The role of ayahuasca in a therapeutic process depends on the context in which it is taken. The different contexts in which ayahuasca is used are explained in the text interested in taking ayahuasca. While in a shamanic context, the ayahuasca itself and the interventions of the shaman are considered the therapeutic elements. In occidental therapeutic contexts, the ayahuasca experience is considered a catalyst of the therapeutic process through access to subconscious content. In religious contexts, the ayahuasca is considered a sacrament, and therapeutic effects are not specifically expected, even though they can take place.
The motivation for people to drink ayahuasca is diverse, but in the majority of the cases, the person seeks to make a certain change in his/her life with the use of the experience. Sometimes the person is seeking to gain more self-knowledge or personal development; in others, the experience has a spiritual focus; and in others still, therapeutic results are sought with the session, meaning to overcome a certain problem or reduce the suffering that a certain condition produces.
In any of these cases, ayahuasca can produce a very intense experience with a therapeutic potential. One experience can provide a lot of material that can be worked with and used in the further course of the process of self-discovery. However, what determines whether the experience results in a therapeutic outcome or not depends a lot on the intention and how such experience is processed. A mystical experience can simply fade into the forgotten when not properly integrated, and a difficult experience can result in therapeutic outcome if it has been properly facilitated and integrated.
In conclusion, ayahuasca can be an important therapeutic tool, especially if used in a more complete therapeutic process. Being able to count on good support before and after the experience can facilitate this process significantly.