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Reasons to Consider Using a Trip Sitter for Your Psychedelic Experience

There's a growing shift in the U.S. and other Western cultures to seek out alternative healing and the expansion of the mind by choosing traditional entheogenic plant medicines and other psychedelics because the Big Pharma method of suppressing/blocking -- not curing -- many health issues is facing increased scrutiny and disillusionment.

Psychedelics are not a miracle cure; they are a tool for learning how to cope and heal from a variety of issues and ailments, from depression and anxiety to addiction to post-traumatic stress... and more. But the research has been slow to develop -- and has been squelched for decades, ever since psychedelics were moved to Schedule 1 drug status (which labels these as drugs with no medicinal value -- hah!).

Of course, the biggest issue in this discussion of embarking on a psychedelic trip -- and the one that needs to be addressed -- is that all of these psychedelics are illegal at the Federal level and only slowly being allowed for clinical research, and in some cities/states, decriminalized for personal use. Thus, before discussing the importance of using a facilitator or trip-sitter, you need to decide whether you have the means and the determination to seek out these medicines.

The other issue is whether you are ready to make the effort necessary to use plant medicines for healing. Before continuing here, you might want to read another of my articles, Five Things to Consider Before Jumping into Healing Through Plant Medicines.

Once you have made the commitment to try healing through plant medicines and have found a reliable source for your substances, the final step is considering the hiring/use of a trip sitter. A trip sitter is a trained facilitator or guide who stays sober while you have your medicinal journey, offering emotional and therapeutic support as you move through the experience. Especially for your first few psychedelic experiences, or if you are taking an unusually high dose, it makes sense to have someone you trust watching over you in case you hit any bumps in the journey.

Trip-sitters can also help with establishing the set and setting that's so important with psychedelic experiences. Set refers to the mindset of the individual -- and setting intentions for the journey/ceremony. Intentions deal with what the person is seeking from the experience. Setting is the physical surroundings of where the trip will take place -- and it needs to be safe, private, and comfortable.

Finally, some trip-sitters also help with what most experts say is the utmost important part of a psychedelic experience -- and that is integrating the lessons and visions from the trip into one's sober life. For example, many people experience a feeling that we are disconnected from the natural world and need to be more connected -- but how does one do anything about that if one lives in a city?


Psychedelic Trip Sitting Resources

While you can certainly enlist a partner or trusted friend to serve as your sober trip sitter, there are also some excellent organizations and people who offer trip-sitting services and resources. These organizations do not help you source the medicines -- they only provide support for your psychedelic experience.

Psychedelic Passage is the premier organization offering these services across the U.S. It states that the organization is "a network of U.S. based psychedelic guides and trip sitters who facilitate in-person ceremonial psychedelic experiences with an emphasis on harm reduction. We foster transformational journeys through the exploration of consciousness, which we believe to be a fundamental human right." One of its many useful articles for you to read is How to Find a Psychedelic Guide or Trip Sitter Near Me. Another great post is Psychedelics in the Body: A Head to Toe Guide of Effects.

Melanated Consciousness: BIPOC Psychedelic Facilitators offers the largest network of BIPOC psychedelic facilitators -- trip sitters for black, indigenous, and people of color.

Psychedelic Experience: Psychedelic Facilitators Worldwide has a growing list of trained facilitators around the world. The website is a comprehensive online resource for information surrounding psychedelic substances.

Akasa Journeys is a two-person team based in Los Angeles. It states that "We create a safe and comfortable, non-judgmental space, in a framework of education and harm reduction, to facilitate the intentions of those who work with us."

Fireside Project is a hotline where experts provide peer support to users who are having an intense psychedelic experience, or who want to process previous experiences that they've had in therapeutic, ceremonial, social, or any number of other settings. They do so by providing compassionate, accessible, and culturally responsive peer support, as well as educating the public and backing ongoing psychedelic research.

Tripsitters offers a directory of trip sitters -- plus a lot more information about psychedelic experiences. Its mission: "Creating a loving, supportive community of psychonauts and facilitators. Providing resources, education, and guidance for every step of the healing journey."


Final Thoughts on Using a Trip Sitter/Facilitator for Your Psychedelic Journey

Personally, because my spouse and I are both involved in this space, either one of us could serve as the trip sitter for the other -- and we have... but sometimes that is hard if we both want to experience a journey together.

So, if you have a trusted spouse or friend who is willing to read up on the subject and really -- really -- be there for you in case you start struggling with some bad memory or vision, then that should be enough than having to spend the money for a professional trip sitter... but, please make sure the person is completely up to the job. Plus, it always makes sense to start experimenting with healing by using lower dosages to see how you will react to the medicine before jumping into higher, more "heroic" dosages.

Interested in becoming a trip sitter? One great resource is The Guiding Presence, which covers the core competencies required to hold space during a psychedelic session.


Additional Trip-Sitting/Psychedelic Facilitator Resources


EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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