The Importance of Set and Setting in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

Set and setting are critical components of psychedelic-assisted therapy and play a significant role in determining the quality and outcome of the psychedelic experience.

Set refers to an individual’s mindset and mental state at the time of the psychedelic experience. This includes their intentions, expectations, beliefs, and emotional state. A positive set can help promote feelings of safety, trust, and openness, while a negative set can lead to anxiety, fear, and a challenging experience.

Setting refers to the physical and social environment in which the psychedelic experience occurs. This includes factors such as the location, lighting, music, and the presence of trained support personnel. A supportive setting can help create a safe and comfortable environment that promotes relaxation, trust, and a sense of well-being, while an unsupportive setting can lead to feelings of discomfort, fear, and anxiety.

In psychedelic-assisted therapy, both set and setting are carefully curated to optimize the therapeutic potential of the experience. Trained therapists or guides work with clients to help prepare them for the experience, set appropriate intentions, and cultivate a positive mindset. The setting is carefully controlled to create a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment, with trained personnel available to offer guidance and support as needed.

Research has shown that set and setting are important predictors of the quality and outcome of the psychedelic experience. Studies have found that individuals who report positive experiences with psychedelics often describe a positive mindset and a supportive environment as critical factors in their experience.

Overall, the importance of set and setting in psychedelic therapy underscores the need for trained and experienced professionals who can help guide individuals through the psychedelic experience in a safe, supportive, and therapeutic manner. By carefully curating the set and setting, psychedelic therapy can help promote healing, growth, and transformation for individuals struggling with mental health conditions.

Learn more about the set and setting at ReWild Medicine.