Therapy has played a vital role in society for centuries now. Sharing vulnerable conversations with a trained therapist (heck, even a trusted family member or friend!) has helped people break free from depression, overcome internalized limiting beliefs, shine in their careers, et cetera, et cetera.
But now a new form of therapy seems to be supercharging the benefits of the ‘traditional’ approach. This new form is called psychedelic therapy — and this blog will be all about it. Keep reading to learn more.
- What even is psychedelic therapy?
- Who is psychedelic therapy for?
- Top psychedelic therapy spots in Canada
- Psychedelic counseling in Vancouver, BC
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Victoria, BC
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Kelowna, BC
- Psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy in Calgary, AB
- Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in Edmonton, AB
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Saskatoon, SK
- Guided psychedelic therapy in Regina, SK
- Guided psychedelic therapy in Winnipeg, MB
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Toronto, ON
- Guided psychedelic therapy in Ottawa, ON
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Hamilton, ON
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Kitchener, ON
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in London, ON
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Montreal, QC
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Quebec City, QC
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Fredericton, NB
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Moncton, NB
- Psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy in Halifax, NS
- Psychedelic-assisted therapy in St.Johns, NL
What even is psychedelic therapy?
Psychedelic therapy, also known as psychedelic counselling, is exactly what you’d think based on its name:
A new form of therapy that combines a) therapy and b) psychedelics.
While psychedelic therapy can involve any given psychedelic, we’ll focus on the most popular form of this therapy for now: psilocybin-mushroom-fueled therapy.
Another thing to note: psychedelic therapy likely isn’t all that new. It’s newly popular and currently experiencing a modern resurgence, sure, but people have likely been taking psychedelics and bearing their hearts to others for eons!
These contextual points aside, let’s take a closer look at psychedelic therapy 101.
Psychedelic therapy usually goes something like this:
- The patient goes in to meet with a pair of therapists, most commonly a male and female.
- The patient and therapists undergo several traditional therapy sessions.
- These ‘preparatory’ sessions are used to build rapport and increase trust.
- A final preparatory session is done to go over patient expectations prior to the psychedelic session.
- The therapists support the patient throughout the entire psychedelic experience, for up to 8 or 10 hours.
- The patient is provided with aids like eyeshades and preselected music playlists and encouraged to ‘let go’ as they see where the plant medicine wants to take them.
- In some cases, patients repeat the above psychedelic session as many times as necessary.
- After the psychedelic session is over, several shorter ‘integrating’ sessions help the patient incorporate their realizations into their conceptualization of who they are!.
PAP (psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy) is growing increasingly popular throughout Canada, parts of the EU, and other areas where psychedelics are being legalized. Keep reading to learn if it’s right for you.
Who is psychedelic therapy for?
In essence, psychedelic therapy might just be right for you if you feel consistently limited by your thoughts. Some psychologists and sages call these types of thoughts self-limiting beliefs. All of us have them — but the degree to which we can move past them may determine our degree of success.
Speaking of success, psychedelic therapy may help you realize what really matters. And part of realizing what really matters is realizing what doesn’t! Many of us spend huge sections of our lives being led around, almost unwittingly or subconsciously, by our egos. Why’s that bad? Because the ego has a hunger for materialistic success that can almost never be satisfied.
To take the two shifts above in tandem, psychedelic therapy can help you get closer to who you really are — not who your ego wants you to be — and drop limiting beliefs in the process. Sounds pretty good to us!
Psychedelic integration therapy may also be right for you if:
- You have PTS/PTSD
- You struggle with substance addiction
- You need an extra boost of creativity for work or school
- You have mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, etc)
- You experience what feels like ‘stuck thoughts’ and want to rewire your brain
Some of the benefits of psychedelic therapy, however, are yet to be quantified by the scientific world. And that’s okay! As Jordan Petersen tells Tim Ferris on his podcast, “there’s a religious aspect to it. There’s a meaningful aspect to it that we don’t understand. We can’t understand it scientifically or we haven’t been able to. The scientific viewpoint excludes that to some degree.”
