What is Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAT)?
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What is Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAT)?



Early research on psychedelic-assisted therapy (or PAT) looks very promising. A new study published by COMPASS Pathways even showed that 30 percent of people were in complete remission from their depression symptoms after just 3 weeks of treatment.


With new information coming out about psychedelic experiences and their impact on mental illness, lots of people are now wondering about these drugs and whether or not they could benefit them.


For those who are curious, some frequently asked questions about psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapy are answered below.


Table of Contents

(click on a question to be directed quickly)

What are Psychedelics, and what are the different types?
How are Psychedelics administered?
How are Psychedelics used in Therapy?
What mental health issues can Psychedelics treat?
Is there research behind PAT? Is it safe?
How do I find a practitioner that does PAT?
Is PAT covered by insurance?
What are the potential harms of Psychedelics?






What Are Psychedelics, and What Are the Different Types?


Psychedelics are psychoactive substances that can alter perception, mood, and cognitive processes. A psychedelic substance may also be known as a serotonergic hallucinogen.


Several different types of drugs fall under the umbrella of “classic psychedelic” drugs, including the following:



MDMA (short for methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic drug. MDMA is known colloquially as Ecstasy (when it’s administered in tablet form) and Molly (when it’s administered as a crystalline powder or capsule).


MDMA acts as both a stimulant (meaning it has an energizing effect) and a hallucinogen (meaning it can distort perception and one’s sense of time). It can also act as an entactogen. The study published by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology defines entactogens as drugs that increase a person’s sense of empathy and self-awareness.


MDMA increases the activity of key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. It increases the release of these neurotransmitters and blocks their reuptake, which results in increased levels in the brain.