As you will have covered with your clinician, you will need Peer Support (PS) present at each one of your virtual dosing sessions. If you have any questions about your PS that are not covered by this piece, please reach out to your care team to address this. PS's are a critical and required part of your experience here with Better U, so we want to ensure that you feel knowledgeable and prepared.
Defining Peer Support
What exactly is Peer Support?
They are a trusted adult (18+ years old) who is present with you throughout your dosing session. They help to ensure your physical safety, and provide a comforting presence if it’s beneficial to your experience at any point throughout the session.
As a treatment requirement, they will need to be present in the space with you during the dosing session. They do not have to be in the exact same room as you, though they will need to be present in the same living space throughout the entire part of the process. We call them PS's for exactly this reason: they are a peer, whose role it is to physically monitor your dosing treatments.This is an essential component for your safety, but a PS serves a secondary purpose of helping instill a sense of safety and security. Knowing someone is there to help and assist you allows you to relax more into the experience, and fully embrace the dosing sessions.
What exactly is Peer Support?
The primary purpose of a PS is to ensure your physical safety. To do this, you must review this protocol in full to know the safety protocols and expectations required of them before the dosing session. During the session they will check in on you to ensure you are safe and secure.
If all goes smoothly in your session, as we expect it should, the PS is there to ensure things continue to move along smoothly. They will check in every 30 minutes to ensure you are safe, and at the end of your dosing session they will come in to help bring you back to a waking and lucid state. They are a facilitator, helping move the process along safely and securely.
Should anything challenging arise for you throughout your session, your PS is also there to help be a positive supportive presence. They can come sit in the room with you, assure you that you are safe and secure in your space, and be a grounding presence if the experience is challenging or intense for you. If you need to go to the washroom, the PS can help guide you there during or just after your session. In more serious edge cases, the PS is there to contact your Better U Care Team. Although these situations are very rare, your safety throughout these experiences is paramount, and this is why having a PS present for each session is a requirement to adhere to our protocols.
Overall, your PS has the following general responsibilities:
• Ensure your physical safety by checking in every 30 minutes, and escorting you to the washroom if required.
• Being a supportive, positive presence if you need any support or company during the session.
• Being a direct line of contact to your Better U Care Team if the need arises.The primary purpose of a PS is to ensure your physical safety. To do this, you must review this protocol in full to know the safety protocols and expectations required of them before the dosing session. During the session they will check in on you to ensure you are safe and secure.
What Does a Peer Support need to know?
There are no specific requirements, training, or certifications that a PS needs to have in order to be eligible to help you with your experience. They will have direct guidance from your Better U Care Team before the first session you have together, so they will have all the information and resources they need to fulfill the responsibilities listed above.
There are some qualities that are extremely helpful to be a PS , these include:
• An empathetic, compassionate, calm, and supportive personality
• Understands the basics of psychedelic therapy and are aware of what situations may arise throughout a dosing session
• Able to be present and available throughout the entirety of the dosing session.
The specific reminders, information, and guidance that a PS needs will be covered with your Better U Care Concierge during treatment preparation appointment prior to your first treatment.
A few reminders that are helpful to share with your PS include:
• When in doubt, you can contact the Better U Care Team for a secondary opinion. They are on call and available throughout the session if it is done during M-F (9AM-5PM PST)
• If the individual requests your presence, try not to intervene or influence, sometimes just being a strong presence is enough.
• Let the individual be in their experience as fully as possible.There may be associated side-effects that are expected for the client: dizziness, nausea, elated moods, confusion are all possible. If you have concerns, you can contact the Better U Care Team at 725.888.8992.
How do I choose a good PS?
• Over and above everything, the best criteria for determining a good PS to work with is to find someone that you feel safe and supported by. Optimally, this is someone who loves and cares for you. This is the foundation for a good relationship with your PS.
• The psychedelic experience is a sensitive experience, you can feel quite vulnerable, uncertain, exposed, while also feeling joy, love, compassion, or other strong emotions. Having someone you feel safe around to support you throughout this process is essential and can be beneficial to the process.
An important point is that you want your PS to be supportive of the work you are doing. It can be challenging to have someone supporting you who does not believe in the power and potential of the healing path you’ve chosen. You want to feel supported and cared for throughout your sessions, rather than judged or put down, or unsafe.
This may seem obvious, but it does impact your own mindset and setting when going into a session. It’s important to be fully transparent with your PS about the nature of this experience, what may arise throughout the process, and get their confirmation that they are able to be the support and PS that you need and want throughout this process.
PEER SUPPORT FAQ
• Can I do a session without my PS?
No, PS’s are required to be there in the physical space with you for the dosing sessions. This is for your safety and security, and is a requirement to continue treatment with Better U. If you do not have Peer Support, please let us know and ask about our Virtual Peer Support service.
• Can I change my PS?
Yes, you can change your PS. Just ensure that they have the supportive information they need, they have the contact information for your Better U Care Team (+1 725.888.8992)
• Does my PS need to be in the room with me?
No, they don’t need to be in the same room, though they do need to be in the same dwelling for the duration of your session, and do check-ins every 30 minutes during the dosing session. They do not need to stay in the room the entire time, unless this is something you request.
• What if I don’t live with anyone?
You can ask a friend or family member to be present in your space just for the dosing session. You are also able to have your session at another location. The PS must be present with you for your sessions.
Peer Support's are an essential component of the Better U psychedelic therapy process and protocol. They help ensure safety, security, and powerful healing experiences for you.If you ever have any questions about the PS process, please reach out to your Better U Care Team. We are here to help, and the PS is an essential part of Better U treatment, so we want you to feel safe and supported throughout this process.
If you do not have anyone in your life that can act as your Peer Support during these sessions, Virtual Peer Support is available for $59 per session (around 75 minutes).
As you prepare to embark on your Better U healing journey, we hope this was helpful, and that you have a beautiful experience in your sessions. You’ve made the decision to embark on a healing journey with Better U— congratulations! This is a big step forward, and the decision in itself is worth acknowledging in yourself. Take a minute to give yourself your love and credit.