What is Organic Integration by Deanne Adamson, Women in Psychedelics Apr 2024

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When and how do the lasting benefits of psychedelic therapies show up in a person’s life? What is that process that makes it so? How does one ensure their time, energy, and efforts count? What is organic integration and why is this essential to getting good, pure, and lasting results? What do facilitators, sitters, coaches, and supporters need to know about integration that is not being spoken about?

Transcript: Deanne Adamson, What Is Organic Integration? Hello. Thank you, Lakshmi, and thank you, Eric. I’m excited to be here, excited to support this event. It’s such a great idea and to bring everyone together on the same screen so we can see each other and share about ourselves. I’m just so honored to be here. So thank you, everyone. READ MORE

Welcome to Women in Psychedelics, an event sponsored by Lakshmi Narayan of Awake.net and Eric Swenson of Holly House, who organized the event. We also have two other sponsors: Entheo Society of Washington state and Ancestral Heart of North Carolina. I for one am just so grateful to be here and to be a part of this event and to kick it off as the first speaker with the presentation that I’ve prepared for today and actually never given before. So I’m excited to share that with you, and then we’ll go into a Q&A afterward to discuss some of these things if you’d like. 

I looked over the roster of all the women speaking today and tomorrow and so everybody is really in for a treat. It is so amazing to hear from all these women who have truly trailblazed creative approaches to helping women and men through psychedelic therapies to hear your experiences and to hear your expertise. I think about life right now and there’s a lot of chaos and a lot going on in our society, but I also think it’s just such a wonderful time to be alive. 

It really has my full attention, curiosity, and my heart and soul to fulfill my greatest hope and my greatest mission and to be a part of a movement like this that supports people’s awakening and helping them get out from underneath whatever it is that’s holding them down or back and to discover the purpose of life and the path of the true self is just really astonishing. I’m really grateful that I have found my way into this industry to be able to explore and do this work. 

So thanks again, Lakshmi and Eric, for creating this forum for us to come forward and talk about what is most important to us. Many of us have been doing this work for a long time, years or decades, and there’s a lot that we’ve learned that we want to share to help new generations that are coming into this work and really, just like the current movement in general, to operate with as effectively and heart-centered and ethical practices as we possibly can. So here we go. 

First, I’ll share just a little bit about myself then I’ll share about our Being True to You and our mission and then I will get into my talk for today. So about me, I’m Deanne Adamson. I’m originally from the Dakotas. I’ve lived many places, but I now reside in Colorado in the Four Corners area. I’ve lived a pretty good life, maybe a little risky at times, but I always carved my own path through life. I always wanted to explore more. 

I always wanted to see what else was out there. I never wanted to take the path that was already laid out for me, so I broke a lot of rules and tried a lot of different things, but I always did it with a smile and a kind heart. I was always respectful to my parents and authorities, and I was remorseful when due, but I could always talk my way out of things and just had a good case for my curiosity and the things that I wanted to explore. 

I first got my bachelor’s degree then I went on and got a master’s degree. I’ve worked as a mental health counselor, as a victim advocate in the court system, and in other human services. I’ve been through academia, healthcare, the judicial system, the non-profit sector, and then I worked in the service and hospitality industry for a long time until age 29. At 29 in 2010, I decided to leave my career in mental health counseling behind and start a business that I knew nothing about at the time. But I felt compelled to explore ways to better navigate the human experience and human suffering beyond what I could see in the mental healthcare system and what they had outlined. What I didn’t see was mental illness and pathology. 

I didn’t see that people needed corrective medication, maybe corrective behavior and character development, but I just saw that what was happening in terms of human hardships and human suffering was really a natural part of the human experience. Life just wears people down and I believe that there was a different path to help people to transform and transcend many of the ailments, issues, symptoms and blocks that people were dealing with. 

So I started a company called Being True to You in 2010. I honestly had no idea what I would discover and how incredible this whole journey would become. Thanks to all the people involved with Being True to You, some on this call and some that may be listening because I just couldn’t do it without this community. That’s really what makes it so special. Again that’s what’s so great about this event today is just bringing people together to have these conversations, share different viewpoints, and then get to discuss these points but also see how we can co-create and collaborate. 

Being True to You is an all-online company. It’s a transformational and integration coaching and coach-training company. We also offer sitters’ training, clinic retreats, staff training, and then preparation and integration coaching services to our psychedelic partner clients. 

