Psychedelic Support FAQ
What are psychedelics?
Psychedelics are substances that have psychoactive effects and alter normal consciousness. The word ‘psychedelic’ literally means ‘mind-manifesting’.
Drugs are grouped together into drug classes based on how they make you feel, how they work in the brain, and the structure of the molecule. The majority of psychedelic substances fall into three categories based on their chemical structure – tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides; and also fall into three pharmacological classes based on how they make you feel – serotonergic psychedelics (5-HT2A receptor agonists), empathogen-entactogen (serotonin releasers), and dissociatives. Cannabis is sometimes referred to as a psychedelic but belongs to a distinct class because it targets the endocannabinoid system.
Find comprehensive descriptions of individual substances at The Third Wave
What is psychedelic-assisted therapy?
Therapy is one of the most effective treatments for mental health disorders. However, many people still do not respond adequately, or need ongoing sessions for lengthy periods of time. How to achieve the best outcomes from therapy is an avenue under research. Several different drugs, including some psychedelics (e.g., MDMA, psilocybin), are undergoing testing in clinical research trials to understand to if they can boost the effects of the therapeutic process. Early research in the 1950-60s and initial Phase 2 pilot trials in 21st century suggest that psychedelics combined therapy could be very useful for treating mental health issues, including PTSD and depression.
MDMA and psilocybin are both under investigation in clinical trials, and currently are Schedule 1 substances, meaning they are illegal for use outside of FDA-regulated trials. For this reason, providers on Psychedelic Support can’t offer this treatment until the FDA (and other countries’ regulatory agencies) approve the drugs for use in therapy, which will occur if the next phase of large scale clinical trials show safety and efficacy for use in controlled clinical settings.
Ketamine is a dissociative substance safely used for decades as a general anesthesia in human and veterinary medicine. Antidepressant effects were found as a side effect, spurring clinical research on its possible use to treat depression. Now ketamine is being used legally off-label to reduce symptoms of several psychiatric disorders. Some providers at ketamine clinics are finding that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can prolong the beneficial effects than just administering ketamine alone. Clinical trials are ongoing, but because ketamine is already FDA-approved doctors can legally administer it in the US. Psychedelic Support lists ketamine clinics and providers that use ketamine in their practice.
Cannabis is now legal in many US states and prescribed for many different physical and psychological health problems. New uses are emerging are people explore how this plant medicine can applied in our modern culture. While little clinical research has been published on this topic, some providers are finding cannabis-assisted psychotherapy to be a helpful approach for clients struggling with a variety of symptoms. Psychedelic Support lists this service for providers who are in states where cannabis is legal.
Other substances that shift consciousness may also prove beneficial when paired with therapy or when taken in appropriate settings, but until there is a legal framework to work with a substance, Psychedelic Support will not list providers or services that illegally incorporate substances into their practices.
What is integration?
Integration is the act of incorporating insights, challenging lessons, and new perspectives into the full totality of your everyday existence. The word ‘integrate’ stems from Latin integrates, meaning to “to make whole; to complete; to restore, to renew,” – all describing the union of fractured parts and healing of past experiences. The expansiveness and immensity of altered states of consciousness may be difficult to make sense of after returning to normal reality, let alone incorporate into one’s psyche as a transformative energy. With guidance and support, one may more easily find clarity of purpose and life meaning, be able to let go of patterns no longer serving, and tap into creative forces that dwell within all of us. ‘Integration’ describes many concepts and practices, read the articles published on our site.
Most providers in the Psychedelic Support Network offer integration during therapeutic sessions. Providers do not give substances or sit with people who have taken substances during integration sessions, and they do not condone or recommend use of illegal substances. Providers offer harm reduction strategies and client-centered care from a non-judgmental perspective.
How do I choose / find the right therapist?
Providers have different credentials, experience, and specialties. They are located in different states and countries; some offer online sessions and others only offer in-person sessions. On the Network page, we have a few functions that can help you locate a provider that best meets your needs. You can use the filter to narrow the list by location, type of provider, and whether or not they are accepting new clients.
You can also set the filter to view clinics and programs. Currently, we list ketamine clinics and psychedelic integration clinics. Programs or session packs are offered by some providers to assist you with a particular intention or mental health goal.
Type keywords into the search bar on the Network page to find specific services or specialties. For example, you can search for disorders (PTSD, major depressive disorder), symptoms (anxiety, depression), specialties (LGBTQ, trauma), substances (ketamine, ayahuasca), and by provider name or location.
Learn about providers by reading their bios and how they work with clients. Some providers have written articles. Reading the articles is a good way to gain a better feel about a provider’s background and experience on different topics.
When you find a provider you are interested in working with, check to see if they specify a specific location for sessions. Some providers only work with clients within the state they are licensed. To schedule an appointment or ask the provider a question, fill in the contact form. Your message goes directly to the provider who will then respond to your inquiry.
What type of services do providers listed in the Psychedelic Support Network offer?
The Network includes doctors, therapists, counselors, and practitioners with other specialties. They provide a range of services related to mental and physical health. Use the search navigation to find a provider who treats many different disorders, alignments, symptoms, and conditions. They use many traditional and evidence-based methods in their practices.
Some providers also offer consultation for other mental health professionals who are interested in starting research trials with psychedelics or opening their own ketamine clinics. Use the keyword search on the Network page to find these services.
What can I expect from a session?
Providers use many different therapeutic approaches and modalities in their practice. You can contact a provider directly through the contact form on a provider’s page to schedule an in-person or online session. Some offer both, others don’t.
Please respect our professionals and don’t ask for illegal substances or referrals to underground practitioners. See our Terms of Service.
How are providers selected for the Psychedelic Support Network?
We require providers to be licensed in a mental health profession or have worked in a clinical trial of psychedelics in the role of a therapist or guide. We select providers for our website based on reviewing resumes, web searches, referrals and references. Providers agree to follow a Code of Conduct to be listed on our site (See Terms of Services). If you are interested in joining the Network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How can I contribute an article?
We publish articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, wellness, psychedelics, psychedelic research, harm reduction, and many others. If you are interested in contributing an article, please email email@example.com for more information.
How can I list my psychedelic related event?
We post community and online events related to integration or professional development trainings. To post an event, you do not need to be a provider but you do need to agree to our Terms of Service. If you are interested in contributing an event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.