5 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Group Psychedelic Therapy

A professional therapist shares a few exciting potential benefits and how to get over your fear.

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With researchers, leading doctors, and scientists seeing the incredible benefits of psychedelic therapies to your mental health, these therapies are gaining popularity exponentially.

We know that plenty of scientific evidence points to specific ways psychedelics can benefit certain subjects, but is this something that you can do in a group format? It seems scary to even think about being in an altered state with other people around. 


Group psychotherapy with psychedelics is actually a very supportive way to gain not just the benefits of psychedelics, but also the incredible benefits of group therapy. Group psychedelic therapy for people with cancer, trauma, anxiety, and couples therapy are particularly powerful.

Irvin Yalom, a renowned psychiatrist who is known for using the benefits of group psychotherapy, talks about important benefits of group therapy. While sharing with other people may feel intimating, there are many benefits of group experience with psychedelics.


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Here are five big benefits of group psychedelic experiences:

1. You create close connections with others

Using psychedelics in a group setting can help you to connect with others struggling with similar issues. Group members feel vulnerable, yet safe and supported, which can enhance your relationships with others, something that you may never have experienced before. 

2. You build positive emotional bonds

You have the unique opportunity to bond with others during this window of time when you can change relational patterns with the aid of psychedelics. With the assistance of trained psychedelic guides, you can transform some patterns of thinking and being with others, during the neuroplastic state offered by psychedelics. 

3. You'll experience enhanced feelings of connection and compassion

Psychedelics combined with group counseling helps you build compassion for your fellow group members. Psychedelics can amplify feelings of connection with others and offer understanding and compassion for fellow beings, while being in a safe, group environment. The sense of camaraderie that develops within the group helps members feel understood and accepted. Group cohesion can enhance the therapeutic process and facilitate personal growth.


4. Shared experiences abound 

Group therapy helps individuals realize that they are not alone in their struggles. Seeing others who share similar issues and hearing their stories can provide a sense of comfort and validation. This realization reduces feelings of isolation and helps individuals understand that their experiences are common.

5. You will likely walk away with a sense of hope.

Witnessing the progress and growth of others in the group can instill hope in individuals facing similar challenges. Seeing that change is possible and achievable can motivate and inspire group members to persevere in their own therapeutic journey.

Despite all of the benefits, you may be asking yourself how to address your fears about group therapy and dive right in. You might wonder if benefits and potential gains are worth it. The answer is resounding “yes”.

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Four ways to overcome your fears and participate in a group experience with psychedelics: 

1. Share as much or as little as you want to.

First off, know everyone feels nervous and scared sharing personal details of their life and their emotional wounds. With the aid of trained therapists, they create a safe container and allow people to share as little or as much as they want. With a trained group therapist, you will never be forced to share something you don’t want to. You are in control. 

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

Being vulnerable and trying something new is a growth edge for most people, and it is important to allow ourselves to step out of our comfort zones for personal growth and to experience positive changes in our lives. Group therapy experiences enhance who we are, allowing us to open up to new possibilities. 

3. Give yourself some grace.

What if I do something or say something I regret in an altered state? Certified assisted psychedelic therapists are trained to address those fears in the group setting and normalize those worries. It is okay if you behave in a way that is not typical for you. Everyone else is in the same boat, and letting your hair down to allow all expressions of yourself is healthy and healing. 

4. Keep it confidential.

Will my private disclosures be shared with others? That is a common concern, but a skilled group leader ensures that all participants respect the private, confidential circle of the group or retreat and do not share outside of the group. 


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Group psychedelic experiences can speed up the healing process

One of my favorite parts of leading psychedelic retreats is the profound healing that happens between group members in a short amount of time. It is exciting to see the support and vicarious healing that group members experience by hearing other’s stories and how they manage their challenges. A deep sense of belonging and connection happens quickly in the group format, allowing for rewiring of social experiences and possibility of new, healthier relational patterns. 

Heather Lee of Medicine Woman Retreats shares: “Having spent almost two decades as a therapist working with clients individually, in groups and on retreats, I can attest to the beautiful healing power of the retreat setting. When we come together over a week or weekend on a retreat with the intention to truly see each other and hold space for each other's experiences we create a community of connection and compassion. This container, that is the group, becomes one of the core healing elements of the retreat.”


There are many ways to experience group therapy, such as joining a local support group through your community, or attending a retreat that offers psychedelics. 

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Monica Ramunda is the owner of Rocky Mountain Counseling and Sacred Healing Journeys and the Co-founder of Wellness and Wisdom Journeys, offering retreats and events, including offerings for women with psychedelics. More information is available via Sacred Healing Journeys.

Editor's note: All therapies, including use of psychedelics in group or individual settings, should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Laws surrounding use of of psychedelics vary by area.