A renaissance is underway as research studies are substantiating psychotherapeutic and physiological benefits of psychedelic medicines, along with advancements towards legalization, expansion of professional training programs and a renewed cultural recognition of the healing qualities of the medicines. Pending legislation, a cadre of trained psychotherapists are poised to apply their expertise for those who might benefit however, they are currently largely blocked from doing so. There are also ranks of competent psychedelically informed psychotherapists who might provide support to clients engaging with the medicines but are lacking guidelines to do so.
‘Psychedelic-Supportive Psychotherapy’ is a proposed model which might be immediately implemented by qualified practitioners for working with clients adjacent to but not during a medicine experience without compromising ethical or legal risk. This model aimed at psychotherapists who are increasingly challenged to help clients already engaging with or considering psychedelics, draws from the current field of knowledge to respond to a moral imperative for practitioners to act in the service of client's best interests and expand access for diverse communities. It balances psychedelic harm reduction perspectives with support for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual gains to be had when clients use psychedelics outside of therapy and can process the experience within their therapy. The model of psychedelic-supportive psychotherapy,’ is transtheoretical, its core premise being centrality of the therapeutic relationship as a change agent even as the therapist is not physically present in the client's medicine journey. Here a foundational structure is presented along with criteria, parameters, and recommendations for practitioners in its application.