For many, the term ‘psychedelics’ conjures images of drug-fueled hallucinations, kaleidoscope-esque patterns of color, and perhaps hippies with long hair.
But a lot’s changed since 1960 and psychedelic therapy is now being used to treat mental health conditions. For anyone suffering from chronic depression, anxiety, PTSD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, psychedelic therapy is becoming more and more mainstream as regulations have relaxed, clinical trials have begun to show encouraging results, and venture capital has poured into the space.
Most recently, user-friendly direct-to-consumer platforms are making it easy for patients to find out if psychedelic therapy could work for them.
Are you interested in learning more about psychedelic treatment and the major players who are pushing it to the mainstream market? Let’s go on a journey to see what DTC platforms like Mindbloom, Field Trip Health, and MindMed have to offer in the field of psychedelic medicine.
But first: a little primer on psychedelic therapy
Psychedelic therapy can be traced back to the 1950s, when a psychiatrist named Humphry Osmond gave Aldous Huxley, a volunteer test subject, a dose of the psychedelic substance mescaline to observe its possible therapeutic advantages. In fact, Osmond coined the term “psychedelic” to define something that has an effect on the mind.
In the early 1950s, a small group of psychiatrists, including Osmond, pioneered the use of LSD to treat a variety of mental illnesses, including alcoholism. Despite its promise, research into LSD’s medicinal potential was halted in the 1960s due to political considerations.
Psychedelic therapy research was resumed in the 1990s and has since taken off. You can now safely engage in psychedelic treatment for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and even Chronic Pain Syndrome. While more research is needed before psychedelic therapy may be widely used, the introduction of DTC psychedelic therapy platforms demonstrates that the discipline has advanced significantly in recent years.
How does psychedelic therapy work?
In psychedelic therapy, the patient is subjected to the effects of psychedelic drugs in a constructive, regulated, and supervised setting. When used correctly, psychedelic drugs can have a rightful significant impact on the mind. This is hypothesized to occur as a result of the drug’s effect on the neuronal circuits that use serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel-good” neurotransmitter in the brain that is essential to your mood, happiness, and overall sense of well-being.
Psychedelic therapy can benefit patients struggling with mental health conditions by:
- Promoting introspection and spirituality, which can spur thoughts, feelings, and insights that may benefit the patient’s mental health
- Providing feelings of relaxation and calmness
- Promoting a greater sense of wellbeing
What drugs are used in psychedelic therapy?
For now, ketamine is the only psychedelic drug that’s legally allowed to be prescribed by medical professionals for mental health concerns, though other psychedelics including psilocybin (mushrooms) and LSD are being researched for therapeutic potential. Ketamine is a prescription drug that’s mainly used to begin and maintain anesthesia. However, when used in lower doses, ketamine causes profound psychedelic episodes. It’s been FDA-approved since 1970.
When prescribed by mental health professionals, ketamine has been found to significantly increase the success of treatment for alcoholism, depression, and anxiety. Just hours after being administered, ketamine can provide a significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety, including suicidal thoughts. This drug can provide a feeling of relaxation and calm, as well as pain relief. This has made ketamine an exciting treatment for mental health conditions – especially those that aren’t responding to conventional treatments.
Ketamine can cause side effects, but when used in psychedelic therapy, they’re generally mild. Side effects may include dizziness, slurred speech, diminished reflexes, nystagmus (repetitive, involuntary eye movements), hallucinations, and a feeling of being detached from the body.
Given that ketamine is a strong dissociative drug, it’s very dangerous to take it in large doses for long periods. To ensure your safety and avoid complications from ketamine, it’s crucial to be under the care of a licensed medical professional. Also, it’s worth noting that health insurance plans don’t currently cover ketamine therapy, so you’ll have to pay for it entirely out-of-pocket.
Mindbloom vs Field Trip Health vs MindMed: How do they compare?
Before we get into the specifics of the three platform assessments, let’s take a broad look at their offerings to help you compare them head to head.
