Magical Thinking, Psychedelics & Holistic Healing Practices

So what is “Magical Thinking” and how can it affect Psychedelic and Holistic Healing Practices?


Magical Thinking is a when a person believes that specific thoughts, words, actions, emotions or rituals can influence real-life events even though there is no real-life and/or rational connection.


Magical Thinking can sometimes encourage individuals to engage in “Spiritual Bypassing” in regards to their psychological work and long-term therapeutic care.


Spiritual Bypassing is a term coined by John Welwood, a prominent psychotherapist who specialized in the area of transpersonal-psychology.


John Welwood defined Spiritual Bypassing as “using spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal and/or emotional unfinished business to solidify a shaky sense of self or to belittle basic needs, feelings and developmental tasks.”


Does Spiritual Bypassing sound familiar to you?


Magical Thinking is something that lot of people experience on a regular basis as well.


Think about the individual who always wears their lucky hat to a football or baseball game, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the use of spiritual paraphernalia.


Most people engage in Magical Thinking in one way or another. Magical Thinking can become an issue when it is used to encourage and/or justify Spiritual Bypassing.


It is important to understand that Psychedelic and Holistic Healing Practices are not a stand alone quick fix to real-life clinical mental health issues and needs.


There is psychological work that has to been done before, during and after these experiences. Psychedelic and Holistic Healing Practices can be a catalyst to helping individuals connect to the root of their current issues and/or struggles.


However, integrating that connection with a trained mental health professional can help minimize and reconcile experiences of fragmentation, magical thinking and spiritual bypassing.


Which helps individuals fully embody life long change.


Fanicy Sears, LPC, LMFT, NCC, BC-TMH

Clinical Director

eMotion Therapy, LLC