As the public discourse surrounding mental health and wellness continues to evolve, the destigmatization of mental illness has become a major talking point. More people are feeling called to share about their mental health struggles publicly on social media or to speak openly about their journeys with their friends and families.
Labels such as “depression,” “anxiety,” “PTSD,” “ADHD” and “addiction” have strangely become buzzwords, and many people that have never received a clinical diagnosis have started to realize that they, too, have grappled with psychological and mood issues. Because more people have access to information regarding their mental health, they often feel empowered to understand their own psyches and rise to a level of greater self-awareness.
The notion of mental health has become less about a diagnosis and more about the spectrum of varying symptoms that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their life. Along with this destigmatization has also arisen a movement toward psychological exploration and self-healing.
It is no surprise that psychedelics and psychedelic assisted therapy are prevalent within this conversation. Peoples across the planet have utilized mind-altering substances for thousands of years to expand consciousness, facilitate deep healing and induce spiritual experiences. Indiginous societies throughout South America are famously known for their use of ayahuasca to heal individuals with the help of a shaman. Other cultures, such as the Mazatec of Mexico and the Abwiti of West Africa, have also made use of psychedelic substances for similar purposes and in similar ways.
In the last twenty years, Western medicine has recognized the therapeutic potential of these substances and researchers have begun conducting numerous clinical studies to understand how psychedelics work to alleviate mood disorders and aid in psychological healing. If you are wondering how you can experience medicines such as psilocybin, DMT or MDMA in a therapeutic setting, you may hit some major roadblocks.
In most states throughout the US, there is no legal way to work with a licensed therapist trained in psychedelic assisted therapy. An important distinction to make is that, while psychotherapists cannot legally aid you in your trip nor provide you with any substances, it is possible to experience the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics with a trained, professional guide. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of psychedelic assisted therapy as well as the state laws in Iowa and what legal options you have near you.
The Current Legislation on Psychedelics in Iowa
It is an exciting time in the US as the legal landscape surrounding psychedelics continues to shift in a favorable direction. Just last year, a bill to decriminalize magic mushrooms—by removing psilocybin and psilocyn from Iowa’s controlled substances list—was brought before Iowa state legislature. Though the bill ultimately was not passed, it demonstrated a potential roadmap for psychedelic decriminalization within the state.
Unfortunately, magic mushrooms (which contain psilocybin), along with cannabis, MDMA, ketamine and LSD, are still Schedule I substances for the time being. In spite of efforts to decriminalize these substances, the state of Iowa still remains one of the strictest states regarding possession or use of these substances, and magic mushrooms (psilocybin and psilocyn) are still illegal in the eyes of the federal government.
Your Legal Options for Therapeutic Psychedelic Experiences in Iowa
1. Ketamine Clinics
While Ketamine is a bit unique in relation to more traditional psychedelics, its effectiveness in treating depression and other mood disorders is widely recognized by the medical field, so much so that “ketamine clinics” are popping up all over the US. However, these clinics do not always offer a holistic, well-rounded experience, or prioritize adequate preparation and integration of the psychedelic journey. For those of you who are interested in pursuing ketamine assisted therapy, we’ve written a guide to help you select a reputable clinic.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences
A therapeutic psychedelic experience often requires more than just taking a substance itself. The euphemism “set and setting” stands true, and the presence of a “trip-sitter” or guide may be the difference between having a truly positive, healing experience and a negative one. Having access to a facilitator who will help prepare you ahead of time and help you make sense of things afterwards can be an invaluable tool in your psychedelic journey.
Lasting change comes from being able to integrate what you learned during your trip, instead of being left with more questions than when you started. At Psychedelic Passage, we provide professional facilitators with an emphasis on harm reduction, and while we are not licensed mental health professionals, we are trained and experienced guides. Do note that we do not provide any psychedelic substances, but do provide preparation, harm reduction and integration services during your psychedelic experience. While the majority of our clients choose to work with psilocybin, we can sit for other psychedelic medicines as well.
We Provide Guided Psychedelic Journeys in Every Major Iowa City
- Des Moines
- Iowa City
- Cedar Rapids
- Sioux City
- Council Bluffs
- Mason City
- Cedar Falls
- Fort Dodge
- West Des Moines
Benefits of Having a Therapeutic Psychedelic Experience
Psychedelics are showing promise as a treatment for various mood and psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. As noted above, psychedelics also have a rich history as a tool for healing, along with positive findings from recent clinical studies.
Still, you may be wondering whether having an experienced guide during your trip is necessary at all. Why would you need a guide if science is proving that psychedelics have so much healing potential? There are a few reasons why the presence of a guide can be beneficial to you.
First, working with a guide before your trip can help you prepare for your ceremony so that you can get the most out of it. This prep work may include setting clear intentions for the experience, or, in other words, acknowledging why you have been called to it and what you are hoping to take away from it. During your ceremony, your guide can help you remain calm and support you in whatever ways you may need so that you can dive inward and let go without having to worry about what’s happening around you.
And, after your ceremony, being able to discuss and integrate your journey with a guide can help you make sense of what you have learned, answer any lingering questions you may have, and continue to reap the benefits of the medicine as you return to your day-to-day activities. Having a veteran trip sitter who has experience working with psychedelic substances can help ensure your safety, calmness, and well-being throughout your trip, enabling you to fully release and go further.
While psychedelics can invoke ecstatic and beautiful moments, they can also be frightening or anxiety-inducing at times, so it is extremely beneficial to have someone support you. For more information on the benefits of having a guide, you can schedule a consultation with one of our facilitators here.
Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Healing Journey?
If you’re considering a therapeutic psychedelic experience in Iowa, but aren’t sure what next steps to take, we are here to help. At Psychedelic Passage, we specialize in guiding your therapeutic journey as well as provide professionals and resources. We have local facilitators on the ground ready to assist your ceremonial psychedelic experience in the comfort of your own home—book a consult to learn more!