If Tim Leary were taking patients...
August 18, 2016 8:53 AM   Subscribe

How do I go about finding a psychedelic-friendly or even a psychedelic-utilizing psychologist or psychiatrist?

Psychedelics and more general psychonautics and esoteric ideas about reality and perception have figured heavily in my personal worldview. Think Tim Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, John Lilly, even shades of Crowley and Qabala.

I would like to start in on some flavor of psychotherapy, and an ideal therapist for me would be someone who understands and maybe even actually practices therapy involving psychedelics. So, how do i find this person? MAPS seems understandably circumspect about facilitating connections like this, and their "Psychedelic Integration List" doesn't include anyone near me, but with the ever-mounting evidence of its efficacy and the gradual lifting of backwards drug law in the US, I imagine what I'm looking for must be out there.

If anyone happens to have specific recommendations, I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

Throwaway email: mefisockman@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As far as I know it's illegal in most jurisdictions for psychiatrists to use (illegal) psychedelics in their practice. You'll probably have a better shot at finding a therapist who understands that sometimes people do recreational drugs, and that's OK. The most likely way of finding this person would be to ask therapists you meet with what their attitude about this stuff is.
posted by Sara C. at 9:48 AM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agree with Sara C. You're probably not going to find anyone who lists their openness to or experience with therapeutic psychedelics because of the legal and professional risks.

I had good luck with speaking to people who specialized in trauma, telling them what I was going to do and what protocol I was going to follow and why, and then just...letting them see the results. (They were dramatic and obvious, even to my friends.) They're not an expert in these techniques, which is fine, because no one is, but they're willing to work with me to figure out what works for me going forward.

The best advice I can give you is to be your own advocate, do your own research, and be prepared. This is an area where you're really going to have to be an active participant.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:59 AM on August 18, 2016

The author of this article on entheogens and psychotherapy has been known to do LSD-based sessions as part of his practice. You might try contacting him for more information, or looking for other practicing therapists who were students of R. D. Laing.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 12:44 PM on August 18, 2016

(I should add that Laing is a controversial figure and you should do some research to ensure you know what you're getting into.)
posted by Gerald Bostock at 12:46 PM on August 18, 2016

Many, many moons ago I was involved in launching The Albert Hoffman Foundation, a group of doctors and scientists who were LSD researchers when it was still legal in the 50's and early 60's, trying to get that research legalized again. I think they're defunct, but here's the list of advisors * (i.e. former researchers, also some current researchers from countries where it's still legal). Some of these people may still be practicing, or they may be teaching and you could research people who are younger who worked with them.

*Aplogies for the horrible color scheme!
posted by ljshapiro at 1:08 PM on August 18, 2016

A decent proxy for "psychedelic-friendly professional" is "professional with links to Burning Man or the local Burner community." It's not 100%, but it raises the odds.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:41 PM on August 18, 2016

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