Our mission has always been since the beginning to help over a million people leverage experiences of addiction and other states of suffering as a launching pad for transformation to make the whole journey of suffering worth it. If we give up in the middle or we die in the middle, it can be quite tragic, but if we can use these circumstances as an opportunity to transform ourselves then we’re actually using it for good, and we’re using it for growth and improvement. Every person that does that can then go on and help a bunch more people. So that’s our goal. 

We want to train a hundred thousand integration coaches. We train professionals and students and people coast to coast and around the world. We want to train people in every zip code so that there are people in every area that can help other people to rid themselves of addiction and personal issues that are really holding them back, holding people in a personal prison really. We also have the goal to raise the standards of practice, to restore the ethics of humanity in healthcare, and to bring good principles back into human services and company culture. 

My expertise is to train coaches to coach clients to help them integrate their life experiences, not just psychedelic experiences. There are all kinds of transformational experiences that people can integrate whether they were experiences that people consciously stepped into like a psychedelic experience or maybe even like having a child or whether it’s a sudden change, something that somebody didn’t expect to go through, that now they’re having to integrate. 

So there’s a lot of different integration that happens through our community and just through this work. Of all the lessons and all the discoveries and all the takeaways for this presentation I’m going to speak about something a little bit different than I normally do: a clean and holistic approach to integration that is most ethical, moral, and effective in helping clients discover the path of their true self. That’s really what we’re all about is helping people find the path of their true self. 

There’s a lot of components to that from healing trauma and improving ourselves and figuring out our purpose in life, but the core where we find that everybody meets is this path of the true self. Everything that we do really regards and is looked at in that perspective. So today I will look at integration in the context of psychedelic therapies. I would say that most of us would agree that when you have well-integrated, well- regulated, non-toxic, ethically sourced, properly administered, tested, and improved psychedelic substances that they can bring therapeutic benefits supporting a person’s healing and growth when it is rightfully integrated. But I want to add there that there’s a lot of points to mention and there’s a lot of factors to dial in when it comes to integration. We understand that with any experience what you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. But I want to add that how you go about something and what factors are included also matter. 

There are lots of ways to get off track in integration and really there’s just any number of attractions, distractions, and undetectable interference that can block a person’s integrative efforts and results. So that’s what we want to look at today because what we’ve seen is that the path onward and forward and upward is pretty simple and straightforward. And it’s more effective when it’s just like a clean environment where there’s less involved. There’s just a lot of stuff that’s being put into people’s journey these days, so we’re going to look at that a little today and that’s why I have psychedelic therapies. Then I’ll just touch on the purpose, the benefits, and the possibilities through the integration of psychedelic therapies because ultimately that’s what we’re after—helping people to get the results. 

Organic integration is a term that I’m using so that I can talk about the importance of clean, pure, centered, and grounded integration that is free of unnecessary, distracting, and even harmful things. Organic is a term used to describe what is natural, pure, unaltered, what is healthful and wholesome. The word organic grew in popularity only after foods and products started to add harmful things to increase certain benefits, but it was at the cost of others. 

There was a time in the past where organic really wasn’t even a well-known word, but when things sort of get diluted and a lot of harmful things are added then we start to look at what is organic and that’s what I want to do today: define clean integration. What I’ve learned after 14 years of offering psychedelic integration work is that the best and most effective and ethical way to support people’s integration is to do so in a mindful, clean, and organic fashion that is tuned into a person’s true self without adding a bunch of unnecessary stuff. So I’m going to go through eight points today describing organic integration so you know what to do and what not to do within each point as well. For this presentation I’m speaking to professionals and facilitators, sitters, coaches, counselors, and then I’m also speaking to you. You know the voyagers yourself whether you’re doing the work or whether you’re helping someone with the work. I believe that these eight points are very relevant to think about. 

Number one is active integration. When we think about organic integration I think about taking an active role, participating in one’s own transformational process. Integration in general is just an active personal process even if you’re training your brain to meditate to be still to let go this still requires focus and it requires work. In the transformational process as we all know, the work comes up bit by bit, it comes up randomly, it comes up spontaneously. We don’t really know when our work is going to come up, so integration is really engaging the moment you’re noticing the thoughts that are coming up. You’re observing your reactions and your responses, you’re noticing the sequence of events that lead up to a particular moment so you can start to understand how am I contributing to what is going on in my life? Integration is looking inward at yourself—how did I create or allow the situation to happen. Understanding that everything is co-created at some level, integration is applying a self-reflective tool or a grounding or integrative tool to deepen the process. Essentially a person is going to get out of their psychedelic experience what they put into their integration. 

