Marcela Ot’alora, MFA, MA, LPC, psychotherapist and principal investigator of MDMA-assisted MAPS trials, tells mbg that in ongoing Phase 3 trials, participants and therapists spend three 90-minute sessions getting ready and getting to know each other before the eight-hour session with MDMA. After this session, they then meet in person three more times to deepen the experience and connect to the phone. It is not a quick treatment plan.
“It’s about 42 hours of therapy,” Ot’alora told mbg, explaining that his team believe that in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the involvement of the therapist is just as essential as the drug. Therapists are responsible for setting up a safe and secure container for the experience and helping patients translate it into everyday life.
The therapeutic component of the Psilocybin Depression Study was also important: Prior to the session, therapists spent eight hours building trust with participants and equipping them with the skills to navigate the experience. They also met for three hours after the initial session. “Therapy after the session is devoted to talking about how [participants] are going to move forward – what are they going to do differently or what they want to change “, Alan K Davis, Ph.D.., a researcher from the Hopkins study, tells mbg.
“Our philosophy is that you can have a pretty powerful psychedelic experience, but if there’s no way for you to fit it in, then it kind of gets lost,” explains MAPs’ Ot’alora.
This shows that even when administered by trained professionals in a safe environment, these drugs do not work as a panacea. They need to be followed by consistent introspection and reflection. They are also not suitable for everyone: people should undergo a thorough medical and psychological examination before taking them.
“The safety element is huge because there are risks with some of the more intense treatments,” said Gita Vaid, MD, another psychiatrist trained in psychedelic therapy. mbg podcast. “If maybe you’re not as familiar with your genes as you should be, or if you don’t have the best doctor on your side, you can do some damage.”
If these criteria are met and the right person connects with the right therapist and receives the right medication in the right setting, the holistic psychiatrist Ellen Vora, MD, said on the revitalization scene, “It’s pretty reliable, you’re going to have a cutting edge spiritual life experience.”