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A Model of Transpersonal Psychotherapy in Peru: Ayahuasca Therapy

A Model of Transpersonal Psychotherapy in Peru: Ayahuasca Therapy



This essay presents a model of transpersonal psychotherapy that is the result of an integration initiative between the traditional Amazonian system of medicine and knowledge from western psychotherapy, specifically from the humanistic and transpersonal approach. This integration has led to the emergence of a type of therapy that is being developed in some retreat centers in Peru, although there are people working in a similar direction in other parts of the world. In order to understand how this integration happens, some historical background related to the birth of Transpersonal Psychology will be presented and some historical data from the traditional medicine system of ancient Peru will be explored. Likewise, certain psychological processes that occur during expanded states of consciousness and that are induced by the intake of ayahuasca in therapeutic sessions will be explored. The way in which the experiences of expanded states of consciousness are assimilated, processed and integrated with the help of psychotherapeutic accompaniment will also be presented.

Furthermore, it is observed that a coherently structured model of transpersonal psychotherapy opens possibilities for the integration of the use of ayahuasca as a facilitator in psychotherapy.


Key words: Transpersonal psychotherapy, psychedelic psychotherapy, ayahuasca, ritual process, amplified states of consciousness.


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From a historical review of transpersonal psychology and the use of ayahuasca, and an analytical exploration of the psychological processes that occur during ayahuasca sessions, we will try to present a model of psychotherapy that in recent decades has emerged due to an integration between ancestral knowledge from the traditional Amazonian medicine system and experiential psychotherapy of the transpersonal approach. Transpersonal psychotherapy is a branch of studies that, despite having been born more than six decades ago, is still in a stage of formation, growth and consolidation. Throughout this article we will explore certain aspects of Analytical Psychology, Humanistic-Existential Psychology and Psychedelic Psychotherapy in order to understand the emergence of this model of psychotherapy which integrates the ancestral wisdom of the Amazonian peoples and the deep knowledge of the human psyche, and also to understand the therapeutic possibilities that can result from this integration. There is definitely a model of transpersonal psychotherapy that is being forged in Peru whose purpose is to provide counseling to people who are suffering from certain emotional disorders, living existential crises or for people who are experiencing a process of self-realization or individuation.


The article aims to understand this emerging model and also to know the theoretical contributions that have emerged from the application of this model. Psychology is a very complex science that is still in a process of growth and at the same time of integration, it is a science developed from various approaches. It is true that the understanding between approaches is sometimes very complicated, as there are significant discrepancies between the paradigms on which each approach is based. Some paradigms have a more positivist approach and others a more humanistic approach; however, in all approaches what is sought to be known is the functioning of the psyche and its relationship with human behavior.


This is not the place to detail the evolutionary development of psychology, although it could be mentioned that in the middle of the last century psychology as a field of study experienced a crisis that led to a fruitful growth and development. On the one hand, psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic approach had expanded widely and, on the other hand, behavioral psychology had taken an important place among psychologists and researchers. However, these two psychological approaches constituted a fragmentation of the psychological discipline that had to be overcome or transcended, and a third force emerged in psychology, known as Humanistic Psychology. In the early 1960's a convergence of personalities took place within the field of psychology who proposed a psychology focused on the study of the subjective experience of the human being without any fragmentation between behavior and unconscious processes, and focusing on the person in a holistic manner, i.e., as a whole.


According to Maslow (1972), the main intention was to develop a discipline in which it would be possible to investigate the most positive aspects or phenomena of the human being, such as the study of creativity, freedom, authenticity, love or self-realization, without reducing the human being to quantifiable variables or only considering the negative and pathological aspects of the human being.


Perhaps the main representative of the humanistic movement is Abraham Maslow, since he made a great effort to convene different personalities for the creation of what would become the American Association for Humanistic Psychology. With respect to the historical background of humanistic psychology, it should be mentioned that the first meeting of this association took place in 1962, although in reality the association had already been constituted since the summer of 1961 (Besora, 1986). We know today that the psychologists and thinkers who promoted the birth of humanistic psychology had as their main motivation the construction of a psychology that would allow the study of the totality of the human being, exploring the depths of affective life and not only the behavioral and cognitive aspects. The main purpose of these thinkers was to understand the essence of human nature. As Maslow (1972) states, humanistic psychology adheres to a paradigm that attempts to overcome the deterministic and dehumanizing orientation of a psychology based on a positivist paradigm, and essentially seeks to provide answers to complex questions of the human being, linked to the creative nature and the capacity for self-realization.


