Integration: It's What Must Be Done After Psychedelics

One of the biggest misunderstandings of psychedelics is that they are a cure-all... that they are miracle medicines. Psychedelics are a miraculous medicine for many ailments, but not a magic pill.

Psychedelics have proven power to change the brain and help people with numerous mental conditions, but their power comes from being a tool that users can use to heal themselves.

You are responsible for doing the work.

Psychedelics open certain portals and increase awareness and knowledge of hidden and suppressed events/traumas -- but participants HAVE to do the work in integrating the psychedelic experiences into real change in their lives. Your goal should be making sense of the lessons and messages you received during your journey and figure out how they can be applied to your everyday life.

Sometimes the lessons you are supposed to learn are brought out during the ceremony; others take reflection and time to come together into something meaningful. But regardless, psychedelic journeys provide you with an abundance of knowledge and insights, often an overwhelming amount.

Integration can be painful -- intense/confusing realizations, acceptance, difficult/painful changes... but integration should be for the good -- for leaving behind trauma and negative experiences and beginning anew.

Think of things this way. The psychedelic experience is the seed, your life the soil, and integration like a blooming flower, and as the petals open over time, the depth of your understanding, healing, and growth expands exponentially... so keep at it. To take this analogy one step deeper, as you are integrating your experience, you may need to change the "soil" in which you live -- so that your flower blooms bigger, better, brighter.

The key thing to remember is integration is a process that can take days, weeks, or months... and even years -- depending on how much effort you put into it and how powerful the experiences. Integration involves reflecting, meditating, journaling, sharing, and action.

Some parts of integration may be foreign to you -- maybe even something you never expected -- but the key is to remember it is a process and to keep working at it. It may also take a bit of work to find what method works best for you; there's no rush, so the key is simply taking your time to sift through your journey and start processing and making connections.

Finally, remember that you must resist the temptations to push away the lessons and insights and go back to living your life as usual. As painful as some of these actions may be, as part of your integration, you may need to break old patterns/habits, break away from certain friends or family members -- whatever it takes to foster the healing you need.

Two fantastic tools for integration are journaling and community.


The best tool for integration is journaling -- and, in fact, it's the best tool for your whole psychedelic experience, meaning once you decide to take a psychedelic medicine, you should begin journaling your thoughts, ideas, actions, etc.

You can journal in whatever way works for you -- on an electronic device, in a book or binder, using words or a combination of words and drawing/painting. The key is EXPRESSING all the details of what is going on in your head -- from the journey and moving forward with your healing/transformation.

Once you have had some time to recover from the psychedelic journey, here are some journal questions/prompts that may help you with integration:

  • How do you feel overall?

  • What was your overall impression of your journey?

  • What things did you see and experience on your journey?

  • What patterns were repeated throughout your journey?

  • What are five words that best summarize your experience?

  • What insights, visions, sensations did you experience?

  • What feels like the most important things coming from your journey?

  • What are you most grateful about regarding the experience?

  • What parts of you did you let go of? Any parts of you that died?

  • What part of the experience felt most challenging? What felt most rewarding?

  • Are there any overarching themes to your experience?

  • What are your most memorable moments, visions, insights?

  • What feelings are most alive in your body as you reflect on your journey?

  • What questions are still floating around your mind?

  • Were your journey intentions met/answered?

  • What attitudes and behaviors are no longer serving you?

  • What am I holding onto -- and what can I let go?

  • What changes might you have to make in your life?

  • What changes might you have to make in your digital life?

  • What makes me happy -- and what things do I want to avoid?

  • Does my current work align with my newly discovered self? If not, what kind of work will fit?

  • What kind of person are you now -- and did you gain insights into changes you need to make?

  • What kind of changes and conversations do you need to have with people after this experience?

  • What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of relationships do you want? How will you make these ideas and changes a reality?


One final note about integration. You should not -- and some would say cannot -- do it alone.

Whether it's the people who also participated in the psychedelic journey or your significant other or a community of others who have had psychedelic experiences, you need to seek out community... seek out others to share stories and struggles. You could also consider hiring an integration coach.

Finding your people is truly essential -- and ideally done before you start your healing journey, but as you heal, please keep adding to your community, your tribe. For help, please read my other article: Why Relationships Are KEY to a Healing Journey.

Final Thoughts on Integration

In the words of one of the most powerful marketers in the world... just do it!

How you integrate is much less important than the actual integrating... so integrate as you feel: journal, create art, write music, etc.

Integration HAS to be part of your psychedelic experience -- otherwise you are really taking the medicine recreationally.

Complete healing and transformation come from putting in the work to understand all the lessons and then determining how those lessons can be incorporated into your life... your new life.

Additional Psychedelic Integration Resources

Additional Psychedelic/Plant Medicine Articles from Dr. Randall

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.