Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy

Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy poster

Research Authorship:

Lori Ferguson, Ross McDonough

Faculty Mentor:

Ross McDonough, M.S.W. | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Beginning in the early 1900s, research into Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP) showed promising results. After psychedelics were made illegal in the early 1970s they went largely underground. Psychedelic research resumed in the 1990s and the research shows great promise. Unlike traditional antidepressants that only manage symptoms and cause long term side effects, psychedelics could possibly be a cure with no side effects once the drug has worn off. Treatment often includes preparatory therapy sessions before, a session which includes the use of a psychedelic, and integrative therapy sessions after. Right now the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is the main group that has FDA approval to do testing and training on PAP. With the possibility of a cure for mental health issues such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) psychiatry might look very different in 10 years.

7 thoughts on “Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy”

  1. Howdy Lori,

    Interesting topic of research. I had actually done a previous paper in the field of history on LSD specifically. Would you say that having done this research, with a greater focus on efficacy of treatments, that the historical use of psychedelics to treat things such as alcoholism is a promising point for psychedelics as a future tool of therapeutics?

    1. That’s a great question. Based on the research I have done, it seems like it would be a great tool to treat addiction.

  2. Monique Villamor

    Really interesting topic, Lori! Do you have plans for expanding this area of research?

    1. I plan on doing more indepth research looking into the specifics of each psychedelic and their uses in psychotherapy.

  3. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens

    This is an interesting and provocative topic, Lori. It’s important for social workers to challenge the medical model as well as traditional “treatments.” You might find Thomas Szasz’s Our Right to Drugs of interest, if you haven’t read it already.

  4. Hello Lori!
    Happy to see your work again, were there specific treatments that you looked into for this project, or plan to look into?

  5. Cristy Cummings

    It is wonderful to see social work represented in the SOARS conference. This is a visually appealing poster that addresses a timely and interesting issue. Great work, Lori!

Comments are closed.