Psychedelic Integration Psychotherapy

Psychedelic Integration Psychotherapy

Psychedelic-assisted therapy relates to a session involving the active use of a psychedelic, in which a client is often encouraged to turn their attention inward and be present with their internal experience during the peak of the experience.  A trauma-informed therapist remains present in the room to hold space and create a container of safety, and may assist as needed through talk therapy, adjusting music, contemplative exercises, or other means.  Clients are encouraged at times to wear eyeshades and headphones and bring a gentle spirit of curiosity and inquisitiveness to material that arises in this non-ordinary state of consciousness.  The concept of an inner-healing intelligence is often emphasized, and the therapist assists in processing and integrating any insights that arise from this space as the effects of the medicine begin to wane.

Our psychotherapists offer psychedelic integration therapy sessions to aid in processing insights, challenging content, and other material from personal psychedelic use. At this time, the only psychedelic assisted psychotherapy offered at Wholeness Center is Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP).

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) is an innovative mental health treatment currently being explored in numerous research studies. Preliminary results suggest that PAP has remarkable potential for treating debilitating mental health disorders including PTSD, depression, OCD, anorexia, addiction, among others. One of the leading research organizations in this field, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, projects that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be an approved treatment for PTSD by 2023 (Wholeness Center is one of 14 international locations participating in this critical research). Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression is likely to gain FDA approval soon after.

Psychedelics have been used over millennia by indigenous cultures as tools for healing and spiritual exploration. Long dismissed by Western society as dangerous drugs with no beneficial uses, these powerful substances are now rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance in what many are calling a “psychedelic renaissance.” Stigma from the War on Drugs and negative associations of psychedelics from the past are beginning to fade as researchers uncover the profound benefits these substances can confer when used prudently in safe, therapeutic settings.

In contrast to the standard practice of prescribing pharmaceutical drugs for daily use, the emerging PAP model involves much less frequent administration of a psychedelic medicine. In some cases, just one or two sessions have been shown to significantly reduce symptoms with benefits that can endure over months, years, or even indefinitely. This approach is also unique as it incorporates psychotherapy as a key component in treatment, with the psychedelic medicine serving as a catalyst for deeper transformation in the therapeutic process. Rather than masking symptoms with daily medications, clients undergoing PAP alongside a skilled, compassionate therapist are often able to address the root causes of their suffering and find lasting physical and psychological relief.

While psychedelic medicines such as MDMA, LSD, and psilocybin are still being investigated clinically and are not yet approved as treatments, ketamine is already widely used in this manner as a legal and effective medication for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, acute suicidality, OCD, PTSD, and other mental health issues. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) has emerged as a pioneering treatment approach that follows the model of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Most ketamine infusion centers do not supply psychotherapy or use this psychedelic model; they merely infuse ketamine. Wholeness Center proudly offers this innovative treatment for people struggling with a range of challenging mental health conditions, as well as for those seeking psychospiritual growth and exploration.

For more information on Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy, please see the following articles:

From Wholeness Center’s own Dr. Scott Shannon in Wired magazine:

“How Ecstasy and Psilocybin are Shaking Up Psychiatry” — Nature, 2021

“Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift in Psychiatric Research and Development” — Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2018