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Psychedelic Whiplash


I made up a word for something that's been gradually showing itself more in my practice and also in the general psychedelic community. The unfortunate reality is the vast majority of psychedelic use out there isn't being done with great preparation or any at all. And I can imagine a ton of reasons someone suffering with psychedelic whiplash wouldn't want to tell people about it. This could be a much bigger problem than it looks. Extreme examples are easy to spot. Ask anyone that avoids those psychedelics like the plague after a bad trip. It was likely an agonizing mental skirmish and if they're extremely fearful of going back, chances are it didn't get resolved. PSYCHEDELIC WHIPLASH! However, I suspect the majority of cases lay in the more subtle elements of our psyche that become walled up with beliefs and assumptions to explain the earth-shattering psychedelic realities we experienced. I'm positive Ive dealt with this myself (DMT is a hell of a drug). I'm still trying to understand what to do once that happens and taking more psychedelics doesn't always feel right. My colleagues have suggested starting with light therapeutics of various kinds like guided meditations to gently move into those expanded states. Moving trauma out of the body with somatic techniques also seems to be a critical component, especially for those that have been living with the whiplash for a while.


Also, from an Internal Family Systems (IFS) perspective, one of my colleagues had this to say, "this is called a Protector's backlash: protectors are the parts of the psyche managing things, ensuring all goes "well", anticipating threats, and keeping the pain away. When they are bypassed they go into ALARM mode and become even more rigid and wary... getting permission from Protecting parts, so that instead of resisting (and then backlashing) they will allow access to painful memories/events and let the healing happen." Essentially, it's the same way psychedelic practitioners are dealing with PTSD, but in connection to a psychedelic-induced trauma and perhaps mystical states. I would also add a philosophical framework for these cases to aid in the sense-making process. Check out my classes! Interestingly, I have met multiple people with this type of trauma that actually want to go back to the psychedelics, but are intensly afraid to, especially without help. There seems to be a sense of needing to resolve unfinished business. That would suggest this is ultimately just integration work! Anyway, that's just my thoughts on that from an educational stance, not meant to be medical advice. I do offer preparation/integration coaching and trip sitter matching. Let me know if you have questions!

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