My internal police officer on vacation
Case Psychedelic enhanced Coaching
Diana (43) is referred to me by a colleague. She was in therapy for over a year and therapeutic progress had stagnated. She has read about psychedelic psychotherapy and wants to try it, but only with a trusted psychotherapist with whom she feels safe. I tell her that psychedelic psychotherapy is not yet allowed in the Netherlands because of ongoing research about the long term effects. It is expected that the therapy will be included in the GGZ guidelines in 2025. I tell her that I have knowledge of psilocybin and can offer a safe space, as a trained coach, to guide her through the integration process. The one condition I make is that she needs to buy the psilocybin herself and that there are no contra-indications.
Diana is informed about the risks. We do two preparation sessions where I explain what she can expect and also explained the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model that I like to follow. Diana wants to increase her psychological flexibility and explore new insights and perspectives. I ask her not to shy away from any difficult things she might see or experience during the journey, but rather to engage with them. This is necessary to see if these difficulties might just be an integral part of her life, or if they might be something from which she can derive meaning. Diana brings her magic truffles to the third session, the 'truffle session'. This session was supervised by one of my colleagues. The set and setting are well prepared and with the help of music Diana goes quietly into her inner journey. This takes about 4 to 5 hours. During these hours she has changing emotions. After the process, Diana tells me that she feels like she made a crucial decision by choosing to go through this process. For the first time, she feels what it is like not to hear an 'internal policeman' in her head. She lets herself be guided by feeling, rather than by thoughts which always contain judgment. Diana is impressed with herself. She is able to be in the moment without the 'noise', she usually hears. She is grateful for the valuable insights she has gained. Despite the moments where she cries (which are influenced by the music she says). She experiences a feeling of connectedness that she never felt before.
After the truffle session, Diana and I have several more sessions to learn how to interpret her valuable insights and how to intepret her valuable insights and integrate her views into her daily life. After six months, she comes back for a few more sessions. Her overall sense of connection with herself and others has improved significantly and she is very happy to have taken this step.
"Honestly? I am a nicer person"
“I tried traditional therapy and felt stuck. This experience was literally mind-blowing. I have gotten insights that I can compare with 5 years of therapy in 1 session. It was so profound I cannot express with words. The things I learned, it does not matter where it came from, are so so valuable to me. I have no words for this experience. Honestly. I have a lot of new material to work with in therapy. ”
— Diana, psilocybin assisted coaching