Now if we want to look at the reverse, we would look at inactive integration. I know there’s some nuances here, because sometimes just taking the passenger seat and relaxing and just being is good. But when we look at somebody that is just not focused, they’re not noticing, they’re not engaging in their integration, they’re not paying attention to the material that’s coming up in real time. They’re actually looking at it as interference, like “Oh I can’t believe my depression is back”, or “I can’t believe that my partner is creating all this drama for me. It’s affecting my integration”. It’s like no, this is your integration, right? And so this is what we’re doing when we’re helping people to integrate, whatever material comes up, this is integration. 

The opposite of active integration would be inactive integration where a person is distracting themselves. They’re escaping from what’s coming up, they’re avoiding it, they’re not actively engaged in their own process, it’s like they’re just expecting things to happen, but not realizing, okay, I have to help this process. 

Number two is letting go and releasing things. As a culture, we’re always wanting to find the answer: take more medication, add things into our process. But what I see is that organic integration is really about freeing ourselves of all things, letting go, looking within and finding attachments and releasing them rather than taking on more things. We stop taking things rather than praying for more. We find comfort in less rather than holding on to things so tightly and trying to control them. 

We’re learning to let go of things—whatever is constricting or blocking or holding us down we’re resolving it. Our emotions, our desires, our cravings, our needs for things, we’re dissolving this. Our pursuits, our obsessions, our control patterns, we’re freeing ourselves of this. We are cleansing our mind, our body, our energy field, and we are practicing and learning to let go of things. This is organic integration, the releasing of things in our mind and our body in our field in our life. 

So the opposite of this, if we were looking at what is inorganic integration would be restricted integration, specifically meaning clinging to things, refusing to try something new, staying stuck in old ways that clearly are not working, letting our emotions, desires, pursuits, or attachments control us, trying to control other people so that we can be more comfortable—all of that is the opposite of letting go and is going to serve to go in the opposite direction of effective integration. 

Number three would be clean integration. To integrate in a healthy way would be to maintain a clean and sober life. Anything else is really going in the opposite direction. Clean integration could mean just following a clean diet and eating nutrient-rich foods. We’ve always heard that we are what we eat, and food fuels us in good and bad ways and so this is a huge part also, as is staying hydrated, drinking pure electrolyte alkaline liquids. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to clients who are in a really bad way in their integration, and we discover they haven’t eaten in three days and they’re not even hydrated because they’re so anxious or for another reason. So there are times where I just stop and think okay are you drinking water? What are you eating right now? What’s your sleeping schedule like? You know this isn’t clean integration when people are putting a bunch of stuff into their brain, body, and life right after a journey, then they’re complaining that the journey didn’t work. Or something isn’t working. It’s like it’s because their integration is just full of toxicity, so these things are really important. 

Sometimes we just assume that people know these things, but often they’re just not being mindful. In addition to a good diet and staying hydrated, getting quality sober sleep is important. Any time somebody goes to bed and they are intoxicated they’re just not going to get that good night’s rest and the detoxification that happens while resting. Another important thing with clean integration is to avoid sex and sexual enticement to help people preserve their sexual energy. Sex can create huge interference in the integration process and it can also just serve to distract people in their integration. 

We can use meditation to purify deeper levels. It’s helpful to think about a detoxification lifestyle and to talk to your clients or whoever you’re supporting about how they are detoxifying every day. We detox when we sweat, laugh, work out, sleep, drink water, and fast. There are lots of ways that we’re detoxing the body, so we want to talk about what is a person doing to continue to cleanse their body. Other things that people can do to support clean integration would be removing things that have a graphic, wicked, lustrous, or dark feel and pull. These things are all going to have an effect on people’s integration whether they realize it or not. So it’s helpful to just clean these things up and get rid of these things whether it’s like in the mind or body in someone’s life. Clean integration will follow the natural process that is just cleansing our brain, our gut in our body. It’s just going to make the whole process of integration that much easier. 

Now the opposite of this would be toxic integration. This is when people are ingesting, inhaling, or immersing themselves in any kind of toxic things that are going to just work counterproductively. This could be taking pharmaceutical drugs, which of course you know as non-medical professionals you’re not telling people to get off of them, but just for our own understanding there’s toxicity and pharmaceutical drugs. It’s just good for us to know that for ourselves any kind of drug use—cannabis smoking/vaping, too much caffeine, alcohol, sugar, junk food, any kind of food or body products that are full of heavy metals, dyes, and harmful chemicals—all of this stuff is going to be going the opposite direction in people’s integration. 

