Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is a powerful tool that is changing minds and habits more effectively than talk therapy alone. As a mental health professional, I am honored to hold space for patients at our office who are looking for a way to change their mindset and release the unhelpful emotions attached to them. The treatment plans are designed to allow people to safely release the trauma in their minds and the bodily responses connected to it. We practice psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy using ketamine to help our patients open their minds, reframe unhelpful ways of thinking and live a more fulfilling life.
One of the greatest evolutions we notice is the shift from having a scarcity mindset to one that is filled with gratitude.
What does it mean to have a scarcity or gratitude mindset?
Having a scarcity mindset focuses on what we do not have, what we need and should have as individuals. This can cause feelings of anger, frustration, and disappointment. For example, as a mother of a teenage daughter, it can be frustrating when she yells at me, tells me I am wrong, or otherwise denigrates me. Having a scarcity mindset means I feel she is acting unjustly and treating me in a way that I do not deserve. With a gratitude mindset, my daughter is trying to separate from me to find her independence. The only way she can figure out who she is and be her authentic self is by taking space from me. I am grateful she is trying to learn to become an adult on her own terms.
Living a busy lifestyle can create frustration, which often results in feelings of anger, disappointment, and let-downs. According to psychiatrist David Burns, the author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, there are ten things people need to understand about anger. The key points that resonated are, “The events of this world don’t make you angry. Your 'hot thoughts' create your anger.” He continues, “Most of the time, your anger will not help you. It will immobilize you…” Seeing anger as a result of our own thoughts and perceptions of a situation is powerful. Anger is caused by our own beliefs that someone is acting unfairly or some event is unjust. The intensity of the anger will increase in proportion to the severity of the maliciousness perceived. We have the ability to change the viewpoint and not let it affect us.
How are we putting psychedelic therapy into practice?
Working with psychedelic therapy, we are able to help patients detach from the feelings connected to anger and frustration and help them transcend to an appreciative mindset. For example, many parents I treat say they expect their children to do their homework and get good grades because that's their responsibility. They want their child to go to a good college and have a successful life. It is frustrating when the child does not turn in the assigned homework or study for the exams. When I talk to the child, they say that they are not thinking about college because that is not in their near future and they receive passing grades so are not concerned with missing assignments or focusing on studying.
My recommendation is to change the expectations to shift the mindset. Parents can also create a check system with their child to monitor that the assignments are being turned in and that they are studying for their exams. This can include a reward system tailored to the child. Younger children may appreciate physical rewards, such as a treat or toy, and with older children the reward can be privileges like extra screen time or outings with friends. Burns writes, “reward the desired behavior instead of punishing the undesired behavior. Punishment causes aversion and resentment and brings about alienation and avoidance.”1
Rewards will incentivize the good choice and will allow you to share your values with your children about the importance of education. When they succeed, it will also help manage expectations. You are able to shift your focus from being frustrated to celebrating the accomplishments of your child.
According to Jay Shetty, author of Think Like A Monk, reliving hurt is a “mental prison where your thoughts hold you captive.” Releasing this trauma and hurt allows you to live a more enjoyable life. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is an opportunity to interrupt the thought patterns where trauma is stored in the brain and create a new perspective. We help patients to move forward with a gratitude mindset where they can learn from their past experiences and take away the positive aspects. This creates resilience for the person and compassion for the situation.
1 Burns, D. D. (2000). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. Collins.