What is psychedelic therapy? Is it safe? What are its benefits? If you are currently looking for an answer to whether undergoing psychedelic therapy is good for you or not, you are in the right place.
Psychedelic therapy or Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP) is a psychiatric practice involving using a psychedelic substance as a part of the psychotherapeutic process. In PAP, to induce hallucination as a part of treating mental health problems, like depression, professionals will use psychedelic plant compounds, like LSD and psilocybin from “magic mushroom”.
To understand Psychedelic Therapy better, here are more facts that you should know:
Fact #1: There are other types of psychedelic substances used in PAP
Not all patients will respond to LSD or psilocybin in “magic shrooms”. So, they will use other psychedelic substances to perform PAP.
- DMT – N-Dimethyltryptamine is a very strong psychedelic substance found in some plants.
- MDMA – known as Ecstasy or Molly is a psychoactive drug, primarily used for recreational purposes.
- Mescaline – is an intoxicating and hallucinogenic compound found in the mescal buttons of peyote cactus.
Even though all three are options for PAP, several doctors will still use LSD or psilocybin as they find the two compounds are safer to use during the therapy.
Fact #2: There are three popular types of psychedelic therapy
Although considered as an experimental therapy, there are three popular types of PAP, including:
- Drug-assisted therapy – A psychotherapy that uses psychedelics.
- Psychedelic alone – In this method, the doctor will provide the patient psychedelic drug without additional procedures or treatment.
- Guided therapy – In this method, patients under psychedelic high will be guided by the doctor, offering therapeutic suggestions to keep the patient calm during the process. Try to learn more about it before undergoing any of the PAP.
Fact #3: Techniques how it is administered
Since PAP is still an experimental therapy, most practitioners have their techniques in administering psychedelic drugs to the system. However, most of them have common elements:
- Administering low to moderate doses of psychedelic drugs or using the microdosing method.
- The patient will be guided or supervised during the “tripping”.
- Repeat the session every 1 to 2 weeks between sessions.
Fact #4: Potential health benefits of PAP
Generally, Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy is performed to treat mental health problems, including:
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
- Eating disorders
Fact #5: There are risks to consider
Psychedelic Therapy isn’t for everyone. Practitioners will have to do research or evaluation if their patient needs to undergo the therapy to avoid possible side effects, including:
- Trauma due to hallucination
- Increase in blood pressure
- Negative psychological reactions
- Rare personality changes
Another common reason several practitioners do not immediately recommend PAP to their patients is the dangers of “self-treatment”, where patients try to use psychedelic drugs to treat their mental problems.
Psychedelic therapy has several success stories, but since it is considered a strong therapy, it requires proper evaluation before the practitioners will recommend PAP to their patients.