Peterson goes on to explain Terence McKenna’s stoned ape hypothesis, which states that psilocybin and humanity evolved almost in tandem, fueled by the other party’s growth. In fact, Peterson says, we’re not even the only species to use psychedelics. Other mammals use them, too, as do flies (that’s why the Amanita Muscaria mushroom is nicknamed Fly Algaric). Perhaps many different life forms have taken to their own varieties of psychedelic therapy?
Top psychedelic therapy spots in Canada
Psychedelic therapy is becoming increasingly popular in Canada. There are now therapy centres located in just about every major city and province!
Psychedelic therapy in Vancouver
If you’re looking to experience the psychedelic therapy experience in Vancouver, look no further than Thrive Downtown. This therapy center welcomes everyone — so long as you’re willing to acknowledge that healing is a process and able to commit to follow-up therapy sessions. Thrive’s team also states the therapy they offer isn’t a quick fix or something to try out of desperation.
Gaia Counselling is another excellent choice for those who are looking for top-notch psychedelic counselling. Gaia’s psychedelic counselling program is designed to help you tap into hidden truths within your subconscious mind. They offer ‘regular’ therapy, psychedelic therapy, and holotropic breathwork therapy.
Vancouver-based psychotherapist Katya Sivak specializes in several types of psychedelic therapy, including MDMA-, psilocybin-, LSD-, and ayahuasca-infused therapies. She also places an emphasis on integration in the post-psychotropic period.
“Integrating altered states of consciousness back into ordinary reality requires time, safety and support,” Sivak says. “[My] therapy is focused on helping people piece together their experiences in a nonjudgmental, holistic and healing way.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Victoria, BC
Despite its progressive status, Victoria doesn’t yet have as many psychedelic counseling options as other towns. Its current options are a little bit, well, alternative — but hey, that might be just what you are looking for!
One such option is found in Monarch Trancework. This alternative health centre features an experienced psychedelic guide to help “guide [you] through your personalized inner journey of transformation.”
Other options include trancework, hypnotherapy, NLP, shamanism, psychedelic consultations, guided meditation, and more.
Like most other psychedelic centres, Monarch does not provide psychedelic substances to its patients, nor does it provide referrals to those searching for such things.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Kelowna, BC
Entheotec is a psychedelic-friendly group of doctors and psychiatrists who specialize in treating pain, anxiety, and depression. This mental health collective supports patients by using psychedelic-assisted therapy plus “an array of advanced integrated medical techniques” including “healing yoga, meditation, breathwork, counselling, and more.” In other words, there’s something for everyone here!
Mindcure is another great Kelowna-based resource. Their centre provides both MDMA- and ibogaine-based treatments to consumers. Mindure is also hard at work developing new methods to promote what they call mental wealth.
Psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy in Calgary
Something big happened in February of last year: Calgary’s first psychedelic therapy center opened up! Called the ATMA Urban Journey Clinic, this center aims to offer a holistic alternative to conventional mental health treatments
“It’s kind of the opposite of what a typical antidepressant or psychotic medication would do,” company CEO David Harder explains to The Homestretch.
While those treatment options tend to “suppress or numb down what’s happening in your emotions and spirit body, psychedelics will actually raise those things and allow a therapist to work with you to really work through.”
One patient, named Tony White, says that his magic mushroom-fueled therapy allowed him to let go of the anxiety and depression that surrounds death. “I just was lying there and I felt like I couldn’t be at more peace then, right then and there,” White reported several weeks after a therapy session. Other patients report being freed from less severe — but still very real — fears.
Bloom Psychedelic is another great new option for those who live in Calgary. This centre has several unique treatment programs based on the latest scientific research. that keep your preferences and budget in mind.
Bloom Psychedelic’s Group Therapy Package is designed specifically for people suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction, or trauma. It combines Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and other proven methods to get you thriving again!
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in Edmonton
Are you looking for a psychedelic therapy centre in Edmonton? If so, look no further than
PsiloTec. This Edmonton startup is led by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Silverstone, an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience researching the brain-drug connection.
According to some metrics PsiloTec may be the first completely integrated psychedelic drug company in all of North America. Their leadership team has 40+ years of experience and is responsible for 300+ psilocybin-related clinical studies. If you’re looking to experience psychedelic therapy under the care of experienced professionals, Edmonton’s option could be a great one.
