Parker Lewis. Salt Lake Community College. What is psychedelic therapy?. Therapeutic practice involving the use of . psychedelic hallucinogenic . drugs, particularly serotonergic psychedelics, primarily to assist psychotherapy.. ID: 599801
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Salt Lake Community CollegeSlide2Slide3
What is psychedelic therapy?
Therapeutic practice involving the use of
drugs, particularly serotonergic psychedelics, primarily to assist psychotherapy.Slide4
: LSD, morning glory seeds, Hawaiian baby
Phenethylamines: Mescaline (peyote)
Empathogens: MDMA (ecstasy)
Cannabinoids: THC (cannabis)
How do these drugs work?
The curative effects of psychedelic drugs comes not from activating a mechanical effect in the body, such as pharmaceuticals, but rather by triggering a peak or spiritual experience that can transform one’s personality, perception, cognition, and behavior.Psychedelic means “mind revealing” in GreekPsychedelic therapy can significantly improve and even cure mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, addiction, and cluster head-aches.Many reports conclude that one session of psychedelic therapy can equal or achieve more than months or years of regular therapy even with prescription pharmaceuticals.Slide6
History of Entheogens
Entheogen – chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context that induces altered states of consciousness.Have been used in cultures around the world for thousands of years.Cannabis has been used in religions throughout China, Europe, and India. Rastafarianism, Sadhus of Hinduism, Scythians, Sufi Islam is noted for its religious use of cannabis. Psilocybin mushrooms grow all around the world and are used multi-culturally.Can supplement practices for transcendence and revelation such as meditation, yoga, trance, prayer, art, chanting, and magic.Slide7
LSD was first synthesized in the 1930’s by Albert Hofmann. This and other psychedelics gained popularity in Western culture for their therapeutic potential throughout the 50’s and 60’s until they were prohibited in 1970.Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary believed psychedelics could alter personality structure and the subjective-value system, to beneficial effect.He and other colleagues such as Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) helped pioneer psychedelic drugs to the forefront of society in the 60’s.Psychedelic therapy was used in a variety of groups such as alcoholics, children with autism, and terminally ill people.Slide8
In 1954 psychiatrists at an English hospital set aside an entire ward for conducting therapy sessions with LSD with patients who had severe, chronic, or treatment-resistant mental illnesses. They concluded that 61 of 94 patients improved or completely recovere
d after six months.
Sydney Cohen, a physician, in 1960 surveyed 44 other physicians who had given 25,000 doses of LSD or mescaline to 5,000 people. Cohen found “no instance of serious or prolonged side effects” or any evidence of addictive potential with psychedelic drugs.
LSD helped in discovery of serotonin neurotransmitter because of the chemical resemblance.
In 2012 researchers at Imperial College London found using fMRI imaging, surprisingly, the larger the decrease in brain activity, the more intense the psychedelic experience. Their brain scans resembled that of one who was in deep meditation.Slide9
The Psychedelic Experience
A manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead that serves as “a key to the innermost recesses of the human mind, and a guide for initiates, and for those who are seeking the spiritual path of liberation.” Intended to guide one through the consciousness of experiencing death and the interval between death and the next rebirth (reincarnation) known as the bardo.Psychedelic drugs strip away mental defenses and can deliver psychological death and rebirth.Was aimed for use for clinical and recreational purposes. Everyone alike who wants to transcend social and psychological constructs and the human “rat race.”Slide10
Set and Setting
most important aspect of the psychedelic
experience for maximization of effect.
– your mood and mentality.
– where you are and your surroundings.
If you take psychedelic drugs in a setting of high stimuli such as party or rave, then you will most likely feel energized and excited. If you take them in a setting of low stimuli such as at home or in nature, you may feel relaxed and peaceful. If you are with other people, make sure they are people you are close to and trust.
If you are comfortable and at ease going into the experience and not anxious or nervous, then a good experience will unfold.
If neither the set or setting is suitable or comfortable. This can easily lead to a bad trip.Slide11
part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious. It is responsible for reality testing and your sense of personal identity. Your basic perception of the world around you.
