Note: in the UK, it is illegal to prepare plants that contain narcotic drugs. DMT is a Class A drug and is therefore illegal to distribute or possess. As a DMT-containing plant, ayahuasca is therefore illegal in the UK.

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a type of brew made from ingredients with hallucinogenic properties.

Ayahuasca Shaman

Image by Stacey Martin from Pixabay

Ayahuasca is generally taken during spiritual and/or religious ceremonies (so you wouldn’t take it alone). A “shaman” or other person with ayahuasca experience typically leads these ceremonies. Such ceremonies are held in countries where the use of a DMT-containing plant (such as ayahuasca) is not illegal.

Ayahuasca can take up to an hour to take effect, sometimes sooner, and its effects can last up to six hours. The subsequent experiences are personal to the individual; there’s no prediction of what you will experience nor what will happen next.

Why People Attend Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Calm Mental Health

Image by Andrew Poynton from Pixabay

People attend ayahuasca ceremonies for different reasons, but most of them are for personal enlightenment, self-awareness, and to bypass mental or emotional blocks that are getting in the way of them living a fuller life. Such reasons can include:

  1. Improved mental health: Ayahuasca ceremonies have shown positive effects on mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. They can provide a safe space for releasing negative emotions and trauma, promoting peace, acceptance, and forgiveness. The experience may also lead to a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future.
  2. Self-discovery: Ayahuasca ceremonies offer the potential for greater self-knowledge and resolution of past trauma by mirroring the subconscious mind. Such mirroring might be a hallucination where you appear to meet a version of yourself in order to discuss your past trauma together. Such ceremonies can bring up repressed memories, emotions, and limiting beliefs, allowing you to confront and integrate these aspects of yourself. This process can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are and why you think and feel the way you do.
  3. Spiritual development: Ayahuasca ceremonies can offer a profound connection to something greater than oneself, fostering spiritual development and psychological treatment. These experiences may manifest as a oneness with nature, meeting deceased loved ones, or a glimpse into a different reality. This spiritual awakening may bring purpose and meaning to life, inspiring a more compassionate and interconnected way of being.

Note: it is important to note that Ayahuasca is also associated with several potential risks and should only be consumed under the guidance of an experienced healer.

Famous People who have taken Ayahuasca

Simon Amstell

Simon Amstell

Some people you may have heard of have taken their own ceremonial journey, including:

  • Chelsea Handler
  • Will Smith
  • Sting
  • Jim Carrey
  • Simon Amstell (who talks about the experience in one of his shows & book)


Meet with a Counsellor after an Ayahuasca Ceremony

Video Counsellor Dean Richardson on a Macbook Air

Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg)

So, imagine that you attended one or more ceremonies abroad, and you have had one more psychoactive experience. You’ve experienced some profound or significant events – whether beneficial or otherwise.

Then you fly home.

Though your physical journey may be over, what do you do about your emotional, mental, and spiritual journey that may have only just begun?

Working with a counsellor after an Ayahuasca ceremony could be immensely beneficial for navigating the powerful and often complex experience you’ve undergone.

Counselling Benefits

Here are some potential benefits of counselling that you might not have thought about before:

  1. Integration and Meaning-Making: Ayahuasca journeys can stir up a whirlwind of emotions, memories, and insights. An experienced counsellor can act as a skilled guide, assisting you in making sense of your experience, with integrating newfound insights into your everyday life, and with identifying next steps that might help with your personal growth.
  2. Processing Difficult Emotions: Ayahuasca can confront you with buried traumas, grief, or negative self-beliefs. An experienced counsellor can provide a safe and supportive space to process these emotions healthily, form newer relationships with them effectively, and develop management strategies to manage them.
  3. Cultivating Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation: Ayahuasca’s introspective nature can spark an interest in self-awareness and emotional regulation. An experienced counsellor can teach you valuable self-awareness practices and techniques to help you stay grounded in the present moment, manage difficult emotions, and being mentally safe.
  4. Addressing Unresolved Issues: The insights gained from Ayahuasca might highlight pre-existing challenges that you have avoided or hadn’t fully addressed. An experienced counsellor can help you explore these issues further, uncover their root causes, and assist you in forming newer relationships with those that you had avoided for so long.
  5. Personal Growth and Goal Setting: The transformative potential of Ayahuasca can ignite a desire for personal growth and change. An experienced counsellor can support you in setting realistic goals, creating a growth plan, and providing accountability to stay on track if this was something you found helpful.
  6. Spiritual Guidance: If your Ayahuasca experience involved a spiritual element, an experienced counsellor with expertise in this area can offer guidance and support as you explore your newfound connection to something greater than yourself.

Not everyone needs or benefits equally from post-Ayahuasca counselling.

Consider your own needs and the intensity of your experience; you may find that being open and honest in counselling sessions can get you the most out of the experience.

About Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg)

As a counsellor, Dean has experience working with people who have attended ayahuasca ceremonies and who have undergone psychedelic, beneficial experiences.

Dean has also worked with people who were planning their trips (to reputable organisations) and who wanted to discuss matters such as “what questions do I want to ask of myself if I meet him/her during a ceremony?”.

A major advantage of considering Dean as your post-ayahuasca counsellor is that he is available via video counselling. You don’t have to be local to Dean in the UK; provided that you’re somewhere in the United Kingdom and have access to a video device such as a computer with a webcam, a tablet, or even a smartphone, you could arrange to meet with Dean to discuss your needs from ayahuasca counselling.

Note: Dean does not have experience to advise you on where to go for your journey nor if taking such a journey is medically advised. These are decisions that you must make for yourself, taking informed advice from those who are reputable and who are experienced.

Ultimately, working with a counsellor, such as Dean, can be a valuable tool to maximise the positive impacts of your ayahuasca journey, ensuring smoother integration and lasting positive changes in your life.

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