Another good option for those in Edmonton can be found at the SYNTAC Institute. This non-profit organization works to get Albertan patients approved for psychedelic therapy by Health Canada. A growing number of patients have undergone [fully legal] psychedelic therapy already.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Saskatoon
New Earth Therapy is Saskatoon’s first psychedelic integration therapy center. While their services are comprehensive, they work through a sort of legal loophole: they don’t actually provide substances nor instruct on how to access them.
That means it’s up to each patient to bring their psychedelic(s) into the therapeutic picture — the center has experience with psilocybin, ayahuasca, MDMA, ketamine, LSD, peyote, and more. (We’d recommended premium shrooms as your substance of choice!)
Saskatoon residents can also go for a more personal approach by working with psychotherapist Sarah Binsfeld. “My work with clients is collaborative and honest,” Sarah says. “Every individual is the expert on their own life and experiences, and I am here to support you and guide you on your journey to finding joy, happiness, and an unwavering self love.”
Just as importantly, Sarah provides clients with psychedelic-assisted therapy. “I help you integrate those insights into your daily life, thought patterns and behaviors,” she says. “I work from a harm reduction perspective, and practice within the legal and ethical bounds to support individuals who choose to use these substances on their personal time.”
Guided psychedelic therapy in Regina
Psychedelic therapy and Saskatchewan go way, way back. As the Canadian Encyclopedia reports:
“In the 1950s, Saskatchewan was home to some of the most important psychedelic research in the world. Saskatchewan-based psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the word psychedelic in 1957. In the mental health field, therapies based on guided LSD and mescaline trips offered an alternative to long-stay care in asylums.”
Legal changes eventually stifled Regina’s early psychedelic research, despite the fact that most patients were experiencing incredible outcomes. Up to 90% of alcoholics in one study experienced lasting remission from their addiction.
Fast forward to modern times, however, and Regina’s psychedelic scene has been a little slow to come full circle. We’re not currently aware of any Regina-based psychedelic therapy centers. Here’s to hoping that changes in the near future!
Guided psychedelic therapy in Winnipeg
Are you located in Winnipeg, Canada? If so be sure to check out the Enhanced Therapy Institute. The Institute was founded in 2020 with a mission to “support the global effort towards medical legalization of ethical, safe, and effective MDMA-Assisted Therapy, with the emphasis on relationship healing.”
Enhanced Therapy Insitute plans to expand its offerings to include psilocybin once the laws become a little friendlier to it. It seems like they’re a fan of any psychedelic whose teachings can be combined with therapy and “integrated into everyday life.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Toronto
Finding a good place for psychedelic-assisted therapy in Toronto has probably never been easier. Below are four good options:
Guided Tripp: great for both assisted ceremony and couple’s therapy
Guided Tripp offers assisted ceremonies and journeys with the guided use of plant based medicines, conducted by psychotherapists trained in psychedelic healing. For people who are ready to explore their inner selves. Full services offered including intention setting and integration work.
Field Trip: the spa-like option
Field Trip is Toronto’s new kid on the psychedelic-enhanced therapy block. It’s got a spa-like vibe that’s perfect for transcending to new levels of consciousness!
Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE): the scientific option
Located at Mississauga and Summerhill, this rapid treatment centre specializes in using ketamine to treat mental health disorders like depression and BPD.
Remedy: the holistic option
Remedy is located in Toronto’s Koreatown neighbourhood and is designed to merge psychedelic therapy with cutting-edge research.
Guided psychedelic therapy in Ottawa
A new Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence opened up in Ottawa near the start of this year. For now the Centre features ketamine — not psilocybin — but they hope to change that once the province of Ontario becomes friendlier towards shrooms.
Thankfully, ketamine has benefits of its own. “Over twenty clinical trials have demonstrated that ketamine and esketamine have rapid and robust antidepressant effects in patients that have failed to respond to conventional antidepressants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for effective treatment has become exponentially critical,” affirms CRTCE’s medical director, Dr. Joshua Rosenblat.
