How to Prepare for a Psychedelic Journey

A logistical guide for undergoing a psychedelic experience.

by Paul Jozsef

Psychedelic Journey - Paul Jozsef Counselling & Coaching | Montreal

Below is a harm-reduction and logistical guide for preparing for and undergoing a therapeutic psychedelic experience.

One of the most determinant factors in having a ‘good trip’ is ‘set and setting.’ Set and setting describe the physical, mental, social and environmental context than an individual brings into a psychedelic experience. The set is the mental state a person brings to the experience, like thoughts, mood and expectations. The setting is the physical and social environment.

Please note – I do not provide psychoactive substances, nor do I recommend their use. However, if you intend to journey into altered states of consciousness, I offer psychedelic integration therapy and coaching to those seeking assistance to plan for and integrate their experiences.

“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream
It is not dying.”
Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles

The Days Before

  • Start thinking about and setting your intentions for your experience.
  • Create a mind-map of ideas/concepts to explore.
  • Meditate.
  • Light exercise.
  • Sleep.
  • Ensure that you’re well hydrated. Water, coconut water, non-caffeinated teas.
  • Ensure that you have a few snacks for your journey — fruit, nuts, (good) chocolate.
  • Prepare a music playlist. Classical, ‘world music,’ music without lyrics is best.

The Night Before

  • Tidy the room you will be in for your experience. Get your mind-map, journal, pillow, blanket, eye-mask, music and headphones ready.
  • Prepare the bathroom. Ensure you have enough toilet paper, a face cloth, a towel for a shower.
  • Prepare snacks for during your journey and a light dinner for afterwards.
  • Prepare cups/mugs/bottles for drinks you may want during your experience.
  • Lay a yoga mat down for during your experience. You may feel like stretching your body.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep.
  • DO NOT WATCH ANY TELEVISION OR USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

The Day of – Before

  • Meditate.
  • Eat a light breakfast at least 3 hours before beginning your journey.
  • Ensure that you’re hydrated.
  • Wear comfortable, layer-able clothing.
  • Go over your intentions.
  • DO NOT WATCH ANY TELEVISION OR USE SOCIAL MEDIA. Try to limit external stimuli. The idea is that you turn inward.

The Day of – During

  • Don’t push/pull yourself in any direction. Should you feel like you want to go over the mind-map, do it. If you wish to put your eye-mask and headphones on, do it.
  • If you feel like it, talk to your sitter.
  • If you’re able, try meditation. Sit with ANY feelings that may come up. As best you can, try not to get in your own way. Let the experience flow.
  • If you feel like it, journal.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • DO NOT WATCH ANY TELEVISION OR USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

The Day of – After

  • Eat something. You may not feel like it, but it will be a good idea to get nutrients into you. Soup, toast, fruit, nothing too heavy. No caffeine.
  • If you’re up for it, go for a walk outside.
  • DO NOT WATCH ANY TELEVISION OR USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

The Day After

  • Meditate.
  • Journal.
  • Go outside, walk.
  • Let the experience sink in. Try not to force anything.
  • DO NOT WATCH ANY TELEVISION OR USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

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