DanceWize: Trip sitting and psychedelic harm reduction

 

The principles for psychedelic support (otherwise known as ‘trip sitting’) that are promoted by international groups like MAPS Zendo Project and Kosmicare Association, as well as Australia’s DanceWize program, focus on set and setting. Psychedelic support in music event settings is different from psychedelic assisted psychotherapy (PAP) in many ways. For example, with PAP a sitter is with a person when they set an intention and take a psychedelic. But for DanceWize trip sitters a person comes into care once they’re under the influence, present in need of support, and polydrug use or other needs commonly influences the trajectory of the experience. Expanding on this latter example, a varied approach to trip sitting may be applied by DanceWize from one event setting to another. Different resources are available when trip sitting at a multi-day regional camping event, compared to a single-day event in a metropolitan area.

This presentation draws on DanceWize’s Care Intervention service delivery data from recent years at multi-day regional camping events where a challenging psychedelic experience was the main reason for the presentation, highlighting the kind of interventions commonly applied by DanceWize trip sitters working in such an environment. Examples include encouraging the person in care to remove their shoes and stand on the earth, which seems a highly effect intervention to alleviate anxiety during a psychedelic experience.

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Steph Tzanetis

 

Steph has close to a decade’s experience providing formalised psychedelic support at music festivals in Australia and overseas, including in Portugal and North America. Steph has qualifications in law, humanities, alcohol and other drugs, and addictive behaviours and is the DanceWize Program Director at Harm Reduction Victoria. A focus for DanceWize has always been psychedelic support that is based on the trip sit principles taught by comparable international programs, like MAPS Zendo Project and Kosmicare Association. Psychedelic support in event settings is different from psychedelic assisted psychotherapy in many ways, which will be catalogued throughout the presentation, and focus will be given to the respective opportunity to trip sit or deliver PAP in the outdoors.

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