The use of psychedelic medicines such as MDMA and psilocybin as catalysts to psychotherapy has been receiving a lot of press as they advance through clinical trials, which if successful, would lead to FDA approval for the use of these medicines as adjuncts to psychotherapy. These impressive results from early clinical trials demonstrated that these medications can be used safely in controlled settings. However, while the moral panic of the 1960’s regarding psychedelic medicines increasingly recedes into the background, many clinicians are only are familiar with these agents as drugs of abuse. This talk will review two candidate agents - MDMA and psilocybin, and discuss ketamine, a psychedelic antidepressant medication already in use. These agents may harness a period of increased mental flexibility and openness to learning that permits psychotherapeutic change to proceed faster than with psychotherapy alone. The limitations and risks of these treatments will also be discussed.
Upon completion of this workshop, participants will:
Name two psychedelic medicines being researched for use as adjuncts to psychotherapy
Describe two possible mechanisms for how psychedelic medicines may accelerate the psychotherapeutic process
Name one psychedelic medicine currently available for use in psychiatry
Describe possible risks to psychedelic assisted therapies and how those risks are managed