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Eating Disorder & Addiction Specialists Counselling for addictions, eating disorders & compulsive behaviour
Chelsea & Harley Street, central London

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Despite its natural origins, Ayahuasca is a Class-A controlled substance in the UK - and for good reason.

Ayahuasca is a powerful psychedelic compound historically used by Amazonian tribes as part of a spiritual ritual. The psychedelic ingredients naturally occur in the leaves of the Psychotria Viridis shrub. When mixed with the Ayahuasca vine, made into a "tea" and drunk, it provides a deeply profound, life-changing experience for the user.

Most people travel to South America to experience Ayahuasca in a ritual controlled by an experienced shaman. Indeed, Ayahuasca tourism has become a well-trodden path for backpackers.

As Ayahuasca tourism increases, so does the emergence of fake- or unskilled shamen whose negligence can put people at risk.

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What does Ayahuasca do?

Users report that they experience meaningful and intense "visions" while using Ayahuasca. Most users vomit violently or experience intense diarrhoea as part of the ritual. Although distressing, this is considered part of the "purge"; nonetheless, it presents a frightening experience for some. Most people are rendered immobile throughout their experience, becoming withdrawn and introspective while the intense effects of the drug run their course (the typical duration is 4-6 hours).

Some scientists believe that Ayahuasca can be useful in treating PTSD, addictions, and treatment-resistant depression. However, if a person is predisposed to mental health problems, Ayahuasca can exacerbate their symptoms. And - more worryingly - the experience can trigger underlying mental health conditions that the individual was not aware of.

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The lasting legacy of Ayahuasca on the individual

Some people find their Ayahuasca experience deeply spiritual and awakening; other people return home after their experience feeling that their lives have been somewhat derailed.

For some people, they come home from their journey with a new insight into life that - once they find themselves back in the humdrum of normality - they don't know what to do with. The spiritual experience feels detached from reality, and some struggle to assimilate what they think they have learned about life with the life that they're actually living.

Others feel lonely and isolated upon their return - they find it challenging to share their revelations with others without fear of judgement. Resultantly, a person's human relationships can suffer because they feel others no longer understand them.

What help is available?

Everybody's experience is different and, after Ayahuasca, some people need to talk through their thoughts and share their feelings with somebody who is not going to judge them. Help for Ayahuasca-related issues is available, and - together - we will explore your struggles in a safe environment.

There's no "one-size-fits-all" solution, so we use a range of therapeutic approaches to help us get to the bottom of your distress and confusion.

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Our Integrative Approach

We practice an integrative approach to treating all of our patients. We spend time understanding your needs, and we adapt our methods to suit you. We’re experienced in a range of therapies including psychotherapy, counselling, and coaching, creating a bespoke treatment programme designed around the help you need.

We don't just aim to deal with the surface symptoms of a problem: we work to explore and overcome all aspects of a person's condition, such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, helping you to develop strategies to cope with and subdue the symptoms of your anxiety.

Get in touch

If your Ayahuasca experience has left you lost and disorientated, you're not alone. We can help get your life back on track by devising a bespoke programme of honest and non-judgmental treatment, helping you discover a range of strategies to cope with the symptoms you are experiencing.

For help with Ayahuasca you can reach us by phone on 0333 339 2430 at any time, or contact us by email to discuss any questions you might have about our recovery therapy.

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