If you are looking for a different form of therapy for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder…
...if you are searching for the possibility of true healing from past traumas and painful emotions...
...if you are ready to deeply engage a journey toward wholeness...
MDMA-assisted therapy has shown promising results and will be available at An Enduring Love upon final FDA approval.
Subscribe for updates on MDMA-assisted therapy availability.
What is MDMA and How Is It Used in Therapy?
MDMA is a psychoactive substance with a history of therapeutic and recreational use for many decades. MDMA is also called an entactogen (“touching within”) or empathogen, terms which describe a class of drugs that can produce feelings of empathy, oneness, and emotional openness.
In therapy MDMA is used to help facilitate an inner directed process of “touching within” to discover, explore, process, and bring healing to painful past experiences or traumas.
How Does a MDMA Experience Feel?
The effects of MDMA can feel like a temporary reduction of fear along with increased feelings of empathy, intimacy, and closeness. MDMA can increase the range of positive emotions toward oneself and others and increase interpersonal trust, while still allowing access to deeply held emotions and memories. This may lead to a stronger ability to encounter and process difficult psychological and emotional experiences with increased openness and fortitude.
A sense of inner calm, rather than extreme arousal, in confronting traumatic experiences may help clients examine traumatic content more closely and objectively and allow powerful emotions to surface in a space of openness and self-compassion. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy aims to tap into a client’s intrinsic ability to heal and innate wisdom to move towards wholeness and well-being.
How is MDMA Taken?
MDMA is taken orally in capsule form. The therapy protocol calls for approximately 3 to 4 MDMA-assisted therapy sessions in the presence of a therapist team consisting of two practitioners trained in this form of therapy. A MDMA-assisted therapy session can last up to 6-7 hours, with the effects of the medicine active for approximately 4-5 hours.
Which Conditions Can MDMA Treat?
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is currently being tested in clinical trials to treat chronic, complex, and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, it received breakthrough therapy status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PTSD. More than 80% of individuals in research studies undergoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for severe and long-lasting PTSD have shown clinically significant response to this form of therapy, with up to 65% of participants no longer meeting criteria for PTSD one year after their treatment ended. In some studies, PTSD symptoms continue to improve in the months following treatment, suggesting that MDMA-assisted therapy might catalyze a therapeutic process that continues after the therapy sessions themselves have ended.
MDMA is also being studied for the treatment of social anxiety in adults with autism, anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, and eating disorders, and for its general psychological effects on healthy adults. Prior to its prohibition in the 1980s, MDMA was used therapeutically for trauma work, relationship issues and couples counseling, and more.
How Does MDMA Benefit Psychotherapy?
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combines traditional talk therapy with the use of MDMA in a safe and supportive setting. The therapeutic effect of treatment is presumed to be facilitated by a client’s inner healing intelligence, as well as the effects of MDMA, the support from practitioners, and the therapeutic setting. MDMA may catalyze therapeutic processing by allowing participants to stay emotionally engaged while revisiting traumatic experiences, without being overwhelmed by anxiety or other painful emotions. It is important to highlight the fact that clients are the source of their own healing. MDMA and the therapist may facilitate access to, but are not the source of, the healing process. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is an inner-directed process, in which permission, allowance, and receptivity is offered to anything that might come up during the session.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is designed to create space for a person to engage with their inner healing intelligence. The inner-directed approach allows clients to revisit traumatic experiences while staying emotionally engaged, even during intense feelings of anxiety, pain, or grief, without feeling overwhelmed. An Enduring Love prioritizes client safety and well-being by tending to your physical and psychological sense of safety with the utmost care and attention. We provide a safe physical setting so that clients can attend fully to their internal process. Our practitioners hold a space of full presence, compassionate curiosity, openness, and trust as part of ensuring psychological safety for clients to explore their healing process. When clients who have been burdened with trauma find an internal experience of safety, they will have found a place to do healing work.
The process of entering into MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy should be thought of as a journey that takes time, attention, and care. At An Enduring Love, we are committed to work alongside clients to enter this journey with adequate preparation and ongoing support.
How Can I Access MDMA-Assisted Therapy?
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the FDA approval process. MDMA-assisted therapy is not presently available outside of enrolling in a clinical trial. You can learn more about these studies and apply to enroll here. Once approved by the FDA, our practitioners who are trained in MDMA-assisted therapy, will be able to accept new clients. FDA approval is expected in 2022.
If you are interested in engaging with psychedelic-assisted therapy right now and are unable to enroll in a clinical study with MDMA, you might want to explore ketamine-assisted therapy as an option.
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Is MDMA harmful? Does taking MDMA damage your serotonin system?
There is an urban myth that taking MDMA, also called “Ecstasy,” is like taking ice cream scoops of material out of the brain. This is simply not true. Although MDMA does act on the serotonin system by increasing the serotonin in your brain for the duration of the medicine’s effects, research has shown that the serotonin system quickly recovers with no apparent long-term harms. Even heavy MDMA users (using MDMA recreationally 250 times or more) are shown to recover cognitive performance and serotonin availability in the following days, weeks, or months after stopping their MDMA use. Many antidepressants also impact the same neurotransmitter systems as MDMA, however they are not considered “neurotoxic.” Decades of research evidence has failed to clearly show damaging impacts of MDMA, though urban myths and scare tactics meant to deter recreational use persist.