Cultivating a Support Network

Friends about to have a group hug

Humans are social creatures. We have an innate drive to feel connected, seen, and understood. The more you relate with others, the more you realize that you are not alone in your struggles and perspectives.

Psychedelic experiences can bring to the surface complex, suppressed emotions and patterns. As this process is often quite jarring and confusing, it can be overwhelming to navigate on your own. Creating deep bonds and connections with other like-minded people activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and social engagement. Cultivating solid relationships with those who care for you can help you on your journey. As Terrance McKenna says, “find the others.”

Therapeutic Support

At some point in your explorations with psilocybin, you may find it helpful to connect with preparation and integration specialists experienced in supporting people before and after a psychedelic journey. Many people find a therapeutic relationship with either a licensed professional/clinician (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, counselor, etc.) or a trained professional (e.g., preparation and integration coach, spiritual guide, etc.) extremely helpful.

Online and In-Person Communities

Professional relationships are by no means the only support options available to you on your journey. You may be able to find psychedelic societies or communities online or in your area that organize sharing circles. This airtable list is an excellent resource for finding organizations and groups near you. You may find the plethora of online groups and forums to be a good starting point to find peers and experienced psychonauts who can relate with your experiences. Although you may not find licensed therapists or professional support in this way, these free online forums offer a first step in connecting with like-minded folks on similar journeys.

Non-Human Support

Sometimes being around animals can feel like the best support. Animals don’t judge as humans do, and some, especially dogs, can share unconditional love. Being around animals can make it easier to overcome selfcenteredness and connect with the wider world. Being in nature is one of the best ways to ground yourself. It can strengthen your sense of connectedness, inspire awe, and help you build confidence. It can remind you that you are part of the web of life.

You are made of the same elements that make up the natural world — the trees, rivers, mountains, oceans, animals, and insects. Nature time can often be one of the most effective forms of therapy and is usually free and accessible.

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