Psychedelic therapy (sometimes referred to as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, or PAP) is a type of psychiatric practice that involves ingesting a psychedelic substance as part of a psychotherapeutic process.
In psychedelic therapy, the use of psychedelics is typically combined with talk therapy. A range of consciousness-altering psychedelic drugs are currently being used or researched for therapeutic purposes in both clinical and nonclinical settings. Some are derived from plants, like psilocybin (magic mushrooms), DMT, peyote, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. Others — including ketamine, MDMA, and LSD — are chemical compounds.
While Indigenous communities have used psychedelics in therapeutic and religious settings for centuries, psychedelic therapy is relatively new in Western clinical settings.
It’s becoming more popular with increased legalization of certain psychedelic substances, a rise in mental health conditions, and a lull in psychopharmacological research.
What it's used for
Dangers of Self-Treatment
Another potential concern is the possibility of people using psychedelic substances to self-treat. Self-treatment can pose a number of risks including the psychological dangers of experiencing a bad trip, the possibility of drug interactions, and the fact that many street drugs are mixed with unknown and potentially harmful substances.
The effects that a person experiences with psychedelic substances can be unpredictable and can vary depending on the amount of the substance that is used as well as the individual’s personality, mood, and surroundings.
Never try to self-treat with psychedelics. In clinical settings, people are given a specified, pure dose, are supervised during the psychedelic experience, and receive professional help from a therapist to integrate the experience.