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An Overview of Embodiment with Psychedelics

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Awareness of our bodily sensations holds an important key for understanding self-regulation, co-regulation, and healing from trauma. Restoring the ability and capacity to be aware in the present moment requires re-establishing awareness of our senses, and through them, an awareness of our nervous system, and being able to befriend our interior reactions to our surroundings.

Our senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, balance, and orientations inform our nervous system about our physical state of safety or danger, agitation or calm, and in turn, determine our capacity to focus and respond effectively to what is around us.

When we are exposed to high levels of stress and danger, especially in a chronic way, we may develop habits of numbing and shutting down overwhelming sensations and feelings in order to survive and keep going in the highly stressful moments. But chronic numbing and shutdown leave us at a loss as to how to live fully in safety.

Recently, psychedelics are the front of treatment discussions, because of how transformative psychedelic experiences can be. There is a tendency to attribute the healing solely to the medicine, but preparation, processing, and integration of these experiences are of vital importance for healing. Attunement, setting, intention setting, and the integration process create the powerful container that makes deep psychedelic work possible.

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Licia Sky, BFA

Licia Sky is a somatic educator, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing, and voice as tools for attunement, healing, and connection. She is a regular instructor in trauma healing workshops at Cape Cod Institute, Kripalu, Menla, and Esalen. For the past decade, she has been teaching expanded awareness in workshops to clinicians and laypeople around the world.

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