Which psychotherapeutic approach works best with psychedelic therapy?

As many have experienced, the answer does not lie in psychedelics alone. Many take psychedelic drugs worldwide without experiencing any particular therapeutic effect. The studies that have been run in recent years are based on psychedelics in combination with psychotherapy. There are many psychotherapeutic approaches, but not all work equally well with psychedelics.

Little interference during the actual experience

During the psychedelic experience itself, the therapist involves little. Under the influence, the task of the therapist is to create a safe experience and to be available if the patient needs anything. Whether for practical purposes such as drinking water or wrapping in a blanket, or psychological support. There is not so much talk therapy during these hours and you also rely on the patient's "inner healing intelligence". The patient knows better even what is needed to change. So the therapy itself happens before and after the experience.

Internal family systems

One particular method has been named the favorite so far, namely Internal Family Systems, or IFS. This is for example the method used by MAPS in the clinical studies with MDMA. In brief, this is a method that divides the personality into different parts and works to define and understand these different parts to achieve a better harmony in life. This works well for a couple of different reasons.

One reason is that it is a model most people can recognize. Many may have experienced a part of themselves that decides to live healthier, while another part would rather eat a burger on the couch. The second reason is that you often get a clearer experience of these parts under the influence of psychedelics. It makes it even easier to get to know the different parts and lets you work with them more effectively.

How to get started?

IFS is still a long way from the mainstream in Norway, and there are very few therapists in this country. I have received approved training in IFS, so you can get in touch to book an hour here. Otherwise, I would recommend people to start reading Self-Therapy for a user-friendly introduction to IFS. You can work a lot with IFS on your own, but it is often difficult to get started on your own.

More information about psychedelic therapy?