spiritual Emergencies, by Jules Evans

Maudsley Psychedelic Society Integration circle (monthly in-person, South London)

Research Articles:

Life after Ayahuasca: A Qualitative Analysis of the Psychedelic Integration Experiences of 1630 Ayahuasca Drinkers from a Global Survey (2023) , by T. Cowley-Court, R. Chenhall, J. Sarris, J.C. Bouso, L.F. Tófoli, E.S. Opaleye, V. Schubert, D. Perkins


Psychedelic integration: An analysis of the concept and its practice, by G.J. Bathje, E. Majeski, M. Kudowor (2022).

On Redescribing the Indescribable: Trauma, Psychoanalysis and Psychedelic Therapy, by N.L. Modlin, J. Stubley, C. Maggio, J.J. Rucker

 

Extended difficulties following the use of psychedelic drugs: A mixed methods study (2023), by J. Evans, O. Robinson, E. Ketzitzidou-Argyri, S. Suseelan, A. Murphy-Beiner, Ashleigh and R. McAlpine.

 

Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration: A Transtheoretical Model for Clinical Practice (2021), by I. Gorman, E.M. Nielson, A. Molinar, K. Cassidy, J. Sabbagh

Books

Metzner R. (2010). The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience. Synergetic Press, SantaFe, NM.

Ortigo KM (2021) Beyond the narrow life: a guide for psychedelic integration and existential exploration. Synergetic Press, SantaFe, NM

 

Read T, Papasyrou, M (2021) Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States.

 

Taylor, K (1995) The Ethics of Caring: Honoring the web of life in our professional healing relationships. Hanford Mead Publishers, Santa Cruz, CA


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