Ketamine 101
May 7, 2024

Setting Intentions Before Psychedelic Treatments

The act of setting intentions is the act of stating what you want to accomplish. It’s a commitment to your journey. When you start something new with clear intentions, your focus is on the present moment: who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.

Ketamine therapy has the power to transform your life when done with intention. Psychedelic researchers and clinicians have known this for half a century, and it’s why certain methods and standards have been put into practice. At Better U, we understand that the profound therapeutic benefits of ketamine can only come when you’re clear with your reasons for starting ketamine therapy online and what you hope to get out of each session.

The Importance of Setting Clear Intentions

Researchers at renowned academic institutions like Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University view intention setting as an integral part of psychedelic therapy. Even if you’re only using ketamine for pain, intentions can influence the entire experience. Why is that?

Delving into the mind is a profoundly personal and individual experience. During ketamine therapy, what you experience is deeply rooted in your character, expectations, and mindset (known clinically as your “set”). Your social and physical surroundings (known as “setting”) also play a role because they can influence your sense of overall comfort and safety.

Establishing your intentions before you begin each session can help you create the right “set” by preparing your mind with objectives – what you hope to learn and uncover. When you have the right “set and setting” in place, the likelihood of having a positive, therapeutically valuable session greatly increases.

How to Set Intentions Before Treatment

There’s no one-size-fits-all or “right” way to set your intentions. Whether you’re using ketamine for anxiety, pain, or other conditions, you can create any objectives you like. They can be serious, such as uncovering the root cause of your mental health struggles. Or they can be lighter, such as cultivating more vitality within your life.

The first step is to reflect on what brought you here. Take time to think about the life you want to live so your intentions are specific, personal, and focused. 

Close your eyes and let yourself feel anything that comes up. Journaling also helps because you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything, and you’ll have something to refer back to when creating new intentions in the future.

Here’s a list of questions to get started:

For each session, you want to set 1 or 2 intentions, but never more than three. The purpose is to explore your unconscious mind slowly so you have time to process and integrate your discoveries. Setting more than 2 intentions may be too overwhelming.

If you find that you’re still struggling to figure out your intentions, consider themes. Are there any themes in your life you want to change?

Common themes include:

Once you have a grasp of your intentions, phrase them into statements, requests, or questions. Some examples are:

Remember, you want to start each session with thoughtful objectives, not an agenda. This allows you to be receptive to whatever your subconscious wants to show you. Trust, be open and let go.

And we’re always here to help. Before your first session, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your intentions with your Better U clinician so you feel confident and prepared to move forward. With a strong “set and setting”, you’ll soon be on your way to creating a life you love.

Author: Derek Du Chesne