Learn how to tripsit someone psychedelics

How to Tripsit Someone on Psychedelics

So, you’ve volunteered to be a tripsitter for someone who’s diving into the psychedelic abyss. But do you actually know how to tripsit someone on psychedelics? Is it complicated? Are there qualifications?

Let’s find out!

Tripsitting 101

Responsibilities of a Tripsitter

As a tripsitter, you play an important role in providing emotional and physical support. Let’s explore some of the responsibilities you’ll be taking on:

  • Guide and support system: Your primary role as a trip facilitator is to be the rock they can lean on. Think of yourself as their psychedelic tour guide, accompanying them through the peaks and valleys.
  • Calm and grounded: Maintain your inner balance. When the world around them turns into a kaleidoscope of ever-changing colors and patterns, a calm and grounded presence will help them find their center and keep the trip on a positive track.
  • Monitoring and ensuring safety: Safety first! This one really should have been first on the list because your utmost priority is the person’s safety and well-being. Ensure they’re physically safe, and keep an eye on their general comfort.
Tripsitting look something like this.
  • Non-judgmental and compassionate: During a trip, reality takes on a whole new meaning. Provide a safe space where they can freely express themselves without fear of being judged.
  • Respect boundaries and autonomy: Psychedelics can put us in a psychologically vulnerable and malleable state. Keeping this psychedelic-induced suggestibility in mind, pay extra attention to their boundaries and individual autonomy. Don’t force them into activities or conversations they’re not comfortable with. Let them steer their own psychedelic ship while you navigate alongside them.
  • Post-trip guidance: Your role extends beyond the psychedelic trip itself! Provide guidance and support as the person makes sense of their experience and help them integrate the insights into their daily life.

Basically, you’ll be an entirely serene, grounded, non-judgmental presence serving as a compassionate support system that’s also constantly monitoring for safety while simultaneously respecting boundaries and individual autonomy at all times.

Shouldn’t be too hard, right? 😉

How to Prepare to Tripsit

Now that you know what’s expected of you, let’s go over how you can best prepare yourself.

Below are 5 steps you can (and should) take to prepare to tripsit someone on psychedelics:

  1. Educate yourself: Knowledge is power! Learn as much as you can about the substance they will be taking, including its effects, potential risks, and how to respond in case of an emergency.
  2. Get trained: Look for training or workshops on tripsitting, therapeutic use of psychedelics, and harm reduction. These can equip you with the tools to better handle challenging situations.
  3. Create a safe and comfortable space: The setting can make or break the journey. Find a quiet and private space, and prepare an environment that fosters relaxation and introspection.
  4. Be clear about boundaries and expectations: Open and honest communication is essential. Discuss your role as a tripsitter. Define boundaries, both for yourself and for them. Talk about your comfort levels. And set realistic expectations for the experience.
  5. Be aware of your own limitations: Tripsitting can be emotionally and mentally demanding. Know yourself, recognize your own limits, and be prepared to ask for help if you need it.

Tip! Explore what kind of trip the person would like, and how you can support them. Do they want a lot of emotional support or do they prefer a rather hands-off approach where you only intervene in the case of an emergency?

The Importance of Set and Setting

Psychedelics’ context-dependent effects set them apart from other drugs.

This is where the concept of ‘set and setting‘ comes into play.

Popularized by psychologist Timothy Leary, these terms refer to the non-pharmacological factors that influence the psychedelic journey.

‘Set’ is your mindset, emotional state, expectations, and intentions, while ‘setting’ refers to the physical and social environment in which the psychedelic experience takes place. This includes the location, the people present, and the overall atmosphere.

Ceremonial room at TripTherapie, tripsitter services in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
The ceremonial room at TripTherapie in Amsterdam.

A setting that’s safe, comfortable, and free from unwanted distractions is most conducive to a positive experience.

If the set and setting are not carefully considered, the likelihood of having a psychedelic experience that’s overwhelming, confusing, and potentially harmful increases. This is often referred to as a ‘bad trip.’

5 Tripsitting Tips

  1. Be prepared (for the unexpected): Psychedelics can unleash a whirlwind of surprises. No matter how much prep work you do, there’s always a chance for some unforeseen twists and turns. Think on your feet. Be ready to adapt. And (try to) embrace the adventure!
  2. Be present: Be fully present and tuned in to the person’s needs. Offer reassurance and support, but also give them space when needed.
  3. Go with the flow: As a tripsitter, you play a major role in the psychedelic journey but keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect to control the person’s experience or have the power to make it positive or negative. You’re there to provide support and guidance, and to help them navigate their experience in the best way possible.
  4. No judgment zone: Everyone’s experience is unique, so avoid passing judgment on feelings or reactions. Instead, validate them and make them feel understood and accepted.
  5. Know when to intervene: Watch for any signs of a difficult trip, and be prepared to intervene if necessary. This could include being a calm source of support, distracting the person with a change of scenery, or even calling for medical assistance.

How to Help Someone Through a Challenging Trip

A psychedelic trip can be a rollercoaster ride, and sometimes that ride takes an unexpected turn into rough territory.

Besides the previously mentioned tips, here are some useful strategies to help someone who’s having a “bad” trip:

  • Offer reassurance: Reassure the person that the difficult feelings will pass and that they will be okay. Let them know that they’re not alone and that you’re there to help. You could even set up a reassuring mantra with them beforehand that might help them calm down in the moment. Some examples:
  • “I know what I took. This will end.”
  • “This is temporary. Things will go back to normal.”
  • “I’m under the temporary effects of a drug. This will pass.”
  • Use positive distraction techniques: Help the person divert their attention by suggesting they listen to uplifting music, look at art, or engage in other activities that may distract them from their difficult experience. During a trip, blowing bubbles or observing nature can be particularly exciting, for example.
  • Provide aftercare: Aftercare is always important, but even more so in the case of a very challenging trip!
  • Know when to seek professional help: In rare cases, negative effects can linger and professional help may be necessary. If the person’s distress intensifies or you believe their well-being is at risk, encourage them to seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

Remember that a challenging trip is not necessarily a purely negative experience. Growth and insights can arise from difficult moments. With the right support and integration, someone’s “bad” trip could turn into an opportunity for transformation and self-discovery.


Tripsitting someone on a mind-bending adventure is no ordinary task.

Stay calm, keep them grounded, and ensure their physical well-being.

Respect their boundaries, and let them navigate their own unique inner landscapes. Always be prepared for unexpected twists and turns, and have some uplifting distractions up your sleeve.

When things get wobbly, reassurance and grounding techniques could turn a “bad” trip into an opportunity for growth and transformation. 

And remember, being a tripsitter isn’t just about the trip itself – it’s about offering support and guidance even after the cosmic dust settles.

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About the Author

Eline is a freelance writer with a natural curiosity and love of learning. After obtaining her bachelor's in Tourism, she later discovered her true passion and started studying Psychology. She now writes about all things psychology and therapy. She has both extensive personal and professional experience with psychedelics as well as other "alternative" healing modalities such as sound healing and hypnagogic light therapy.

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