Set and setting will significantly affect the quality of your psychedelic experience. Whether you decide to journey independently or as part of a group is an important consideration. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make your decision.
Psychedelic Therapy – Individual Sessions
If you choose individual psychedelic therapy, you will go through the experience independently and meet with a professional one-on-one. You are the sole focus of the session. Your therapist or integrator will help you prepare for your experience and set clear intentions, be there with you during the infusion, and help you integrate your unique experience after the treatment is over. Many people will find value in doing psychedelic therapy independently to not be influenced by others around them and connect with their inner healer. While you will not have the camaraderie of a group, Nushama provides a safe and serene environment with skilled professionals by your side to make you comfortable.
If you are an introvert who values one-on-one conversation, individual therapy may be for you. The same goes for people who are concerned with privacy. Scheduling individual sessions is more flexible and might appeal to people with busy schedules.
Benefits of Individual Sessions:
- Treatment is tailored to you
- A deeper level of analysis from your therapist
- Easier to find meeting times that fit your schedule
Psychedelic Therapy – Group Sessions
Group therapy is another possibility for psychedelic treatment. Psychedelics have a long history of being used in group settings, not just in a clinical context but in Indigenous cultures going back thousands of years. Not only does group therapy save time and money, but studies show that when people feel part of a community, it improves their psychological well-being and connectedness.
The feeling of connectedness psychedelics promotes may be the key to why they work in the first place. Sharing your mysterious journey with people going through something similar can be validating. The success of non-psychedelic group programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers is a testament to this. These groups not only foster connections but also allow people to recognize similar traumas in others and see paths forward to healing.
For obvious reasons, extroverts may prefer group sessions. They are also a great option for people who want to improve their social skills and interpersonal interactions and those who are hesitant to go through the experience independently. Group therapy is a more affordable option as well.
Benefits of Group Sessions:
- Creates a sense of affinity and connectedness with other attendees (vs. isolation)
- Shares an opportunity to learn from the key insights of others
- Builds community through a shared experience
- Lowers the cost of psychedelic therapy
Group Therapy at Nushama
Nushama has organized several gratifying group therapy experiences and plans to do more in the future. We believe in the future of groups to promote connectedness amongst our members.
Our protocol for group therapy is conducted with a cohort of 4-6 members. Certain criteria need to be met to join. Each member must have an established diagnosis of PTSD, depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or other mood disorder. Pre-existing conditions like an uncontrolled heart or thyroid disease would exclude someone from participating. Potential participants will undergo an application process and medical intake to ensure they are a good fit for the cohort and treatment.
The Nushama group program costs significantly lower than the price of individual therapy. Group therapy protocol is conducted over the course of five weeks and includes:
- Full medical and psychiatric intake
- One preparation session
- Four weekly in-person group journey sessions
- Four telemedicine group integration sessions
- One closing group session
Group journey sessions begin with breathwork, discussion, and intention setting, followed by intramuscular administration of ketamine. During recovery, members of the Nushama team will offer support and help members glean key takeaways or insights. After completion of the program, Nushama’s team checks in with members to follow up and monitor their progress. Among other things, the possibility of a booster journey will be discussed.
For Nushama members who are going through or have completed treatment, we offer ongoing group programming, including breathwork, integration circles, and sound healing. We feel that this is important in developing strong community and support systems for each other’s healing journeys.
Another valuable resource for people undergoing ketamine-assisted therapy is Roots to Thrive. Their organization offers what can be considered the gold standard for group cohorts, meeting weekly for 12 weeks, building resilience, and fostering community. Nushama’s team has been trained in Roots to Thrive’s methods.
Different types of psychedelic therapy each have their advantages and disadvantages. In deciding between individual and group sessions, personality type, goals, community, and affordability are all important factors. It is up to the individual to decide which option is the best for them.