Psychedelic Therapy

About Psychedelic Therapy

With a focus on well-being and emotional integration, psychedelic-assisted therapy can be a transformative treatment that may help address complex mental health challenges. Proper screening, preparation, guidance, and support, psychedelic therapy show remarkable promise for treatment in current clinical trials.

Preliminary evidence suggests that psychedelic medicines have the potential to dissolve the concepts of self and ego temporarily. For this reason, psychedelic-assisted therapy presents a distinct approach to the kind of self-transformation that can foster deep, progressive healing.

While psychedelic therapy is a novel and promising field, it comes with challenges and risks that require specialized training and continued scientific study. This is an introduction to psychedelic-assisted therapy: it’s medical indications, potential benefits, risks, and more—including insight into Sunstone’s unique approach to whole-person healing.

What Is Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy?

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is an emerging therapeutic approach that combines the controlled use of psychedelic medicines, such as psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD, with professional psychological support.  Psychedelic therapy aims to facilitate profound and transformative experiences to address mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Because psychedelic medicines may cause changes in thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, they can allow access to novel and untraveled paths to healing. When carried out in a safe, compassionate, and precise way within a medical setting, psychedelic-assisted therapy shows promising results. 
To see our patients struggle with something so deep, and so devastating, and really walk through that, and find healing on the other side is very powerful.
Manish Agrawal, MD CEO & Co-Founder

How Psychedelics Work

Classical psychedelic medicines work by interacting with the brain’s serotonin receptors, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor. When substances like psilocybin, LSD, or DMT bind to these receptors, they can induce alterations in thought processes, mood, and perception. Non-classical psychedelics like ketamine and MDMA have other mechanisms of action involving the modulation of additional receptors. The psychedelic response produced by this action can result in a range of effects, including changes in consciousness, hallucinations, and altered sensory perceptions. 

The precise mechanisms of action are complex and not fully understood, but researchers believe they involve alterations in neural connectivity, plasticity, and communication patterns in the brain. A psychedelic experience will vary from person to person, influenced by factors like dose, set and setting, and personal psychology.

How Psychedelics Work in a Therapeutic Setting

Psychedelics have been found to facilitate profound introspection and emotional processing when taken within a therapeutic framework, increasing the potential for personal growth and healing. When precisely administered by trained professionals in a controlled environment, they can catalyze therapeutic breakthroughs, promote self-awareness, and offer new viewpoints on life—its gifts and challenges.

Psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD can intensify thoughts and feelings, thereby making these emotions more accessible for exploration and processing, making it possible to see familiar issues, memories, or emotions from fresh perspectives. When past traumas and repressed emotions surface within a safe, therapeutic setting, they provide a unique opportunity for recognition and confrontation that can lead to healing.

What Makes Psychedelics So Powerful for Healing?

Because psychedelic medicines can induce profound changes in consciousness, they have the potential to engender meaningful self-reflection. These compounds also tap into parts of the mind that are often inaccessible, allowing patients to face and settle repressed emotions, traumatic memories, and unresolved inner conflicts. 

Psychedelic medicines may enhance neural plasticity, facilitating the rewiring of neural pathways to promote healthier thought patterns and behaviors. 

In psychedelic-assisted therapy, these medicines are administered by professional therapists who provide a sense of safety and guidance throughout the process as the patient prepares for, undergoes, and integrates their psychedelic experience.  

The Benefits of Psychedelics

Though psychedelic research is still in its early stages, psychedelic-assisted therapy is showing promise in addressing complex mental health challenges and disorders. Psychedelic medicines are believed to work by altering consciousness in a way that allows people to explore and process deep-seated emotions and traumatic experiences, leading to profound insights and healing breakthroughs. 

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is being evaluated as a potential treatment for multiple issues, including:

  • Adjustment Disorder (AD)
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Emotional Distress* in Patients with Cancer
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Fibromyalgia Pain Management
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD)

The Sunstone Way
Tap into Your Innate Potential for Healing

At Sunstone, we believe you already have everything you need inside yourself. Our safe and compassionate delivery of psychedelic-assisted therapy is the support that helps you access it.

Discover the Patient Experience

The Psychedelic Experience

During a psychedelic-assisted therapy session, a therapist administers a controlled dose of psychedelic medicine in a safe and supportive environment.  At Sunstone, a trained psychedelic therapist guides the patient as they process the range of thoughts, feelings, and insights that may arise. The psychedelic experience can be intense, producing profound changes in perception, mood, and cognition.  When used in a therapeutic context, the aim is to enable the patient to gain new perspectives on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, with the ultimate goal of facilitating lasting healing and improvements.
Two things that stand out to me in my work with cancer patients and group therapy are the profound difference psychedelic-assisted therapy can make in people’s lives and the sense of meaning that develops from connection.
Betsy Jenkins, LCSW Sunstone Therapist

Surveying Psychedelic Compounds: An Overview of Key Medicines

At Sunstone, we adopt a whole-person approach to psychedelic-assisted therapy that addresses the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual dimensions of the psychedelic experience. 

Psychedelic medicines can promote introspection, enhanced self-awareness, and shifts in habitual patterns of thinking, leading to breakthroughs, catharsis, and healing.

On a physical level, psychedelic experiences can involve heightened sensory perception, bodily sensations, physiological effects, plus temporal and other kinds of distortion. These physical aspects are intertwined with the overall psychological and emotional journey, contributing to a sense of profound personal exploration and transformation under the guidance of a trained therapist. 

Psychedelics can also induce deep emotional and spiritual states, including feelings of unity, sacredness, and effortless belonging. The spiritual dimension of psychedelic-assisted therapy may facilitate a sense of interconnectedness, transcendence, and awakening that helps patients re-discover meaning and purpose. 

