Date of Award

Spring 5-2025

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil, Kelvin Ramirez


Psychedelic medicine has existed for thousands of years as a traditional, sacred practice and is now in varying stages of legalization for clinical application in the United States. Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy uses specific psychoactive substances to facilitate altered states of consciousness in which clients have access to unconscious material and there is a greater cognitive openness to new perspectives and possibilities. Art Therapy is a modality of psychotherapy with decades of data to support its clinical efficacy in treating mental illness and other chronic conditions. A review of the literature shows a range of use cases for art in the context of psychedelic medicine and demonstrates an opportunity for distinct Art Therapy interventions to enhance therapeutic outcomes for patients. Through an exploration of psychology, neuroscience, consciousness, and psychedelic research this paper discusses how visual art is being used in clinical settings in tandem with substances such MDMA, LSD, and psilocybin. This review also demonstrates the opportunity for Art Therapy to support processing of imaginal content and to enhance long-term integration of insights gained from non-ordinary state experiences. As the field of psychedelic psychotherapy continues to expand in the United States, Art Therapists are uniquely positioned to facilitate interventions that explore and respect the ineffability of psychedelics. Likewise, Art Therapists can bring findings from the expanding, progressive body of psychedelic research into their work with diverse populations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




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