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Psychedelic Assisted Therapy: A New Way to Treat Mental Health

Psychedelics are a class of substances that can produce profound changes in the mind, in our perception and thinking. They have been used for centuries for religious and spiritual purposes; But in recent decades, they have been studied as treatments for a variety of mental health disorders: depression, addictions, post-traumatic stress, fear of death for the terminally ill, eating disorders, etc.

At PrajnaDose we have a network made up of mental health professionals and specialists with diverse approaches: Doctors, Psychologists and/or Various Therapists, who seek to provide you with comprehensive support for your well-being and can provide specialized support in your PrajnaDose treatments according to your particular needs. Red Prajna Dose

Psychedelic assisted therapy (PAP) is a type of psychotherapy in which the entheogenic substance is administered to patients in a safe and controlled environment, taking good care of the “set & setting”.
During this process, the role of the substance is to help create new neural connections to fundamentally change thinking patterns so that patients can explore their thoughts and emotions from another perspective and with less reactivity.

The most studied substances in this context have been psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA, ibogaine and lysergic acid or LSD.
Each of these substances has its own unique characteristics and effects. Strictly speaking, ketamine and MDMA are not considered psychedelics because of their mechanism of action in the brain, and because patients do not experience hallucinations typical of other substances; However, they do manage to create a non-ordinary state of consciousness that allows them to do the desired work.

In this article we want to tell you a little more about these substances and their uses for psychedelic-assisted therapies.
Before starting, it is important to clarify that it is not recommended to practice any of these therapies without first seeing a mental health specialist, there are risks of triggering psychotic outbreaks.


Psilocybin is a chemical found naturally in mushrooms of the Psilocybe family.

Psilocybin with a therapeutic approach is the combination of this substance with psychotherapy to treat certain psychological conditions. Although psychedelic-inducing chemicals such as psilocybin have been considered dangerous for many years, more recent research shows that they may have broad therapeutic uses as a medical treatment for complex conditions, such as treatment-resistant depression, OCD, anxiety, substance abuse. substances, anorexia or PTSD. (

In this context, patients can free themselves from the restrictions imposed on the conscious mind through the same psychedelic experience, where psilocybin helps to “reprogram the brain” and our thought patterns, in addition to the changes produced during the experience persisting. in the time. Psychotherapy allows them to discuss and discover the deep emotional problems that arise when they free themselves from social inhibition, internalized bias, and the internal and external symptoms of the mental health condition.

Unlike conventional SSRIs or antidepressants, treatments containing psilocybin (such as microdoses) do not need to be taken every day, have much fewer side effects and do not generate physical dependence, making them a great alternative for many psychological conditions. (REF)

For example, in one study patients who had taken macrodose psilocybin as a tool for depression reported that they still felt an increase in positivity up to 14 months after taking their last dose. (REF)

The evidence grows more every day and with less taboo about it, so its therapeutic use is promising and effective for mental health conditions that do not respond well to traditional treatment methods, such as treatment-resistant depression and drug dependence. alcohol or other substances.


Ketamine was synthesized in 1962 for clinical purposes as an anesthetic for human and veterinary use, and to treat chronic pain and depression.
Currently, it has proven to be especially useful for people who have had a poor response to other treatments.

This molecule has the ability to cause a state of dissociation, in which the patient feels disconnected from their body and environment. This allows the observation of thoughts and experiences from another perspective. Although it can also produce hallucinations and other changes in perception , it is not classified as a “classic” psychedelic and is rather classified as a dissociative that allows memories to be revived without them altering the patient emotionally and physiologically. For this reason, it has proven to be very useful in treating people with post-traumatic stress syndrome.


MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, also known as ecstasy or Molly, is a psychoactive substance used to improve mood, empathy, and social connection. Its activity in the brain focuses mainly on increasing the production of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which generates a change in mood, appetite, sleep and other functions. It also activates hormones that affect sexual arousal, emotional closeness, and trust.

