Psychedelic therapy refers to the use of psychedelic (“mind manifesting”) drugs in therapeutic practice. Substances of interest like 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are demonstrating the ability to enhance and augment the therapeutic relationship, a primary factor in emotional reprocessing and healing, allowing for a considerable amount of patient progress to occur in a relatively short amount of time and number of sessions. MDMA also suppresses the amygdala resulting in a decreased fight or flight response when recalling traumatic events potentially making it an ideal supplement for clients who may not be able to reprocess traumatic memories otherwise.
Psychedelics have a long history as therapeutic agents particularly with indigenous cultures in South America who use compounds like ayahuasca to facilitate emotional healing and purge individuals of negative psychic states. Now groups like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) are researching and attempting to formalize the application of certain psychedelic medicines in the therapeutic setting as a result of finding significant positive effects in the areas of trauma, stress, and end of life issue reprocessing.
The Addictive Podcast is joined by Bryce Montgomery who is the social and multimedia manager of MAPS and also serves as a volunteer for their Zendo harm reduction project which applies the therapeutic principles and practices developed in their research settings to alternative real-world applications where users of psychedelic drugs can benefit from the support, guidance, and nurturance of well trained and caring staff.
There is a significant lack of curative short-term treatments for psychological distress in western allopathic medicine and these “rediscovered” drugs/tools that can help facilitate the therapeutic process and promote an internal condition that allows for improved psychic healing are a welcome and desperately needed addition to modern comprehensive behavioral health.