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Sharing Your Experience: A Key to Psychedelic Insight and Growth

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in this article
  • Introduction
  • The Power of Sharing
  • Choosing Your Audience
  • Time and Context
  • Tailoring Your Language
  • Sharing in a Community
  • Avoiding Comparison and Competition
  • Integration Beyond Sharing
  • Conclusion

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.


The act of sharing our psychedelic experiences is a cornerstone of effective integration.

That is, to share your experience with someone else by communicating it through speaking or writing. In sharing, we deepen our integration process and contribute to the collective wisdom of the community.

But why is sharing so powerful?

And how do we approach this act with mindfulness? 

In this blog post, I will be looking at how to mindfully share your experiences to support your integration process. I will share some considerations for choosing your audience, timing, and language, and the benefits of sharing in a community. My intention with this post is to help you share your experiences in a way that leads to more beneficial integration.

The Power of Sharing

Sharing verbally or in written form can be an important part of processing our psychedelic experiences. This can be one of the first steps of successful integration. Whether it is through verbally communicating our experiences or through the written word, the act and process of articulating our experiences can facilitate the processing of our experiences and by doing so, catalyse insights.

In the process of putting our experiences into words, we also enter a process of making sense of our experiences. This helps to turn what can be abstract or nebulous perceptions, sensations, thoughts, emotions and all kinds of disparate aspects of our experience, into some kind of a coherent narrative. In this way, it can aid understanding and meaning-making.

You might think that this could be done by journaling about an experience. So why not just write it down?

Sharing goes beyond putting words to an experience. Sharing involves passing those words on to other people. It is about communication and connection.

Still recovering from their outlaw in the 1960s, psychedelics are not an integrated part of our culture. They are still mostly illegal and a stigma lingers. Being able to share an experience with somebody can be not only a source of connection but also validation. The ability to be seen and heard can bring about a sense of acceptance and belonging.

That said, sharing does not come without it’s complications. There is a vulnerability inherent in sharing our innermost experiences. It can leave us exposed and vulnerable. It is wise to be mindful when sharing; to consider who to share with, when, and how. Taking into mind these considerations can help us to have beneficial and supportive sharing experiences.

Choosing Your Audience

We want to be mindful of whom we share our psychedelic experiences with.

With the remaining stigma around psychedelics, many people have biases or preconceived notions about them. Whilst some people may be very open and curious about your experience, others may be judgmental or dismissive. In these cases, a negative response is more likely, which can lead to misunderstanding and potentially even conflict. This can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment and regret.

I have personally experienced a wide spectrum of responses. Some people have met my shares with acceptance and openness. Others have made fun of me when I have been vulnerable.

When you are deciding who to share your experience with, you want to consider the level of trust and understanding that you have with those people. Close friends or loved ones who you know to be empathetic and open-minded are probably going to be the ideal first choice. That said, even with loved ones, it is important to be aware that not everyone may be open and receptive to your experiences. You also want to consider how they view psychedelics.

You may like to use your instinct to help you select the right audience. Before sharing with someone, you can simply ask yourself: “do I think I am going to get a compassionate, understanding and respectful response?”

Time and Context

Bring to mind someone in your life who you might share a personally meaningful experience with.

Imagine them on their best day. The most generous, patient, loving version of themselves.

How they would listen to you and respond to your recounting of a meaningful, personal, psychedelic experience?

Now, imagine them on their worst day. They are stressed, tired, and impatient. A little angry, even. Imagine trying to recount your meaningful experience to them now. How do you imagine how they would respond?

I imagine that there is quite a difference between those two modes. I hope this illustrates the importance of the timing and context of a share.

The same person, at a different time and in a different context, can have a very different response. This is important because a meaningful experience can potentially lose some of its magic if it is not held properly by a listener.

When selecting the right time and context for sharing, aim for moments when both you and your listener are relaxed, open, and receptive. Look for opportunities when the listener is receptive and in a positive frame of mind. Avoid sharing during times when the other party is preoccupied, stressed, or hurried. This is a much less likely time to have meaningful communication and receive a supportive response.

Beyond considering the state of those we are sharing with, we also want to consider our own mood, readiness and willingness to share. We might consider how grounded we are feeling. Are we still processing insights and emotions from our experience? Are we ready to share? Would we benefit from more time to ourselves to process and reflect on our experience before we talk about it? Taking a moment to reflect on our own needs and intentions can help to bring about a beneficial sharing experience.

Tailoring Your Language

Communication is not just about speaking or writing. It is also about connecting. When we share our psychedelic experiences, the language we use plays a role in how it is received. It can have an impact on the level of understanding.

By being selective with our choice of language—the words, phrases, examples, and analogies we use—we can play a part in how what we are saying is received and how we are understood.

