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Tripsiting and psychedelic therapy

Psychedelics as a tool in personality development and treatment of mental disorders

A psychedelic journey can take many forms. In addition to the fact that the content varies from person to person, and between each trip for the same individual, the nature of the experience can also be different from time to time. People describe everything from light and playful, mysterious and cosmic to dark and demanding experiences. - Or all this and more can happen in one and the same experience.

All these aspects of a psychedelic journey bring with them their own challenges and associated redemptive potential. In order to channel this in a processing, healing and personality-developing direction, it is very important that the journey is facilitated in a thoughtful way. This requires both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

For us as trip sitters/psychedelic guides, it is important to have control over what is calledseenandsetting, not least so that the psychedelic journey will have an optimal developing effect. Under the influence of psychedelics you can become very emotionally vulnerable - in some cases more than ever since you were lying at your mothers breast. This is also part of itwhat makes the potential so great, and the results so startling. Our task is to create a safe space – both psychologically and purely concretely – where clarifying and constructive processes can take place.

In this space, what comes to the surface can be acknowledged, processed and placed in an appropriate context. The strong perspective-expanding properties of psychedelic drugs have the effect that experiences that your psyche was previously "slaved to" can be placed in a completely new light and seen from a completely different angle - a perspective where they no longer have as much power. The same applies to frightening, overwhelming or incomprehensible experiences from a difficult childhood, war or other traumatic events.

We all also have a set of more or less well-functioning "selves". These selves are composed of deep-seated ideas and stories about who we are and what we can say, think and feel, as well as how we should act in given situations. These selves also include given worldviews, i.e. perspectives on ourselves and reality as such. In some of the selves we are relatively well-functioning, while in others we can be very dysfunctional, depending on the situation we find ourselves in. There can also be more or less specific "triggers" that without warning bring us into a younger, darker or smaller well-functioning version of ourselves. Without help or other external influence, it can be difficult to get yourself out of this. The experience is that in a psychedelic session we open up so that these different sides of ourselves can communicate, while our higher self is fully present and can put the dark and dysfunctional perspectives aside, in favor of something that is both better and truer. 

Since a psychedelic experience opens up both thoughts, feelings and the body senses, the effect is usually much more pervasive than, for example, cognitive therapy, where one tries to force new feelings and action patterns through practicing thinking differently. Under the influence of, for example, psilocybin is what happens genuine, in the way that it takes place directly inside the experiencing and experiencing part of you - and not only on the surface. 

The goal is anyway that you yourself should be able to master your moods, thoughts and feelings - rather than this continuing to be the result of past experiences, random influences from the environment or unfortunate chemical events in your organism. In the same way, it is our aim and wish that you should not become dependent either on us or on other helpers. We are happy to contribute a bit along the way, and the idea is that you should be able to walk the road further on your own – so that you can become all that you can become. 

What can be processed or processed?

Experience from the 1960s shows that most patient groups can be treated with psychedelics (the treatments were mainly carried out with LSD and psilocybin), but that in the case of serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia or certain types of personality disorders, a much more adapted, comprehensive and long-term scheme with a much closer follow-up than what we can offer in this setting. For example, attempts to treat serious disorders should be carried out in connection with admission to a suitable center with experienced, empathetic and genuinely caring therapists and support staff. As the situation is with both legislation and the general view of people in society and psychiatry, it is unfortunately not possible for us to offer this. The same applies as a general rule to acute suicide risk.

Recent research (read articles here) shows very good results with psilocybin treatment of, among other things, anxiety, depression, PTSD and various addictions. Patients facing death due to an incurable disease also appear to have changed their perspective in a way that, at best, makes the last time less filled with fear, regret or other difficult emotions. Many also feel that they get to make up for difficult relationships with people who are still alive or deceased. Although the outcome is usually good, the process is not necessarily pleasant while it is going on. Meeting ones own death face to face can be one of the most cruel and demanding things a person can face. At the same time, the potential is great to be able to let go of the physical body and its life in a better way than one could otherwise have done.

What about bad trips?

