One of the greatest honours I have in my life is being able to ‘hold space’ for people who are undergoing a therapeutic psychedelic journey.  Through my work with ibogaine I have become an ardent student in how best to play my role while being a part of someone’s inner journey.  An early impression I got doing this work was that we as providers were like Houston to a space mission.  We were like mission control in someone’s journey through inner space, doing our part to coach and make safe the experience.

When I first started working with ibogaine I made the comment to my business partner Garyth that it’s cool we work with a medicine so powerful that all we need to do is make things safe, then step out of the way and let the intelligence of the plant it do it’s work.  I now think this is only true from the level of the ego, the part of me that considers itself separate and distinct; that ‘little I’ ego with this divided mindset has nothing to bring to the table of healing, which is all about making whole. But the more I work with the medicine, the more I see that the Higher Aspect of What I Am can play a catalyzing role in healing.

A Course in Miracles states that the only function of a miracle worker is to accept the atonement for himself. This essentially means to accept full and complete healing for yourself; you need to be the answer to the old adage ‘physician, heal thyself’.  Visionary plant medicines are so powerful in general because they do allow a person to heal themselves. In my experience, one thing they might do is make the mistakes you’re making in your life seem so pronounced that you can’t stand them anymore, and therefore you change.  Almost like a forced psychological ‘rock-bottom’ talked about as a necessary step to recovery for addicts.  Therapeutically there can be great value in the bad-trip, so hellish states need not be avoided, simply moved through, like Dante through the Inferno on his way to Paradise.

As a healer, you need to first heal yourself.  Learn the lessons you’ve been putting off or have been hypocritical about. Turn your ego into a creature who supplicates itself to a higher authority, surrendering it’s autonomy in the name of greater potential through alignment with the Whole. Integrate what you learn through meditation and plant medicines into your being so that you become a walking embodiment of those truths.  From this space, you are able to practice true charity by seeing the person seeking healing as already healed in the same way you have proven possible through who you’ve become. Once you live from that end-point of wholeness the entire quality of your approach to the client shifts context into one of blessed assurance of success.

Holding space then means holding yourself in the space of remembrance of Who You Are, so as to be an example to the person on the journey; a lighthouse showing the way.  Predictably, we’ll initially fail at trying to do this ourselves, thankfully we need not rely on our weak ‘ego-will’, a fail-safe is in place until we get back on our feet healing-wise.  All you need to do is remember and trust in the fact that like you have it within you to practice true charity towards others, there is an advanced intelligence that is holding the truth of your own inevitable return to perfection in mind.  An innocent trust in a powerful and capable well-wisher.  Faith.

One oft ignored fact of the placebo effect is that it works, it facilitates healing. A belief in healing brings about the thing thought about.  The nocebo effect is almost as powerful a belief system; if you don’t think you’re going to get better, you may just get what you expect.  To hold the space needed for healing to occur, remember to remember the truth and healing capacity in our at-one-ment with each other and the Source of All, and thankfully, even when you forget, the Truth still Is.