Want to go the personal route? Then consider booking a psychedelic therapy session with Ottawa psychotherapist Robert Anderson. Anderson specializes in psychedelic integration therapy: “My work focuses on complex trauma, substance use and general mental health issues,” he attests. He’s also trained in “a variety of modalities including somatic work, psychodynamic, NLP, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural approaches.:
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Hamilton, ON
Do you live in or near Hamilton, Ontario? If so, The Centre for Compassionate Care (C3) is a community-based mental health clinic that might be exactly what you’re looking for. The centre promotes physical health and mental health, as well as opportunities for personal healing and growth.
The Centre’s “Circle of Care” is led by a psychologist and MD who specializes in psychedelic-assisted therapy. Their specialty services aim to combine the best of traditional and modern therapy techniques and include:
- Ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy
- Cannabis-assisted psychotherapy
- Cannabis-assisted self exploration (CASE) Sessions
- Virtual-reality based exposure treatment for trauma and PTSD
Mindfulness Therapy Services is another great service for those in the Greater Hamilton area. Led by Margarita Rabinovich, Mindfulness offers some much-needed guidance for those on a psychedelic path.
“After a psychedelic journey,” Margarita explains, “the loss of the insights from ecstatic levels of awareness can bring confusion or frustration, and hopefully it can lead people to seek more understanding from these experiences.”
That’s where mindfulness-based integration work comes in. As Margarita says, “one of the tasks of the integration work can be about encouraging a disciplined practice of returning to awareness of the present moment .”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Kitchener, ON
Are you interested in psychedelics and located in Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph, or surrounding areas?
If so, the KWCG Psychedelic Society is ready to welcome you with open arms! “All are welcome to gather and share experiences and questions regarding psychedelic experiences,” the Society says on their website.
KWCG hosts routine meetups, both online and in person, to discuss the past, current, and future of entheogens and psychedelics.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in London, ON
Mya Barak from New Hope is a registered clinical social worker and psychotherapist with over 15 years of experience, most of which has taken place through her private counselling practice. She likes to refer herself as ‘psychedelic friendly’!
Considering the current political climate around psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, she has come to understand that the most imperative role she can provide her clients is in helping them prepare before and then integrate after their journey’s.
She believes psychedelics assist us in transferring thoughts into intrinsic beliefs. The process is foundational in helping us move from the theoretical and perceptual to creating internal beliefs and experiential knowledge. Psychedelics create opportunities for us to unlock the root causes of suffering, allowing people to recognize and fundamentally change their patterned feelings, thoughts and behaviours that keep us stuck.
She understands the principle and integral need to hold space and provide empathetic presence so to encourage an opportunity for her clients to explore, contemplate and consider their inherent sense of ‘knowing’ and intuitive wisdom. She has been commended for her unwavering genuine, compassionate and positive regard for people.
Her approach prioritizes, first and foremost, building a strong foundational trusting relationship with her clients where they have reported feeling valued, seen, and wholeheartedly accepted. She has come to know her position as a therapist in the support of psychedelics to be mainly client-driven, emphasizing listening and non-directive communication.
MindSetting™ is a London, Ontario-based treatment centre. MindSetting both equips psychotherapists and assists patients with psychedelic therapy.
Unlike most psychedelic therapy clinics, MindSetting actively engages patients during their experiences — instead of just sitting in on them. This proprietary TRIP™ treatment protocol allows patients to feel secure.
The ReadyToGo Clinic doesn’t yet offer psychedelic therapy, but they’re getting there. How so? By offering two of the next-best things: cannabis-assisted therapy and ketamine-assisted therapy. Current scientific literature show that medical cannabis maybe helpful as a therapy for various medical conditions including neurology, mental health, pain, oncology, harm reduction and Crohn’s disease,” the Clinic explains on their website. “When appropriately administered, cannabis can successfully treat chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy and many other medical conditions.”
The ReadyToGo Clinic also hopes to incorporate psychedelic therapy in the near future.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Montreal
MindSpace is likely Montreal’s top psychedelic therapy centre. Like many other centres, MindSpace got started with ketamine-assisted therapy, but they’re adding psilocybin into the mix soon. “We will be delivering best-in-class, leading-edge mental health solutions nationwide in 2021, with the intention to include MDMA and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy,” MindSpace explains on their website.
Numinus founded their Montreal clinic way back in 2011. Since then they’re developed an experienced team of “psychologists, therapists, certified mindfulness teachers, psychedelic integration specialists, and more.” More recently Numinus has taken to educating its patients about the pros (and potential cons) of psychedelic therapy.
