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Exploring New Frontiers: The Promise of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

At The Mindful Living Centre, we are committed to fostering deep, meaningful healing, which drives us to embrace the most advanced, research-backed treatments available. Among these, psychedelic-assisted therapy (PaT) stands out as a beacon of hope, offering a blend of psychedelic medicine and empirically-supported psychotherapy to unlock profound levels of self-discovery, emotional healing, and insight.

Track athlete with performance anxiety preparing to run at the starting line

Understanding Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

PaT is more than a treatment; it’s a journey. Guided by trained professionals, this therapy uses substances like ketamine, psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in “magic mushrooms”), and MDMA to safely explore the psyche, confront deep-seated emotional challenges, and foster significant personal growth. The therapy’s foundation lies in a robust body of research indicating its potential to alleviate conditions like depression, PTSD, and addictions, particularly when conventional treatments don’t provide the desired symptom relief.

Our Mission

Our goal as we prepare to provide PaT at our Centre in the latter half of 2024 is to offer a sanctuary where individuals can explore their innermost selves, heal from lingering psychological distress, and forge a deeper connection with the world. We’re here to facilitate transformative emotional healing, increase self-awareness, help navigate through treatment-resistant conditions, and support personal and spiritual growth.

Our Approach: A Blend of Compassion and Science

At our Centre, safety, professionalism, and ethical integrity are paramount. Our clinicians are well-versed in the latest research, ensuring your journey is not only transformative but also rooted in compassionate, evidence-based care. We provide comprehensive information throughout the process, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions that resonate with your path to healing. Our methods follow all legal and regulatory guidelines developed for best practice in North America.

Track athlete with performance anxiety preparing to run at the starting line

Our methodology integrates conventional, empirically-supported therapeutic practices with innovative psychedelic-assisted techniques. The treatment model spans several stages, from thorough psychological assessments and preparatory sessions to set intentions for the therapeutic journey, to the guided psychedelic sessions themselves, each tailored to your unique needs. The integration phase is crucial, as it’s here that you’ll work with your therapist to make meaning of your experiences and weave the insights gained into lasting, positive life changes.

The Science and Success Stories

The therapeutic potential of psychedelics is underpinned by their ability to influence brain function and enhance neuroplasticity, as well as facilitate a reexamination of painful emotional material and help develop a deeper sense of meaning and connection to others and the world. This “rocket fuel” for psychotherapy has shown remarkable results in treating conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addiction:

  • PTSD: MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has significantly reduced PTSD symptoms, with a significant portion of participants no longer meeting the PTSD diagnosis criteria after treatment.
  • Depression: Psilocybin therapy has led to rapid and substantial reductions in depressive symptoms, with effects enduring well beyond the treatment period.
  • Anxiety: In individuals with life-threatening cancer diagnoses, psilocybin therapy has markedly decreased depression and anxiety levels.
  • Addiction: Ketamine-assisted therapy has shown promise in increasing abstinence rates and reducing cravings in cocaine dependence.
Track athlete with performance anxiety preparing to run at the starting line

The Therapy Process: A Structured Path to Healing

Our PaT process will be meticulously structured to maximize safety and privacy, and ensure the best possible therapeutic outcomes. Its core components will include:

  • Assessment: Ascertaining clients’ motivations for PaT, assessing for suitability, including medical and psychological contra-indications, and closely monitoring response to treatment throughout the process
  • Preparation Sessions: Establishing a strong therapeutic rapport, setting intentions, and preparing mentally and emotionally for the psychedelic journey.
  • Psychedelic Sessions: Undergoing guided sessions with selected psychedelics in a controlled, comforting setting, supported by our experienced therapists.
  • Integration Sessions: Processing and making sense of the psychedelic experience, integrating insights into daily life, and discussing perceptual or behavioral changes.
  • Follow-Up and Support: Ongoing assessment and additional support as needed to sustain progress and well-being.

Moving Forward

Psychedelic-assisted therapy offers a novel path forward for those seeking healing beyond traditional psychotherapeutic methods. By bridging groundbreaking science with compassionate care, we’re not just treating symptoms; we’re nurturing whole-person wellness and transformative growth.

At The Mindful Living Centre, your journey towards healing is honored with the utmost respect, professionalism, and confidentiality. If you’re interested in exploring this revolutionary approach to emotional and psychological healing, we will be here to guide you every step of the way, with an anticipated launch date of this service in late 2024! 

References:
Mitchell, J. M., Bogenschutz, M., Lilienstein, A., Harrison, C., Kleiman, S., Parker-Guilbert, K., … & Doblin, R. (2021). MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Nature Medicine, 27(6), 1025-1033.
Davis, A. K., Barrett, F. S., May, D. G., Cosimano, M. P., Sepeda, N. D., Johnson, M. W., … & Griffiths, R. R. (2020). Effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy on major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 78(5), 481-489
Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Carducci, M. A., Umbricht, A., Richards, W. A., Richards, B. D., … & Klinedinst, M. A. (2016). Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12), 1181-1197.
Dakwar, E., Levin, F., Foltin, R. W., Nunes, E. V., & Hart, C. L. (2019). The effects of subanesthetic ketamine infusions on motivation to quit and cue-induced craving in cocaine-dependent research volunteers. Biological Psychiatry, 86(1), 64-72.
Belser et al., (2017) – Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Integrative Phenomenological Analysis https://albertlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Psilocybin-Therapy-An-Interpretative-Phenomenological-Analysis.pdf
Dr Chris Parrish

Dr. Chris Parrish

Clinical Director

Headshot of Dr. Susan Sergeant

Dr. Susan Sergeant

Associate Director

Please note: this article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for therapy or advice from a qualified professional.