However, humanistic psychologists realized that, in trying to understand human nature as a whole, they were missing a very important aspect, namely the spiritual dimension. For this reason, Abraham Maslow and Anthony Sutich, the main promoters of humanistic psychology, joined forces with Stanislav Grof at the end of the 1960s to promote together a new branch of psychology to which they gave the name of Transpersonal Psychology (Grof, 1988). This is how Transpersonal Psychology was born, which from 1976 was included in division 32 of the APA (American Psychology Association) as a subdivision of humanistic psychology (Gimeno-Bayón, 2020). However, it is an evident fact that Transpersonal Psychology does not enjoy complete acceptance in the scientific field, since there is a sector that qualifies it as a pseudo-science. The truth is that a great majority of psychologists around the world have no, little or scarce knowledge of the real scope of this branch of science, and many psychologists confuse it with the New Age movement, even psychologists who call themselves transpersonal make the mistake of contaminating the discipline with New Age elements.


As we know, the New Age movement amalgamates in a rather chaotic way different philosophical, theological, mythological, mystical, spiritual and scientific notions, resulting in a kind of syncretism lacking methodological structure and coherent theoretical foundations, that is, it takes from here and there, and through a theoretical hodgepodge it tries to give explanations to complex phenomena of psychic reality. Definitely, transpersonal psychology should not be confused as part of the New Age movement, since from its beginnings the primary interest of transpersonal psychology has been to remain aligned with the advances of science through a holistic and humanistic paradigm. For Friedman and Hartelius (2013), Transpersonal Psychology is an area of difficult definition, and they think that the definition of this branch can be included within three themes: "transpersonal psychology as a psychology beyond the ego or I, as an integrative/holistic psychology, and as a psychology of transformation" (p.4). Following the explanations of these researchers, the first of these themes, that is, a psychology beyond the ego, focuses on the content of transpersonal experiences that occur during different situations such as the practice of meditation, near-death experiences, in psychoeducational psychotherapy, various mystical practices or in a shamanic ritual context. These practices can lead to the experience of various expanded states of consciousness, such as a peak experience or a unitive experience, or to the experience of certain human feelings or values that transcend an egocentric attitude, such as compassion or altruism. As for an integrative/holistic psychology, the authors tell us that Transpersonal Psychology seeks to understand the complexity of the human being, is concerned with the global ecological situation, and strives to understand the phenomenon of consciousness as a matrix of existence. In addition, it studies human psychology from different holistic, multicultural and integrative approaches. As for a transformative approach, they indicate that Transpersonal Psychology is dedicated to the study of personality development, the process of self-realization or individuation, or any transformative form of inner growth of the human being.


It is unfortunate that the field of study of Transpersonal Psychology is not clearly understood and that it is confused with other areas of human knowledge. It is not a matter of not giving value to areas of knowledge such as philosophy, theology or the traditions of wisdom from different peoples around the world, but of assigning the place that corresponds to psychology as a science that studies the psyche and its contents. In his work Mysterium coniunctionis, Jung (2002) makes clear the difference that exists between the area of study of psychology and its difference with knowledge of a metaphysical nature:

Psychology is a science that has nothing to do with metaphysical presuppositions or metaphysical possibilities. It investigates the psychological content of its object and refrains from any speculative intrusion. It does not fantasize about the unknown foundations of the psyche, it does not engage in cerebral mythology, it does not tell physiological tales, and it does not believe it can present arguments for or against the objective validity of one or another metaphysical idea (p.449).


Is there a historical background of Transpersonal Psychology in Peru?


Historically, Transpersonal Psychology has had little acceptance in Peru, for this reason, the faculties of psychology of Peruvian universities do not include in their curricula subjects related to this branch of study and, of course, no master's or postgraduate degrees related to Transpersonal Psychology are offered in Peruvian universities. For the same reason, there are very few psychological clinics in Peru where psychotherapeutic treatment from the transpersonal approach is proposed and developed. Likewise, it is very difficult to find books by Peruvian authors, research articles or theses in Peru that deal in depth with topics related to Transpersonal Psychology. Furthermore, it is very difficult to find traces of the existence of psychedelic psychotherapy in Peru during the 20th century, or of psychologists or psychiatrists who ventured into the practice of psychedelic psychotherapy in Peru during the 60's and 70's. If they have existed, their work is almost unknown today.