Number four is internal integration. This happens when we are doing the work for ourselves, looking inward for explanations and resolutions. We’re working diligently on our own character, searching ourselves for our own shortcomings and mishandlings. We’re incrementally improving our own mindset and our character, looking diligently at where am I missing the mark in my life? What am I not seeing? What is in my blind spot here and where can I better show up for other people? Where am I letting people down in general? How can I hold myself to a higher standard and show more integrity? That’s internal integration when we’re looking within ourselves, most important in our work at being true to you. 

The opposite would be externalizing one’s integration. That’s when people are looking externally to understand the problems in their life. They’re looking externally to find the solutions. They might even be projecting and blaming other people in times of distress or conflict, maybe trying to change or control external circumstances, expecting someone else or something else to make things right for them. Outsourcing our desired results onto a treatment, technology, or technique, all of this externalization is also counterproductive to the internal process. That doesn’t mean that we can’t use external things like support and tools and technologies. It just means that when we put all of our eggs in that basket and we’re not looking within we’re really missing that whole opportunity of integration. 

Number five is disciplined integration. A disciplined integration would be finding one, two, or three integrative activities and baking them into your everyday life. Every day you’re doing these integrative activities whether it’s meditation, breathwork, journaling, talking to your integration coach, or going outside. Whatever it is for a person but you’re very disciplined about your integration and you’re very clear with yourself that this is what you’re going to keep doing, this is what you’re going to stop doing, and this is what you’re going to do less of. So you’re following an integration lifestyle and you’re creating an integration lifestyle that actually is automatically supportive of change. It’s like just by doing these things you’re improving yourself. I would also say that a disciplined lifestyle is making decisions for oneself and holding to those boundaries because we’re always going to be tested when we’re trying to create change. There’s always going to be those tests of like, “Hey, do you want to go out partying tonight?” or the ex calls and wants to meet up, or whatever the situation is that’s going to lead you backward. It’s like we’re very disciplined in our integration. 

The opposite of that naturally is going to be undisciplined integration. This is when people are just following what feels good in the moment, going with the flow, accountable and committed to nothing or no one, easily persuaded, just kind of decide as you go integration lifestyle, very easy going, failing to keep any kind of routine, easier to fall into old habits and just not realizing that a person has put all of their bets into hopeful and wishful thinking. Of course, for each person you know you find that balance. Some people are just so rigid and so disciplined that in their integration it’s kind of the opposite, they need to kind of let go and go with the flow a little bit more and so we’re not being rigid either in our own integration or with people just recognizing you know some discipline and some boundaries are healthy and important because those tests are going to come out okay. 

Number six is community integration, surrounding yourself with good positive people that are doing healthy things, connecting with people who are most important to you. establishing clear support and accountability, appointing maybe three people in your life to check in with you and to give updates to you. It could be a spouse, a best friend, and a counselor. It’s good to have different kinds of people you know maybe in your personal life and then a professional to work with is helpful. Surrounding yourself with people who are also doing the work is really important and then using the community as a foundation for the interpersonal work because that’s really how we improve ourselves is through community. It really is the conflict and the interpersonal issues that are so precious because really how we learn and grow is through these dynamics. 

The opposite of that would be hanging out with the wrong people or just isolating and hanging out with nobody. As we know, the type and quality of people who we hang around with is really going to make or break our integration efforts. The opposite of community and collaboration would be distancing ourselves or just avoiding people that are trying to help us or hanging out in environments that are going to bring us down or spending time in negative, going nowhere social environments. Community is just so essential to a person’s integration, and the type of community is really what matters. 

Number seven is holistic health, incorporating any kind of holistic practices that will support mind, body, and spirit. When we’re looking at the mind it could be things like meditation, journaling, going out into nature, unplugging from the matrix and from the screens, and just connecting with oneself, seeing what’s going on in the mind. Body care is important, exercise, movement, any kind of physical strengthening. Spiritual work is important. What is a person’s spiritual practice? What are the tenets of that practice, and what are they doing to assimilate themselves to these spiritual practices? All of this is naturally going to support people’s ongoing healing, cleansing, and elevation. 

The opposite of holistic health would be lax integration, just seeking quick fixes, looking for instant gratification, looking for other people or other things to heal, relying on technologies or hacks for health and not tending to self-care at all, ignoring what the mind and body needs, self-medicating away any symptoms or discomfort, and just being lazy. 

