October 27, 2021
May 15, 2021
Clinics in Canada Offering Psychedelic Therapy
Psychedelic Therapy in Clinical Settings
People are using all kinds of therapies to feel healthier and happier. A simple Google search will show tell you that the concept of "psychedelic therapy" involves the use of psychoactive drugs — both natural and synthetic — for therapeutic benefits. Through specially granted government exemptions, psychedelic therapy is an exciting new option for people struggling with pain and mental illness.
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is gaining momentum in North America as clinical trials bring healing opportunities to life, with a number of clinics globally offering psychedelic therapy with various psychedelic substances.
What Is Psychedelic Therapy?
Psychedelic therapy transforms traditional therapy by using psychoactive drugs like LSD, psilocybin, ibogaine, MDMA (ecstasy), 2C-B, mescaline, and DMT for their therapeutic benefits. It combines powerful, deeply researched substances with guided talk therapy and other tools to drive therapeutic breakthroughs.
Rather than ingesting pharmaceuticals to ease the symptoms of issues such as depression, psychedelic therapy helps individuals unlock root causes and do the work to solve them. Each session takes place in a highly monitored setting and usually involves an overnight stay. Under the guidance of a psychotherapist or trained professional, psychedelics can help therapy clients access their psyche, memories, and traumas in order to better understand the underlying issues to their pain. The psychotherapy first helps individuals prepare for the psychedelic healing journey and then helps integrate their growth into everyday life.
We may often consume pills without fully understanding their effects, believing this to be our only option. MINDCURE's research and development focuses into psychedelics like MDMA with The Desire Project and ibogaine with The Ibogaine Project aim to help bring psychedelic-assisted therapy to the mainstream.
Psychedelic Healing in Canada
As a growing industry guarded by stringent regulations, many people seeking solutions to treatment-resistant conditions travel to clinics outside of Canada and the US.
Recently, MINDCURE has partnered with Alberta based ATMA Journey Centres, the first government approved psychedelic journey centers in Canada. With multiple locations, ATMA provides immersive experiences with proven results. While they offer a variety of services, integrated therapy with psychedelics is their focus.
Health Canada recently started to approve individual applications of section 56 exemptions for people who wish to get access to controlled drugs like MDMA and LSD for therapeutic purposes. ATMA was the first private sector clinic in the country to deliver legal psychedelic-assisted therapy, treating a patient with a terminal-illness using psilocybin. This makes ATMA one of the most reliable names in the field.
ATMA has also launched a training program in conjunction with Wayfound Mental Health Group Inc. to train mental health workers with the skills and insights to work with psychedelics in a clinical setting. The first session sold-out quickly as the mental health community looks to innovation to heal a world in pain. MINDCURE contributes funding and its proprietary digital therapeutics technology, iSTRYM, to bring efficacious outcomes to ATMA's clients.
Here’s what the organization’s Co-CEO, David Harder, had to say:
"While Health Canada continues to increase access to legal psychedelic-assisted therapy for patients through their recent section 56 exemptions, there is a growing need in the mental health industry for therapists to have the appropriate training and knowledge to facilitate this important work."
How Can Psychedelic Therapy Heal People?
Psychedelic therapy is said to be suitable for people struggling with serious treatment-resistant conditions, including trauma, PTSD, stress, addiction, and anxiety.
It's noted to influence individuals positively and for an impressively extended period of time after even a single session, compared to other treatment options.
Some reports suggest that psychedelic therapy can also be used to help individuals improve relationships, reduce stress, confront inner demons, boost creativity, solve problems, and feel generally lighter. At MINDCURE, we're determined to continue driving the research that revolutionizes mental health care.
Is Psychedelic Therapy Safe?
Safety is a great concern. Since psychedelics are incredibly powerful, some associated with dangerous side effects and risks, researchers and clinicians are working to develop safety protocols to ensure patients experience their healing journey with confidence and comfort. Approval for clinical trials and psychedelic therapy depends on certain health conditions depending on the substance. For example, ibogaine was once unregulated in Canada and available for clinical use, but after a patient forged a EKG test to hide a pre-existing heart condition, he landed in a week-long coma and ibogaine joined the Pharmaceutical Drugs List. Now, ibogaine is being manufactured to continue clinical studies that will help researchers and clinicians better understand its uses and risks.
The scheduling and restrictions of psychedelic substances limits access, directs approval, and ultimately works to ensure that psychedelic therapy protocols are safe and efficacious before they can be administered. The ones that have made it into approved clinics have shown just that and there's incredible hope for the rest.