BrainFutures, APPA Publish First-Ever Guidelines for Professional Psychedelics Therapists

August 16, 2023 14:43:20

The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) and nonprofit BrainFutures have teamed up to publish the first-ever guidelines for psychedelic-assisted therapists. These new guidelines will establish standards for the relatively new field of psychedelic-assisted therapy as the segment matures amid positive legislative changes and increasing research.

A working group of professional experts from different disciplines in the nascent psychedelic field created the guidelines with the aim of educating and guiding therapy practitioners before psychedelic-assisted therapy models start being used outside of research and clinical trials. Psychedelic-assisted therapy presents an exciting new paradigm in psychiatry because it has the potential to deliver significant relief with minimal adverse side effects.

While conventional mental health treatments such as antidepressants require daily use to be effective and often cause significant side effects, psychedelics have shown that they can offer long-term relief at minimal doses and are relatively safe to use. However, most psychedelic research is still in its infancy, and the federal government still classifies psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD as Schedule I drugs with no medical applications.

More permissive policies have enabled a recent surge in psychedelic research, which has in turn encouraged lawmakers in several U.S. states to consider legalizing psychedelics for their mental-health applications.

Research has found that psychedelic-assisted therapy can be quite effective at alleviating the symptoms of mental disorders, including anxiety, depressioneating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many patients with these conditions often fail to respond to traditional treatments and are sorely in need of safer and more effective treatment options.

For psychedelics to become a viable alternative, mental-health practitioners will require specialized training to guide patients through psychedelic sessions before taking them through talk therapy. The new guidelines focus on licensing requirements for psychedelic-assisted therapy practitioners, the specialized training the practitioners will require, and the need for receiving and documenting consent from patients before treatment begins.

Regarding consent, the guidelines cover the potential uses of touch while filing patient consent forms and the patient’s right to refuse touch during treatment except for situations where touch is needed for harm-reduction purposes. Furthermore, the guidelines emphasize the need for comprehensive treatment beforehand to determine a patient’s entire health history and the importance of creating open, culturally sensitive and respectful environments to make patients feel safer during treatments.

UC San Francisco School of Nursing Clinical professor and working group member Andrew Penn, MS, PMHNP, said that research guidelines are focused on “legitimizing psychedelic-assisted therapy and making it a professional field.”

This positive step of publishing guidelines for therapists who hope to use psychedelics to treat patients sends a positive signal to companies such as atai Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI), which are advancing psychedelic drug-development programs.

About PsychedelicNewsWire

PsychedelicNewsWire (PNW) is a specialized content distribution company that (1) aggregates and distributes news and information on the latest developments in all aspects and advances of psychedelics and their use, (2) creates PsychedelicNewsBreaks designed to quickly update investors on important industry news, (3) leverages a team of expert editors to enhance press releases for maximum impact, (4) assists companies with the management and optimization of social media across a range of platforms, and (5) delivers unparalleled corporate communication solutions. PNW stays abreast of the latest information and has established a reputation as the go to source for coverage of psychedelics, therapeutics and emerging market opportunities. Our team of seasoned journalists has a proven track record of helping both public and private companies gain traction with a wide audience of investors, consumers, media outlets and the general public by leveraging our expansive dissemination network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets. PNW is committed to delivering improved visibility and brand recognition to companies operating in the emerging markets of psychedelics.

To receive instant SMS alerts, text “Groovy” to 844-397-5787 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the PsychedelicNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by PNW, wherever published or re-published:

Do you have questions or are you interested in working with PNW? Ask our Editor

PsychedelicNewsWire (PNW)
San Francisco, California
415.949.5050 Office

PsychedelicNewsWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.