MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD
At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry, we are preparing to offer MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD once it is approved by the FDA. At this time, we expect MDMA to be rescheduled and available to eligible patients by mid-2024.
If you are seeking treatment, please join our waitlist or see Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy.
MDMA and Asheville Integrative Psychiatry
Our founder, Dr. Tiffany Sauls, has over three years of experience in MDMA research and psychedelic psychotherapy. She is one of a small number of psychiatrists who has completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Sauls also served as a principal investigator and lead therapist for MAPS’ Expanded Access Program for MDMA-Assisted Therapy.
This type of investigational treatment is currently only available to a limited number of patients through clinical trials. However, it is expected to be available from specially trained psychiatrists and therapists in the near future, once FDA approval is granted. Asheville Integrative Psychiatry expects to be among the first providers in the country to offer this service once it is legally available.
What is MDMA Therapy?
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy involves administering MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy techniques to facilitate trauma processing.
Under the guidance of a medical doctor, therapists work in paired teams to administer MDMA during 8-hour therapeutic sessions. These sessions are interspersed with regular unmedicated integration sessions over the course of several months.
The therapists administering MDMA have been trained through the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program to provide this treatment safely and effectively. In a 2020 study, the majority of patients no longer met criteria for PTSD after completing the treatment protocol. These improvements remained consistent at a one-year follow-up.
About MDMA Research
PTSD is a disabling and chronic condition associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD has emerged from decades of research organized and funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit psychedelic research and education organization.
For over 30 years, MAPS has worked to obtain FDA approval for the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Their research and advocacy have led to Phase 3 clinical trials, which are currently underway under FDA guidance.
In the 1970s and 80s, psychologists and psychiatrists found significant success in using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD and other mental health issues. However, in 1985 MDMA was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, bringing an abrupt halt to clinical research and therapeutic use.
Today, meticulous research has further demonstrated MDMA’s significant value as a PTSD treatment. While the precise mechanisms of action continue to be investigated, MDMA appears to increase emotional openness and connection. During this enhanced state, patients may experience significant shifts in perspective, allowing them to safely revisit traumatic memories, process difficult emotions, and reintegrate painful experiences. Many patients describe feeling caring and forgiving toward themselves and others during an MDMA experience.
At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry, we aim to bridge the gap between holistic healing wisdom and promising new treatments like MDMA. While we await MDMA’s approval, we currently offer ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, integrative psychiatry, and nature therapy.
If you or a loved one suffer from PTSD, please know more good options are coming. We encourage you to join our waitlist for MDMA therapy updates, or schedule a consultation to discuss current treatment options.