How To Find A Psychedelic Therapist In The UK

How To Find A Psychedelic Therapist In The UK

Psychedelics like magic mushrooms may be illegal in the UK, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from psychedelic-assisted therapy.

In fact, there are a number of highly qualified psychedelic therapists and guides that offer their services in the UK. 

The only problem is knowing how to find them.

Which is what this article aims to help you with…

What is psychedelic therapy?

Psychedelic therapy is a form of therapy that involves the use of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin, MDMA (Ecstasy), LSD, or ayahuasca, in a therapeutic setting under the guidance of trained professionals. 

The goal of psychedelic therapy is to facilitate deep introspection, emotional healing, and personal growth.

During a psychedelic therapy session, individuals typically consume a carefully measured dose of a psychedelic substance in a controlled environment, often with supportive music and a comfortable setting. 

Trained therapists or guides are present to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the experience.

Psychedelic therapy works by temporarily altering perception, cognition, and mood, allowing individuals to access and process deep-seated emotions, memories, and thought patterns. 

It can lead to profound insights, spiritual experiences, and a sense of interconnectedness with oneself, others, and the universe.

Research on psychedelic therapy

Research into psychedelic therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), addiction, and end-of-life distress. 

Studies have demonstrated that psychedelic-assisted therapy can lead to significant and long-lasting improvements in mental health outcomes when used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy techniques.

Having said that, psychedelic substances can pose risks, including psychological distress, challenging experiences, and potential adverse reactions, especially when used without proper supervision and support. 

Therefore, psychedelic therapy should only be undertaken with the guidance of trained and experienced professionals in settings.

Is psychedelic therapy legal in the UK?

Psychedelic therapy is not legal in the Uk because psychedelic substances are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act and the Psychoactive Substances Act. 

However, since Brexit, the UK government has made studying psychedelics much easier with the introduction of the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway, which reduces the time to market innovative medicines. 

They have already granted an Innovation Passport for DMT-assisted therapy for Major Depressive Disorder.

Thanks to this move, the UK is becoming a hub for psychedelic companies, from Compass Pathways to Small Pharma and Beckley Psytech.

Where to find a psychedelic therapist in the UK

Finding a psychedelic therapist in the UK can be challenging due to the legal status of psychedelic substances. 

However, there are several avenues you can explore:

  • Clinical trials

Keep an eye on clinical trials on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances. Universities, research institutions, and private organisations sometimes conduct these trials in the UK. 

Imperial College London is well-known for its psychedelic research. Follow this page to keep track of studies they have coming up which you may be able to participate in. 

Clerkenwell Health also has ongoing psychedelic studies you may be elegible for. 

  • Ketamine-assisted therapy

Awakn Life Sciences has a London clinic where they offer ketamine-assisted therapy, a type of Psychedelic therapy uses as a treatment for mental health and addiction. 

  • Psychedelic organisations

Certain psychedelic organisations may offer information about therapists, research studies, and networking events related to psychedelic therapy.

Groups like the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy, Psychedelic.Support, Psychedelic Network and The Psychedelic Society are good places to start.  

  • Google

If you search for ‘psychedelic therapist UK’ on Google, you will be able to find a number of therapists and counsellors specialising in psychedelic integration. 

  • Look internationally

Consider exploring options in countries where psychedelic-assisted therapy is legal and regulated, such as the Netherlands, Mexico or Jamaica. 

Remember to verify the credentials and background of any therapist or organisation offering psychedelic-related services.

My recommendations 

Just over 3 months ago, I took 5g of magic mushrooms with the intention to quit smoking. It worked.

And a large part of the success was the guidance I received from a UK-based psychedelic educator and facilitator John Robertson

John has experience leading psychedelic sessions privately and on retreat since 2017. He even founded one of the first legal psychedelic retreats in the world.

Over a number of weeks before my psychedelic experience, John led me though a program modelled on a nicotine cessation study conducted at Johns Hopkins university.

He also provided a safe and comfortable setting for the experience, sat with me during it, and provided weekly integration calls during the following weeks - please note that John did not supply the mushrooms and neither will any responsible psychedelic practitioner in the UK.

Overall, John’s assistance was a massive reason I was able to change my long-entrenched behaviour and make it stick.

If you want to learn more, you can browse John’s website here (he has a very interesting blog and lots of useful psychedelic resources). 

If you're interested in becoming a psychedelic facilitator, he also offers an online course to help you step into the role.

Final thoughts

If you’re interested in trying psychedelic therapy in the UK, you have to contend with the fact that psychedelic substances are illegal. 

However, despite the legal hurdles, the landscape is evolving, and options are opening up those willing to look.

Finding a psychedelic therapist in the UK may require patience and diligence, but it is not that difficult. And as societal perceptions shift and laws, it should get easier. 

In the meantime, I hope this article helps you find the guidance you need. 

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