The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) has collaborated with BrainFutures to release the first-ever professional practice guidelines for psychedelic-assisted therapy in the U.S., underscoring the transformative potential of this treatment in the mental health sector.
Recognised for their advocacy towards safely incorporating psychedelics into the American healthcare framework, APPA’s unique therapeutic model integrates psychedelic administration with therapy within the same session.
The partnership with BrainFutures, a non-profit championing the practical implications of brain research, has been instrumental in the formation of these guidelines.
With growing incidences of mental health challenges such as PTSD, major depressive disorder, and treatment-resistant depression in the U.S., and the FDA’s looming approval of psychedelic-assisted therapies, there’s a palpable urgency for a structured framework.
BrainFutures’ Executive Director, David Esselman, envisions these guidelines ushering in “cutting-edge studies” that will evolve into “a crucial new tool in clinicians’ toolboxes.”
Developed with insights from an interdisciplinary group of experts and input from over 20 APPA members, the guidelines encompass core considerations like informed ongoing consent, establishing trust between practitioners and patients, patient preparation, and post-therapy monitoring.
This comprehensive approach ensures continuity of care while focusing on ethics, safety, and professionalism.
Dr. Andrew Penn, a Clinical Professor at UC-SF, emphasised the guidelines’ role in safeguarding patients and advancing the safe employment of psychedelic treatments in professional domains.
Given the field’s evolving nature, the guidelines are designed to be dynamic, set to be revisited and updated based on emerging research and practical data.
The current version of the guidelines for psychedelic-assisted therapy is expected to remain effective for two years.
This development in the U.S. aligns with a global trend recognising the potential of psychedelic therapies.
Notably, Alberta in Canada recently amended its Mental Health Services Protection Regulation to bolster safeguards around the therapeutic use of psychedelics for conditions like PTSD and depression.