An Introduction to Demystifying Psychedelics and Sexuality
Two of the most loaded terms are psychedelics and sex, so being a psychedelic integration therapist and sex therapist can provide me with an ample opportunity to be in the cross hairs of the monumental importance of understanding, safety, boundaries, limits, and consent. Moreover, the vital necessity to help people become aware of the remarkable healing psychedelics can provide individuals facing challenging experiences such as sexual abuse, sexual identity or learning more about their sexual expression.
People who are experiencing a sex-related concern in their lives might form an opinion of this issue based on social sigma but this can give the issue a level of influence that may be both unnecessary and harmful. A person’s actual experience of the issue be it surrounding psychedelics or sexuality, and the effect it has on their life, can get lost in feelings related to stigma. This can lead to feelings of powerlessness and may make it more difficult for a person to effectively address the issue.
So… for that talk around sex, drugs and for shits and giggles I’ll pepper in a bit of rock and roll too! Let’s make sure we understand each other within the language and expression of these two topics.
Personalize It For You
I have found it helpful for me to make space for the person in therapy to explore, through rich discussion, and the effects what they are experiencing may be having on their life. Both with sex and psychedelics there are is a bounty to be collected. As they explore their experience more deeply, it may become easier to define, and I can often assist individuals in with the process of naming their words to a behavior in ways that fully encompass their experience. I call this the exploration of looking at word definitions and creating your personal assigned meaning to that word.
When any assigned meaning of a word be it psychedelics or a sexual experience is perceived as problematic, some may described it as a bad friend, reckless behavior, insidious urge, or the craving, among other things. Dialogues that personalize a person’s individual experience not only provide information about what the issue signifies and how it reveals itself, but they can also open space for the identification of creative ways to overcome the negative effects of the issue. Bring mistaken beliefs to the surface and face it head on can be extremely challenging yet so healing.
Examining Your History With The Subject Matter
After a person in therapy and I have collaborated on a definition or description of the presenting concern that accurately fits the person’s experience, be it needing clarity or making certain what we are talking about it safe to share with me. They may also want to understand the pattern of the issue’s development across the person’s lifespan. For example, I grew up in the Nancy Reagan – War on Drugs and the D.A.R.E program. A over consuming fear was dumped on me, and hell yes kids are still making those t-shirts cool to wear in an ever so ironic manner.
Many individuals find these conversations helpful when they experience questions continue to ever evolve, mainly those issues that are regarding a psychedelic or sexual nature that is in direct conflict with how they want to think now verses then.
It may be vital to understand how a person’s behavior or attitude has developed through the years, in relation to their experience. I call these core scripts for both psychedelics and sex. These are early memories or stories that they remember – often having been taught or shared – the early memories can often become a script they live with in.
I can often help them understand what patterns or trends in their lives may have contributed to the issues of a sexual or psychedelic nature that are now presenting challenges to daily life or function. It can also be helpful to explore times when their behavior has manifested in preferred ways, as this can provide the person and myself with important clues about their own resources and effective efforts to resist the behavior posing a concern.
Just Like Rock and Roll
There is an endless supply of tragic and triumphant examples of Rock Stars that provide us with learning and understanding on how to navigate sex and psychedelics. Insert reader’s internal commentary - Holy fuck Ryan is going to try to connect these topics to rock and roll rock stars – no, no… Really simply remind you that just like rock and roll stars, sex and psychedelics has a insane spectrum to understand, learn about and find safety and healing in a safe, sane and consensual way.
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Dr. Ryan Westrum is a trained sex psychologist and also the author and internationally recognized psychedelic integration specialist.