Psychedelic Psychotherapy – with Dr. Ben Sessa – Episode #47

Dr. Ben Sessa is a psychiatrist based out of the UK and a leading doctor in pushing the movement of psychedelics as medicine forward. Throughout his career, he has specialized in working with children and adolescents, but also has worked with adults who struggle with addiction. He has always been interested in bringing psychedelics into the medical community and has played a part in shifting the conversation about these drugs over the past decade.

Ben joined me to discuss why our traditional way of dealing with “mental illness” is insufficient and what is coming in the future. He shares his own experiences of use and research regarding MDMA – which has historically been viewed as a party drug – to heal trauma and PTSD. This is the next generation of psychiatric care.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Ben’s long history of working with psychedelics.

  • How our current medical model is ineffective and doesn’t fit patients’ needs.

  • Why traditional drugs are just a band-aid to issues.

  • How societal factors play a major role in the healing process.

  • Why no drug will work on its own, including psychedelics.

  • Holistic approach vs. biological approach to medicine.

  • Ben’s research on MDMA and PTSD.

  • Why mild to moderate depression and anxiety are the most over prescribed illnesses.

  • Where psychotherapy comes into play in the healing process.

  • Why we attach ourselves to drugs that hide symptoms.

  • How psychedelics can assist psychotherapy and counseling in a productive way.

  • Why the therapy effectiveness rate for trauma survivors is very low

  • How MDMA can help trauma survivors and is a trauma therapists dream.

  • Why MDMA is incredibly safe even when used recreationally.

  • Why we shouldn’t let politicians and the general public make decisions about the legality and safety of psychedelics.

  • The biggest hurdles with psychedelic research.

  • The pros and cons of the capitalization and medicalization of psychedelics.

  • How Ben has been working to find a language to bring the psychedelic and medical community together.

  • Why having a connection in the medical community is necessary to get a change in psychedelic policy.

  • How trauma can still surface internally even after external factors have changed.

  • The definition of addiction – it’s not about drugs.

  • What is the best way to tackle addiction?

  • How psychedelics get to the heart of the issue when it comes to trauma.

  • Ben’s role in opening the world’s first psychedelic assisted psychotherapy clinic.


Ben’s Website: