Psychedelic Psychotherapy: How Does It Work?

Feb 28, 2023
Psychedelic Psychotherapy: How Does It Work?

“It is no surprise that psychedelics, with their activation of deeply healing intelligent capacities, seem to spontaneously engender internal and interpersonal experiences of love.”

— Dr. Adèle Lafrance, Ph.D


Psychedelic psychotherapy is a relatively new and promising field of study that is still being researched. This type of therapy uses mind-altering substances, such as MDMA, to help people suffering from trauma release their emotions and start to heal. Some experts believe that this psychedelic-assisted therapy is much more effective than traditional talk therapy because it allows patients to access repressed memories and deeply buried emotions.

In this blog post, we will explore how psychedelic psychotherapy works, the most recent research on MDMA therapy, and the importance of using somatic psychology in conjunction with psychedelic psychotherapy. We will also discuss the role of MAPS (The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) in legitimizing the use of entheogens, such as MDMA, in the treatment of trauma.

How Does Psychedelic Psychotherapy Work?

Psychedelic substances have been used for centuries by indigenous people all over the world in order to heal physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. These substances allow people to access parts of their consciousness that they would not be able to access while sober. This can be a very powerful experience for people who have experienced trauma because it allows them to revisit the traumatic event without being overwhelmed by emotion.

MDMA-Assisted Therapy

MDMA is a synthetic drug that has similar properties to both LSD and mescaline. It is often referred to as "ecstasy" or "molly." MDMA has been shown to be an effective treatment for PTSD because it allows patients to access and process their emotions without becoming overwhelmed. The main difference between MDMA-assisted therapy and traditional talk therapy is that MDMA helps reduce anxiety and fear so that patients can feel more comfortable discussing their trauma.

MAPS is a non-profit organization that is conducting clinical trials on the use of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. The results of these trials have been promising so far, with over 70% of participants no longer meeting the criteria for PTSD after completing the treatment.

Somatic Psychology

Somatic psychology is a type of body-based therapy that can be used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy or psychedelic psychotherapy. This type of therapy focuses on helping people become aware of their bodies and learn how to use movement and sensation to release emotions. Somatic psychology can be an adjunct process to psychedelic psychotherapy because it helps patients ground themselves during and after their experience.

Conclusion: Psychedelic psychotherapy is a new and exciting field of study with great potential for helping people suffering from trauma. MDMA-assisted therapy is showing promise as an effective treatment for PTSD, and MAPS is leading the way in legitimizing this type of treatment. Somatic psychology can be used in conjunction with psychedelic psychotherapy to help patients ground themselves before, during, and after their experience.

Photo credit: Markus Spiske @ Unsplash


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