PATA is dedicated to providing targeted and approachable resources for licensed mental health professionals (LMHPs). We believe that your existing training, compassion, and knowledge are the foundation of your work, and by adding information on psilocybin and PAT, you can work with potential consumers on integrating their psilocybin journey. The information we have is here to help educate and empower you, the LMHP, to help others reach their mental health goals using psilocybin-assisted therapy (PAT) if they have made an informed decision to use it.. PAT is also commonly, but less accurately, known as mushroom therapy or psilocybin therapy.
Our PAT model shows how LMHPs can legally be a part of a consumer's PAT experience without expensive training. While personal psychedelic experience is beneficial, it is not required.
Psilocybin-assisted therapy (also referred to inaccurately as mushroom therapy or simply psilocybin therapy), involves an individual's use of psilocybin outside of mental health therapy and ongoing mental health therapy. While the psilocybin may be considered the medicine, one can often take full advantage of its healing benefits through ongoing work with a LMHP on what is learned during the psilocybin experience.
Our model describes how LMHPs can participate in PAT anywhere in the United States, even though the psilocybin mushrooms are not federally legal at this time. Through harm-reduction, LMHPs are fully accepting of, but not participating in, their client's use of psilocybin. We describe how a therapist can focus in integration sessions (post-psilocybin use) on what came up during their client's experience(s) to promote positive change and healing.
Our model is straightforward and shows how mental health professionals and psychedelic professionals can work together to address potential psilocybin consumers' mental health needs.
One of the main challenges we hear from LMHPs is their concern about discussing PAT with clients/consumers because psilocybin is still a federally illegal substance. As our model shows, you don't need to be involved in the actual experience. Just as you aren't a prescriber of any substance when you work with someone as their mental health therapist, you don't have to discuss dosage or anything involved with the sourcing of psilocybin, other than safety.
Through a harm-reduction approach, you can discuss safety with your clients who have chosen to use psilocybin or participate in psilocybin-assisted therapy. An open discussion about psilocybin (or other psychedelics used for healing) and safety is not the same as promoting the use of psilocybin (or another substance). However, ethical practice is always vital and necessary, and you can never be assured that a client will not misunderstand what you have said or are trying to say. Therefore, we encourage all LMHPs who have a desire to accept their clients' informed use of a substance intended for healing to focus on safety and non-judgment before use, and integration therapy after use. Other professionals involved - such as a guide, sitter, or (in Oregon) a facilitator or psychedelic medical consultant - can be referred to for client questions about the actual experience and any recommended preparation.
Often, LMHPs are concerned about the terms preparation and set & setting, for example. These terms are used more traditionally in relation to the physical and logistical aspects of the experience to prevent a physically uncomfortable, challenging, or "bad" experience. The same terms for LMHPs are centered on the potential consumer/client being mentally prepared for a mind-altering experience so their post-session integration with their therapist is the most beneficial for their mental health goals.
Please view our definitions page for more complete information.
We offer free resources to potential psilocybin consumers that are available for you to give your clients. These are designed to take some of the burden off of you, the therapist, by allowing your clients to educate and empower themselves in deciding if PAT is right for them. Our consumer-focused resources can help them determine if they should have a LMHP involved based on their goals and educate on the value therapists bring to achieving mental health goals and what roles everyone has in the PAT process.
This allows you to focus on the mental health goals.
Consumers can use this tool in determining if their goals are best reached using LMHPs
PATA has a MeetUp group where we offer online training specifically designed for LMHPs and for consumers to educate themselves about PAT.
This free and in-depth resource helps consumers understand PAT and all of the options available to reach their mental health goals.