Psychedelics in Psychotherapy

Elliott Ingersoll Audio, Conversations, Perspectives, Psychology, Psychology Now: Conversations Exploring Our Inner World

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Psychedelics have a long history in shamanistic ceremonies, transformational work, psychotherapy, and trauma treatment. When Albert Hofman accidentally discovered LSD in 1938, he set off a cascade of research and case studies. By the time the US war on drugs declared LSD illegal in 1968, the therapeutic community had generated thousands of articles about their usefulness in change work, transformational work, and treatment of trauma.

Today psychedelic drugs like MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin, and Ayahuasca are being used by therapists and shamans around the world with promising results to treat PTSD as well as a variety of anxiety, depressive, chemical dependence, end of life, and trauma related disorders. As this research has become more mainstream, practitioners have been developing protocols for treatment–for example the California Institute for Integral Studies has developed a program to certify practitioners in facilitating psychedelic experiences.

In this episode, special guest Dr. Elliott Ingersoll joins Doctors Keith Witt and Mark Forman to share their personal and professional experiences with psychedelics while reviewing relevant research, current practices, and the amazing potentials of these treatments. Therapists need as many tools as possible to remediate symptoms, enhance health, and support development. The way we see it therapies utilizing psychedelics will become increasingly available and likely useful in the years to come.

References

Amoroso, T., & Workman, M. (2016). Treating posttraumatic stress disorder with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy: A preliminary meta-analysis and comparison to prolonged exposure therapy. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(7), 595-600.

Bobo, W.V., Voort, J. L., Croarkin, P. E., Leung, J. G., Tye, S. J., & Frye, M.A. (2016). Ketamine for treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar major depression: Critical review and implications for clinical practice. Depression and Anxiety, 33, 698–710.

Fadiman, J. (2011). The psychedelic explorer’s guide: Safe, therapeutic, and sacred journeys. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

Ingersoll, E., & Marquis, A. (2014). Understanding psychopathology: An integral exploration. New York: Pearson.

Ross, S., Bossis, A., Guss, J., Agin-Liebes, G., Malone, T., Cohen, B. et al. (2016). Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12),1165-1180.

Image: Thermodynamic Horizon by Adam Scott Miller

Elliott Ingersoll

About Elliott Ingersoll

Elliott Ingersoll is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor in Ohio. He is professor of counseling/ counseling psychology and “Distinguished Faculty Member” at Cleveland State University. His research interests span a broad spectrum including psychopathology, mental health diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy.

Mark Forman

About Mark Forman

Mark Forman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist whose text — A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy Complexity, Integration, and Spirituality in Practice – is considered one of the seminal works in the field of Integral Psychotherapy.

Keith Witt

About Keith Witt

Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.