Psychedelic versus Psycholytic Therapy

We recently were asked what the difference was between Psychedelic versus Psycholytic Therapy. Psychedelic therapy and psycholytic therapy may sound similar, but they serve distinct purposes. In psychedelic therapy, patients undergo profound and transformative experiences facilitated by doses of psychedelic substances such as MDMA and Psilocybin (the active compound in magic mushrooms).

In contrast, psycholytic therapy, although less commonly practiced today, was popular during the era of Freudian psychoanalysis. This approach involved combining talk therapy with low doses of psychedelic substances, like LSD, in order to enhance therapeutic sessions. Notably, this occurred before the ban on LSD and similar drugs. In the Swiss experiment, for instance, low-dose psychedelics were administered in controlled settings, allowing patients to maintain greater control over their thoughts and emotions while still interacting with others.

Unlike psychedelic therapy, which often leads to ego-dissolution and mystical journeys, psycholytic therapy primarily aimed to lower patients’ psychological defenses. Both therapies emphasize the importance of therapist involvement, with the therapist serving as a guide during the psychedelic experience and providing crucial support for integration afterward.

At  Be the Change in Mental Health, we offer Ketamine-assisted Therapy to assist individuals in conditions like depression, anxiety, alcohol use or addiction disorders, and trauma-induced mood disorders, fostering mindful intention setting, ketamine journeys, and comprehensive integration in a safe and healing-focused environment to empower our members on their healing journey.

Would you like to know more? Simply call our outpatient mental health clinic at (707) 800-7568.

While these treatments are not currently legal in California, we encourage you to explore more about the potential future therapies including MDMA and Psilocybin by visiting our sister websites.