What is Assisted PsychoTherapy?
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is a type of psychiatric practice that involves ingesting psychedelics, while professionally supervised, as part of a psychotherapeutic process. The use of psychedelic substances to treat mental health issues has been around for many years, including using it as an anesthesia.
Using psychedelics in both clinical and nonclinical settings have been gaining momentum in recent years, with some studies suggesting they may be effective in treating mental health conditions like PTSD and depression.
Combining talk therapy with the use of psychedelics has become a powerful tool for therapists to help patients overcome their health conditions.
Types of Assisted PsychoTherapies
In recent years, there is renewed interest and research into the potential uses of various psychedelics for therapeutic purposes in both clinical and nonclinical settings.
There are different types of psychedelics chosen for assisted psychotherapy. Some are chemical compounds which include ketamine, MDMA, and LSD. Others are plant based, such as psilocybin, DMT, peyote, ayahuasca, and ibogaine.
What is LSD?
LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, is a synthetic crystalline compound that is a potent mood-changing chemical. The synthetic chemical is made from a substance found in ergot (mushroom), which is a fungus that infects rye.
LSD is classified as a psychedelic, most commonly referred to as the street drug "acid". When taken in smaller does, the psychedelic can produce mild changes in perception, mood and thought. Taking larger doses can produce visual hallucinations and distortions of space and time.
Research programs in the mid-20th century found that monitored and controlled use of LSD may be beneficial for many psychiatric disorders, personal and spiritual development, and creative enhancement for healthy people.
Today, there are more than a dozen studies taking place to evaluate the medical safety and efficacy of psychedelics, including LSD.
Why is it used for Assisted Psychotherapy?
Although antidepressants can be effective in treating the symptoms of depression, various forms of anxiety, and other mental health issues, these medications often need to be taken for years or even a person’s entire lifetime. Studies are showing long-term benefits of psycho-assisted therapy just after a few months, and sometimes after one session.
Both antidepressants and psychedelics have effect on neurotransmitters, like serotonin, in our body. However, experts are finding that psychedelics have the ability to re-grow and restructure our neural architecture, which can treat symptoms of depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues.
A recently published study concluded that LSD administered in a medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting can be safe and generate lasting benefits in patients with a life-threatening disease.
Another study found that LSD-assisted therapy has potential benefits for people with alcoholism and anxiety. In January 2022, the FDA cleared a Phase 2(b) clinical trial using a “pharmacologically optimized form of LSD" for general anxiety disorder treatment.
trying assisted psychotherapy
There is still a lot to learn about psychedelic assisted therapy but experts believe assisted psychotherapy can help with conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), addiction, treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you're interested in participating in assisted psychotherapy, read reviews and evaluate accreditation before choosing a professional.
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