During all work with psychedelics, the material that is uncovered and brought to life can be experienced as very demanding at times. That is precisely why they are mentionedseenandsettingso important. The tales of bad trips mainly come from environments that have used psychedelics for recreational purposes (which can be ok if you know what you are doing), and expect to mainly experience fun patterns, colors and an all-encompassing feeling of love. Unfortunately, life has not been filled only with this for most of us, and when the difficult material we carry within us breaks out in the middle of the party, this is naturally experienced as a "bad trip". The term therefore rests partly on a misunderstanding of what psychedelics are, something the party and "flower power" culture must take part of the blame for. Within the more serious therapeutic and personality-developing field, encountering difficult experiences is a necessary source of great growth. In reality, it is often in a controlled setting desirableto bring fear and other challenging emotions to the surface so that they can be processed and lose their power. Precisely for this reason, it is important that the situation is as best possible as possible for safe handling of whatever may arise.

It has also been reported that well-intentioned healthcare personnel, in the face of a person experiencing a bad trip, have given the patient sedatives to interrupt the difficult experience. This has negative consequences in that the patient does not get to finish and integrate the difficult experiences. Thus, one can continue to be stuck in the discomfort that caused the difficult experience, instead of the therapeutic potential being redeemed. (Stanislav Grof, LSD Psychotherapy). Again, this emphasizes the importance of not uncritically playing with these substances outside of a safe and knowledge-based setting. In a controlled setting, the use of psychedelics is safe and developmental for the vast majority of people.

What do we expect from you?

Naturally, you must not withhold information about your own health, such as underlying heart defects, epilepsy or recurrent psychotic episodes. The same applies to pregnancy. 

When it comes to drug interactions, there is some evidence to say that lithium should not be combined with psilocybin, as it can induce seizures. If you are on lithium, you must definitely talk to your doctor before you decide to taper off or stop.

If you are taking antidepressants (SSRI/SNRI), you may unfortunately find that the effect of the psychedelic substance does not apper. This may be possible to compensate for by increasing the dose, but the difficult thing then is to assess how much the dose must be increased to achieve the desired effect. The danger (although very small when consuming psilocybin) is that so-called serotonin syndrome occurs, which in the worst case can be fatal. We therefore do not wish to assist in sessions where the client wishes to combine high doses of psychedelics with antidepressants.

What will you be able to experience?

Typically, we recommend that the session starts with the intake of 1.6-5 grams of dried psilocybin mushroom. From a therapeutic perspective is Psilocybe Cubensispreferably grown under controlled conditions – mushrooms from the forest have a very variable content of psychoactive substances, and therefore a less predictable effect.

From when you swallow the substance until you start to notice that something is happening, it will typically take around 45 minutes. In this time, we continue to talk about what is to come, and reinforce what we have already talked about in terms of what you want to achieve with the psychedelic journey. And in fact, it is the case that your intention often becomes the theme of the journey. For a first experience, this intention can be quite broad – for example, to gain more self-insight.

 

The atmosphere in the room should be calm and relaxed, with subdued lighting and good heat in the room. Blankets, pillows and other comforts must be available. When you start to notice that something is happening, you put on a blindfold, so that the energy and focus is directed inwards, rather than towards things outside the room.

Depending on the size of the dose, one of the first things you may notice is that you see vivid, colorful patterns for your interior. At the same time, you may feel the need to stretch your body: arms, legs, neck/head and abdominal muscles are typical. It is positive to reinforce this consciously (cf. Stanislav Grof,LSD Psychotherapy), as in this phase there is a release of accumulated bodily tensions that usually prevent us from opening up to our own inner self and the worlds behind - the reality behind the constructed illusions and fixed perspectives of everyday life. Many people also feel cold in the body during this phase. At relatively low doses, many people do not notice these bodily effects.

The next thing is that you notice an incipient, comfortable fusion with everything around you. All impressions become clearer, feelings stronger, and it can feel as if you are one with or traveling along with the music on your headphones. The right kind of music (usually only instrumental) is important to help the mind go on the journey you are about to embark on.

What happens next is a mystery from an ordinary, scientific worldview: You can gain completely new insights about yourself, including information about your place in the family line and even in humanity as a whole. You can also become aware of your place in nature, as well as in what many would perceive as the spiritual part of reality. The important thing here is to be open to what comes, let it work in you and take it with you. We help you prepare for this in the conversation before the actual journey starts.

