Integration is arguably the single most important factor in what gives a profound experience its lasting therapeutic and personal growth value, rather than going on a journey that sweeps you up for a while before fading into memory. After an experience, you may have a wealth of thoughts, emotions, messages, images, etc. to integrate into your life. At this point the ketamine is doing its work by creating new neural pathways but you still have to do your part to ensure your experience is meaningful and can lead you further into your wellness journey. Ketamine is a tool… it is not a magic bullet that will transform your life without any effort on your part.
Ways to integrate:
- If you recorded your session (video or audio), watch or listen to it to gain insight into the experience. Sometimes you may say something during the experience where you may need to hear something to trigger the memory of it.
- Journaling: Write it down! One of the most beneficial ways to integrate is to write down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You can also include how your experience is contributing to your overall wellness journey.
- Art: Many people enjoy employing creative outlets to integrate their experience through visuals, words, and concepts.
- Group integration meetings: You are not alone! After a profound experience, it can be beneficial to discuss what you saw and felt during your journey with others who may have had similar experiences.
- One-on-one integration sessions: For especially difficult sessions you may want to speak with a therapist or our psychiatrist to delve further into the experience, derive meaning, and move forward.
- Talking with a loved one, family, or friend: Sometimes just talking about your experience can help you to understand it better. If you have a supportive friend, family member, or loved one, he/she can be an integral part of your healing journey. Explaining your experience to them may lead you both to a fuller understanding of who you are and what makes you, you.
Without change there can be no progress…
Ketamine can do a lot of amazing things, but it cannot change your diet, habits, environment, or who you associate with. All of these things have to come from the individual and it takes courage and bravery to facilitate these changes. In the days and weeks that follow an experience it may become easier to allow these changes to become a part of your usual lifestyle. However, it is important that if these changes are resisted the will to make these changes may fade. That is why it is imperative to reflect, integrate, and make changes directly following a session.
The power to change both ourselves and the world around us lies in action, and all the insights in the world will change nothing until we ourselves facilitate the change.