During a psychedelic experience, one may lose sense of self. It can feel like you are quite literally dying or have already died. Dissolution of mental boundaries, defenses, labels, and projections.
When people experience ego death they will look at the world in a new way or their process of thinking will be changed. Many claim to not have a fear of death anymore and have come to terms with their own mortality and can begin to live their life to the fullest.
“When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there…”
Within You Without You – The BeatlesSlide12
Health and Risk
Psychedelic drugs are surprisingly some of the safer drugs
Little to no addictive potential
Near impossible to overdose
No withdrawal symptoms
Can cause bad trips that leave one with a negative experience, but easily preventable.
illnesses. However, psychedelics can bring on latent mental illnesses of psychosis such as schizophrenia, but only if you have a history in your family and the illnesses would have come on anyways.
But of course, too much of any drug will have negative long term effects.
experience flashbacks, moments of hallucinations, that can be quite startling and can persist even years after taking the drug.Slide13
low-medium doses repeate
ntervals of 1-2 weeks. Therapist is present during peak of trip to help process material and to offer support.
Basically to be a “trip sitter”. Goal is to provide a safe, mutually compassionate setting through which the patient can relive memories and past experiences and process them in a new light.
Classical psychedelic therapy:
high doses to bring on transcendental, religious, or mystical experiences. Patients lay down with eye shades while listening to instrumental music. Therapist is still present during session. Related more to transpersonal psychology more than traditional psychoanalysis.Slide14
approach but focuses on psychoanalytic interpretations of experiences in which the patient reencounters carnal feelings of emotional deprivation and frustration stemming from infantile needs from early childhood. This therapy seeks to satisfy the repressed cravings for love, physical contact, and other instinctual needs. The therapist is completely engaged with the subject, rather than the traditional detached attitude of the therapist, and may rock the patient or feed them a bottle.
combining hypnosis with the psychedelic experience. The patient would be trained to respond to hypnosis, a drug would be administered and the patient would go into a psychedelic trance. Proves to be more effective than the use of either separately.Slide15Slide16
The ingestion of one-tenth (1/10) of a regular dose of a psychedelic drug “to feel a bit of an energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that you are tripping” and you are still fully functional.
Considered to be a healthier alternative to drugs with many side-effects such as Adderall, Ritalin, and antidepressant pharmaceuticals.
Many reports include the alleviation of depression, migraines, and chronic fatigue as well as increased creativity and focus.
himself well into his old age, and said that LSD would have gone on to be used as Ritalin if it wasn’t so harshly scheduled.Slide17
Limits and Difficulties
The biggest obstacle that faces psychedelic therapy is the legality of the drugs.
LSD, mescaline, DMT, MDMA, psilocybin, and cannabis are listed as Schedule I substances in the US and many places elsewhere in the world. These are claimed to “have a high potential of abuse and no accepted medical use.” These are classified as some of the most dangerous drugs in the world.
From its categorization, there is often a stigma associated with psychedelic drugs and a misconception about their use and effect. So most people may be uneasy if presented with the opportunity.
Due to its legal status it is very difficult to legally obtain quality and research grade psychedelics for therapy.Slide18
Non-profit organization designated for research and education to develop psychedelics and marijuana into legal prescription drugs. They also actively promote psychedelic harm reduction.MAPS helps scientists design, fund, and obtain regulatory approval for studies of the safety and effectiveness of a number of controlled substances.Works closely with the FDA and EMEA of Europe to make sure all of its research and trials conform to ethical and procedural guidelines.However there is an extensive and bureaucratic process for acquiring permission for research laden with setbacks, restrictions, and a fine line of procedure.Slide19
Psychedelics and the future…
Science and medical research on the emerging uses of psychedelics to enrich the mind, morals, spirituality, and creativity.Psychedelics could become embraced by human culture, perhaps even necessary for our evolution and potential as humans.Maybe we could expect a complete paradigm shift of current social and personal structures, systems, and institutions towards sustainability, understanding, individualism, and rid the world of greed and apathy.World peace?Slide20
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