The mindfulness-informed intervention that has so far received the most attention as an adjunct to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but little remains known about potential synergies between psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This paper examines and evaluates the therapeutic compatibility of MBCT with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and their potential synergies.
This study represents a narrative review of the current literature on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and MBCT.
We demonstrate how MBCT targets core processes including acceptance, being present, concentration, decentering and embracing difficulties — and outline why strengthening these capacities with systematic meditation training may prove invaluable during the preparation, dosing and integration phases of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
MBCT’s emphasis on systematic training in mindfulness meditation and fostering nonjudgmental presence aligns well with the states of consciousness induced by psychedelics, highlighting its potential to enhance various stages of both the psychedelic experience and subsequent integration. By equipping individuals with effective mindfulness and cognitive restructuring techniques, MBCT may offer advantages beyond those provided by ACT, such as the ability to skillfully navigate and manage challenging experiences that can emerge during different phases of the psychedelic experience and integration. This suggests that MBCT’s unique approach may complement psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in ways that ACT may not fully address, particularly in the context of handling challenging experiences.