🎉 Health Canada Provides a No Objection Letter for ATMA’s N500 Phase II Clinical Trial Application

Let’s start with a brief review of psychedelics, including what they are and how they differ from conventional Western medicine.

There are many substances under the umbrella of psychedelics; the common ones are:

  • Psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) 
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • Ibogaine (the active ingredient in iboga)
  • Mescaline (the active ingredient in peyote)
  • DMT (various forms, including Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT)
  • MDMA (not a classic psychedelic)
  • Ketamine (not a classic psychedelic)
  • and so on.

Currently, the legal options available in Canada include ketamine in clinics and MDMA and psilocybin via clinical trials or Health Canada’s Special Access Program (SAP). This limits access to people who urgently need these treatments.

Ketamine treatments are typically 1-2 hours in duration, depending on the route of administration. During a ketamine treatment, there may or may not be someone in the room with the patient, and as soon as the treatment is complete, the patient is sent home. Leaving the clinic immediately after a session can be challenging; most psychoactive substances have a re-entry phase, where the intense effects of the medicine begin to wane. Although the re-entry phase of ketamine is not normally as intense as other psychedelics, it is possible that patients are experiencing their first altered state of consciousness. Therefore, clinics providing this treatment should have their clients fully prepared, ensure they have a safe way home, and devise a follow-up plan to support patients after their treatments.  

Book a call to see if ATMA’s Introduction to Psychedelics-assisted Therapy is right for you and join the Alumni community. 

MDMA treatments are typically 6-8 hours in length, during which there are two trained professionals (one male and one female) in the room. Their role is to support the patient through the process in a non-directive manner, encouraging the patient to focus his or her attention inward and embrace the experience. MDMA is particularly efficacious in treating PTSD, as it decreases inhibition, allowing the patient to view his or her trauma differently and to process it with decreased anxiety. MAPS is the main avenue for MDMA training and has been granted breakthrough treatment from some of their studies.

Psilocybin treatments are typically 4–6-hours in duration, and the protocols for this treatment are widely debated. Some believe there should be two trained professionals in the room (one male and one female), while others have done this work one-on-one with patients. So is there one right way? No; what works for some patients will not work for others, but if we are looking to create a standard way forward with these types of treatments, the most ethical approach would be to have both a male and a female present. This also allows for one person to take a break during the session if needed (e.g., bathroom break, food break). 

Oregon will be the first state to offer fully legal psilocybin facilitation via trained facilitators, adopting a non-directive approach to the session (unless safety becomes an issue). The final details of this system are still being ironed out, but legalization is expected to be January 2023. 

Now, back to the question at hand: is training in psychedelics worth it? 

100% YES, training is worth it! There are so many details to understand regarding these medicines, and ideally, a baseline of knowledge needs to be established to help propel psychedelics to legalization. Once this baseline has been established, developing more specific training will be easier, and as it becomes available, experiential training.

As described by one of ATMA Academy’s experts, the ‘unlearning’ of certain therapeutic techniques often needs to occur in order for a non-directive approach to the facilitation session to be adopted. Further, clients are in a very vulnerable and suggestive state of mind during these treatment sessions, so it is very important that facilitators and therapists do not bring their personal issues into such sessions. Thus, learning how to take care of oneself is a key element to facilitator training.

ATMA understands that it can be challenging to jump into training for a treatment that has limited access, but without a foundation of trained professionals like you, these medicines and treatments will stay limited.

So, what can you do?

Share what you have learned about psychedelics! Whether it is from a google search or a training program, the more that the benefits of psychedelics are talked about, the more likely Health Canada is to allow these medicines as a fully legal therapy.

Finally, find a community like the one within ATMA Academy, where you are free to share, ask questions, and collaborate with colleagues. Amazing things can happen when we are around like-minded people.

Book a call to see if ATMA’s Introduction to Psychedelics-assisted Therapy is right for you and join the Alumni community. 

Thank you for your time,

The ATMA Academy team

More News and Media:

Health Canada Provides a No Objection Letter for ATMA’s N500 Phase II Clinical Trial Application, Paving the Way for the Largest Psilocybin Trial to Date

This trial will assess psilocybin efficacy in frontline healthcare professionals suffering from COVID-19-related mental wellness challenges. CALGARY, AB, Sept. 14, 2022 /CNW/ – ATMA Journey Centers Inc. (“ATMA”), an Alberta-based company focused on the international delivery of innovative psychedelic-assisted therapy solutions, announced today that it has received approval from Health Canada to move forward with its N500 Phase II psilocybin

Psychedelic Breakthrough

Breakthroughs in the Therapy Room – Hope for Treatment Resistant Mental Illness?

By Rachel Dundas, Registered Psychologist Certified Trauma Practitioner   The Role of Psychedelics in Therapeutic Breakthroughs One of the main goals of psychotherapy is to guide patients toward therapeuticbreakthroughs – defined as a significant, sometimes sudden, step forward or important realization. Oftentimes, in therapy, breakthroughs come after long, unproductive plateaus. Such realizations must come from

ATMA Journey Centers observes positive outcomes from a Phase I clinical trial of psilocybin in healthy participants

Fourteen healthy subjects completed an experiential session after receiving 25 mg psilocybin  – Results of this phase I study will inform the design of Phase II study in frontline healthcare workers, examining the efficacy of psilocybin for Covid-related stress. Calgary, September 7, 2022 — ATMA Journey Centers (the “Company”), a company providing therapist training and support, has

Thank You Letter

Dear mental healthcare professionals, A deep heart-felt thank you is warranted to you for bearing the weight of the current mental health crisis, especially during these last tough couple of years. I have heard from many of your peers regarding the increased pressure, overburdening workloads, and feelings of burnout that have become an all too frequent occurrence.

Breaking Through the Stigma

By David Harder, ATMA co-founder and co-CEO I met with a gentleman – a pastor of sorts – from my former religious life. We sat down to enjoy a pint and a burger at a local watering hole. It had been many years since we had last spoken, simply due to the chaos of life,

How To Change Your Mind

Upon the release of his book How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan sparked a major shift in the mindset of numerous therapists and medical professionals, as well as the general public. At the time of its publication in the spring of 2019, discussions surrounding psychedelics were happening, but in small, hushed groups of underground

Clinical Trials and Psychedelics

Clinical trials are the standard way to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drugs (including psychedelic drugs) for medical use. Clinical trials also serve to test novel treatment options, explore ways to improve quality of life for people living with illnesses or diseases, and assess whether a new drug or treatment has fewer side

Psilocybin-assisted Therapy: The Safe and Effective Alternative

Psilocybin-assisted therapy is becoming an increasingly widespread treatment for various mental health conditions. However, many healthcare professionals may be hesitant to use this type of treatment with their patients because of the misconception that psychedelics are dangerous and unsafe. This blog post will share evidence of the safety of psilocybin as an effective treatment option

Scroll to Top