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Psychedelic-assisted therapies: more effective results ?

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A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE has shed light on a crucial element in the effectiveness of psychedelic-assisted therapies, in particular psilocybin (a substance present in certain species of hallucinogenic mushrooms). The strength of the relationship between the patient and his therapist. The study, carried out on 24 patients suffering from severe depression, reveals a positive correlation between the intensity of the patient-therapist bond and the reduction in long-term depressive symptoms. The more the patient feels connected to their therapist, the more the beneficial effect of psilocybin continues.

The role of the therapist proves essential: he prepares the patient psychologically before taking the substance, accompanies him during the experiment and analyzes it with him afterwards. These findings could influence the standardization of psychedelic-assisted therapy protocols, as this practice attracts growing interest in the medical community.

The therapeutic alliance in heart of efficiency

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted a 2021 study on the impact of the therapeutic alliance (relationship between the patient and his therapist), in the context of a treatment with psilocybin for severe depression.

The study setting was as follows: 24 adults suffering from severe depression who received two doses of psilocybin, accompanied by 11 hours of psychotherapy. At the end of therapy, participants rated their relationship with their therapist while reporting whether they had a profound mystical or psychological experience during treatment. Results revealed a positive correlation between the therapeutic alliance and improvement in long-term depressive symptoms. In other words, the more the patient felt connected to their therapist, the longer the beneficial effects of psilocybin lasted.

The therapeutic alliance would therefore play an elementary role in psychedelic-assisted therapies. Alan Davis, lead author of the study and associate professor at the Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education, said in a statement: “This concept is not new. What is, is the fact that little research has examined its role in psychedelic-assisted therapies .”

Towards a supervised standardization of psychedelic therapies ?

While research on therapies assisted by psychedelics is intensifying, their status is changing rapidly in the United States. Although psilocybin remains classified as a Schedule I drug, several cities have decriminalized its possession and notable regulatory advances have been made.

For example, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the marketing of Spravato, a nasal spray containing esketamineto treat depression resistant to traditional anti-depressants. For the first time ever, the FDA also released an official guide for researchers interested in conducting clinical trials of psychedelic treatments. It is even probable that’a therapy based on MDMA (a substance, among others, present in ecstasy) developed by MAPS Public Benefit Corporation receives valuable approval from the administration before the end of the year.

These advances highlight the promising potential of these therapies for the treatment of mental disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress. However, some experts still emphasize the need for a regulatory frameworksuitable to ensure safe and responsible use. Like any medicine in reality.

Which regulatory framework to adopt ?

Obviously, the adoption of these new substances in new therapeutic protocols requires the establishment of appropriate regulations. This framework should be articulated around several axes.

First, rigorous training of therapists. Patient support by highly qualified professionals in this area is essential to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with these treatments.

Then, 60~strong>clear and standardized protocols are imperativeto establish a peaceful implementation of these new types of treatments. Precise and harmonized guidelines must govern the administration of psychedelic substances, in order to ensure optimal consistency and quality of care. To support this implementation, robust monitoring systems must be designed to identify and document any potential adverse effects, as well as possible interactions with other medications.

Last point, specific procedures must be established to guarantee the safety and well-being of patients with particular vulnerabilities, particularly people suffering from comorbid psychiatric disorders or a history of trauma. The adoption of such a framework will make it possible to realize the promising potential of psychedelic therapies in the treatment of mental disorders, while ensuring ethical and responsible use of these new tools.

Research on psychedelic-assisted therapies is still in its infancy, but the results obtained so far are encouraging. Therapeutic alliance study highlights a key factor influencing the effectiveness of these treatments, emphasizing the importance of a patient-centered approach and quality therapeutic support. After years of prohibition having muzzled research, a new page is finally opening for treatment with psychedelics.

  • A study highlighted the importance of the therapeutic alliance in psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions.
  • Acceptance administrative and legal of this type of therapy is progressing quite quickly in the United States.
  • The question now revolves around the regulatory framework to adopt to establish these new practices.< /li>

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116