If the intention of the trip is to work with particularly difficult material – such as trauma of various kindsyou may be able to relive and gain a new perspective on the events that have caused problems for you. At best, the trauma will lose its power over you, and you can move on as a freer and happier person.

Many also experience that something significant happens with conflicts or difficult relationships - either with the living, or those who have long since passed away. A new calm can also arise around the loss of loved ones: a deep acceptance of death is closely intertwined with life, and that it is as meaningful a state as the time we spend in physical form. These are insights that are difficult to acquire in our normal, everyday conscious state, but once you have had such experiences they stay with you for the rest of your life.

After 1 1/2 - 2 hours, the most intense part of the journey usually culminates, and the experience often changes character in the direction of redemption and integration. After another 1 1/2 - 2 hours, most people will feel like turning off the music and taking off the blindfold, and either talk about what happened, or just sit and let things fall into place. In any case, in the next few hours you will be unusually open and intuitive, and often many of the most interesting and useful associations happen here. These are very valuable hours, and it is important not to have appointments or things you have to attend to later in the day. Here you should feel like we have all the time in the world, and we are there to help you with integrative and summarizing reflections that, at best, can forever change your life in a positive direction.

What about microdosing?

Also so called microdosingof psychedelics is relatively common. When microdosing, 1/10 of a regular trip dose is usually used, which should ideally be barely noticeable. It is also common to take such a microdose approx. every third day. There is evidence to claim that such a dosage regimen works against certain forms of anxiety, restlessness and depression - as well as for better focus throughout the day. If microdosing the psychedelic psilocybin is something you are interested in, we are happy to help you with advice, tips and general information. 

Arrangements and prices

A full-day session with psilocybin or equivalent lasts 6 to 8 hours. In addition, there is qualification/preparation over the phone, as well as follow-up over the phone approx. one week after the treatment session. Total price € 1,000.

A program with LSD will last 12-16 hours, in addition to preparation/qualification and follow-up.

Total price € 1.400.

We look forward to working with you.

Markus wants to break the law in the hope of recovery

He has struggled with PTSD since he was a teenager. After many failed attempts to get better, Markus now wants to test an illegal method. Markus does not remember growing up without violence. It has left its mark. PHOTO: ANDERS FEHN / NRK Tuva Skei Tønset Journalist. Anders Fehn Photographer We report from Oslo Published 18 Dec. at 12:00 Updated 18 Dec. at 12:30 Markus grew up in a violent home. A home he stayed in for many years because no one intervened. He is now in his early 30s and lives in Oslo. His name is not really Markus, but wants to remain anonymous. - I have both seen and experienced a lot of violence. It was part of the discipline. I have lived in a lot of uncertainty and chaos. He says that the brutal childhood has resulted in a life severely limited by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And despite many attempts, no treatment has made him well. Only this year has Markus reported the conditions he experienced as a child and youth. PHOTO: ANDERS FEHN / NRK Need to strengthen the offer NRK recently published a case about the phenomenon of "trip sitting". It shows people trying to heal the mentally ill with illegal drugs. Without a healthcare background. They call themselves tripsitters. Half a million Norwegians have read the case, and there have been many reactions. The government now recognizes that there is a need to strengthen the provision for people with serious mental disorders. But at the same time, they do not indicate anything other than that they will create a new escalation plan with earmarked money. A plan they believe will contribute to better services in the municipalities and increased capacity in the specialist health service. Some of the reactions NRK has received are criticisms of existing healthcare services. Some also want contact with tripsitters in the hope of getting well. Markus is one of those who will use the illegal method. He made the decision before NRK published its case about the phenomenon. Got progressively worse At secondary school, Markus was good at school and motivated. It resulted in a diploma with only fives and sixes. NRK has seen a copy of the certificate.

