“Are magic mushrooms the miracle cure for depression we've been looking for?” (Khan, 2021). Attention-grabbing headlines such as this are becoming increasingly common and suggest that psychedelic medicines are some kind of magic bullet. This perception is increased by stories of people who had a single life-changing psychedelic experience that resulted in complete relief of their long-standing mental health concerns.

To some degree, this enthusiasm is warranted, as early results indicate that the clinical use of psychedelics including psilocybin, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and ketamine can be effective for treatment-resistant depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addictions, end-of-life anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (see Andersen et al., 2020). However, it is important to recognize that these benefits are attained within contexts that provide specialized preparation for the psychedelic experience, active support during, and structured integration sessions as follow-up. This process is often referred to as psychedelic assisted therapy (PAT), highlighting the role...

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