The therapeutic approach of MDMA combines its use with psychotherapy to especially treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its role is also beginning to be studied in couples therapy to increase empathy and sociability; It reduces fears, thereby promoting communication and acceptance. (

For patients with PTSD, these characteristics can help the patient process emotional and psychological trauma in a more open and less fearful way. (

So far, this substance is under clinical investigation in the last phase before being approved by the FDA. ( )

Like ketamine, MDMA is also not usually classified as a typical psychedelic because it does not produce very clear hallucinations. It is classified as an empathogenic substance.


Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD is a hallucinogen first synthesized in the 1940s and has been used recreationally for decades. However, it has also been studied at the same time as a tool to study the mind.

LSD is a psychedelic substance that can alter an individual's perception, thoughts, and feelings. These changes can allow the patient to explore and confront their emotional and psychological problems from a different perspective.
However, taking LSD can be an intense and sometimes difficult experience, and can bring painful emotions and memories to the surface. For this reason, it is crucial that LSD-assisted therapy be administered by a trained therapist who can help the patient process these experiences.

Additionally, although LSD is not addictive, it can quickly lead to tolerance, meaning more LSD is needed to get the same effect. Therefore, its use must be carefully monitored to avoid this effect and promote the desired results. (


Ibogaine is a natural compound found in several plant species, especially those in the Apocynaceae family, also known as "iboga" or Tabernanthe iboga. Traditionally, ibogaine has been used by tribes in Central Africa in religious ceremonies and rituals, for its energizing and even aphrodisiac properties.

Perhaps this is one of the less popular but equally studied psychedelic substances, where great potential has been seen in the treatment of addictions, particularly opioid addictions ( ). A particular case where the success of this tool is demonstrated is the one narrated in the film “Dosed” (2019).

Ibogaine therapy has been shown in different studies to have the ability to significantly relieve withdrawal symptoms in almost everyone; It immerses the patient in a state where they are able to focus on the underlying causes of addiction without going through the symptoms that accompany most types of opiate detox. ( ).

In recent decades, ibogaine has gained relevance in the field of mental health and in the treatment of drug addictions such as cocaine, crack, heroin, morphine, among others.
Studies have shown that 80% of patients who have been treated with ibogaine have completely kicked their addictions. But this substance is not only used to treat physical dependencies, but also the psychological aspects of addiction, since its consumption leads to an introspective state that allows patients to explore their emotional and psychological problems in a deep way.

In 2016, a partnership called the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA) led a project that included numerous medical professionals and treatment providers and developed, for the first time, lessons from both clinical practice and medical research on how guarantee the safety of the detection and monitoring of treatment with this substance, as well as sustainable consumption of this plant.

In addition to addiction treatment, it has been shown to be effective in treating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychedelic-assisted therapies are still in their early stages of development, but results from clinical studies have been promising. These treatments have the potential to help millions of people suffering from mental health disorders.

The evidence so far

Scientific evidence supporting psychedelic-assisted therapies is limited, but growing. Some studies have found that psychedelics can be effective in treating depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and other mental health disorders.

A 2020 study found that psilocybin was more effective than placebo in treating treatment-resistant depression. The study found that patients who received psilocybin experienced a significant reduction in depression symptoms after just one treatment session.

Another 2021 study found that MDMA was more effective than placebo in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. The study found that patients who received MDMA experienced a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms after just 12 weeks of treatment.

These studies are promising, but more research is needed to confirm the results. Psychedelic-assisted therapies are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but clinical trials are underway to determine their safety and effectiveness.

Psychedelic-assisted therapies are a promising new approach to the treatment of mental health disorders, which in just the last 3 years has made great progress and has even been approved in many US states, and in other countries such as Australia. as a safe psychiatric treatment. Let's just remember that while these substances have the potential to heal, they also need to be consumed with caution and intention in the right environment.

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