What To Expect From Your First Psilocybin Therapy Session

Photo: Junessa Rendon, Nongkran_ch, Nomad Visuals | Canva
Pschedelic woman

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." — Douglas Adams

Your research is done, your therapist feels you are an appropriate fit for psychedelics, you have good health with no contraindications such as bipolar disorder or other thought disorders, and you are ready to experience the benefits of psychedelics. Once you have been screened by an experienced guide who will be available for your first psychedelic experience and given the green light to start your psychedelic journey by a practitioner who is approved to prescribe psychedelics, get ready for an incredible journey.

Yipee!! Buckle up and strap in. In psychonaut terms, you are prepared to receive your flight instructions.

In order to help guide you through the experience, I'm sharing a quick Psilocybin Q&A to ease you into the experience and emotionally prepare you for your journey.

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A guide to therapeutic Psilocybin and what to expect

Question:  What will it feel like to take Psilocybin mushrooms?

Background: Psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms, will alter your perception and sensory experience. The extent of these altered perceptions depends on the person, the dosage, and the setting where you are ingesting the plant medicine.

Sensations you could experience:

Enhanced colors, patterns, or cascading geometric forms

Alteration of felt time: expansion or contraction of clock time ( psychedelics explorer’s guide, James Fadiman)

Visual or auditory hallucinations: You may see fantastical scenes or beings, hear sounds, and have a heightened sensitivity to music.

Emotional intensity: Mushrooms can intensify emotions, so feel extreme euphoria, introspection, introspection, or anxiety and fear. Emotions can be deeply profound.

Cross-sensory experiences: Synesthesia is the experience of crossed senses, such as hearing colors or seeing sounds.

Ego-dissolution: Loss of a sense of self, feeling interconnected with the universe, and unity with all things.

The sensation of becoming a plant, animal, or microorganism.

Mystical experience: connecting to God, the universe, or other power beyond ourselves.

Question: How long does it take after I ingest the psychedelic?

It varies depending on how the mushrooms are prepared, whether you eat them or have them in a tea or other substance, like chocolate. You can expect to feel something anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Sensations you could experience:

Your first sensation may be a tingling or interesting/odd sensation in your body. Depending on whether your stomach was empty or you had eaten a meal before ingesting the mushrooms, If you have experienced nothing after an hour, a booster can be given.

Question: What are the side effects I may experience?

Psilocybin can cause nausea in some individuals, with preparation and food intake playing a role in the degree of nausea in clients. If you tend to have a sensitive stomach, it is best not to eat food the day you ingest mushrooms or limit food to fresh fruit or plain toast.

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4. What if I have a “bad trip”?

You may experience challenging feelings, memories, or visions. There is an innate healing intelligence that comes from plant medicine and psychedelics. Psilocybin can bring up repressed or unhealed parts of ourselves that we may experience as challenging or frightening.

However, it is valuable to reframe thise expectation. What one may call a "bad trip" is when the psychedelic experience registers in the body as a trauma or injury to the nervous system — but by releasing and moving towards challenging experiences with a knowledgeable guide, we can heal parts of ourselves that we have not looked at in our psyche as well as bodies.

Plant medicine heals the part of ourselves that needs to heal so we can become whole and move towards a more integrated sense of self. Moving towards these experiences with a curious mind and seeing what healing or insights we can glean from them can result in deep healing.

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5. What is the difference between a microdose and a macrodose?


A microdose typically involves taking a very small amount of psilocybin, often sub-perceptual, which means the effects are not strong enough to induce a full-blown psychedelic experience. The dosage is between 0.1 and 0.3 grams of dried mushrooms, or lower, dependent on individual tolerance and sensitivity.

A microdose is intended to provide subtle, often sub-perceptual benefits such as improved mood, creativity, focus, and overall well-being, while a macrodose is taken to experience the full range of psychedelic effects, which can include altered perception, visual hallucinations, introspection, and a deep, mystical experience.


A macrodose involves consuming a large amount of psilocybin that is sufficient to induce a significant psychedelic experience. This typically ranges from 2 to 5 grams of dried mushrooms or more, depending on the individual's experience level and desired intensity.

Now you know what to expect so you can manage your journey and choose a suitable dosage along with your qualified practitioner.

The benefits of psilocybin can range from relief from depression and anxiety, trauma and PTSD, an increased sense of well-being that can last for months, mystical experiences, and creative solutions to problems.

"The mushroom said to me once: Nature loves courage. Nature loves courage, and I said – what’s the payoff on that? It said: It shows you that it loves courage because it will remove obstacles. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles." — Terence McKenna

Editor's note: It should be noted that at the time of publishing, psilocybin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21 of the USC. Some states, such as Oregon and Colorado, have passed laws to decriminalize psilocybin.

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Monica Ramunda is a seasoned tour guide with a rich background in witnessing indigenous ceremonies and extensive experience leading tours in South America, including sacred sites like the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, now channels her deep appreciation for native traditions and cultures into her company, Wellness and Wisdom Journeys.