Dr. Ryan Westrum - The Psychedelics Integration Handbook
Release Date: 03/24/2020
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In this episode, Kyle sits down with Dr. Ryan Westrum, Psychedelic Integration Therapist. In the show, they talk about topics and teachings from Ryan’s book, The Psychedelic Integration Handbook.
3 Key Points:
- The Psychedelics Integration Handbook is designed to bring psychedelic experiences into the flow of your life and maximize their potential for helping you create the life you want to live.
- There is an important part in distinguishing integration from aftercare. Aftercare can look as simple as taking care of your body, getting good rest, eating well. You can't integrate without taking care of yourself first.
One of the pillars of integration is PREP (purpose, reflecting on experiences, expectations, potential).
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- Ryan is a Clinical Psychologist in the Minneapolis area
- He has been a licensed Marriage Therapist for 15 years
- He works in the realms of psychedelics and sexuality
- He has a 14 year old daughter, and likes to take a psychedelic approach to parenting
- He holds healing circles with mothers and fathers and their child(ren)
- Psycho-ed and harm reduction are his focus with families
- This is a group of people that need an honest conversation
- At a young age he was into Stan Grof and Jungian literature and psychedelic experiences
- His graduate program was focused on non-ordinary states of consciousness
- Kyle mentions a good book, The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise
- “As a western civilization, we have really minimized the opportunity for growth, the expansion of consciousness, and to be ourselves.” - Ryan
- These experiences are powerful, and to come back to a culture that does not support it, is hard
- The goal is being conscious with your confidence of why you're doing this work
About the Book
- The Psychedelics Integration Handbook is designed to bring psychedelic experiences into the flow of your life and maximize their potential for helping you create the life you want to live
- This is not a book with black and white answers but an offering to individual people who want to explore all the possibilities for being alive and seeking wholeness.
- The Psychedelics Integration Handbook contains historical perspective, maps of consciousness, approaches for integrating body-mind-spirit, and practical suggestions for all stages of psychedelic exploration.
The Psychedelics Integration Handbook
- The book was written for people to make it their own
- Its broken into 3 parts, educational, a ‘your turn’ section, and then integration
- Its about having a compartment, and then playing within the compartment
- Everyone has unique nuances, integration looks different to everyone
- Integration practices don't matter if they don't personally mean something to you
- The question to help determine the integration needs is, "What does the individual lead with?"
- It's the mind, body, emotion in the spirit altogether
- Immediately after a psychedelic experience, some want to talk about it, others embody it
- Do they lead with thoughts or emotions?
- There is a part in the book: The difference between integration and aftercare
- How do we distinguish between self care and integration?
- Is my body rested? Am I comfortable? Are my needs taken care of?
- Aftercare is grounding
- “If you're not taking care of your body, you won't be able to integrate” - Ryan
- It might not be as complex as it needs to be, its as simple as taking care of yourself
- An important part of aftercare, is asking yourself when it is okay to practice again
- Ryan was mentored by James Fadiman, and he believed in taking big doses every 6 months
- One of the pillars is PREP (purpose, reflecting on experiences, expectations, potential)
- Ryan says he is not the gatekeeper
- Controlling willpower is a huge step in integration
- Some people want to just take psychedelics, but not write, or do yoga, or do any other mindful activity
- Dose, set and setting are the obvious
- It's like a goldrush, some just want to jump in blindly
- You have to understand what safety means to you
- Ryan thinks we aren't talking enough about the recreational use
- He is excited about all of the conversation on therapeutic use, but he thinks we are ignoring recreational use
- He wants to see ritual and reverence in the recreational community
- Preparation is so important
- Kyle says that a lot of times after an experience he has all of these ideas for how to live his life, and he tries to practice them, but sometimes he finds himself slipping into old patterns of behavior
- Ryan says he believes there is still movement and progress, be gentle with yourself
Dr. Ryan Westrum, PhD, LMFT, is an internationally recognized psychedelic integration expert. For more than 15 years, his primary focus has been working with individuals and groups facilitating experiential therapy and integrating psychedelic journeys into healing and personal transformation. Ryan speaks on a myriad of topics and leads experiential groups, like dreamwork integration therapy and psychedelic integration groups.