Health And Wellness

3 Psychedelics That Might Be The Future Of Effective Mental Health Care

Photo: Eugenia Porechenskaya / Shutterstock
girl sticking her tongue out psychedelic background

If you've ever wondered what the different types of psychedelics are and how they ended up being paired with therapy, you're in the right place! Let's dive into this mind-expanding topic and explore the incredible benefits psychedelics offer for personal growth and mental well-being.

Psychedelics have been used by indigenous tribes for centuries as part of their healing practices. Native American Indian tribes, Incas, Mayans, and many others incorporated these magical plants and fungi into their religious ceremonies to achieve both healing and enlightenment. The wisdom of ancient cultures is now making a comeback in modern times.

Nowadays, you'll notice a resurgence of interest in psychedelics through the media, books like How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, and the subsequent Netflix TV series. You may be wondering if all the hype surrounding psychedelics for therapeutic purposes — including treatment of depression — lives up to what psychedelics can truly offer.

The answer is complex, and researchers continue to study the topic. There is fantastic data on the subject, and there are many reasons to be hopeful for this exciting new possibility.

While psychedelics aren't a universal remedy for all human problems, they do show promising research in specific conditions such as resistant depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. Primary psychedelics being studied include Ketamine, psilocybin (magic shrooms), MDMA, mescaline, and LSD.

RELATED: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Group Psychedelic Therapy

Understanding three common psychedelics for therapeutic purposes 

1. Ketamine

Ketamine is a legal and safe drug used since the 1970s, and it has a dissociative effect on clients. When coupled with psychotherapy, it has shown significant effectiveness in treating depression, with mood-enhancing effects occurring within hours of ingestion.

Studies have demonstrated that Ketamine outperforms traditional antidepressants, offering minimal side effects and not requiring daily doses. By enhancing neural circuits that manage stress and mood, Ketamine boosts neuroplasticity for lasting symptom improvements. It has also been effective in reducing suicidal thoughts, helping clients form new synapses and create healthier thought patterns.

2. Psilocybin

Commonly known as magic mushrooms, psilocybin has hallucinogenic properties that alter one's perception of time, reality, and emotions. Psilocybin journeys are renowned for creating mystical experiences and have been ranked among the top five peak experiences people encounter in their lifetime. These experiences may include feelings of unity with the universe, deep insights into life's purpose, fresh perspectives on challenging experiences, and a sense of the mystical.

Psilocybin interacts with serotonin in the brain, and studies have shown its potential to reduce depression symptoms for a month or more with a single dose. The FDA has granted breakthrough designation to psilocybin for the treatment of resistant depression

RELATED: Hope Or Hype: Can Psychedelics Treat Depression?


MDMA, commonly known as "ecstasy," is undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials with the FDA for PTSD treatment. While it doesn't induce hallucinogenic effects like other psychedelics, MDMA fosters euphoria, empathy, love, and connection with others and the universe. It increases the window of tolerance, enabling clients to "reprocess" trauma and develop new perspectives and feelings about it.

In clinical trials, MDMA has significantly reduced PTSD symptoms, leading to improvements in the quality of life for those affected. Additional research is exploring its potential benefits in couples therapy, social anxiety (in autism), anorexia nervosa, binge eating, and anxiety related to life-threatening illnesses.

It's essential to understand that like any medication, psychedelics can have side effects and may bring up challenging experiences. Research consistently supports their effectiveness when paired with psychotherapy and administered by therapists trained to work with psychedelics.

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy offers a promising new approach for individuals who haven't found success with traditional therapy and medications. Collaborating with a trained therapist experienced in psychedelics is vital to achieving positive outcomes.

RELATED: How Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Helps People Who Are Haunted By Hard-To-Name Traumas

Monica Ramunda is one of the US’s first Certified Psychedelic Assisted Therapist and offers women’s retreats and couples retreats with the assistance of psychedelics. She is the owner of Sacred Healing Journeys and co-owner of  Wellness and Wisdom Journeys.