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Assisted Psychotherapy: Psilocybin

Mar 30, 2022 8:46:29 PM

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How psilocybin assisted psychotherapy is used to treat PTSD, depression and anxiety.

What is Assisted PsychoTherapy?

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, or PAP is a type of psychiatric practice that involves ingesting psychedelics, while professionally supervised, as part of a psychotherapeutic process. Typically combined with talk therapy, psychedelics can be a powerful tool for therapists to help patients overcome their health conditions.

The use of psychedelic drugs has been gaining momentum in recent years, with some studies suggesting they may be effective at treating mental health conditions like depression.

Types of Assisted PsychoTherapies

The use of consciousness-altering psychedelic drugs for therapeutic purposes are currently found in both clinical and nonclinical settings.

Some of the psychedelics are plant based, such as psilocybin, DMT, peyote, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. Others are chemical compounds which include ketamineMDMA, and LSD.

Before psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy was outlawed with the Controlled Substances Act, there was large amounts of evidence that verified the therapeutic potential to treat health conditions. Some of these include PTSD, depression, anxiety and addiction.

Recently, there is renewed interest and research into the potential uses of various psychedelics.

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin or magic mushrooms is a natural, plant based psychedelic. They're referred to as "magic" because of their potency and strange effects on those who consume them. This fungus has an active agent, psilocybin which is converted into psilocybin after being consumed.

Psilocybin is consumed for its hallucinogenic effects, which trigger changes in perception, mood and thoughts.

It's more commonly known as a party drug, each species has its own unique properties which give users different experiences or "trips".  Dosage can range from mild euphoria to intense psychedelic visions. The psychoactivity effects can last anywhere between 6-12 hours.

Why is it used for Assisted Psychotherapy?

Psilocybin, the active ingredient in certain mushrooms, is related chemically to melatonin similarly related to serotonin.

Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that your brain produces at night. A lack of melatonin can cause effects such as short-lasting feelings of depression, mild anxiety, irritability, and reduced alertness.

Serotonin is the substance that SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft are designed to enhance. It's made from the essential amino acid tryptophan, found in food. A deficiency can lead to lower serotonin levels which can result in mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression.

Psilocybin accelerates the healing process in many people for distressing emotional symptoms, such as depression, OCD, and anxiety (see here for mood boosting vitamin therapy treatments). Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy combines the therapeutic effects of psilocybin with the support of a professional, experienced therapist.

Psilocybin causes changes in the parts of the brain most responsible for repetitive thinking. The effects that patients report include a heightened sense of meaning, joy and a greater feeling of compassion.

trying assisted psychotherapy

Although there is still a lot to learn about psychedelic therapy, experts believe assisted psychotherapy can help with 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.

At neuromend

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Disclaimer: As of September 29, 2023, NeuroMend no longer offers Spravato treatments. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage you to consult with our team or your healthcare provider for alternative options.

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Written by Neuromend Team

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