Psychedelic Therapy

Psychedelic therapy, (or psychedelic therapy) involves the strategic use of psychedelic drugs to augment the efficacy of therapeutic approaches. This term not only encompasses the utilization of psychedelics within the therapeutic context but also specifically denotes the segment of a therapy session where the patient undergoes a facilitated psychedelic experience in a secure and nurturing environment. During this phase, the therapist observes from a distance, prepared to provide assistance if needed.

The origins of psychedelic therapy can be traced back to the pioneering work of Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer, with notable influence from Al Hubbard. Keith Ditman later replicated their methodology. This therapeutic approach aligns more closely with transpersonal psychology than with traditional psychoanalysis.

Psychedelic therapy differs from conventional psychiatric treatments utilizing traditional medications. Unlike daily unsupervised administration typical of conventional medications, contemporary psychedelic therapy involves a single session (or occasionally up to three sessions) within a therapeutic setting. Prior to the session, the therapeutic team prepares the patient for the experience and aids in the integration of insights post-treatment. During the session, the patient typically wears eyeshades and listens to music to enhance focus on the psychedelic encounter. The therapeutic team intervenes solely to offer reassurance in the event of adverse effects, such as anxiety or disorientation, ensuring a supportive and guided experience.