It is paradoxical that Transpersonal Psychology has not been developed in Peru, considering that one of the main topics of study of Transpersonal Psychology is the expanded states of consciousness. It is paradoxical because in the traditional medicine of the coast, Andes and Amazon Forest of Peru for thousands of years various plants have been used that induce non-ordinary states of consciousness, allowing people to experience amazing journeys through the depths of the psyche. Shamanism has existed in Peru for thousands of years and it is still a practice that continues to this day. Relevant to this paper is the meaning that Polia (1996) assigns to the term shaman when he says that this term "applies to the therapist of traditional societies whose functions are medical and oracular" (p.76). In this sense, it is important to mention that in the traditional Andean and Amazonian medical system in Peru the role of the healer necessarily involves both functions, the oracular and the diagnostic, both for the master healers in northern Peru, who use the San Pedro cactus as the main tool of their shamanic work, as well as for the mestizo healers and healers of the native communities of the Amazon Forest, who mainly use the ayahuasca concoction.


The object of Transpersonal Psychology is to explore the expanded states of consciousness accessed by shamans, that is, the exploration, discovery and knowledge of the other world, of the psychic world, of psychic reality. In addition, he also studies the techniques that shamans use and that allow them to access expanded states of consciousness. Walsh (2007) mentions that even "a small but growing number of psychologists and psychiatrists have undergone shamanic training" (p.8), and this has contributed to the fact that Western psychology today is better equipped to make a more respectful observation of shamanism. In Amerindian cultures, the shaman is considered the intermediary between the invisible world and the visible world. However, to venture a precise definition of what a shaman is, is somewhat complicated. Polia (1996) defines a shaman as:

The bridge between the visible aspect and the invisible counterpart of reality, that is: between the body and the soul of things. Between the microcosm and the macrocosm, between the human and the sacred. No definition expresses this function better than the term used in Quechua language from Ayacucho which defines the shaman as punku, which literally means door, entrance. Likewise, the shaman acts as a link between the body and the soul of his patients and between the body and the soul of the tradition to which he belongs" (p.282).


Peruvian psychologists have always had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural legacy of their ancestors and explore traditional medicine, but this work has not been done very extensively. However, it is important to mention the work of some Peruvian physicians such as Carlos Alberto Seguin who explored the world of shamanism and folkloric psychiatry. It is also necessary to mention the great work of the neurosurgeon Fernando Cabieses who could be considered the most important personality in the history of Peru in promoting the integration of the knowledge of traditional medicine and western medical science. In his work Apuntes de medicina tradicional: la racionalización de lo irracional (Notes on traditional medicine: the rationalization of the irrational), Cabieses (2019) makes a very erudite and detailed description of the elements that compose the system of traditional medicine in Peru in its different regions, providing a detailed historical overview of the development of medical practices in Peru during different periods.


Ancestral Medicine in Peru and the Human Psyche


During the peak of the Andean civilization and the Inca culture there were priests who were at the same time doctors. These priests had their own system of medicine whose details are unknown today, although it is known that they used various medicinal plants for different purposes. Many of those medicinal plants are still used today and some of the medicinal herbs that were used have psychoactive effects. The use of these herbs can induce the experience of modified states of consciousness or mystical states. These herbs were not only used by medical priests, but also by different types of shamans or healers, and not only on the coast and in the Andes of Peru, but also in the Amazon jungle.


The doctors and priests of the Inca empire, after the invasion of the Spanish, as mentioned by Rostworowski (1988), were forced to remain clandestine and since then they began to be called sorcerers and witches, and their practices were linked to evil and diabolical powers, and precisely for this reason the knowledge and procedures of these doctors are rarely mentioned in the chronicles. It is known that the use of psychoactive plants was part of the rituals of doctors and priests, especially during initiation rites and healing rituals. There were different types of priests or physicians during the Inca period. Rostowrowski (1988) mentions that there is a chronicle called La relación anónima, where it is said there was a certain type of medicine man who fulfilled the function of a diviner and was called huatuc. According to her, in this chronicle it is said that these people, "after drinking a concoction, were upset and then issued their prophecies" (p.228). It is obvious that these personalities consumed visionary or entheogenic plants during their work as healers.