Number eight, the last one, is value and purpose-driven integration. What’s really important in the integration is not just the basics but also really tuning into what is most important for that person or for me. What are my core values and how can I align all of my integration efforts with that which is most important. If people don’t think about that and really authenticate that for themselves, it’s really easy to just be acting on somebody else’s whim or following somebody else’s lead. Integration can take you in all kinds of directions that can and definitely does get people off track. One of the most important things when we’re doing our own journey work or when we’re supporting others through journey work is to have that conversation with them. Ask what are your guiding principles, what is true for you, what are your core values, what is your mission? Start with what they do know if they don’t know exactly, because what we want to do in the integration process is help people to integrate toward the path of their true self, toward their mission, not just have this like open-ended integration where anything goes because again you can really get off on a lot of detours. 

How many times that happened. People are like yeah I did psychedelics two years ago and you know I went down this path it took me two years to kind of come back to myself and it’s like we don’t want people to further lose themselves. We want people to actually find themselves. So the opposite of value and purpose-driven integration under the eight points of organic integration would be like aimless integration and this is just when people are not clear on their values and what is important to them. They don’t know what their goals are. They don’t know where they’re going when they’re just again at the whim of somebody else who’s taking charge, when their journey is being interpreted by other people, when people are telling them what is important and what they need to be focusing on and what they need to be doing, or when they’re just being influenced by social narratives that maybe even contradict their beliefs. What happens is that people can just lose track of what’s most important for them and then their integration isn’t really in alignment with their true self, 

So those are the eight points that I thought to be most important when I’m talking about integration, active integration, organic integration. What is the purpose of all of this? Why is it important? What I’ve seen is that when people want to have a psychedelic experience, they typically either have a huge sense of urgency to change something, fix something, resolve something, or they just have a calling for more whatever it is. There’s a goal behind it. There’s something that’s really important to somebody to get the courage, the money, the time, and the resources to suit up and to do these psychedelic experiences. When we’re supporting them in their integration we want to say okay how do we actually get these yields? How do we get the results? How do we get to that point we know that there is a lot that comes from just the journey itself? 

There’s a lot of clarity and cleansing and this feeling of a new beginning that is happening. We want to actually nourish that and so some of the things that can happen through psychedelic integration and through the psychedelic journey and the integration would be integrating that new vision. Typically, a person has more clarity around what’s important to them, what they want, they have that feeling of a fresh start to a new beginning. So how do we help people to actually integrate that and when we follow these steps of integration we see that it’s more likely that that person will be able to step into a freer and happier and more focused and productive and purposeful life out of a psychedelic experience. 

Integration can help people take advantage of feeling less weighted down. That is a common thing that happens through psychedelic therapies as people are just like “Hey, I feel free, I feel light, I feel capable.” Because typically we’re so burdened by stress and by emotions by trauma patterns and conflict and obligations. After a psychedelic experience people are just like “Oh you know all of a sudden I just feel free, and I don’t have all this weight.” Integration is where we take advantage of this window and say, “What can we do with this time?” Because if you don’t make these burdens right, they start to pack back on in the integration phase. So we can take advantage of just feeling more focused.

A lot of times people are just really clear; they really know what’s important to them. They know what they want to do and they just feel really driven and so the integration phase is when we’re going to take this focus and the reorganization of the brain and just feeling that clarity and we’re going to use it to drive results forward in the integration phase. You know oftentimes people just feel cleaner and cleansed in their mind, body, and spirit, and so it’s like in the integration phase is how we’re going to maintain that. I talked about that a little bit already, but this is what’s so important. If you go through this experience and you go through all that detoxing and you cleanse your mind, body, and spirit you know what you can do to continue that process. 

If we go back to stuffing our minds and bodies full of garbage, that experience isn’t really going to last, so it’s the integration that’s going to make that health stick and help a person be able to maintain that. Often after a psychedelic journey people are feeling more confident and so what can we do in the integration phase with that confidence? I’m sure lots of you on this call have come out of a journey and just been feeling no fear. I remember when I came out of ibogaine I was just like “Oh my gosh!” I had no fear. Same with ayahuasca. It was so cool and of course that fear starts to set back in over time. But in the integration phase what can we be doing to take advantage of that new confidence when people just feel clear about what decisions they want to make and maybe just more reassured and knowing what they need to let go of or what they need to start doing. So there’s a lot that can happen with that new confidence. 

