Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind has certainly changed minds in the past few weeks. People of all ages, all walks of life, all beliefs and upbringings are suddenly considering psychedelics to be medicines rather than drugs. With this quick and hopeful shift in perspective, we at Field Trip believe it is our duty to emphasize the importance of safety in this space. This consideration is multilayered and applies to set & setting, legality, the type of psychedelic medicine you are working with, and the protocol. Learn about ways to safely change your mind in this article, and why Field Trip offers a safe, legal, and personalized treatment that is fast acting & long lasting.
In episode one of How to Change Your Mind, the documentary focuses on LSD and its accidental discovery in the 1960s. Scrappy and experimental as it was, Albert Hofmann synthesized a revolutionary psychoactive compound that changed history forever. LSD is considered a “classic psychedelic,” and with its extensive research, there are a handful of alternative psychedelic medicines that have also received academic attention in researching their therapeutic benefits. Results in the 60s were mildly conclusive and while the results were satisfactory, many were anecdotal accounts rather than conclusive, data-driven findings. Today’s realizations are very promising.
Ketamine stands out amongst its competitors because of the way it affects the brain. While many psychedelics interact with receptors to the neurotransmitter serotonin, ketamine mostly affects glutamate (which focuses on memory and learning) and GABA. Glutamate is known for being good at exciting nerve cells, while GABA is known for inhibiting. When influenced together through ketamine, research has shown significant and rapid decreases in suicidality in addition to other neuroplastic effects we see more broadly across psychedelics. It is this neuroplasticity that makes one more malleable to seeing a new perspective and gaining new insights that reframe feelings like anxiety, depression, and other negative thoughts and conditions. When you pair the medicine with therapy, you get what we offer at Field Trip: ketamine-assissted psychotherapy. Results of this combination are highly effective and often yield a happier, lighter, and more peaceful life. Working with ketamine as medicine itself can relieve negative mental health symptoms for 1-2 weeks, and coupling this with psychotherapy and intention setting creates long-term effects.
You might have picked up the mention of a mystical experience questionnaire in episode two, which focuses on psilocybin. As “woo woo” as this sounds, the exercise is actually extremely valuable in putting words to sensations that are hard to describe with human language. This sheet is often distributed by our clinicians after one’s psychedelic-assisted therapy session, specifically those who report an “out of body” experience.
The mystical experience questionnaire is just a small piece of the post-journey processing. Integrating a consciousness shift requires a great deal of attention and is arguably the most important part of the Field Trip experience. Sandwiched between the ketamine sessions are 3-4 integration sessions that involve evidence-based, client-centered talk therapy techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, behavioral activation, and more. Integration therapy works to harness the insights, feelings, and energetic content that comes out of the experiences. Sometimes the emotions are ineffable, sometimes they are tangible. The therapist essentially provides the client with a container and mirror to process what has arisen during or even after the ketamine exploratory sessions. Within the window of neuroplasticity that ketamine and other psychedelics provide, this assimilation makes use of the content in a therapeutic manner by crafting actionable items that one can integrate sustainability into their daily life. These additions are what constitute lasting changes in mental wellbeing.
How to Change Your Mind featured some of the most credible and exemplary leaders in the space of psychedelic medicine and mental health. We are proud to say that our team of experts operates on this level of care and credibility. Field Trip’s medical and therapeutic teams are world-class and highly trained in psychedelic therapy specifically. The staff has a close relationship with psychedelic medicine and provides a highly personalized approach to the work they do with their clients. Once you are paired with your therapist, complete the preparation steps, and arrive for your dosing day, you will have several team members ready to keep you safe and supported. The team administers you with a specific dose of ketamine and monitors your vital signs throughout the entire duration of treatment. You will never be without support – your Field Trip staff will be by your side to comfort you and watch for unwanted physical side effects, such as nausea. From start to finish, you will be set up for success. The Field Trip experience is meant to leave no box unticked, and our focus on improving your health and well-being through qualified, detail-oriented, and careful work is our number one priority.
In Episode 3 with a focus on MDMA, Dr. Ben Sessa talks about how MDMA allows people to revisit uncomfortable memories and trauma, but with the fear and pain associated with those memories switched “off.” One thing that ketamine offers over other psychedelics is the dissociative element. While dissociation is often described as being “disconnected from oneself and/or the world,” it can also be viewed as taking some space – space that then allows us to revisit past hurts and traumas more safely and confidently. Revising and reframing your trauma with a different perspective fosters new insights, healing, and reconciliation. This is why ketamine is optimal for those who have suffered traumatic events in their lives.
Ultimately, it all starts with you. Our treatment programs are designed to help you utilize your own ability to heal. Because that ability may be inaccessible due to past experiences or learned patterns, our team is here to support you and serve as a guide, with the medicine being a catalyst to open up access to healing. We believe in empowering you as the agent of healing in your life.
Field Trip Health has clinics throughout the US and Canada. If your ready to begin your journey towards a better, personalized treatment plan that's best for your well-being then Give us a call to learn more:
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