How to Trip Sit for Family & Friends

The following is for informational purposes only. WayofLeaf does NOT advocate the illegal sale, use, or possession of any psychedelics. Be sure to research, understand, and follow all laws and regulations relating to the use and possession of psychedelics in the state or region you live.

A trip sitter is someone who accompanies a person while they’re on psychedelics. Usually, this person is a close friend or family member who has had previous experience with the drug but remains sober throughout the trip.

The job of the trip sitter is to support the mental and physical safety of the tripper without imposing their ideas or beliefs onto their experience.

Their role is extremely important. By holding a safe space, a trip sitter can support someone to explore deeper within and make important new discoveries. Furthermore, mindful and compassionate support can also transform any challenges the tripper may be experiencing into valuable opportunities for self-growth.

Although the trip sitter generally takes on a passive duty, their behavior and actions can still significantly impact the tripper’s experience and after-effects. As such, it’s important for trip sitters to learn the best techniques and methods for aiding someone on psychedelics.

Want to discover how to trip sit? Read below to find out.

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How to Prepare to Trip Sit

There are a few things you may want to consider in preparation for being a trip sitter.

Have a Discussion with the Tripper

It’s a good idea to have an in-depth chat with the person who will be tripping in the days or weeks before the experience.

This chat will be an opportunity to discuss any expectations and wants people may have for their trip and how you can best aid them through the experience. For example, perhaps this person may want to visit a specific place during their trip. If so, you may offer to drive them to and fro.

pay-attention-to-set-and-setting

Because people on psychedelics are extremely sensitive, it’s important to establish beforehand anything that might be triggering for the tripper and help ensure they can avoid this during their experience.

You should also confirm with the tripper personal boundaries when it comes to things like physical contact, so you know not to physically support the person tripping in ways they may find distressing.

In this pre-trip discussion, the tripper may decide they don’t feel like you’d be the right person to support them through their experience. If so, try not to be offended. This decision will often be because of personal differences, and it’s essential somebody on psychedelics feels energetically connected with their company.

Pay Attention to Set and Setting

The set and setting refer to somebody’s physical environment and mental headspace during a psychedelic journey.

Psychedelics are non-specific amplifiers, meaning they can intensify someone’s thoughts and feelings, sensations, and reactions to things going on around them. For this reason, set and setting will have a massive impact on somebody’s experience.

It’s difficult to control a person’s mindset, but you could chat with the tripper before they take the drug to make sure they’re not feeling stressed or anxious, and if so, suggest perhaps they take the drug another time.

You could also help the person tripping prepare an environment where they feel comfortable, such as having soft furniture and meaningful objects in a room. You may also help them prepare a playlist with some of the music they may want to listen to during their trip.

Be Aware of the Drug Effects and Safety

It’s often a good idea that the trip sitter has had personal experiences of the drug before supporting someone through a trip, as this will help them understand the effects the drug may have and empathize with the user.

However, if this isn’t the case, it’s good to research how the drug may affect someone mentally and physically, so they’re not surprised by the tripper’s experience.

It may be wise to read trip reports on websites such as Erowid and Reddit about the drug the user will be taking so you can understand some of the kinds of experiences people may have.

Being aware of the physical effects of the drug is also essential. Although psychedelics have a relatively low risk for physical harm, when combined with other stimulant drugs and antidepressants, using psychedelics can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Make sure you’re aware of the physical signs of serotonin syndrome so you can seek emergency medical attention if there are apparent and persisting symptoms.

If the person wanting to take the drug has a personal or family history of psychosis, it’s also best to avoid taking psychedelics entirely.

Make Sure You Look After Your Own Needs

Trip sitting can take up a lot of mental energy, especially when supporting people through difficult experiences.

As such, it’s important you nourish yourself both before, during, and after the experience. For example, while on duty, maybe you can treat yourself to healthy, yummy food and ensure you get plenty of sleep before and after.

It’s also wise to have a backup trip sitter you can contact in case you find any situation too difficult to manage on your own.

How to Be A Good Trip Sitter

There are many ways to trip sit, but these are excellent mindsets to have when entering into the role.

Try Not to Interfere

During trips, people can gain valuable new insights and discoveries about themselves and the world around them.

Therefore, it’s essential not to interfere with someone’s experience as this could hinder them from their own self-discovery.

It would be best if you tried not to give too much of your own advice, ideas, and opinions during the trip, as this will allow the tripper to come to their own conclusions.

You should remain relatively silent while being with the tripper, or, unless the tripper is seeking immediate company, remain in a room nearby.

Stay Calm

As mentioned before, people are susceptible while on psychedelics, and any signs of negative emotions could make the person tripping feel anxious or distressed.

You should try your best to appear calm and collected as this will help the person tripping feel secure. Suppose you are concerned that the person tripping is acting differently from normal. Unless these are extreme signs of psychosis, you can reassure yourself that these effects can be typical with psychedelics and that they will disappear once the drug effects have worn off.

However, if situations become too challenging, be sure to seek help for yourself rather than pretending to be calm.

Be Compassionate

Being compassionate doesn’t necessarily mean showing lots of signs of affection. In some instances, particular gestures of physical affection could, in fact, cause the user even more distress.

However, offering a warm smile and showing simple acts of kindness, such as bringing them a cup of warm tea, can help people feel well-supported.

How to Help Someone Through a Challenging Trip

A bad trip, also known as a psychedelic crisis, can occur for several reasons. The user may start to panic as they begin to lose touch with their immediate reality, or unprocessed psychological material, such as traumas tucked deep within someone’s memory, may appear.

how-to-help-someone-through-a-challenging-trip

Unless the tripper shows extreme signs of distress and panic for a long period, it’s often better for a trip sitter to support the user to work through these challenges rather than distract them.

Allowing the tripper to work through the difficulties themselves can be an essential opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth.

Encourage the Tripper to Take Deep Breaths

Encouraging someone to take deep, slow breaths can help relieve people in a state of panic.

Slow breathing not only increases the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of the nervous system that creates feelings of calmness and relaxation – but it also allows users to reconnect with their bodies, helping them feel more grounded in reality.

Offer Reassurance

It’s important to let the tripper know that all experiences can be valuable no matter how uncomfortable or disorientating.

It’s also essential to remind the tripper that the effects they’re experiencing are because they’re on a drug and that the effects will be gone once the drug has worn off.

Change the Setting

Changing the scenery can be helpful for the user to refresh their mind from any dark thought loops or ruminations they may be stuck in.

Things as simple as adjusting the lighting and changing the music can make a significant difference. Taking a short walk or moving into a more open space can also help the user feel more relaxed.

Trip Sit Do’s and Don’ts

Do

  • Take on the role of listener instead of a talker
  • Make eye contact with the tripper and smile
  • Stay calm and grounded
  • Be reassuring
  • Offer practical things that may support the tripper, such as bringing them blankets and food
  • Make sure your own needs are looked after
  • Be willing to call on your support person if need be
  • Seek professional help in the case of medical emergencies

Don’t

  • Impose your ideas or beliefs on the tripper’s experience
  • Try and control the physical surroundings or activities during the tripper’s experience with your wants
  • Display signs of negative emotions such as anger or fear while in front of the tripper
  • Distract the tripper away from their experience
  • Hesitate to ask for support if you are struggling

Trip Sitting: A Summary

When you agree to trip sit, you’re taking on an essential role of responsibility, so make sure that you’re feeling energized and ready yourself to take on the duty.

By staying calm and collected, you can be the critical, reassuring support that allows someone to go into a deep psychological exploration and make any changes to their lives accordingly.

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