Also with psychedelic journeys people tend to feel like they can step out of their comfort zone. They have more social reassurance and that goes with confidence too. But what can we do in the integration phase when we have this new set of social reassurance? How can we use that? How can we get out and start creating relationships and building community instead of saying, “I feel this, but I’ll do it in a month or two”. It’s really important in that first phase to take advantage of that feeling after a psychedelic experience. It’s very common for people to just feel a deeper sense of connection with themselves, so this is also a great time to nourish practices of deepening one’s true self and going within to figure out what is most important for me? What are my goals? What is my mission? What do I want to do with this? 

In general, just like helping people reach goals, we all know that there’s a window of opportunity that happens right after the psychedelic experience. Let’s take advantage of it, right? I feel like I built Being True to You specifically on that window that comes after psychedelic therapies. For some journeys it’s a 24-hour period and sometimes it’s a week, sometimes it’s a month or a few months and sometimes it’s a year that this window opens up right after the journeys. Taking advantage of that window is really where the fruit and the benefits come from psychedelic experiences. Of course, we want to work with everyone individually because you know some people really need to take a very active and disciplined approach to their integration. That’s because the change that they’re trying to make is just really immense—like breaking an addiction, ending a bad relationship, or overcoming an illness that has really taken them down. They don’t really have time to just mess around. It’s like we’ve really got to get going. For someone else they might be always going and going and it’s like okay this integration is going to be more relaxed. But either way we want to take advantage of that window 

Lastly, I’ll mention that after a psychedelic experience people are really spiritually open. One of the things I noticed working with people through addiction and ibogaine was that so many people would say “I don’t want to go on a spiritual journey. I’m not spiritual. I’m not religious”. Then they would come out afterward and they were like ”I want to go on a spiritual journey,” and so we really want to help people to deepen their spiritual understanding, but we’re not giving them the answers. This is a big part of organic integration. We are not ever telling people how to think about the universe, the cosmos, the human experience, or religion. It is very important that as supporters we are not educating or being spiritual mentors or gurus and telling people the answers. This is the part of a person’s journey that they must discover for themselves and so you want to ask them instead “What’s your religion, your faith, your worldview? What do you hold to be true?” You want to work with them within that context and never interpret things for them. Never try to pull them from their religion or faith or try to influence their spiritual beliefs. That would be very karmic, and it happens quite a lot. The basis of my topic on organic integration is not to do that and to really help people understand for themselves what that means for them to be on a spiritual journey. 

In summary, organic integration is an active process of looking within and finding one’s own area of improvement, letting go of what they can, cleansing their body, replenishing and strengthening where they can. Organic integration is about maintaining a clean and sober mind, body, and energy field; being disciplined in daily activities; and being very discerning of what one does and doesn’t let in their life. Organic integration requires consistent daily efforts engaging the work as it comes up in the moment, recognizing when one is off track and course correcting when they can. Organic integration is supported by a positive and healthy community where everyone is being true to themselves and aligned with what is most important to them and this naturally puts them then in service to others. 

In the reverse, in inorganic integration all of the opposite stuff can range over a spectrum of being like so overzealous and overconfident that a person just kind of neglects their integration, doesn’t really take it seriously to being totally careless and doing all the wrong things. The main reason that I chose this talk on organic integration is to point out that sometimes too many things are being put into the integration process. There’s a lot of implications of these things. Something that I realized is that maybe people don’t need additional microdosing in their integration or ecstatic dance or their birth data analyzed or an astrology reading. Maybe they don’t need to read this book or that book or be in this program or that program. Maybe they don’t need to get sucked into all the social advocacy or told how the universe works. What happens when we’re supporting others is that we tend to pull them into our own journey, so whatever trends we’re going through, whatever is occupying our mind, whatever tools we’re using we just want to automatically put that on the client. That is not organic integration. Organic integration is when we help the client to understand what they want to use. What tools do they want to use? How do they think about this? We’re not just blanketing our whole world on top of our client or the person that we’re supporting. As a supporter it’s just best to keep a clean and neutral integration container and not necessarily want to or try to incorporate everything that you’re going through into it. 

Now it’s okay to mix things into integration as long as you’re up front about it. In Being True to You we don’t bring other things into coaching. We just keep a real clean environment and all we do is focus on the conversation. That’s it. We’re not bringing in tarot cards, reiki, or energy work. We’re just keeping it very separate, but in your life when you’re supporting people you can use these other tools, just be up front about it. Be transparent about it from the beginning. Don’t be halfway through and be like “By the way I looked up your chart and here’s what I saw is going to happen to you” and be fortune telling for them. You need to be transparent about these things and just very conscientious when you’re going to be mixing a bunch of tools in, because there are implications to doing that that can affect somebody’s spiritual path in their journey. So we want to make sure that we’re very clear about all these things. 

