Health & Fitness

What Is Psychedelic Therapy?


Psychedelic therapy works like an elevated talk therapy. It requires special care and supervision. 

Psychedelic therapy achieved their widest popularity during the 1960s and early ’70s. Although the drugs set down in popularity, they retained a name in some regions and cultures and achieved renewed popularity during the 1990s, when LSD had a significant youth following in the United States and Europe.

Read: The Best Mental Health Apps for Anxiety, Depression and Memory loss.

Definition of Psychedelic

The term psychedelic, belongs to Greek for “mind- manifesting”. It was modeled by Humphry Osmond who was a British psychiatrist working in Canada in the 1950s. He wrote in a letter to the pen Aldous Huxley, “To sound hell or soar angelic/ Just take a pinch of psychedelic”. Osmond had introduced Huxley to mescaline, and then, Huxley went on to compose “The Doors of Perception” related to his psychedelic experience.

Psychedelic passages are largely variable and problematic to describe, but normal features include an altered sense of space and time, and distorted perception or visions. A loss of the normal boundaries of personhood, frequently accompanied by elation may also cause problems .The medicines have veritably little effect on physiology, and don’t generally induce addiction or demise from overdose.

At the time, there was important provocation in the world of psychiatry about the power of these medicines to shake people out of worried psychological nations. Osmond seem to be particularly interested in using them to treat alcohol dependence. He saw abstinence rates in his cases of 40 to 45 per cent – better than those attained by other curatives.

Others were interested in utilizing psychedelics to induce experiences that feel deeply meaningful, and maybe mystical. In a notorious trial at Harvard University in 1962, nine out of 10 Christian volunteers given away psilocybin had a spiritual experience. Compared with one out of 10 people who took a placebo, it was measured by a structured set of criteria.

How does psychedelic therapy work?

Psychedelic therapy is not just giving the drug. It involves a therapeutic relationship to encourage patient to dive into the experience and learn something from the experience that person have on the substance. Afterwards, it includes processing, integrating, discussing the experience in a few days.

Psychedelic therapy requires special care and supervision. 
Psychedelic therapy

The researchers suggest that the benefit actually comes from the experience patient has. Along with conscious reflection, it is unlike more traditional psychiatric medications, such as antidepressants. Psychedelic therapy does not operate at the surface level. People come out with a story.

While Psychedelic therapy is able to help people who may not get help by other forms of treatment. It’s important not to consider it as a replacement for other methods like (antidepressant medication). It’s just another good method in the toolbox.

Read: Ages of Anxiety and Depression

Types of psychedelic therapy

Some types of psychedelic therapy include

  • Drug- assisted therapy: This offers traditional treatments, such as psychotherapy, alongside psychedelics.
  • Psychedelics alone: A provider might only give a person a psychedelic medicine, with no fresh treatment.
  • Guided therapy: In some forms of psychedelic treatment, a therapist guides a patient through the psychedelic high giving therapeutic indications. It also supports person to stick around peaceful mindset.

What are the uses of psychedelic therapy?

Before former President Richard Nixon illegalized them with the Controlled Substances Act scientists, between the 1950s and 1970s, produced a breadth of validation.

Both confirming and pointing toward the therapeutic possibility, psychedelic therapy can treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. In recent times, renewed interest and investment have advanced farther exploration, much of which is ongoing.

Look at the possible uses of various psychedelics.


Ketamine is the most- studied psychedelic drug for psychological health therapy. In low dosages, it has shown to be friendly in many experiments exploring its eventuality to treat depression, but its personal effects are short-lived.

For patients with severe depression, such as, shows significant breakthrough after treatment. The results of treatment may last about 6 to 8 weeks, on average.

These findings have resulted in the discovery of a medicine called Spravato. It’s a nasal spray that delivers the active ketamine compound.

Still, intravenous ketamine drug therapy considers being more operative and less costly.


Researchers performed multiple phase 2 clinical trials to discern whether a treatment works. They suggest that MDMA can treat PTSD symptoms for more than 4 years.

Experimenters have also completed a phase 3 trial, which determines whether a treatment works better than what’s presently available. It also involves MDMA- supported therapy for PTSD. This was the initial phase 3 trial of any psychedelic- supported therapy.

Among 90 actors with severe PTSD, 67 percent no longer good for a PTSD diagnosis after three treatments, and 88 percent had reduced symptoms of PTSD. The trial guarantor, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the consequences could make way for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval by 2023.


Psilocybin is the main emulsion in magic mushrooms. It has shown good results in treating depression and fear in people living with terminal illnesses. Experts believe that it could also help with impulsive-driven problems.

Psilocybin also treats addiction and treatment-resistant depression, but further exploration is required.


LSD is a long lasting and potent psychedelic considered to be the illustration for therapeutic psychedelics. It has proven to help with both alcohol use disorder. LSD also treats anxiety in people living with terminal ailness.

Read: Depression Management: An Open Letter to Someone Struggling

Benefits of psychedelic therapy

Following are some potential benefits of psychedelic therapy:

  • Avoids eating disorders
  • Reduces Terminal illnesses
  • Eases symptoms of Depression and anxiety
  • Decreases Post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
  • Helps with Addiction

What are psychedelic drugs?

Psychedelic drug, also called psychotomimetic drug or hallucinogen, are mind-expanding drugs. These are able to inculcate states of altered perception. These drugs can also alter thoughts frequently with heightened awareness of sensory input.

One of the most general psychedelic drugs is d-lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD-25. This drug synthesized in 1938 by a chemist working for Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland.

LSD is an extraordinarily powerful drug, proven by research, hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than other drugs like mescaline and psilocin and psilocybin. LSD may alter sympathomimetic effects, such as an increased heart rate.

Experts believe that LDS cannot cause death directly. But chronic exposure may lead to psychoses, complications with memory, and abstract thinking. Its actual mechanism does not fully understandable. But these and other popular mood-altering substances work by mimicking or supplanting the consequences of naturally present neurotransmitters.

Read: What Is Seasonal Affective Depression?

Are psychedelic drugs legal?

When recreational usage of LSD took off in the 1960s, psychedelic came the marker for an entire subculture that erected up around the medicine, inspired by Huxley, psychologist Timothy Leary, minstrel Allen Ginsburg and others. Soon LSD was made illegal, and scientific exploration on the substances fell out of turn.

Since the 1990s, interest in psychedelics has endured resurgence. Neuroimaging studies have discovered how they work in the brain, reducing connectivity between areas that control perception and cognition. Clinical trials have explored using remedy with psilocybin to treat depression, dependence and other psychological health conditions. The South American psychedelic plant brew ayahuasca has also been researched as a depression treatment.

These drugs are still illegal in utmost of the world, but two US metropolises, Denver and Oakland, suggested holding law enforcement agencies from targeting psilocybin druggies in 2019, effectively decriminalising it.

Read: How to Cope up with Depression: 10 things You should Try

Are psychedelic drugs effective?

Psychedelic drugs are effective as they have been suggested for treatment for psychotherapy, alcoholism, and mental disorders. LSD resembles chemically to serotonin. This may cause imbalances which have associated with the problems of mind and mood, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.

However, research has proven that LSD therapy involves neither true hallucinations nor actual schizophrenic or psychotic problems.

Read: Practical Ways To Cope With Anxiety

Risks of Psychedelic drugs

Psychedelic drugs can induce strong effects in consciousness. Major side effects cause by these drugs may include:

Despite of these risks, most studies report a few or no negative reactions.

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