Mindbloom vs Field Trip Health vs MindMed
|Psychedelic drug types used||Ketamine||Ketamine||Microdose LSD, microdose psilocybin, 18-MC|
|Virtual or in-person?||Virtual||Combination|
|Pricing||$89/week for new clients, $59/week for returning clients||$750 for introductory package, $125 – $750 for subsequent sessions|
|Available locations||New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, California, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Washington, Nebraska||Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Fredericton, Seattle, Amsterdam|
|Messaging with the provider?||(Unlimited)|
|Solo and group psychedelic therapy experiences?|
|Integration sessions?||(Unlimited)||(Only a 30-minute session in the introductory treatment package, $250 for subsequent sessions)|
Review of Mindbloom: How does it work?
Mindbloom is a mental health and wellbeing firm whose founders regard their work as a vocation rather than a job. Dylan Beynon, the company’s founder, and CEO collaborated with scientific director Dr. Casey Paleos “to increase access to science-backed psychedelic medicine treatments.”
What was their starting point? Cutting the price of ketamine therapy by more than 65%.
Mindbloom offers entirely virtual psychedelic therapy with prescription ketamine for mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, stress, bad habits, a lack of purpose, and feeling lost. With personalized and professionally guided programs that are completed from the comfort of your own home, Mindbloom makes it safe and straightforward to try psychedelic therapy when traditional therapy methods just aren’t cutting it.
How to get started with Mindbloom
Taking an online candidate evaluation is the first step in getting started with Mindbloom. The purpose of this brief test is to see if you’re a good candidate by examining signs of sadness and anxiety. The test will ask you whether you are depressed, anxious, or both and then ask you a series of questions to determine the severity of your problem. It will also inquire whether you are currently using prescription drugs for anxiety and/or depression.
The Mindbloom evaluation will inquire about your treatment preferences to create a customized plan. With this platform, you can book your own appointments at convenient times, communicate with your provider indefinitely, and participate in unlimited expert-led group integration sessions.
After you sign up for Mindbloom, you’ll be able to schedule a video consultation and psychiatric evaluation with a professional. The next big stage in your Mindbloom journey will be to set your treatment intentions, which should be specific about what you want to achieve and overcome. The Mindbloom program normally consists of six sessions held every one to two weeks.
The Mindbloom experience: What kind of therapies do they offer?
Your psychedelic therapy sessions will take place at home with Mindbloom. Along with the prescribed medication, Mindbloom clients receive a “Bloombox” containing a notebook, an eye mask, a blood pressure monitor, and other items to help them along their journey.
A Mindbloom clinician will assist patients who are considered suitable for guided ketamine therapy in preparing for the first session. This includes assisting patients psychologically and physically in preparing for the event, reviewing intentions, and sharing ideas and advice. This will also include selecting an acceptable ketamine dose for therapeutic purposes, so you don’t accidentally become one with the cosmos (although not a bad thing).
You’ll also communicate with your clinician remotely after taking the drug to discuss your experience. While you’re on the medication, your clinician will be available for text assistance at any time.
The ketamine is dissolved beneath the tongue, and the effects are felt within 10 minutes. This is a one-hour session that includes hand-selected guided meditations and music from Mindblood. Following that, you will journal about the session in a notebook provided.
Mindbloom ensures that you have a Peer Treatment Monitor present during your sessions. This is a close friend or loved one who can keep an eye on you throughout the session.
“The Basics” is the name of Mindbloom’s inaugural 6-session program. At this time, patients are usually either satisfied with their development or interested in continuing ketamine therapy. Secondary programs at Mindbloom include “Going Deeper,” “Learning to Love Yourself,” “Overcoming Anxiety,” and “Beyond Depression.”
Mindbloom is developing an exceptional product, team, and care approach to help telemedicine ketamine therapy users feel held and supported. Mindbloom achieves the ideal blend of accessibility and efficacy. While many firms in this field are solely concerned with drug development and clinical trials, Mindbloom has wisely chosen to focus on a care model that gives immediate relief.
Where is Mindbloom’s psychedelic therapy available?
Mindbloom began as an in-person clinic, but with the arrival of Covid-19 in 2020, they now provide a totally virtual treatment. They are currently licensed to service patients in the following states, with future expansion to be expected:
- New York
- New Jersey
How much does Mindbloom’s therapy cost?