That wraps up my talk. If you are interested in more information, we’ll go into Q&A right now. I’m happy to hear your thoughts, your questions, and you can also go to our website at beingtruetoyou.com. If you’re interested in integration coaching for yourself, if you’re interested in any of our training programs we have a lot of different ones. If you’re a partner looking for a coaching team to support your clients just reach out to us. You can contact us through the website and find us on Instagram and Facebook as well. And with that I’m just going to open it up to the group and see if you have any thoughts or questions for me 

Question 1
Thank you so much, Deanne, for your talk. I was wondering if you would talk a little bit about the process, like what actually happens? I would love to hear a case study or an example if you’re able to do that of what happens? In some of these instances, you talked about extremes of behavior that is not integration and then how do you help somebody come back without telling them anything, without influencing them in any way? 

Deanne Adamson
When I started coaching people early on I was into the law of attraction and manifesting and a lot of New Age books, and consciousness and raising consciousness. I was working with a lot of middle America people. Some of the clients I had lost I would call later and they would say “You’re using all this language I don’t understand like consciousness.” Even a word like that could be very different for certain people, and so they almost felt like I was programming them into something. I remember I had a client one time who had chronic pain. This is when I learned how sensitive dealing with people in chronic pain could be. That’s why he had become addicted to opiate pain medication. While he was at the clinic, he was super negative and just really couldn’t get off of his pain. I remember I was trying to talk to him about the power of positive thinking, and he just hung up on me. He was an important person like his father, who was in the industry. It wasn’t like a random person. I was like “Oh my gosh! He just hung up on me.” It really confused me because I’m thinking well it’s true. He’s very negative and he needs to think positively about this, but you know I got to thinking that’s where I’m at right now—the power of positive thinking, changing my mindset, and reframing things. I started to realize that I was putting my thinking into his box and that wasn’t where he was at right there. Where he was at was in fear and chronic pain, here to take ibogaine to resolve it and get off these pills, and thinking “Once I’m off the pills, I’m going to be in this pain.” He was in a downward spiral, and I realized the importance of really meeting him where he was at versus taking what I thought he needed and putting it over him. I noticed sometimes the language that I used early on wasn’t fitting the client. What happens then is they just disconnect from you right away. They might stay on the phone because someone bought them some coaching sessions, or they already showed up to the retreat and they’re going to do the medicine experience with you. But underneath it can put them into a conflict and it hurts the ability to build trust and rapport with them. So that was an early experience where I learned not to do that. 

There’s another experience that’s really unfortunate, because actually this guy ended up passing away. He was Christian and he loved going out and being with the California community and doing psychedelics. But they would always make fun of him for being Christian and try to pull him away from his Christian beliefs, which really put him into a tailspin. As his coach I knew even back then don’t meddle with people’s religion and don’t try to pull them away from it. So I would really support him and he had a really deep connection with me. I coached him for several years but then he was scheduled to go back and do a much-needed journey. He ended up getting in a fight with somebody at the center because again, they were in conflict with his religion. He was “If I come, can I just be myself or am I going to be made fun of for these things and not be able to speak freely.” Ultimately, they ended up getting in a fight and he didn’t go do the journey. A week later he died, and it was so painful for me. I had supported him for many years through heroin addiction and he had got himself in bad shape again. He needed to go back for this journey but he didn’t have a place where he could go and just be himself and speak to Christ and really deepen his practice. He certainly wasn’t going to go to rehab right then. He had already been cleared for the money; his parents had already said that they would pay for the journey and he didn’t go because he felt that conflict. I just think if we were able to support people wholeheartedly without trying to pull them in and make them into a same version of everybody else on the property, if we’re really going to support people through their true self then we could have made room. If that program could have made room for him to come through, maybe he would still be alive today. 

There are many such examples. We work with a lot of ketamine clinics these days and their clients are not people who are in the psychedelic community. These are people who are trying ketamine for the very first time. They’ve been using allopathic medicine, and they’ve heard about ketamine, so they try it. Not so much now, anymore, because we have learned, but in the beginning, we were constantly getting feedback like “My coach is recommending this book. I don’t want to read it. My coach is telling me I need to do this or that.” And I realized if we’re going to support new people stepping into the space, we need to keep it clean and not be trying to push everything that we have found onto clients because then they’re just giving up. They’ll spend four thousand dollars on a series of ketamine treatments, but then they can’t bond with their coach if they don’t feel a connection to this sort of work, mostly because they don’t feel like it relates to them or resonates with them. 