In the academic field in Peru, the vast majority of psychologists have not paid much attention to the rescue and integration of the ancestral wisdom coming from the ancient settlers of Peru, and as a result, this wisdom has had a minimal impact on research and psychotherapeutic practice. As mentioned above, the system of traditional medicine in Peru includes the use of certain plants with psychoactive effects that allow healers to access non-ordinary states of consciousness and thus navigate through unknown areas of the psyche that they call the spirit world. These expanded states of consciousness have been poorly studied and explored in the academic field of psychology in Peru. However, there are several therapeutic centers in Peru that work with these visionary plants, mainly ayahuasca, and in some of these centers there is a kind of integration between the knowledge coming from Amazonian ancestral wisdom and psychotherapy with a humanistic, existential or transpersonal approach.


Ayahuasca in psychotherapy and the mechanisms of the psyche


It is complex to explain the way in which the mind operates during the time one is under the effects of ayahuasca, since an ayahuasca experience implies certain types of incursions into the depths of the psyche through expanded states of consciousness that connect the individual with contents coming not only from the personal unconscious, but also from the collective unconscious, mainly in the form of images or visionary processes. The phenomenology of visionary processes produced during ayahuasca sessions has been previously addressed on several occasions (Guthrie, 2021; Hendrick, 2019; Wolf et al.,2019).


Psychotherapists who incorporate the use of an entheogenic or psychedelic drink as powerful as ayahuasca into a psychotherapeutic model do so following a rigorous protocol that is applied at different times in the process. Regarding this topic, Mabit (2020) says that:

In the developed treatment protocol, the Ayahuasca brew plays a fundamental role (...) Other key elements of the therapeutic process (...) are spiritual accompaniment and rituals, which represent a fundamental component linked to the various activities and phases of the treatment, in addition to being considered the necessary instrument to release the healing power of the plants during the intake sessions (p.26).


The integration between ayahuasca sessions and psychotherapy occurs mainly in the so-called retreat centers existing not only in Peru, but also in other countries. According to the protocols of the retreat centers where a psychotherapeutic model has been implemented, people who contact a retreat center have to meet certain requirements to be able to participate in the therapeutic process. It is observed how important it is for the psychotherapist to explore the personal history of each participant to know, for example, their age, to know if the person suffers from an illness or some psychological or emotional disorder, to know if the person is under any pharmacological treatment, and if said treatment has interactions with the use of ayahuasca.


According to the protocols presented by some retreat centers and according to the psychotherapeutic experience of the author of this article, an important moment of the therapeutic process with Ayahuasca is the first meeting between the psychotherapist and the participant. That human encounter is important, and often it happens through an in-depth interview. This first personal encounter is completely psychotherapeutic in nature, and thanks to it, aspects of personal history are explored in depth, such as the existence of possible traumas, and thanks to this, we know what the individual's relationship with his or her closest environment and with the world is like, and details about the client's personality, motivations, interests and expectations are also known. During this interview, questions about the personal history of each individual are uncovered, an anamnesis is carried out, an exploration of the condensed experiences, the traumatic events, the existential situation of each participant. Here the existential vision of each participant is explored and known, their beliefs, their personal relationships, their emotional state, their mental state, their motivations for participating in a retreat and their intentions and expectations. The first solid bond is established between the psychotherapist and the client. It is known when someone goes to an ayahuasca ceremony it is very important to go with clear intentions, that is, it is important to know what they are looking for when participating in an ayahuasca session, because according to that, the experience will take a determined direction, and that intention will be like a kind of rudder during navigation through the world of the other reality. However, in ayahuasca therapy or transpersonal psychotherapy, it is not only important to know the motivations, but also to provide adequate psychotherapeutic support and correct follow-up after the experiences of expanded states of consciousness. As Rodríguez and Friedman (2012) mention:

A fundamental aspect that requires mention is that psychotherapy Transpersonal is not defined by the mere use of some techniques that modify consciousness, but requires integration into a process which includes a psychotherapeutic relationship, which begins with an evaluation, the establishment of objectives, the development of sessions for self-exploration and therapeutic gain, as well as a continuous and final evaluation (p.581).


It is very important for those who have decided to participate in ayahuasca sessions within a psychotherapeutic environment, to be explained exactly what ayahuasca ceremonies consist of, what ayahuasca is, what exactly the ayahuasca ceremony is like and every detail of the process that they will experience during the days of an ayahuasca retreat.


If you look closely, it is possible to appreciate certain similarities between psychotherapy with ayahuasca and the model of psychedelic psychotherapy that was developed in the 60s and 70s of the 20th centuries. According to Grof (2005), the main objective of psychedelic psychotherapy is to create favorable conditions to allow subjects to access to numinous experiences or to a process of death and rebirth through images or archetypal experiences in the so-called psychedelic peak experience. Grof says the objective in psychedelic psychotherapy is to achieve “a static state, characterized by the loss of limits between the subject and the objective world, with the resulting feelings of unity with other people, nature, the entire universe and God” (p.38).