Sunstone’s multifaceted approach underscores the transformative potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy in fostering holistic well-being and personal growth. 

The Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Process

The use of psychedelics in therapy is a relatively new approach, which is still regarded as an experimental treatment. There is much we are only now learning about how best to utilize these medicines. Because of the unique and potentially challenging nature of psychedelic experiences, therapists interested in facilitating the experience must receive proper training in the delivery of psychedelic-assisted therapy.  When administered by professionals, psychedelic-assisted therapy usually involves three stages—preparation, dosing, and integration.
A lot of medicine is broken down into specialties where you treat this or that. Sunstone is about consciousness healing and healing the whole person from their psyche outward.
Chris Baer Co-Founder

Find answers to common patient questions

Each trial has its own set of eligibility criteria that participants must meet. These criteria can include age, medical history, and previous experiences with psychedelics. Our team will assess your eligibility during the screening process.

The primary goal of our trials is to explore the safety, efficacy, and therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicines in a safe and supportive environment. We aim to provide participants with a healing experience while contributing to the advancement of psychedelic science.

If you want to apply for a clinical trial, click here. We will guide you through the application and screening process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Expect



In preparing for psychedelic-assisted therapy, therapists build trust with patients to form a robust therapeutic relationship. This can be accomplished in various ways—exploring intentions, honing practical skills, emphasizing safety measures, and sharing personal histories. Thorough preparation provides a sense of safety that empowers patients to navigate altered states of consciousness with curiosity and openness, creating conditions that support the most beneficial outcomes.


On the day of the psychedelic therapy session, the medicine is carefully administered in controlled doses by trained professionals. Therapists accompany patients through the journey with expert emotional guidance while ensuring patients’ physical, emotional, and psychological well-being at all times. To offer the most comprehensive support, therapists must be knowledgeable about the effects of psychedelic medicines on the mind and body, as well as the potential risks and benefits of using them in a therapeutic setting.


Following dosing, the focus shifts to the exploration and incorporation of the psychedelic experience. This phase aims to help patients integrate insights into their daily lives to achieve meaningful growth and healing. Skilled therapists assist patients in assimilating the experience into their ongoing therapeutic work. The hallmark of integration work is openness and curiosity for patients to explore the significance and meaning of their personal experiences.


While psychedelic-assisted therapy has shown positive results in clinical studies, like all medicines, it is not without risks and contraindications, and can cause harm as well as benefit. Potential adverse effects may become more apparent as psychedelic use increases and further research is conducted. At Sunstone, we are at the forefront of efforts to establish protocols to minimize and manage any adverse effects, striving to develop industry-wide standards of care, based on our extensive experience. 

These are some of the most common risks associated with the use of psychedelic medicines (click each dropdown to learn more):


People with a history of severe trauma may be at risk of worsening symptoms during a psychedelic session. Psychedelics can unearth buried traumatic memories, which can be distressing and challenging to process. The guidance of an experienced therapist enables patients to navigate difficult experiences safely and constructively.

Psychological Vulnerability 

People with a history of certain mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may be at higher risk of a psychotic or manic episode . In comparison, those with severe personality disorders may be at higher risk for emotional instability.

Further research is needed in these populations to determine safety and potential for benefit. For this reason, patients with these conditions or family histories have traditionally been excluded from participating in psychedelic clinical research. 

Medical Conditions

Some medications can interact negatively with psychedelics. Combining certain antidepressants like SSRIs and MAOIs with psychedelics can cause a potentially fatal condition called serotonin syndrome.

Substance Abuse

Though psychedelics show promise in treating Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), people with a history of substance abuse may be at risk of using psychedelics in an unhealthy manner or experiencing cravings or relapse after a psychedelic experience. This risk is higher with certain non-classical psychedelic medicines like ketamine. 

If you are considering psychedelic therapy, a thorough screening and assessment process is essential to determine your safety and suitability for the treatment. 

Sunstone’s thorough assessment considers your medical history, mental health, current medications, and potential contraindications. From screening to integration, the therapeutic process is conducted by trained professionals in a controlled and supportive environment to minimize risks and ensure the best possible outcomes.

Set & Setting

Set and setting are crucial factors in promoting positive outcomes in psychedelic-assisted therapy. Set refers to the mindset or mental and emotional state of the person using psychedelic medicine, while setting describes the physical and social environment in which the experience takes place. Mindset and setting create the foundation for a safe, productive, and potentially transformative experience. Together, they set the stage for patients to explore their inner world, process emotions, and gain valuable insights for personal growth and healing.


The patient’s mindset can significantly influence their experience, with factors such as expectations, beliefs, and intentions playing a critical role. 


Setting can also have a crucial impact on the psychedelic experience. The physical environment, lighting, sound, and presence of others can all influence the experience. 

A safe, comfortable, and supportive environment can help foster relaxation, security, and openness, while an uncomfortable, unfamiliar, or chaotic environment can lead to a more challenging and unsettling experience. 

These examples of setting can contribute to positive patient outcomes: 

Physical Safety

A safe and comfortable physical environment is essential during a psychedelic session. 

Psychological Safety

The setting should promote a sense of emotional safety and support. 

Therapeutic Atmosphere

An intentionally designed setting helps create a healing atmosphere. Elements like soft lighting and comfortable furnishings can enhance the overall experience. 

Experience the Sunstone Way

Sunstone is redefining what it means to heal. We believe that health is not just the absence of illness but a state of emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Everything we do is designed to support the path of healing. That’s why we’ve created a safe, compassionate setting for the delivery of psychedelic-assisted therapy within a medical framework.

Start Your Healing Journey