Back to the blog

Back to blog


Psychedelic integration 101 — part 1



November 15, 2021

4 min read

September 23, 2022

This series is an overview of psychedelic integration for those curious about psychedelics or people wanting to prepare for their next journey. We hope you find it helpful. Get the Psychedelic Integration 101 guide for free on Nectara.

Integration is a diverse topic with many perspectives on what it is, how it’s done, and why it’s so important. The truth is, there is no set way of approaching integration. The process will be different for everyone. This series is intended as a starting resource to build some foundational understanding and wisdom.

What is psychedelic integration?

Integration is the process of translating psychedelic-assisted experiences into clear insights and embodied action for improving your mental health and wellbeing. Integration is about creating wholeness in one’s life through dedication, patience, and embodied living.

As Huston Smith once said so beautifully:

“Integration is the challenge of transforming flashes of illumination into abiding light.”

Why should I practice integration?

At higher doses, psychedelics can hold power to disintegrate you. That can sound scary, but we don’t mean it literally, of course. What we mean is that psychedelics can induce altered and expanded states where realities, worlds, and the fabric of who you are can get bent, distorted, and ultimately rewired in a profound neurological and psychospiritual way. In other words, psychedelics can open things up and shuffle them around temporarily.

If you’ve exercised the proper set and setting, picked a skilled and ethical practitioner, and did your homework on how to set up your journey before and after, the psychedelic experience can lead to some of the most beautiful and enriching experiences you’ll ever have. Disintegration is the gift, an opportunity to walk out of the old beaten paths and explore your life in a totally new and refreshing way. This is where integration comes into play.

First, you’ve got to put it all back together. It’s like dropping the puzzle box all over the floor and then putting all the pieces back in place. Integration is a process of making sense of the insights you were gifted and translating those into tangible and precise insights and actions. It’s also a process of discarding what doesn’t land as it did during the journey. Sometimes, it’s about exploring new themes and topics you had never looked at before. In some cases, integration means facing dark or confusing aspects of the experience and finding your footing again.

An intentional and thoughtful integration process allows you to get the most out of your experience, not just right after but for the rest of your life. As you probably expect, we don’t recommend skipping integration as an essential phase of your journey planning. In fact, it’s perhaps the most important.

The benefits of integration

When a person goes through an experience characterized by altered states and mystical qualities, the gifts to unpack can be deeply profound. While all experiences and benefits will vary greatly from person to person, here are some potential and persistent benefits of a rich and holistic integration process:

  • Toward self: Increased integration of your personality; renewed sense of self-worth; relaxation of ego defenses; increased self-acceptance; increased faith in personal creativity; increased optimism; increased capacity for breath; increased vitality in the body; access to forgotten truths.
  • Toward others: greater attunement to others; increased resiliency to environments; more compassion and love; healthier and relaxed relationships; less unhealthy competition; more celebration for others; ability to create and contribute to authentic community spaces.
  • Toward life: changes in values and priorities; purpose in life; sense of meaning; increased vocational commitment; loss of fear of death; appreciation for the whole of creation; deeper connection with nature; deeper connection with ancestral lineages; mindfulness and embodiment; a shift from “Me” to “We”; dissolving barriers between the mind, body, soul, and collective biosphere.

How can I integrate?

There are multiple ways to approach integration. What you prefer is a personal choice based on your personality, environment, support systems, beliefs, and more. However, what we’ve found as a commonality in most people is the deep desire to have authentic and enriching relational fields to interact with during the integration process.

This can mean working with a guide, a wellness teacher, friends, family, or intentional community spaces. Safe spaces where you can show up authentically, be vulnerable, and be seen and heard without judgement are potent agents of change for integration. In those spaces, we realize we are really not that different from one another. We find commonalities we never knew existed. The more we interface with those community spaces, the more barriers can start to melt. We begin to feel genuinely connected to ourselves and the community once again.

Working with your practitioner is an excellent start to the integration process. They are the most familiar and intimate with who you are and how your experience was for you. You may want to start there and reach out to other people, practices, and spaces you trust and feel comfortable with.

And then there’s you, beautiful soul. Your inner healer already holds a lot of the wisdom you are seeking. Psychedelics, therapists, and community are really only there to unlock the divine nectar that already lives within you. Integration starts with you, just by the innate gifts and practices you may already be practicing. Tools like journaling, meditating, going out in nature, playing music, and so many others, are always available, with each offering gifts to your integration process.

Ultimately, each experience will open new pathways of integration for you. See what works for you and experiment with new paths. You might be surprised by finding new ways to unlock parts of you that want to be fully expressed.

This was Part 1 in our Psychedelic Integration 101 series. In our next article in the series we will explore techniques for integration, the 4 realms of integration, and more.

Download the entire guide for free in our resources.

All articles



Grid ViewList View
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Breathwork as a psychedelic integration practice
Ethical considerations for psychedelic businesses
Loving the journey of imperfection
The importance of ritual and ceremony
The essential role of integration for lasting transformation
We are moving towards healing
Meditation as a foundational practice for psychedelic integration
Why Nectara came to life
Depth vs width and mindful psychedelic integration
Psychedelic integration 101 — part 2
Psychedelic integration 101 — part 1
On purpose, leadership, and culture in a psychedelic startup
Psychedelics and the continuous chase for healing
Accept cookies to help us improve our website? We will always respect your privacy. Privacy Policy