Question 2
Thank you, Deanne. That was a really good talk, and you brought up some really important issues. My one big question about the psychedelic renaissance concerns sustainability and finances. What is your business model for your work with your clients? How does that work? 

Deanne Adamson
We support people on a sliding scale so we’ve always had a pro bono coaching team that can support people who cannot afford coaching. But what we find normally is that people do have the money for themselves. People are just spending it on bad things. If we can help people understand that the investment in themselves is really worth it and that they’re going to have a return on investment, then that is what they start to see. Ultimately I do see that people can usually afford some support. 

Our business model is all self-pay. We don’t work with any organizations, and we don’t take insurance. We work with clinics, and the clinics sponsor coaching sessions for their clients which is fantastic. A lot of the ketamine centers that we work with will pay for x number of sessions for their clients. One approach is to convince or inspire the retreats and the clinics themselves to just include integration in the mix. That way the client is paying up front and the integration is just included. So we make a lot of our money from the clinics themselves, which pay for coaching. Then when the clients come in, they see for themselves the benefits. 

My ability to make more money is directly related to my focus, productivity, energy, and mood. The more that I’m working on myself, the better I feel, the more motivated I am, the easier it is for me to get out there and make money. You can do it through the partners, and you can also just inspire and really help clients to get in a position where they’re able to fund this also. You can create an environment for people to share so sometimes you know there’ll be like a group of coaches that want to do journeys and then they’ll integrate each other right so there’s lots of ways to do it. For instance, we do pro bono coaching. The coaches support each other going through the journeys, like I’ll support you through yours if you support me through mine. Ultimately there does need to be some kind of exchange. I’m not one for just handouts. I think people really do have to work for this process. Whether it’s a financial or a different exchange I find that that is healthy and helpful to keep people engaged in their process and really giving it their all. 

Question 3
Thank you so much, Deanne. I loved your talk. You mentioned after a major psychedelic experience there’s a window of opportunity or a window of bliss. I definitely can say that I resonate with that, but what I am trying to understand is through integration how can you build a more sustainable sense of that where it’s not you just like okay after this psychedelic experience? There’s like this bliss period and then you mentioned some of the things start building back up—fear or worry or doubt and just other challenges. I’m wondering how you start to integrate that from a long-term perspective? 

Deanne Adamson
I think that’s a great question to end on because it is an ongoing process. The first thing to understand is that the human experience is just tough and if we set our sights on always feeling great, we’re going to be chronically disappointed. What I think the medicines do is they show us the top of the mountains. Sometimes they can show us what it feels like when our heart is unburdened, our mind is clear, our body is free, and we are fearless and confident. Then we feel open to explore our human experience to a greater extent. When we’re in the medicine there’s times where we can feel that but then we come back to earth, we come back to our human experience and ultimately all of the stuff is going to come back in. 

I don’t think there’s really a way that we can avoid all of it. So the first thing to do is just accept hardships and suffering and comfort and all of that as a part of life. After that, it’s a cultivation process. The best way to hold on to it is going to be the daily cultivation through integrative activities that a person sticks to. Rather than skipping around and trying different spiritual practices, different books, and a bunch of different things, what’s important is to just hone in on a few things and do them every day for a while. That is really what is going to help somebody continue to burn off all of the stress, the toxicity, the attachments, the desires, and all the stuff that’s causing a lot of our pain and suffering. That’s going to help to burn it off and that’s going to help keep our minds clean and clear, living a clean and clear lifestyle, sticking to that discipline, living a disciplined lifestyle. What’s hard right now is we’re putting too many things into our mind, our body, and our life. That’s really what’s making this process so difficult and why I chose the topic today of organic, clean, and pure integration. That’s going to be the easiest and fastest way to clean and rid our body of bad things and to cultivate and maintain the good things. Then we have strategies when stuff comes up. If it’s a craving, a depressive episode, a conflict, it’s okay. This is the human experience, and we know this stuff is going to come up. But here’s my tools, my process, my journal. I just go back into it and let this stuff roll over me. 

 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Addiction Recovery, Psychedelic Integration, Women in Psychedelics

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