What is Assisted PsychoTherapy?
The use of psychedelic substances to treat mental health issues has been around for quite some time. Early in the medicine's history, these drugs were used as an anesthesia and even today they're still employed by certain doctors due to their ability to relieve stress or anxiety during surgery without causing any long-term concerns with patients' minds.
The use of psychedelics in psychiatric practice has been noted as an effective way to help patients overcome their health conditions. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, or PAP, involves ingesting psychedelics, while professionally supervised, as part of a psychotherapeutic process.
The use of psychedelic drugs in both clinical and nonclinical settings have been gaining momentum in recent years, with some studies suggesting they may be effective at treating mental health conditions like PTSD and depression.
Types of Assisted PsychoTherapies
Some psychedelics are plant based, such as psilocybin, DMT, peyote, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. Others are chemical compounds which include ketamine, MDMA, and LSD.
Before psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy was outlawed in 1970, there were large amounts of evidence that verified the therapeutic potential to treat health conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety and addiction.
In recent years, there is again renewed interest and research into the potential uses of various psychedelics.
What is MDMA?
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens.
MDMA releases “feel-good” hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, as well as oxytocin, prolactin, cortisol, and vasopressin. The chemicals released in your brain produce feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, distorted sensory and time perception.
Although MDMA is commonly known as ecstasy or Molly and used as a party drug, clinical MDMA and ecstasy are not the same.
MDMA for clinical use is produced to a pharmaceutical standard. Psychotherapists give regulated doses in a controlled setting for specific conditions only.
Why is it used for Assisted Psychotherapy?
The synthetic psychoactive chemical MDMA, although unconventional, is emerging as a promising treatment for PTSD. Studies are still underway to learn more about pharmaceutical-grade MDMA assisted psychotherapy and how it is helping patients who have a severe form of PTSD that have not responded to other treatments.
Because MDMA appears to reduce anxiety associated with recalling traumatic experiences, it has been shown to help increase insight and memory without the patient being re-traumatized.
This practice of MDMA assisted psychotherapy causes negative memories to feel less confronting, allowing the therapist and patient to have productive therapeutic sessions without the patient becoming overly anxious due to stress.
The Goop on MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy
Check out Gwyneth Paltrow's The Goop podcast with Rick Doblin for her episode on what an MDMA assisted psychotherapy session is like!
trying assisted psychotherapy
Although there is still a lot to learn about psychedelic therapy, 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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