A case for the use of community-based psychedelic assisted psychotherapy in a rural and remote context

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Issue Date
2020-05
Authors
McMechan, Jasmin
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Abstract
The therapeutic use of psychedelic substances has been a foundational component of healing practices in many Indigenous cultures throughout the history of humankind, but it has only been topic of study in Western therapeutic research since the 1950s. After a hiatus in this research beginning in the mid-1980s, we now find ourselves in an exciting time where it is once again a topic of interest in therapeutic circles and we are seeing a rapid increase in the social viability of the mainstream use of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. The structure of this document is based on a set of interviews with a medical doctor and a psychotherapist about their experiences offering ketamine assisted psychotherapy in the context of a community-based clinic in a rural and remote setting. These interviews, in combination with a summary of peer reviewed research, provided the author with the opportunity to develop a suggested framework for any current or future therapist who might wish to offer psychedelic assisted psychotherapy in this context. This thesis offers an exploration of the narrative summary of the interviewee's observed clinical outcomes for patients within their clinic, as well as their impressions of the challenges, barriers, and strengths of providing experimental psychedelic treatment in a community-based rural and remote setting. A brief history of the therapeutic use of psychedelics will be provided, including some reflection of the personal value of this work for the author. Following this, recommendations will be offered based on feedback from interviewees about their perception of the needs of the client and the needs of the therapist in doing this work. Finally, the author will offer a conclusion about lessons learned in writing this thesis and proposed areas for future research.
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Keywords
indigenous cultures , psychedelic substances , psychedelic-assisted therapy , treatment framework
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess
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