Psychedelics like psilocybin (magic truffles), LSD and MDMA demonstrate immense potential for healing and personal growth when used responsibly in therapeutic settings. Combined with professional coaching or therapy, psychedelics can lead to expanded awareness, improved mental health, and breakthroughs in your personal development.
Coaching is a professional relationship focused on empowering individuals to maximise their personal or professional potential. Unlike mentoring, which relies on the mentor’s wisdom, coaching draws out the inner knowledge, skills, and motivation that already exists within the client. Through actively listening, asking powerful questions, and providing objective feedback, a coach helps guide clients towards realizing their goals and becoming their best selves.
This article will explore some of the key psychological and neuronal changes caused by psychedelics, and explain how they can enhance the coaching process for greater self-discovery.
Psychological Changes Through Psychedelics
Psychedelics induce profound changes in consciousness that can have long-lasting effects after the experience itself. Here are some of the psychological shifts that contribute to their effectiveness as part of coaching:
Increased Openness – Psychedelics make you more open to new ideas and perspectives. This receptiveness allows you to assimilate guidance and feedback from your coach better.
Confronting Repressed Issues – Psychedelics can surface underlying emotional conflicts and memories. Though challenging, this allows you to identify and work through core issues with your coach.
Sense of Interconnectedness – You may feel more connected to others, nature, or the universe. This motivates you to improve and empathizes you to others’ experiences.
Increased Introspection – Psychedelics turn your awareness inward, leading to deeper self-reflection. You gain clarity on your goals, values and ideal future self.
Enhanced Creativity – Psychedelics stimulate creative, divergent thinking. This helps generate insights and new strategies to enrich your coaching.
Neuronal Changes From Psychedelics
Research shows psychedelics cause both short and long-term changes in brain connectivity:
Default Mode Network – Psychedelics quiet the brain’s default mode network (DMN), associated with the ego and sense of self. This allows you to assess yourself more objectively.
Communication Between Brain Regions – Psychedelics increase communication between brain regions that usually don’t connect. This neural flexibility persists afterwards.
Neuroplasticity – Psychedelics encourage neural plasticity/neurogenesis, the growth of new connections. Your brain is more adaptable to change.
How These Changes Enhance Coaching
By inducing openness, self-reflection and neuroplasticity, psychedelics make you more receptive to your coach’s guidance. Specific benefits include:
- Increased openness allows you to take on board your coach’s perspectives more easily.
- Confronting repressed memories gives you and your coach material to work through.
- An interconnected perspective improves your motivation and empathy.
- Enhanced self-reflection provides clarity on your goals and values.
- Boosted creativity helps you generate new insights and strategies.
Research on coaching and psychedelics is still quite limited, but early results show signals that the combination is more effective then either alone. The experience provides an exploration of the subconscious for deep insights. Guided integration in follow-up sessions (whilst sober) allows the coachee to cement the insights gained.