One consideration when choosing our language is the interests, beliefs, and worldview of the person to whom we are speaking.

For example, if you are sharing with an atheist or someone who is spiritually sceptical, it is probably best not to use overtly spiritual or metaphysical language that could be met with a quick dismissal. It would likely be more beneficial and productive to use language that looks at things from a sensorial and perceptual perspective. That can make it more accessible and relatable and more likely to get a positive response.

Moreover, considering the interests and hobbies of our audience can help us to find common ground and make our experiences more relatable. We might use analogies and examples that resonate with their interests to help bridge understanding and communicate some of the nuances of our experience.

For example, if you were speaking about integration to somebody who is a golf fanatic, you might say: “You know, not everyone can have one experience and change overnight without any need for further integration or follow-up experiences. That would be like expecting to hit a full round of eighteen hole-in-ones. It might be possible and happen in extremely rare circumstances, but realistically it is almost certainly not going to happen”.

When thinking about choosing your language, it is also worth acknowledging the ineffable nature of psychedelic experiences and the limitations of language. By acknowledging that some aspects of our experiences might be difficult or even impossible to put into words, we can remove pressure from ourselves to articulate them perfectly. We can also invite our listeners to come to the conversation with an open mind and a sense of curiosity rather than an expectation for a comprehensive explanation.

Sharing in a Community

Sharing psychedelic experiences within a supportive community can be a hugely valuable and worthwhile experience. In a community setting, there is the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals who might share similar values, beliefs and experiences. 

The most common form of community sharing is the sharing circle.

“Sharing circles after a psychedelic experience offer a space for reflection, mutual support, and a deeper understanding of the participants’ situation. Sharing circles are vital for those seeking to process their psychedelic experiences in a community setting. Done right, they can significantly enhance the overall integration of the insights gained from the psychedelic journey.”
— ICEERS, Sharing Circles After Psychedelic Experiences

One of the benefits of community sharing is the opportunity to get new perspectives on our own experiences. Listening to others’ stories, experiences and learnings can help us to gain a deeper understanding of our own. It can help to uncover new layers of meaning and insight. It can also help validate our own experiences and feel less alone. This can help bring about a sense of belonging or camaraderie.

Community spaces also generate a sense of mutual support and encouragement. This creates a safe and supportive environment to openly discuss challenges, fears and uncertainties, without fear of judgement or ridicule. We are more likely to receive empathy, validation, and helpful guidance from other people who have been on a similar path.

By sharing our experiences with others, we also help to inspire and empower others on their journey of self-discovery and growth. 

There are sharing circles online and in-person all around the world which are specifically created for people to share their psychedelic experiences. If you are seeking one, a google search for ‘psychedelic sharing circle’ will turn up plenty of options

Avoiding Comparison and Competition

In some cases, sharing experiences can lead to comparison. For some, there may even be a competitive element. Some people may want to share the most profound or intense experience.

It is important to be mindful of this potential for comparison and competition as it can take away from the authenticity of the sharing process and bring about a sense of hierarchy or elitism in a group.

Comparison can also lead people to judge their experiences against others. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy or insecurity. Some people might feel pressure to measure up to some perceived standard of success or ‘depth of experience’.

To avoid these pitfalls, remember that everyone’s experience is unique and valid in its own right. Honour and respect the diversity of experiences within a group. Remember that the goal is not to compete or compare, but to connect with other people and deepen understanding of ourselves and each other. Bring curiosity, acceptance, and a lack of judgement to the experience. If you are in a position of leading circles or facilitating in a sharing environment, invite individuals to share their experiences authentically, without fear of judgment or compar ison.

Integration Beyond Sharing

While sharing our psychedelic experiences can be a hugely valuable part of the integration process, it is important to remember that it is just one piece of the puzzle.

True integration goes beyond simply talking about our experiences. It means living by the wisdom we have received. This requires us to take any lessons learned and apply them to our thoughts, behaviours, and relationships. It can include adopting new habits and perspectives and changing our lifestyle to align more closely with our newfound insights and values.

Integration is an ongoing process that extends beyond the initial sharing experience. Simply talking about our experiences can be a form of intellectualizing our experiences, and this can lead to getting lost in abstract concepts. 

For real change, integration involves engaging with our experiences in a way that is grounded, practical, and results in real-life change. Remember that successful integration often requires dedication, patience, and continued action.


Through the act of sharing our psychedelic experiences, we have an opportunity to not only deepen our own integration process but also to contribute to the collective wisdom of the psychedelic community. When sharing, we want to consider the right audience and timing, our choice of words, and beware of the pitfalls of comparison and competition. We want to remember that although it may be a hugely valuable part of the process, integration does not end with sharing our experiences.

How does talking about and sharing your experiences fit into your integration process? Have you found it beneficial? Have you encountered any problems? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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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