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 support to those seeking assistance to plan for and integrate your experience.

“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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