The support provided during a ceremony is energetic in nature and a fundamental element that must be taken in consideration is the ritual process. According to Mabit (2010):

The ritual is in fact a symbolic tool for containment and integration of the experiences that [occur] during ayahuasca sessions [which] are generally at night and last from three to twelve hours. It is equivalent to the formation and management in the sensible world (this world) of a relationship with the insensitive world (the invisible world or other-world). Allows consciousness to move from one world to the other without interruption and therefore ensures assimilation to ordinary awareness of information collected in a state of consciousness not ordinary (p.274).


According to each psychotherapist, the psychological support can be provided on the next day or during the following days after the ceremony. The ideal is the psychotherapist has a private interview with each of the participants. During this interview the subject can talk at length about his or her process, including a description of the perceptions he or she had of himself, or describing the visions experienced, what kind of emotions were experienced during the process, if it was experienced some kind of insight or if it was received some kind of message or teaching. With this material emerged during the experience begins the work, trying to identify the images and trying to find their symbolic meaning according to life and the problems of each individual. It is therefore important that the therapist has extensive knowledge of symbols and about mythology of various cultures. The experience is obviously also associated to lifestyle and problems existential of each individual. The job of the therapist is to illuminate the landscape and provide symbolic interpretation tools to the client so that he himself can finally give your own interpretation to his own experience. The latter has main relevance, since it is the self that experiences the contents that emerge during the experience of expanded states of conscience. As expressed by Raff (2022) when referring to the work of active imagination, it is the self that remains attentive and:

In that state of receptivity, you must wait for the unconscious to manifest. Once you've seen, heard or felt something, the ego submits to elaboration the image you perceive or the voice who hears and expresses it so fully as is possible (…) After having developed enough experience, the self must determine its meaning. This has an importance crucial, because if a certain understanding of the meaning that there is behind the manifestation of what unconscious, the self will not be able to discover the position you are taking the unconscious (…) The self must derive a sense of experience (p.53).


The objective of this model, where ayahuasca is used as a facilitator of psychotherapy, is broad spectrum, that is, the objective depends on the motivations of people who participate in the sessions of ayahuasca or in retreats. Because not all people have the same motivations when they go to an ayahuasca retreat. The psychotherapist cannot work with all people in the same way. By that, as a psychotherapist, one must have extensive knowledge of the different stages of development of consciousness, because not all people live their lives according to the same structure of consciousness, since there are different degrees or stages of development of consciousness. No all people understand reality in the same way, not all people have the same worldview or not all people have the same understanding of the existence of the human being, of the life, of society, of the world, or of the cosmos. So, you can't give him the same treatment for all people. Thus, it is important that, as part of the therapeutic model, psychotherapeutic sessions are carried out with each of the participants, that is, totally private conversations and confidential where the structure of consciousness in which it operates each individual and accordingly provide the corresponding advice. Wilber (2016) precisely explains the difference between states of consciousness and stages or structures of consciousness:

One of the most interesting aspects of the states of consciousness is that they appear and end up disappearing. Even great peak experiences regardless as deep as they can be and how extraordinary they are the capabilities that accompany them, they come and go, appear, remain a while and they end up disappearing, that is, they are provisional (…) The states of conscience are temporary, the stages of consciousness are permanent. The stadiums represent the real milestones of the growth process and development and, when one reaches a certain stage, that becomes in a lasting acquisition. There are a thousand different ways to section the development process(...) The chakra system, for example, uses a seven-level scale or main stages of consciousness, the famous anthropologist Jean Gebser uses five (archaic, magical, mythical, rational and integral) and some models Western psychologists speak of eight, twelve or even more levels of development (…) The “stages of development” are also called “levels of development”, because each one of them represents a level of different organization and complexity (pp.17-18).