“From microdosing to community ceremonies and international retreats,” Numinus says, “people in growing numbers are exploring psychedelics for healing, spiritual growth, creativity, and connection.” If this is the sort of thing you’re interested in, stop by Numinus Montreal yourself.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Fredericton
Located in Fredericton, Field Trip Health Centres “[exists] to bring people to life through evidence-based, medically-supervised psychedelic therapies for healing depression and other tough-to-beat mental health conditions.”
The intention might be based in science, but the vibe at Field Trip Health Centres is decidedly spa-like. It’s a great place to sit back, relax, and get some healing done! If internalized problems are blocking your progress in life, this Centre might be the place for you.
The Newly Institute is an even newer option for Frederictons who want to give psychedelic therapy a try. This institute just opened up a centre on Regent Street this February, and plans to open a second centre in Bishops Gate in May!
“The Newly Institute offers rapid access to intensive outpatient programs providing innovative mental health, addiction, and trauma therapies. Access to treatment can lead to reduced suffering, increased resiliency, and save the lives of those who suffer the most,” explains the institute’s website.
“By fusing a bio-psycho-social-spiritual treatment model with medical-assisted therapies,” the Newly Institute aims to provide patients the best of both worlds and enable them to “overcome deeply embedded traumas that prevent them from living fully in their everyday lives.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in Moncton, NB
Field Trip Fredericton is probably the nearest psychedelic-assisted therapy centre for those who live in Moncton.
This branch of Field Trip Health features a spa-like design and a relaxed vibe. “We want this to be a place you look forward to visiting, [a place you] won’t be in a hurry to leave. You’re welcome to stick around awhile after every session,” the centre affirms on their website. If you’re new to psychedelic-assisted therapy, Field Trip Fredericton’s relaxed setting could make it perfect for you.
Psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy in Halifax
There aren’t as many good psychedelic-assisted clinics in Halifax as there are in other areas of Canada. And that means people who are seeing this type of healing experience have had to go underground.
“There is a growing trend of underground therapy,” Halifax Psychedelic Society founder Justin Andrews tells CBC. “We’re staying as above board as possible with everything, but it is hard. People want this. People are excited about the healing potential which is why I stress that people understand the politics and policy behind these things.”
The Novaket Infusion Clinic stands out as one of Halifax’s most progressive treatment centres. While they don’t yet offer psilocybin, they do offer ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD)! Here are the details, courtesy of Novaket’s website:
- There is strong evidence that Ketamine infusions can provide significant reduction in depression scores for most patients.
- Ketamine has also shown to be particularly effective at abating acute suicidal ideation.
- We are a dedicated provider of Ketamine infusions for the rapid treatment of Treatment Resistant Depression and PTSD.
- Patients undergo Ketamine infusions in a safe, relaxing, and fully monitored environment.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in St. Johns ( Newfoundland )
The Psychedelic Society of Newfoundland & Labrador provides some much-needed guidance for anyone interested in psychedelic therapy in St. Johns.
According to their wesbite, one of the best psychedelic therapy options in St. Johns can be found in Nectara.
Nectara serves its patients with a “holistic philosophy of wellness and integration.” In other words, Nectara puts just as much emphasis on the afterglow period as they do on psychedelic states themselves. “We advocate for less psychedelics and more integration focused on the mind, body, soul, and community,” they say on their website.
Nectara doesn’t yet offer retreats or sell psychedelics. “We are [more] focused on supporting people before and after their experiences,” they say, but hop to partner with world-class retreat centres in the near future.
Summing things up
“We have the technological power to save our planet ,” Terence Mckenna once said. “But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And it’s not easy.”
Changing your outlook on life is never easy, but psychedelic therapy offers may offer a way to turn things around from the inside out. Consider experiencing what this unique type of therapy is like for yourself! You might even consider going on a psychedelic retreat.
Just keep in mind that most — if not all — of today’s psychedelic therapy centers don’t actually provide any psychedelics. You’ll need to supply those yourself! If you’re in need of a good source, give 3 Amigos a try. We have some of the top-ranked shrooms in all of Canada.