Despite the growth of psychedelic research, psychedelic-assisted group psychotherapy (PAGP) has received little attention in comparison to individual psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy models.
In this article, we aim to discuss the therapeutic potential of PAGP, as well as outline existing models and the challenges of this approach. Using Irvin Yalom’s 11 therapeutic factors of group therapy as a basic framework, we analyse current literature from clinical studies and neurobiological research relative to the topic of PAGP.
We argue that combining psychedelic substances and group psychotherapy may prove beneficial for increasing group connectedness and interpersonal learning, potentially enhancing prosocial behaviour with direct opportunities to practice newly acquired knowledge about previously maladaptive behavioural patterns. Challenges regarding this approach include a more rigid therapy structure and potential loss of openness from patients, which may be ameliorated by adequate therapeutic training.
We hope for this article to support clinical research on PAGP by presenting a therapeutic framework and outlining its mechanisms and challenges.