The path to wholeness is a continuous one. While a deep healing experience can jumpstart the process, it is equally important that you are equipped with the tools and knowledge to take that experience and apply its lessons to your life.
At Soltara, we hold a high standard for every aspect of the healing process. Our Integration Program focuses on providing high-quality aftercare following transformative and potentially life-changing experiences. We design all of our programs with this in mind, and are privileged to work with highly qualified professionals to lead the way in integration services. A retreat with us doesn’t end when you head back home – we are committed to ensuring every guest has the support, knowledge, tools, and community to move from a transformed self to a transformed life.
With this in mind, we sat down with Dr. Cavnar, a member of our expert integration support team, to provide an overview of the integration process.
Integrating Your Ayahuasca Experience
Authored by: Dr. Clancy Cavnar, PhD – Soltara Preparation/Integration Guide
Here is a bit of information about what integration is, why it’s necessary, and some helpful tips for your own integration process after participating in a plant medicine retreat.
Integration of lessons learned during ayahuasca sessions is a lifelong process. The lessons and healing we gain from plant medicines are only valuable to the extent that we are able to utilize them in our lives outside of the ceremonies.
At Soltara, there is a strong focus on the integrative work that starts after your retreat and continues, possibly, for the rest of your life. Soltara provides skilled integration support from specialists with extensive medicine work experience to prepare you and to help maintain and enhance the positive outcomes that are very often the result of attending deep healing sessions with experienced, ethical leaders.
The Cornerstones of our program are:
This is YOUR process, so you are in charge! Our program includes a guided, customizable journal crafted to help you build your own integration plan. We know each person is unique and so we’ve worked with our expert advisors to create a fun, creative, highly effective framework that puts your goals and desires at the wheel, then makes it easy for you to succeed in making them a reality.
We provide practical, grounded, informed content vetted and created by clinical psychologists who have years of experience working with plant medicines and holistic health.
Integration Sessions with Highly-Qualified Guides:
On-site and back home, we offer group and 1-on-1 sessions with our skilled integration support team, to help you process, maintain, and enhance the positive outcomes of your experience.
You are never alone! We welcome you into our vibrant global community, which fosters open dialogue, personal connection, and high-quality resources to help you learn from each other and share in the healing process. We follow the philosophy and wisdom of the cultures our medicines come from, understanding that true community and support is a crucial aspect of healing and life. With this in mind, we sat down with Dr. Cavnar, one of our expert integration guides, to provide an overview of the integration process.
What is integration?
Integration means taking the knowledge and lessons learned during your ritual experience and putting it into practice in your life. It can involve changing habits, relationships, or community; approaching life from a new perspective; realizing an increased sense of awareness in your thoughts and actions, or working towards a new set of goals and purpose, as well as other changes in deep psychological processes you may have been unaware of until this point.
You will undoubtedly face challenges upon returning home that test the lessons and insights that you have gained. You may have changed, but other people, situations, and environments will have stayed the same; how you deal with these situations determines the success of your medicine and integration work. Soltara places a strong focus on preparing you for post-retreat life with actionable, solution-focused programs that will help you maintain your connection to the work you have accomplished at the center.
Support for your integration process continues after the ceremonies through post-retreat integration sessions with highly qualified guides who have a foot in both worlds: decades of experience working with these medicines, and a deep understanding of how to bring these ancient teachings into a modern world.
You are also welcomed into Soltara’s global community, where you will find continuous support, resources, and fellow guests who have undergone similar experiences and who can help you find your footing as you navigate the sometimes murky waters of the default world.
Integration services can help you learn how to work with your feelings and emotions, how to let go of what no longer serves you, how to recognize signs of healing, and how to effectively incorporate your healing experiences over the long term in your day-to-day life.
Your experience at Soltara can be a touchstone; recalling the experience through daily meditation or other practices can help maintain the perspective you gain from a period of expanded consciousness, and connection to the center through various activities can keep your visions and insights alive.
Activities that promote reflection and connection to the body, nature, and creativity, such as yoga, art, bodywork, and mindfulness practices, can supplement and enhance the benefits you gain at the retreat. Focusing on the body as a vehicle for awakening, and honoring its role in our transformation—something that can often be ignored in traditional talk therapy—can enhance the impact of the medicine and lead to faster resolution of the issues that block full engagement with life in the here and now.
In traditional indigenous communities, integration is part of daily life; messages and visions are shared and group decisions can be based on the outcome of ayahuasca sessions. For modern drinkers, community can also be essential, especially in modern life where there may be those who judge plant medicine or do not understand them; Soltara aims to provide a context and community where others who value and understand the work can receive supportive feedback and relevant information.
Maintaining a spiritual practice that gives a frame of reference for this process is essential for integration. There is no universal template for this—each person has his or her own path—but in order to hold on to the lessons of the medicine, a regular practice is essential to avoid dissipation and erosion of the lessons in the face of modern demands to compete, succeed, and perpetuate social status.
For many Westerners, modern psychotherapeutic integration can help; talking with a therapist who understands the medicine’s effects as well as how it impacts people living in the modern world with its pressures to acquire and conform can be crucial for Westerners who drink ayahuasca. Personalized group and individual sessions with a therapist can enhance the rewards of ayahuasca, allowing doubts and questions to be addressed and permitting exploration of themes that arise for Westerners that indigenous practitioners do not have the experience to address.
Integration sessions can also be an opportunity to put the session and its rewards into words so that it can be shared with others. Guests do not have to rely only on their own interpretations; others can support and guide ways of talking about and sharing the gifts they have received from the medicine so that it is not simply an isolated experience, but one that others have shared, benefited from, and that can be translated into a vocabulary and tradition that has meaning and a history of benefit for those who partake.