Is it really therapy?
No. At least not yet. Both therapy and facilitation play significant roles in supporting individuals on their journeys to healing, but they differ in their methods and focus.
Therapy is a structured, clinical approach that often involves licensed mental health professionals. It delves deep into the roots of psychological and emotional issues, aiming to provide a safe space for individuals to explore and understand their past, thoughts, and emotions. Therapy can be an essential resource for those with complex mental health conditions, trauma, or long-standing issues that require in-depth, professional guidance. The therapeutic relationship is built on trust and is rooted in a formal, regulated framework that's designed to promote healing and personal growth.
Facilitation, on the other hand, offers a more flexible, unstructured approach to support. Facilitators are often experienced guides who provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to engage with transformative experiences, such as those facilitated by psychedelics. While not offering the same level of formal clinical expertise, good facilitators excel in creating a sacred and nurturing space for self-discovery, growth, and insight. They may not engage in deep psychological analysis, but their expertise in the realms of the psychedelic experience is invaluable. Facilitation is an excellent choice for those seeking personal growth, profound insights, and exploration rather than formal therapy.
Why do I need a facilitator?
It’s Oregon Law. In addition, the recognition of the significance of guided psychedelic journeys is increasing. While the allure of self-exploration is tempting, the guidance of an expert offers invaluable benefits, as exemplified by numerous instances in indigenous cultures. A skilled guide ensures your physical safety and helps set a clear intention for your journey. They play a crucial role in amplifying the energy field and creating a clean, nurturing environment. Their supportive touch and assistance with practical needs during and after the journey are vital. Additionally, they bring their own insights and guides to assist you through the experience, making the journey more profound.
Ultimately, a trusted guide helps you navigate the complexities of a psychedelic journey, supporting a transformative and safe experience.
What is the facilitator’s role?
In addition to the co-creation of your journey experience, facilitators are primarily there for safety. Here are some interesting facts about what a facilitator can and can’t do under Oregon Measure 109:
Facilitators are required to walk with you to the restroom, wait outside the restroom door, and then walk you back to the administration room. We are NOT allowed to assist you in walking or toileting in any way. If for some reason you are in the restroom for more than 10 minutes, we may knock on the door to make sure you are doing okay. If you feel you may need help getting to and from the restroom, talk to your facilitator about that during the Orientation session.
Facilitators are required to know the emergency protocol in case you need medical attention. We understand the sensitivity and stigma of using psychedelics, so we will be discerning and make every attempt to not contact emergency services unless necessary. If emergency services are needed, please be aware that we are required to file a report with the state. You are responsible for the cost of emergency services. We will also notify your emergency contact person.
Facilitators are not allowed to handle any product. We can guide you through preparing the mushroom for consumption. If you choose to have a second or “boost” dose, you will need to be able to open the package yourself.
If a Facilitator needs to use the restroom during your administration, one of the staff personnel will stay with you.
What should I consider in finding the right facilitator?
This is a very important decision as you are extra vulnerable during the altered state. Here are some considerations you may want to explore further with any facilitator:
1. Do they require a thorough screening and intake process as well as a consultation? It’s important that they make sure you are ready for your journey, and they give you an opportunity to make sure they are a good fit.
2. Do they stress the importance of preparation and integration? Being thoughtful and intentional before and after the journey will help to create a complete and supported journey.
3. Are they flexible to your desires and needs or do they have their own way of doing things? You want a facilitator that is more about creating a great experience for you.
4. Do they give realistic expectations and perspective? You don’t want someone to give the impression that psilocybin (or psychedelics in general) is going to be a miracle cure or promise that your journey will go a specific way. Earth medicine has a wisdom of its own and will show you what you need to see not necessarily what you want to see.
5. Does the facilitator’s lived experience of psychedelics align with your intention? If you are seeking the experience of a psilocybin journey for healing or personal growth and the facilitator has only every experienced it recreationally, they may not be able to support you the way you will need.
6. How do they respond when you talk about consent? You want a facilitator who personifies integrity and is diligent in respecting your boundaries especially while you’re in an altered state.
7. Have they ever begun a relationship with a client? It is never appropriate for a professional to seek a relationship with a client, even if the client initiates it - knowing the that the closeness that develops with someone who is choosing to be vulnerable is not to be confused for personal feelings (called transference and counter transference).
8. Do they acknowledge power dynamics? Understanding power dynamics in a client-professional relationship is crucial for fostering a healthy and ethical dynamic. It helps ensure that the facilitator maintains a balanced approach, promoting transparency, trust, and effective communication. This awareness also prevents the misuse of power and generates a collaborative environment that is conducive to the client's well-being and empowerment.
9. What is their training regarding trauma informed care and harm reduction? You want a facilitator who will be able to create a safe space and reduce the chances of your journey from becoming a traumatic experience. This is especially true if you are a person with disability, a person of color or a person part of the LGBTQIA2S+ identities.