Going to psychedelic therapy with my partner twice a year has been the best thing we've ever done for our relationship
- After trying all kinds of therapy, my partner and I tried ketamine-assisted couples therapy.
- It changed our lives so much that our regular therapist said we'd made a year's worth of progress.
Twice-a-year psychedelic therapy with my partner has been the best thing we've ever done for our relationship. No other interventions — counseling, therapy, retreats — come close.
My partner and I have not had a low-conflict relationship. We've lived and worked through relatively standard patterns of conflict. I'm conflict-avoidant, but she can be conflict-seeking. And early in our relationship these patterns played out time and time again.
We tried everything to improve our relationship: couples therapy with several therapists — including one who charged $1,000 an hour (what a job if you can get it!) — retreats, workshops, workbooks, and podcasts.
We made so much progress with psychedelic therapy
At the time of our first ketamine psychedelic therapy session, we were seeing a couples therapist every other week. On one of the off weeks, we decided to give psychedelics a shot. We'd heard stories about how psychedelic-assisted therapy had helped others overcome trauma, save their relationship, and allow them to be happier, better versions of themselves.
We were sold. So we sat down, wrote out problem areas in our relationship, took psychedelics, and chatted basically nonstop for six hours.
The next week, as we went into couples counseling, our therapist stopped us midsession. "What happened to you two?" she said. "You've made a year of progress in the last week!"
She was right. We've benefited so much from psychedelic therapy that for the past four years we've done it together every six months.
While critics of ketamine-assisted therapy say that there's not enough long-term data for side effects, for me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
I'm convinced psychedelics have the potential to heal, improve, and transform millions of relationships across the US. When couples have more and better tools to communicate, communicate they will. Relationships will be saved, problems resolved.
Psychedelic therapy helps me lower my ego and talk about hard issues
Today, ketamine-assisted therapy is legal. Many people can see a provider close to where they live or can use services like Mindbloom for at-home treatment. And with the Food and Drug Administration granting breakthrough-therapy status to both MDMA and psilocybin, or mushrooms, people will soon have even more options for psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Though research has suggested that psychedelics and therapy can effectively treat depression, addiction, and PTSD, among other maladies, psychedelic therapy is still very much in the early-adopter phase.
After having tried it, I firmly believe that psychedelic therapy will help millions of people dealing with the above conditions — and that it will especially help couples grow closer, work through their stuff, and better understand each other's perspectives.
In every relationship I've been in, there have been several "things you can't say" to your partner — things that are almost guaranteed to generate upset or hurt on one side or another. In the context of psychedelic therapy, we've been able to actually talk through some of the hot-button issues in our relationship and get a lot closer as a result.
This is where I've found psychedelics to be most powerful. There are few tools — outside of extended meditations or a really, really frosty cold plunge — that reliably lower my ego and make me less defensive (a trait I struggle with) and more open to my partner's thoughts and feelings.
Having a set of tools and a container that actually works and creates change in a relationship is a gift. These tools change the script from "this will never change" to "we can work on this."
In a world where divorce is so prevalent — and marital unhappiness even more so — I'm bullish on this class of therapies' ability to help more couples deepen their relationships, work through hard times, and develop better partnerships.
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