When using psychedelic medicines such as ketamine for emotional or spiritual healing, the setting where you take the medicine will play a significant role in determining what sort of an experience you will have. The “setting” broadly refers to the physical, spiritual, and social environment in which you are using the medicine and includes examples such as a spiritual retreat, therapy office, music festival, etc. Depending on your chosen setting, you can either promote or detract from your healing goals, and it is important to consider various factors mindfully. These factors include determining where a person will physically be during their psychedelic journey, choosing who will be around them, and discerning the opportunities to manage or change aspects of the setting if needed. The Catalyst Center has thoughtfully considered these factors when developing its Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) program. This article will highlight how we work to optimize your therapeutic experience within our setting.

Location Location Location – The physical location has multiple layers, such as safety, aesthetics, and privacy. Suppose you were to take a psychedelic-like ketamine at a crowded outdoor concert. In that case, you would certainly have a different experience than if you were taking the same medicine in a private therapy office with a therapist. The concert setting has far more stimulation, activity, noise, and arguably risks. Moreover, these factors are not easily controlled and thus cannot be adjusted if you are having difficulty. On the other hand, a therapy office is quite the opposite in most regards, as the offices are designed to be quiet, comforting, and soothing locations. The Catalyst Center designed our KAP rooms to have reclining armchairs, variable lighting options, essential oil diffusers, headphones for music, eyeshades, and other comfort layers to help create a sense of containment, safety, and relaxation. A significant benefit of a relaxing setting is that it allows you to settle into your psychedelic experience rather than fighting it due to feeling unsafe or overwhelmed by the elements of the environment. We believe the physical location can help deepen the healing experience and maximize opportunities for growth when you feel safe and comfortable.

Choose Your Companions Wisely – The people with you during your medicine experience are also crucial to the setting. Choosing to take medicine around others you don’t know can be risky for several reasons. Practically, you can’t be sure of your physical safety, and you also don’t have ready access to anyone you trust in case you need support during the experience. Psychedelic medicines create potent effects that can be tremendously beneficial and healing. Still, they can also be emotionally intense experiences that might require you to have support available from a trusted companion. While some individuals choose to take psychedelic medicines with friends or loved ones, others prefer the guidance of spiritual healers, shaman, or therapy providers. Having the support and guidance from an experienced guide can help you with managing safety factors, mentoring you through the layers of the healing process, and offering insights or prompts to maximize your growth. We believe your therapeutic guide is an important part of an optimal setting and can help bring richness and depth to your healing process. The KAP providers at The Catalyst Center have completed a year-long certification process to provide specialized support for psychedelic assisted healing. We combine this specialty training with our existing clinical expertise to offer a stabilizing therapeutic presence during psychedelic work.

Maximize Opportunities to Adjust Your Setting – Everyone will have their preferences when choosing the different aspects of their setting. Some people prefer certain types of music, lighting, or even different positions for sitting/lying down. Moreover, your preferences might change in the middle of your psychedelic experience, and you might suddenly want to change something about your setting. For instance, you might find the music you are listening to becomes overwhelming, and you might want to skip to another song or style. You might decide you want a blanket or that you need eyeshades to help you move through your psychedelic experience. It is highly beneficial to have a setting where there are many opportunities to customize or change aspects as you need to. The Catalyst Center believes that a comfortable, controlled setting is conducive to the healing process. Thus we offer a range of ways to customize our therapy rooms to promote comfort and relaxation. We have many choices for music, blankets, lighting, and scents to help set the scene for you to deepen into your therapeutic work. You can also bring a sacred object with you to have in the space during your experience, which can help make the setting feel personalized. This level of customization allows the environment to promote rather than detract from your process of healing and growing.

The setting is vitally important whenever psychedelic medicines are used, especially when they are used for therapeutic and healing purposes. Considering your location, companion/guide, and whether you will have opportunities to change your setting is important to establishing a safe, private, and comfortable setting for your therapeutic work to happen. The Catalyst Center invites you to learn more about our KAP program and how we’ve built our setting to help facilitate your therapeutic journey.  



Photo Credit:

Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash





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