But when Markus started high school, the trauma began to leave a strong mark on the young body. - I went from being good at school to not being able to pick up a book. In high school, the worst symptoms began to appear. The illness means that Markus is unable to complete education. Or keep a job. That despite the fact that he has tried many times. As many as 75-90 per cent of the population will experience at least one serious traumatic event during their lifetime. Almost ten percent of these will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Common symptoms are flashbacks, sleep difficulties, isolation and the body being constantly on alert. Of all those with PTSD, around 25 percent will have the diagnosis for at least ten years. Source: The Research Institute at Modum Bad ILLUSTRATIONS: ELLEN KARIN MOEN/NRK Markus has given existing treatment options many attempts, but without success. He criticizes the public health system for being overburdened. He himself has experienced that therapists do not have time for him. In addition, Markus believes that there are too few who have good expertise in PTSD. And that the queue for those with good skills is too long.   Markus is unable to function as well as he would like in everyday life. PHOTO: ANDERS FEHN / NRK Will make treatment more accessible Peter Sele is a psychologist specialist and researcher at Modum Bad. He is currently doing research in the field of trauma. Sele believes that there are good and legal forms of treatment that actually work against PTSD. The problem, he says, is that they are not available enough. - It is too variable who has enough expertise, and whether trauma patients actually get help or not, says Sele. that more people with PTSD should receive good treatment. PHOTO: MODUM BAD He believes that the healthcare system does not have a good enough system to offer the type of treatment that has shown the best effect. The health service is too uneven, according to Sele. In order for it to even out and be available throughout Norway, he believes a big boost is needed. - Healthcare personnel must know that there is effective treatment and be trained in it. It will cost money to train, guide and maintain the competence. Sele can partially understand that people with PTSD become so desperate that they choose to go to an illegal tripsitter. - But it is a big chance to take if you go for something that is not documented and which can also be harmful, says Sele. The government will increase capacity NRK has been in contact with the Ministry of Health and Care to obtain an interview with the Minister of Health. However, she has not had time to sit for an interview. But we have received a reply to the email from State Secretary Ellen Moen Rønning-Arnesen (Ap). - Is public healthcare good enough when more mentally ill people resort to illegal methods to get well? - There is a need to strengthen the provision for people with serious mental disorders. The government will draw up a new escalation plan for mental health with earmarked funds. Ellen Moen Rønning-Arnesen believes that more needs to be done for the mentally ill in Norway. PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND CARE. Rønning-Arnesen adds that the escalation should expand the offer in the municipalities and ensure increased capacity in the specialist health service. - Our aim is to reduce the waiting time, and increase the quality and breadth of the offer. In this work, we will also look at how things are going with people who receive treatment from our services. - What do you think about the fact that today's health care also contributes to creating a larger market for illegal business? - The use of illegal drugs is potentially very dangerous. Except in clinical trials, the use of drugs that have not been approved is not recommended. When asked how the new government will work to better care for people with PTSD, Rønning-Arnesen replies: - There are many types of treatment for PTSD. Although many recover, we also know that some suffer from symptoms for a long time. It is therefore important that new treatment methods are researched and developed. Have an appointment with a tripsitter Not everyone has the patience to wait for the politicians. Markus wants to get started on life, and believes that illegal drugs will help him along the way. He is willing to take the risk that he will not tolerate the drug mentally or physically. Therefore, Markus has decided to go to a tripsitter. - I have gone through everything that is therapy for PTSD. And it hasn't worked for me. That's why I want to try psychedelic therapy with MDMA. The plan is to go through three sessions with the tripsitter. Between sessions, he will also go to a psychologist to process.  MDMA is an illegal drug that increases the level of serotonin and oxytocin in the brain. Also called the happiness and love hormones. ILLUSTRATION: KARI ANNE GISETSTAD ANDERSEN / NRK - I want to tell my story to draw attention to the diagnosis of PTSD. It is little talked about and many do not understand what the disease entails. Markus wants to make the politicians realize that there must be a better offer for everyone who struggles with the same things as him. - There are many sick people who cannot enter anywhere. The system doesn't work, and people get sicker. The hope is that Markus' future will be brighter than the past. - I want to finish some of the worst things, so I can focus on my studies and work for myself. "End goal" is to start your own business and get ahead in life.

 Although life has been tough, Markus has not lost hope for a better future.

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