Mindbloom has two weekly rates: one for new clients and another for recurring clients. The rate is billed monthly for three months.
The rate for new clients is $89 per week and includes:
- 6 ketamine treatments
- 1 Bloombox, which contains a blood pressure cuff, eye mask, and journal
- 2 psychiatric clinician consults
- 3 guide sessions (1 prep, 2 integration)
- Unlimited group integration sessions
- Unlimited messaging
They offer a discounted rate for returning clients at just $59 per week. This includes:
- 6 ketamine treatments
- 1 psychiatric clinician consult
- Unlimited group integration sessions
- Unlimited messaging
You can add virtual, one-on-one integration coaching sessions, in addition to the program components that come with your rate. Each session costs $59 and lasts 45 minutes. These integration sessions are intended to assist you in integrating ketamine treatment insights into your daily life.
Review of Field Trip Health
Source: Field Trip Health
Field Trip mixes psychedelic medicine and integrative treatment through a combination of virtual and in-person meetings. The mission of this company’s program is to deliver psychedelic medicine as a healing catalyst. Field Trip is a DTC psychedelic treatment platform to consider, with superior health centers and a program that promotes empowerment, connection, clarity, and personal growth.
Field Trip Health’s model provides a tailored, step-by-step treatment approach aimed chiefly at individuals experiencing anxiety and depression symptoms.
How to get started with Field Trip Health
To get started with Field Trip, call the company at the phone number listed on their website. You may also book a call on their website so that the Field Trip crew can contact you at a convenient time. The goal of this conversation is to see if the program is a good fit for you. If you are deemed a good candidate on the call, the Field Trip agent will instruct you on setting up your account and getting started.
Note: In Canada, to be a Field Trip patient, you’ll need a referral from your doctor.
The Field Trip experience: What it’s like to get psychedelic therapy?
Source: Field Trip Health
Field Trip consists of a mix of virtual and in-person sessions held at their health center sites. This makes it a suitable alternative for people who want some virtual flexibility but prefer to take their medication in the presence of a medical expert rather than at home. Furthermore, for in-person sessions, you have the option of booking guided solo experiences or guided group experiences (which include four people at once). Patients who participate in group experiences gain from human interaction with other patients who share similar interests. Field Trip understands the introverts among us, so group experiences aren’t required.
There are three main phases of treatment with Field Trip:
In the preparation phase, you’ll set intentions for your psychedelic experience and integration sessions. You’ll also build a relationship with your provider and establish safety and consent. This phase is important to your comfort and relaxation during psychedelic exploration.
Your therapy team will go over session expectations at the start of the psychedelic exploration period. The psychedelic medicine, in nasal spray esketamine form, will be provided after you are at ease. To test your sensitivity to psychedelic drugs, the Field Trip team starts with minimal doses. Your experience with this low dose will aid them in determining the appropriate dose for the following sessions. After your psychedelic experience is over, you and your therapist will discuss it. This type of session is done at a Field Trip health center.
The health centers feature a pleasant atmosphere (mid-century modern furniture, jute rugs, many potted plants). They also provide integration rooms to spend as much time as you need after your session, doing activities such as painting.
During integration sessions, your therapist will assist you in making sense of your psychedelic experience and applying your insights to daily life. These meetings are held virtually.
As a patient, you will have access to a specialized portal at Field Trip. The portal includes tailored information and tips to help you learn more and an asynchronous chat with your therapeutic team for quick access to professionals when you need it. The portal acts as a bridge for your in-between treatment visits to the health centers and is still available after your program has concluded.
You can also utilize Field Trip Digital’s Trip phone app, which is designed to supplement “consciousness-expanding experiences” with intention-setting and journaling exercises, mood tracking, tailored music, and other features.
Where does Field Trip Health offer psychedelic therapy?
Field Trip health centers are located in:
- New York
- Los Angeles
How much does therapy from Field Trip Health cost?
Field Trip offers an introductory treatment package and subsequent treatment sessions, which are priced differently.
Introductory treatment package: For $750 (with taxes included), new patients can access:
- An initial meeting with the medical team
- An onboarding meeting with your therapist (including the preparation session)
- The first psychedelic exploration
- A 30-minute integration session
Field Trip offers a financing plan that allows for 26 bi-weekly payments of $28.85 over 12 months.
