Psychedelic-Assissted Therapy for Veterans and Personality Improvement

Psychedelic-Assissted Therapy for Veterans and Personality Improvement

Psychedelic-assisted therapy at the VA

Psychedelic-assisted therapy has recently gained mainstream acceptance among civilians, but what about for members of the military and veterans?

This therapy may soon be an option for some veterans. As “Lucid” reports, “psychedelic-assisted therapy is on the rise at some veterans administration hospitals.”

Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder have been so successful, with 68 percent of participants in remission, the FDA granted MDMA a special ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ designation. But this therapy is not yet available all over the country, prompting more researchers to call on the VA to create protocols for MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine therapies. These psychedelics are still classified as Schedule 1 narcotics, and it will take political will and bipartisan support to win FDA approval.

If that happens, researchers at the forefront of these therapies hope to see VA hospitals nationwide using psychedelics to help veterans by the year 2024.

Could the use of hallucinogens actually improve your personality?

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology looked at how psychedelics affect personality. Researchers recruited adults who were planning on using hallucinogens in the near future and asked them to fill out a survey regarding their personality, based on the five-factor model of personality traits:

  • Extraversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness to experience
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness

Participants took the survey three times — before their psychedelic experience, two weeks after, and four weeks after. The results were impressive, with people reporting a reduction in neuroticism and an increase in agreeableness, even four weeks after their experience.

Brandon Weiss, a psychologist at Imperial College London and lead researcher told Psychology Today, “[F]irst, people seemed to report that they were not as quarrelsome or critical in their interactions with others. Second, people reported that they were less easily upset by things and less anxious.”

Weiss also pointed out that despite these positive outcomes, hallucinogens can be dangerous, especially with people who have pre-existing psychosis. More data is needed to confirm the studies’ findings. As a large number of participants did not follow through with the entire survey. But this is more evidence that hallucinogens could be another tool to help with mental health.

The Sacred Uses of Psychedelics in Human History

The Sacred Uses of Psychedelics in Human History

So much has been written over the past several decades regarding the historical use of psychedelic plants and the way they’ve contributed to the evolution of our species. Scholars, writers, and scientists — including researcher Graham Hancock, psychologist Timothy Leary, and ethnobotanist Terence McKenna — have proposed our very evolution is inseparable from the use of psychotropics and the way they’ve shaped the human experience.

And now we welcome a new wave of psychedelic researchers, including author Tom Hatsis, who has deeply considered the ways in which certain plants may or may not have been depicted in ancient and sacred contexts.

Hatsis might be regarded as a man on a quest to prove nature’s plants have the power to bring growth and insight beyond ordinary sources of knowledge and information, but he is clear to distinguish between recreational and sacred use of them. He is also armed with plenty of research that aims to clear up misguided conclusions about the role of psychedelics in history, including their appearances throughout biblical works of art.  

Read Article

More In Expanded Consciousness

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

Testing message will be here