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Key Considerations for Group Psychedelic Sessions

three women in field psychedelic group sessions
in this article
  • Introduction
  • Selecting Company
  • Group Connection
  • Setting
  • Safety and Comfort
  • Quiet Room
  • Altar
  • Final Thoughts

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Chemical Collective or any associated parties.

Introduction

Embarking on psychedelic journeys in the company of others can be a truly wondrous experience.

Sharing trips with others has the potential to elevate the whole journey to new heights, infusing it with added layers of depth and significance. Connecting with fellow travelers on this level can bring a sense of unity and create enriching and fulfilling memories for everyone involved.

While some people may enjoy solo journeys, it’s not for everyone. Some people prefer journeying with others for these reasons.

In this article, I’ll outline a few key considerations for your group psychedelic sessions. I’ll look at three areas: company, group connection and setting. My hope is that this will help you to have more fruitful and beneficial journeys.

Selecting Company

psychedelic group sessions trippy shrooms

One key consideration for journeying with other people is choosing who you journey with. In this regard, it is very useful to think of psychedelic compatibility. 

Psychedelic compatibility is :

The level at which two or more people can journey together without problems or conflict.

This basically means the ability for multiple people to have a session together successfully.

To illustrate, consider how you might have certain friends or people in your life who it works well to travel with, live with, or watch a film and go out to eat. The reasons might be a similar intention or preferred approach to travel (planned vs spontaneity), similar routines or levels of cleanliness in a living space, or taste in films and food.

In the same way, some people will likely be a better fit to share a session than with others. There are a few things to consider when assessing psychedelic compatibility.

Firstly, trust. When entering the expansive states of consciousness that psychedelics can bring about, its important for people to feel physically and emotionally safe. So the ability to trust others in the space is key.

Then you should also consider an alignment of intentions for the experience. If someone is hoping for a fun and low key session whilst another wants to do deep inner work, there’s a signal of low compatibility.

You should also consider everyone’s expectations, style of the session, and the music that will be played. The best way to feel into and assess this compatibility is to have honest conversations with everyone who may potentially be involved. This can be done before any concrete plans are made, to ensure there is no pressure on anyone to take part until they feel good about moving forward.

When choosing your journey crew, you might also think about the types of influence and personality you would like around you as you enter psychedelic space.

Group Connection

psychedelic group sessions connection

Once you have a group decided for the session, it can benefit everyone’s process for everyone to feel connected.

This deepens rapport and connection and helps bring about the emotionally safe and grounded space. Fertile ground for beneficial sessions and help to avoid any unproductive negative feelings that may come up.

One of the best ways to deepen the connection is with the use of sharing circles.

This is where everyone sits in a circle. There is a talking stick, which is then passed around the group, giving everyone a chance to speak and share. People can share how they’re feeling, their intentions, and their hopes and fears for the experience.

A sharing circle works as an extremely simple but effective structure that allows everyone a chance to be heard. It offers everyone the space to speak openly and honestly, and an opportunity to be heard by the whole group.

Circles are an incredibly powerful means of fostering understanding and connection within a group, and there’s a good reason they are so commonplace in group retreats.

You might have a sharing circle before the session begins, and one at the end to officially close a session. And one per day for any extra days a group is together if in a more retreat like setting.

Other methods to foster group connection might include authentic relating exercises, contact improvisation, or some kind of group ritual.

Setting

The environment in which you are all journeying is very important. For group sessions you’ll need to consider how you’ll divide and use the space available to you.

In this section I’ll look at three areas:

Safety and Comfort

The Quiet Room

Altar

Safety and Comfort

Firstly the space should be safe.

Make sure it doesn’t have any physical hazards that may be tricky for tripping people. Put any potentialloy dangerous items away. Low hanging lights which people might bang their heads on, items on the floor which people may knock or trip over. Ideally there are no stairs to navigate to the bathroom.

The space should also be comfortable for all journeyers. It’s nice to have a space for each person to be able to lie flat and stretch out. And with enough pillows, blankets, and fans to keep people warm or cool enough.

You want to setting to be conducive to the intentions. So if people are going on journeys where the intention is to look inwards, you don’t want windows which expose them to views from outside.

Quiet Room

Typically for a group session, there will be a main journey room. This is a room where music will be played and each person has a space to lie down.

One other useful option is to have a quiet room.

This is a room that is designated as a no talking zone, and there is no music being played on speakers. It’s a place where anyone can go if, for whatever reason, it’s getting too much for them in the main room. It’s like a small chillout area anyone can go to for a bit of peace and quiet.

Altar

psychedelic altar

You may also like to consider creating an altar for your group session. This can act as a focal point in the setting. Creating it can also help to focus the mind and people’s intentions before an experience.

In a group session, it can be nice to invite everyone to contribute an item to the altar. This offers another space for everyone to contribute and express themselves. Items can be a personally meaningful, symbolic, or just something which is pleasing or familiar in some way. An altar might include candles, statuettes, photos or images, items from nature like stones, flowers or rocks, or really anything else.

The altar itself can be symbolic of the group session in  that it contains elements from each individual within a part of something larger.

Final Thoughts

Tripping with others can be a beautiful thing. A group experience can add deeper levels and meaning to a session. It can bring about a deeper sense of connection with others, leading to a more fulfilling and rewarding experience for all involved.

Consider who you’ll be tripping with, your psychedelic compatibility, take time to get the group connected, and put time, care, thought, and love into the space that you’re creating.

Remember these considerations to set yourself and your fellow journeyers up for a wonderful session.

John Robertson | Community Blogger at Chemical Collective | mapsofthemind.com

John is one of our community bloggers here at Chemical Collective. If you’re interested in joining our blogging team and getting paid to write about subjects you’re passionate about, please reach out to David via email at blog@chemical-collective.com

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11 Comments
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Sweet42
7 months ago

never had a trip with multiple people in a group together, not even two people at the same time so that would be interesting for sure.

Nelan22
8 months ago

i would love to have a trip with my parents i thing it would really bring us together and a bad trip would be even greater, i wouldnt be the one tripping though, i would be their trip sitter and scare them and play reaaaally scary music like taylor swift and then watch them freak out. that would be an awesome family bonding session. than next morning i will blackmail them with ideos of them tripping balls and get all the candy i cant have

Bakugan11
9 months ago

very interesting article. but i think everyone has their own slightly different ideal way

pikoslav
10 months ago

set and setting is really important, everyone has different preferences. for example, i don’t like to trip with other people

brandontheo
10 months ago

There can be a real connection when tripping with other people, but it also brings a lot of mental unrest, you cant “let go” freely, that’s why i stopped psych with people, even thought i can be in public.

thejoeloiezy
10 months ago

Muy interesante

papaya
10 months ago

helpfull

Mariotxalo
10 months ago

Maravilloso, lo tendré en cuenta para la proxima sesion

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