Psychedelic-assisted therapy: A new way forward in mental health
Wibur, Kimberly (Rosie)
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In the following pages, I will cover many topics relating to psychedelic-assisted therapy. Initially, I explore the historical background of psychedelic use in indigenous communities around the world followed by an introduction of psychedelic-assisted therapy in North America during the 1950s through to the early 1970s. Next, I include a brief literature review citing the beneficial claims of psychedelic-assisted therapy for end of life anxiety and depression, treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance misuse struggles. Additionally, I cite research claiming the potential for psychedelic therapy to enhance positive emotions, creativity and psychological growth. Moreover, I report the long-term mental health benefits of psychedelics. Next, I discuss current theories about the mechanism of action of psychedelics; I believe it is imperative to understand how these compounds function neurologically and phenomenologically. I discuss the importance of set and setting and how these relate to creating the most beneficial container for psychedelic-assisted therapy. I also address the requirements for preparing the voyager for a psychedelic experience and the essential components of integration. Finally, I briefly suggest recommendations for the future in psychedelic care.