Ayahuasca shows the possibilities of the mind, open the mind, manifest the interior of our psyche, that is why it is associated to psychedelic experiences. The word psychedelic means precisely “the manifestation of our psyche”, “the manifestation of our soul.” There is many who have some resistance to the word psychedelic, because they associate it with underground culture that emerged in the years sixty and which is directly linked with drug use and a life of debauchery. Therefore, today in the scientific and psychotherapeutic field is preferred to use the word psychedelic, since thus the exploration objective becomes more obvious of the psyche. Osmond (1957) was the one who proposed the term psychedelic, first in a letter to Aldous Huxley in 1956 and the following year in a publication. Furthermore, Ayahuasca is a detonator of cathartic processes, purification processes on an emotional and psychological level. That's why it is said that ayahuasca cleanses and heals. But the healing process depends a lot of the experience integration process, that is, to what extent the person can transform his or her own experience into a self-healing tool. The goal of psychotherapy with ayahuasca and transpersonal psychotherapy, in general, is aimed at cleaning different levels, healing and development of personality. This type of therapy encourages those who resort to it to can become a better version of themselves and, in some cases, helps those who receive therapy on their journey towards self-realization, since there are those who are in a process of individuation and, in these cases, their experiences with ayahuasca become part of this journey, a kind of journey of the hero, in search of the treasure that is found hidden in the depths of the abyss of his inner world. Sometimes, who have been experiencing this process need help to know how it is possible to rescue the treasure and then embark on the journey of return home. Psychotherapy is directed to provide such help.




Regarding the characteristics that should have the person who guides the ayahuasca sessions, it is difficult to mention general characteristics, because it depends on what paradigm is the guide working from when guiding an ayahuasca session. It is understood

that the preparation of the psychotherapist should be very rigorous, both in the knowledge and practice of Amazonian traditional medicine, as in the knowledge and practice of psychotherapy, preferably humanistic or transpersonal type. In this sense, an Ayahuasca retreat guide who is the guide of the sessions and the psychotherapist at the same time, he must possess a wide experience and knowledge in navigation by expanded states of consciousness, he must possess the ability to penetrate the psychic reality without getting lost in it, must possess the ability to connect with psychic reality and being able to rescue from it valuable content, and once he returns to our daily reality, he must know how to use those contents directed towards own well-being and towards the well-being of his clients. This is very important, because if the person does not know how to navigate others realities, it will most likely result getting lost, which means serious danger for the mental health of this person. It is very dangerous, because it can result in a physical illness or psychic disease, or suicide. The guide or therapist must possess and know the maps of consciousness, he must know the different territories of the deep psyche, at least, he must know what he can find there and how to face that encounter because, finally, there are many territories of the psyche that are totally unknown. It is important to know science and art of navigation through the inner world and have the skill and talent to navigate successfully, without sinking or shipwrecking. Furthermore, the guide or therapist must be a person well integrated in the personal area, on an existential level, since the guide is an intermediary between another world and this world, the guide accompanies the people he is guiding during the experience with ayahuasca, he accompanies them to penetrate other realities and must know guide them and must know how to help them return from those other realities. A guide responsible cannot allow people get completely lost in those other realities. Also, he is also, extremely important intellectual and philosophical training of the psychotherapist, since this must have extensive knowledge about anatomy of the psyche, it is also important knowledge about mythology, compared religions, spirituality, hermetic traditions, Gnosticism, Eastern religion and philosophy, shamanism, psychology, anthropology, and scientific theories such as quantum physics, holographic theory, morphogenetic fields, among other. Finally, the psychotherapist and ayahuasca session guide must be a person of integrity, he must possess a high development at an ethical level, it must also have deeply developed certain qualities such as compassion, service

to others, honesty, sincerity, search for truth and justice, among other qualities. It is advisable that the guide of ayahuasca sessions is committed with a life practice, with a discipline psychospiritual, and be constantly training himself.


It is evident that Transpersonal Psychology has had an expansion quite limited in the field of psychology in Peru. Likewise, it is very difficult to find any antecedent of the psychedelic psychotherapy in the history of Peruvian psychology. However, currently psychotherapy with ayahuasca is experiencing some expansion through the inclusion of psychotherapeutic models in so-called ayahuasca retreat centers, although most retreat centers do not really contemplate the inclusion of these psychotherapeutic models. The existing treatments that contemplate the inclusion of the ritual with ayahuasca, include rehabilitation therapies in cases of drug addiction, support in cases of psych emotional disorders, overcoming existential crises, processes of self-knowledge, exploration of consciousness and self-realization processes. It is understood that psychic processes detonated during experiences with ayahuasca are of a very complex nature and that are related to content emerging from both the personal unconscious as of the collective unconscious. It has been observed that the symbolic interpretation of these contents, through the psychotherapeutic counseling, allows a broader understanding of the structure of our own psyche, and constitutes a help to glimpse paths that take people to experiences of plenitude and with a greater sense of life.


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