Integration session is a complimentary exercise applied after sessions that take the individual to altered states of consciousness.
Following the intense experiences, we have faced during seclusion and individual therapies, the wall between our rigorous identities (egos) and SELF becomes semi-transparent for a short while and all possibilities for an individual to find the inner SELF is revealed. At this stage, the individual is partially separated from the strong connection with the identity. The individual often attempts to sustain these effects by dancing, talking about joyful moments, talking and making jokes. These behaviors are the behaviors that come from our identities and generally do not permit a permanent transformation; because these behaviors of the ego are the main escape routes and generally, individuals cannot find answers due to these behaviors and cannot achieve deep awareness. Integration sessions will help the deep awareness to emerge. The most effective results are achieved with group integrations.
Currently, integration is a growing field and there is a good reason. The integration process is an important component of integration therapy to facilitate the permanent individual and behavioral changes that might be induced by this therapy.
The permanent effects of transformative experiences would not be possible without the following deep efforts. Integration is a vital, necessary and important part of long-term growth and development.
What Is Integration Session?
An integration session means taking any insights, emotions or attitudes from any experiences and processes related to the desired aspects of life. In these sessions, individuals create the synthesis of their minds and bodies following their experiences during the therapy.
In a more general sense, integration means “bringing the pieces together to create a whole”. Integration sessions are the process to discover and share the challenges and insights emerging during processes with altered states of consciousness. Integration sessions will help clients to achieve the sense of “unity” they are looking for with their intentions set for the treatment.
The intention examples may include owning the mistake, telling the truth or reconnecting with the parts that might be overlooked in the past. It is a unity that creates the strong, dominant and calm foundation to build the rest of life. In short, it is about claiming all parts of us.
Why is the integration session important?
Any emotion, sensation and idea emerging during the experience might be meaningful for the healing process. Integration is related to creating a field to “interpret” these emotions, sensations and ideas to integrate them into daily life. This way integration therapy will increase the self-transformation potential.
Altered states of consciousness have the potential to uncover such incredible ideas, sensations and emotions! Sometimes it might be inviting to ignore them or to get away from them or we might forget everything that emerged just like we forget a dream if we do not write it down as soon as we wake up. But healing requires being busy with these ideas and integration is about that. Professional support can make the difference between successfully integrating the new insights into our lives in meaningful ways and giving up on permanent growth and healing.
Especially intense experiences have the potential to clarify the highly dramatic or important ways of existence, ways to see others and to open up how other individuals see themselves. The new targets can bring up the main things that must be done, said or progressed to the light of consciousness from the darkness of subconsciousness.
When these experiences occur, an integration session is a process that transforms intentions into reality. The session articulates the insights. When an individual expresses self openly and sincerely during the integration session instead of running away or taking himself/herself out and becomes open for answers, the answers that might not have come in 20-years of psychotherapy might come and the transformation will start.
How is the integration session practiced?
An experienced and specially trained professional in the integration of altered states of consciousness to real life and transforming them into awareness or conception will let go of the self in egoistic terms during the integration sessions to reach sincerity and mindfulness point, reach to state similar to Zen and initiate the session.
Integration sessions offered by The ONE often include modalities such as somatic therapy, audio artistic therapy, transpersonal therapy, awareness and damage reduction practices.
Joining the integration after your experience will minimize the possibility to be embedded or “lost” when you go back to your normal consciousness after the healing benefits of the experience.
Any integration practice is better than none. Therefore, you are reading this because you are fighting against a challenging or intense journey you have already done and interpret what emerged in this process; it is not too late to integrate this insight into a healthier and happier daily life.
An example for the integration process and related practice
As an example, you might have reached an important insight about taking care of yourself and your physical health after your experience. An integration practice related to this insight and homework to apply this to your daily life will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of that topic.
The purpose of these sessions is to integrate the emerging awareness of the clients into daily lives. A physical health insight might be carried to the reality of the daily with changing behavior.
While the experiences of each individual might be drastically different, their integration processes will be drastically different as well. Some might be focused on broader “themes” like communication, honest, relationships, career or health and others might be focused on a more specific theme.
At the end of the integration, some clients might have small and easily manageable homework such as “call your parents and tell them you love them”. Sometimes, the client might get more ambiguous homework or homework without an exact deadline such as “I need to talk about the real truth and tell how I feel”.
All of these are valid integration activity examples and each integration practice will change depending on the existing unique state of the client, the special intention for the session, who the client wants to be and where does the client want to go with his/her life.
Integration (Therapy) Types
Although there are nuances for every individual, there are a couple of common integration categories for every individual that tends to appear such as our individual health, expression and energy level.
Physical or somatic integration
Sometimes the integration process is highly physical. It might be about taking better care of your body, decreasing your accumulated stress, spending time to set yourself free or spending more time in nature. It is highly focused on the body, your emotions and your senses.
This is why the integration process takes an articulated activity form:
- Going out for a walk
- Moving your body with exercise or yoga/qigong
- Taking care of yourself and your physical or mental health
In other cases, your integration process might revolve around how you see yourself, others and the world and the relationship between all of these. There are significant themes that may emerge in this field of experience and the majority of these will be the integration practices dedicated to processing and bringing your existence.
These are your relationships with your own transience, existential metaphysical relationship, religious and spiritual (or non-existence) aspects. These themes can be presented in various forms via experiences and require some integration practices to be completely processed and integrated.
For example, psycho-spiritual integration can be considered in the way of looking at now:
- At what point in life do you think you are?
- At what point do you judge yourself because of being there?
- At what point in life do you want to be?
- At what point of life are you at?
To give an example, psycho-spiritual integration can be considered in the way of looking at the future:
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- What kind of person are you now?
- What kind of relationship do you want to have?
- What job do you want to do?
Such reflections might be catalyzed by the experience and in is the process to continue answering them. When you have an answer, you can start taking determined steps to turn them into reality.
Emotional integration is about processing the emotions and sensations that emerge in our lives. There are times which you don’t want to feel these emotions and exactly experience those emotions. Instead, these emotions can be confined in us and wait for us to be with them.
Five main themes are highlighted in transpersonal therapy:
- State of consciousness
- Higher or final potential
- Beyond the ego or individual self
Transpersonal Psychology is related to investigating the highest potential of humanity and knowing, understanding and realizing an integrative, spiritual and transcendental state of consciousness.
Although transpersonal psychology is relatively new as an official discipline, this discipline was initiated with the publication of The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology in 1969 and the foundation of Transpersonal Psychology Association in 1971 and turned into a therapy method that utilizes the oldest mystical information from numerous traditions. Transpersonal psychologists attempt to integrate timeless wisdom with modern Western psychology and transform spiritual principles into scientific and modern language. Transpersonal psychology addresses the entire psycho-spiritual development of humans from our deepest wounds to our needs, existential crisis to the transcendental capacity of our consciousness.
Unity and totality perspectives are at the center of transpersonal psychology’s worldview.
Integration practices are based on the existing states of individuals and how these states correspond in the transpersonal region by systematically considering the consciousness schemes and systematics proposed especially by Jung and Tart. Small-scale practices which will create a changed state of consciousness to become deeper when necessary are included in this therapy.
Individual integration sessions
Our integrations with the highest opening are achieved by being an active participator in the group integrations. However, as expressed above, an individual can participate in individual integration sessions in addition to group sessions as these individuals might hide in the group integrations or seem more satisfied than they are due to various reasons. Since these sessions are only directed to one client, this might be more intense and challenging for the client.