Subsequent treatment sessions: After you have your first session with Field Trip, you can choose to carry out the rest of your treatment sessions with a guided personal approach or a guided group approach with three other patients.
Subsequent guided personal sessions cost $750 for a psychedelic exploration session and $250 for a full integration session. If that’s a bit too pricey, guided group sessions run for only $375 for a psychedelic exploration session and $125 for a full integration session.
Review of MindMed: What does it offer?
MindMed is a pharmaceutical firm dedicated to furthering research into psychedelic-inspired drugs and experimental therapies for mental health. The company is currently conducting clinical trials to learn more about the healing potential of these therapies for illnesses such as anxiety, adult ADHD, and substance abuse problems. So, while MindMed isn’t now operating as a direct-to-consumer psychedelic therapy platform just yet, it could be responsible for significant advances in the field in the near future.
What are MindMed’s recent achievements?
MindMed is now seeking investors while preparing and carrying out clinical trials. The company is concentrating on producing psychedelic drugs with a variety of therapeutic effects to improve patients’ health.
- MindMed is exploring the potential of microdosing LSD and psilocybin for improved mood, focus, and creativity, along with decreased anxiety.
- Scientists and chemists at the business created 18-MC, a derivative of the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine. 18-MC aids in the resolution of problems with the brain’s reward/pleasure center without the hazards associated with ibogaine, making it an attractive prospective treatment for addiction.
MindMed is also working to create a provider community emphasizing compassion and efficacy in mental healthcare. The firm has teamed with NYU Langone Health, Universitatsspital Basel, and Maastricht University for unique training, research, and development in psychedelic therapy.
While MindMed isn’t yet ready to take you as a patient, CBInsights has named it one of 36 businesses that could transform the world. So remember the name; we have a hunch you’ll be seeing MindMed in the news shortly. We’ll update this post as more of their research breakthroughs are announced.
Mindbloom vs Field Trip Health: What are the customers saying?
Mindbloom’s Customer Reviews
Since its inception, Mindbloom has made a significant impact, garnering high-profile media coverage in publications such as Business Insider, Vogue, Newsweek, and Forbes.
Customers are equally pleased, with many reiterating the profound impact Mindbloom’s psychedelic therapy has on their lives.
Field Trip Health’s Customer Reviews
WIRED, Business Insider, MarketWatch, and other prestigious publications have covered Field Trip. While there are no customer reviews, the centers are fully booked, according to one Reddit user, so we’ll stand a gamble and claim that people love it.
MindMed is yet to get client feedback because it has not yet been launched. But, in a few lines, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’ Leary eloquently summarised our sentiments about MindMed:
The Verdict: Is online psychedelic therapy from Field Trip and Mindbloom legit?
So, is psychedelic therapy from companies like Field Trip, MindMed and MindBloom worth trying? There’s no denying that psychedelic substances work for many patients, with credentialed, experienced clinicians vouching for their efficacy in therapy after encouraging clinical results. However, because mental health care is individualized, it clearly isn’t for everyone. Even among patients who desperately want to try psychedelic therapy after failing to see results from traditional pharmaceuticals may not qualify for treatment. But one thing is very clear: the future of psychedelic therapy is bright and unfolding rapidly before our eyes.
When it comes to comparing the psychedelic therapy companies discussed above, it boils down to mainly pricing as both Mindbloom and Field Trip health offer virtually identical services.
While Mindbloom’s weekly billing model can affect the entire cost of therapy, MindBloom is way less expensive than Field Trip. This could be because Field Trip requires in-person appointments, whereas MindBloom is fully virtual. However, when you consider MindBloom’s fair price, virtual setup for flexibility, and selection of follow-up tools to enable you to continue your psychedelic exploration based on your needs and interests, it, in our opinion, outperforms Field Trip. However, if you enjoy the idea of psychedelic therapy in person, Field Trip’s comfortable and well-equipped health centers are more to your liking.
Have you tried psychedelic therapy? We’d LOVE to hear about your experience in the comments below!