What You Need To Know Before Starting Psychedelic Therapy


If you have been looking to get into psychedelic therapy, there are a few important things you need to know. Read on to find out more. 

Psychedelic therapy or sometimes also referred to as psychedelic assisted therapy has been gaining quite a lot of attention lately. Recent research on its benefits in treating depression and PTSD have gained it wider recognition as an alternative and legitimate treatment for certain mental health conditions. 

However since psychedelic therapy is not legal in all states there is a lack of uniformity in terms of the qualification of the administrator and the quality of patient care. Treatment is very personal and usually tailored towards the individual’s needs, with great care taken towards understanding their comfort levels.

But regardless of your mental health state, psychedelic therapy is an experience that requires you to be open and vulnerable, so there’s an amount of trust that needs to be established between you and your administrator. 

In addition to that, here are a few other things you need to know about psychedelic therapy. 

Psychedelic Therapy is not legal in all states, yet. 

As mentioned earlier, not all states in the United States have legalized psychedelic therapy to its full degree. While you don’t have to worry so much about criminal prosecution as the DEA is actively working on rescheduling medical cannabis to a class 3 drug, legal recognition usually comes with the benefit of state regulations and standardization. 

For instance when psilocybin was legalized in Oregon, the OHA created programs and regulations to supervise psilocybin service centers and ensure that their facilitators are qualified and trained in dosage standards and professional conduct. 

Speaking of facilitators, you want to make sure you do your homework and make sure you choose the right therapist. 

How to choose your therapist 

Ideally the person conducting your session should be a qualified mental health professional that has gone through the latest training programs. Be aware of underground practitioners, if you are unsure or wary you can ask about their qualifications.

Amy Lehrner, the clinical director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recommends inquiring about their training, professional certificates and expertise

A good therapist would meet with you for several hours to explain what happens during your sessions. They should also want to know about your symptoms, medical history and your goals for treatment. 

Another thing that should be brought up is informed consent regarding touch. This is unique to psychedelic therapy as a reassuring touch can be soothing if you happen to be going through an intense session. Some are against this policy as it could open the doors to abuse

Ultimately it’s up to you to set your boundaries and a very important discussion to have with your therapist. 

Where’s the best place to get psychedelic therapy?

Psilocybin service centers provide the most secure form of therapy. State licensed centers will have well-trained facilitators who will ensure you are well informed and prepared before administration. These places also tend to be set up to have conducive environments for healing such as sound proof walls and comfortable private rooms. 

“Sound insulation is important. People are crying, people are playing music, so we have a very strategic placement of both of white noise machines and as much soundproofing as you can do in a 120-year-old house with lath and plaster walls,” says Courtney Campbell, who manages the Portland treatment center Chariot. 

In regards to dosage, Campbell who works with several facilitators admits that they are still in the midst of establishing best practices for dosage and treatment. “We hold bimonthly facilitator meetings where we talk about… the dose, the rationale for the dose and how the experience went. And that’s very helpful in informing how to determine the appropriate dose for somebody,” says Campbell.

Psychedelic retreats are also another popular option that is catching on. Think ayahuasca but with scenic vistas and the tranquil comfort of a forest resort. 

Michaela Trimble, a writer for Vogue recounted her experience taking 5-MeO-DMT at Tandava Retreats, Mexico. 

‘While I don’t believe psychedelic retreats are the answer to all the toils of the human condition, I do believe something as powerful as 5-MeO-DMT could change the way humanity moves through the world. My journey left me with many deep truths, namely, that separation is an illusion—and the realization of how extraordinary everyday life can be when viewed as miraculous. Unlike any other moment in my life, it allowed me to zoom out and see life from a macro lens, both in its unjust chaos and beautiful brilliance,’ said Trimble.