Interested in taking the first step towards psychedelic-assisted therapy?

While psychedelic-assisted therapy continues to gain mainstream acceptance and a large body of evidence-based research and science continues to grow, psychedelics continue to be a restricted or prohibited category of substances in many jurisdictions, including Canada.

A small number of medicines are currently legal in Canada to be used in a therapeutic medical setting such as ketamine and ibogaine. However, most of the other psychedelics that are showing extraordinary potential as healing and transformative medicine such as psilocybin, MDMA and LSD are currently banned in Canada.

The exciting news is that Health Canada has recently begun approving individual applications for Canadians which provide legal access to some of these important medicines. ATMA Journey Centers was the first private service provider in Canada to deliver legal psychedelic-assisted therapy using psilocybin, and we continue to work diligently to increase access to psychedelic medicine options for Canadians.

While we continue to work towards an open system where psychedelic-assisted therapy is legalized, Health Canada continues to consider individual applications for Canadians who are suffering from mental and emotional conditions including end-of-life distress (palliative care), depression, anxiety and PTSD among others.

If you’re interested in being considered for participation in this ground-breaking therapy and you’re currently dealing with a mental health challenge, we will begin accepting applications for consideration on February 15th, 2021.

To be notified when we begin accepting applications, please enter your contact information below.

Curious about the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy?

If you have never experienced psychedelics, either in recreational or therapeutic settings, it may seem foreign and non-traditional. Here is a breakdown of what it can be like to experience.

Psychedelic therapy is a completely different protocol than traditional medicine. Typically, a medicine is taken to solve a problem in our body. We take a pill when we have a headache, and we don’t feel what it’s doing as – we just hope the headache goes away.

Psychedelics, in contrast, open up our psyche to understand the root cause of the issue or show us how to reach the goal we are seeking to identify. For example; PTSD is linked to trauma in our past. Often we can block the trauma, or we fixate on the trauma. Either way we are not able to get past the core issue that is holding us back from mental health.

Often times, the traumatizing event or memory is so painful that our protective self makes it impossible for our conscious mind to acknowledge it. In an effort to protect us, our inner self keeps that painful trauma hidden – but even though we consciously cannot acknowledge it, the trauma remains buried in our subconscious, creating a variety of problems and challenges. This is why traditional approaches such as talk therapy have limited effect on trauma-based conditions and challenges.

When we enter into the psychedelic state, it can often allow us to discover a new perspective on the trauma, and help reframe the “story” that we have created in our minds about the trauma. Our protective self is gently relaxed, allowing us to see these otherwise hidden challenges so that we can finally acknowledge and process them. It allows us to dive into our own limitations, and be able to find a new way to view the issue, so that we are able to look forward to a positive future, rather than be fixated on the past.

Therapeutic use of psychedelics is contrasted with recreational psychedelic use by the various protocols and intentions that are involved when undertaking psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Many people currently and in the past have used psychedelics for the recreational properties that they provide. Euphoria, visual distortions, and a sense of oneness with all living beings can be a beautiful experience. However, when they are utilized without conscious planning or thought around optimizing the experience and maximizing safety, the possibility of experiencing a negative “trip” increases.

Utilizing psychedelic medicines in an appropriate therapeutic setting involves a number of measures and protections. These include:

  • counselling and discussion prior to the medicine session to assist in setting expectations as well as intentions for the therapy;
  • a safe and comfortable environment in which to undertake the medicine, while being supported by an experienced facilitator (therapist, counsellor, etc.);
  • access to appropriate tools and aids in maximizing the experience (such as an eye mask, curated music designed specifically for psychedelic therapy sessions, etc.)
  • using medicines that are clean and pure in their chemistry ( i.e. safe source);
  • follow up support that can include psychological counselling and therapy, allowing the patient to further explore and process what may come up during or after the medicine session.
When undertaken in an appropriate setting with an experienced facilitation team, clients can fully tap into the healing properties of the medicines, knowing they won’t be endangered in any way, and that the support is right there if they need it. Even more importantly, the work of the medicine provides that inner spotlight showing us where the issues are, and allows us to see how we can make changes towards healing.

Bringing professional therapeutic guides into the process at all stages – for pre-session intake counselling, during the psychedelic journey, and for post therapy discussions – the work of the medicine can be amplified in ways that the psychedelic alone cannot.

At ATMA, we have great respect for the traditional work of psychedelic use that goes back thousands of years. The synergy of combining it with current research and appropriate and well designed protocols has shown remarkable results for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other ailments in the range of 70-90 %. These results are proving to last for months or years after only one or two sessions. As the body of research grows, we continue to see that psychedelic-assisted therapy appears to offer the extraordinary potential of healing that cannot be ignored.
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