Psychedelic Medicine


Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Accelerated Growth with Nick Brüss, EdD, LMFT


In this episode of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast, Nick Brüss, EdD, LMFT joins to discuss the possibilities of leveraging ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for accelerated growth. Dr. Brüss is a psychedelic therapist licensed in CA, NY and TX. He was a MAPS clinician and supervisor on the historic phase 3 MDMA for PTSD study, and is the director of psychedelic medicine advocacy for the TREAT California ballot initiative.

In this conversation, Dr. Brüss explains the intricacies of the internal family systems (IFS) model of therapy which he uses in conjunction with ketamine to help lead clients towards transformation and growth. Dr. Brüss explains how he helps clients work with their various “parts” both leading up to ketamine experiences and while they are under the influence of the dissociative, explaining how the ketamine experience helps to facilitate this work. He emphasizes the non-pathologizing, self-compassion focus of the IFS model and sees this as a natural fit for psychedelic-assisted work. In closing, Dr. Brüss shares details of the TREAT California ballot initiative, which has the potential to provide five billion USD in funding for research and affordable access to mental health treatments using psychedelic medicines.

In This Episode

• Different forms of ketamine-assisted therapy
• The importance of preparation for both psycholytic and psychedelic forms of ketamine therapy
• Why Dr. Brüss finds the combination of IFS and ketamine therapy so powerful
• Working with “parts” using IFS
• Stories of client healing and transformation following ketamine-assisted therapy with IFS
• The meaning of “protector parts” and “exile parts” in IFS and how to work with these
• The mechanisms of ketamine “softening protector parts” and facilitating self-love


“[Internal family systems] is so synergistic with psychedelic-assisted work because it holds as part of one of its assumptions that we all naturally have this multiplicity of minds… And we also hold this capacity, this inner-knowing that we can open to and relate to and even bring a loving, compassionate embrace to all of our parts.” [4:59]

“This work is a training for people to get to know themselves, so we work with the biggest pieces, the things that have been holding them down or blocking them in some way—blocking their full expression—and after that, they are now trained to work with any number of parts.” [26:52]

“One of the things that I wish I could have told my earlier, younger self is to really focus on these areas where if there’s a part of myself that I can’t love or care for or deeply respect, then that really needs my attention.” [33:52]

“Even with the most seemingly scary parts, as we get to know them, we can learn from them.” [36:00]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.