Ep. 176: MDMA and Couples Therapy

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

“Are we at a point of no return?” 

This is a question many couples arrive at, at one point or another. 

One of the most common things that I’ve found can mess up any kind of relationship is communication and its challenges. When we struggle to convey our thoughts and feelings effectively, what can start as a small misunderstanding can snowball into something way more significant. 


Another thing is trust. It is the foundation for intimacy and vulnerability, and it’s super fragile. Even just the fear of betrayal can break down our trust, leading to insecurity in the relationship. When this is fractured, it seems so challenging to repair. 


Another relatively common challenge is growing apart, both emotionally and physically. Whether it’s because of work, having kids and never having time for each other, or just a change in interests… when we feel we’ve drifted apart, we can end up feeling like strangers. 


MDMA assisted couples therapy can help, particularly at the crossroads where we may have already tried many other avenues and wonder if it’s possible to heal. I think there’s also potential benefit for prevention, but that’s a topic for another time;) 

These sessions can help promote healing and growth, improve communication, and address our own personal traumas so they don’t continue to shake the foundations of our relationships. 


MDMA was popularized during the rave scene and is known for being a recreational party drug – you may know it by its street names, Molly or Ecstasy. But it also holds profound therapeutic potential when it’s used in the right context. Why? 


At its core, MDMA possesses two distinctive properties that make it uniquely suited for couples therapy:  


Empathogenic, which means that it opens the doors of emotional connection and trust, allowing us to see the world from our partner’s perspective.  


Entactogenic encourages a deep connection with one’s own emotions and thoughts, promoting self-reflection and self-acceptance. In couples therapy, this allows the individual to better understand their own feelings and how they relate to their partner’s. 


When taken in a therapeutic context, MDMA helps us explore our emotions and gives us access to deeper layers of healing. It provides a unique window of opportunity for couples in particular to delve deep into their emotions, past experiences, and relationship dynamics, with less negative impact. 


MDMA-assisted therapy also provides a unique opportunity to address past traumas that may have been affecting the relationship. Individuals often report that they can confront and process these traumas more effectively during therapy sessions, leading to emotional healing and closure. They can also share past traumas with their partners more effectively. 


That emotional clarity, empathy, and sense of safety can be a game-changer, allowing couples to address issues, express their feelings, and develop a deeper understanding of each other. Whaaat??? I know, right? 


There’s also the geeky neuroscience part.  


The short version is that it activates 3 of the brain’s key neurotransmitters, which helps us safely connect with our feelings and the feelings of our partner, and tap into the connection that exists when our old habits and emotional walls/armor are softened.  


It encourages us to actively engage in and tackle the difficult conversations, being able to tolerate difficult emotions more effectively. 


Another bonus is studies have shown that the effects of MDMA-assisted couples therapy tend to last LONG after it’s all over – especially when couples continue to do the work after there sessions are done (= INTEGRATION!). 


As we continue to study the field of MDMA-assisted therapy, we can expect to understand even more about how it can benefit a wide range of couples, allowing this approach to become more accessible too (it’s only approved for research… for now). I also dive into how it’s not for everyone, or every circumstance. 


In the full episode, I dive into how sessions are structured and the pivotal role of therapists is key to the transformative power of this approach, so be sure to check that out, beause in this model, they aren’t just facilitators in this type of therapy – they’re emotional guides who accompany couples on their journey (not with the medicine though ;).  

 Like I said earlier, this isn’t a magic pill or a one-size-fits-all kind of gig. I want to re-emphasize the importance of integration. We need to do what we can to hold on to the insights we’ve had in the therapy, because reverting back to the old self and habits is very common in any transformational process. We need to continue to cultivate that skill set by receiving ongoing therapy and support so that we can embody the insights and energetic shifts needed for our new paradigm to take hold. 


When – not if – we make a mistake and revert back to old patterns, it’s important to forgive ourselves and not get stuck in regret, self-judgment, and guilt. Integration support and self-compassion help us to not drop back into a shame cycle that’s so common in this very human, non-linear process . 


While MDMA-assisted couples therapy may not be the right fit for every couple, its potential to heal and provide hope is clear. At the risk of sounds cheesy, I think the couple’s that continue to have hope and seek out alternative therapies are a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for healing, growth, and connection – and the capacity couples can have for navigating the turbulent seas of modern love, which seems to be getting more complicated by the day!  

You will learn: 

// The three common areas challenged in a relationship, and what happens when any of them breaks down 

// The truth about MDMA and its therapeutic potential – in addressing the three areas above, too! 

// The importance of using MDMA in the correct context and structure 

// How MDMA can help address past traumas that affect our current relationships 

// What the future holds for MDMA-assisted couples therapy 

// The most important step in MDMA- assisted couples therapy for lasting results 



// Episode 97: Psychedelics and Spiritual Practice 


// Episode 153: Psychedelic Exceptionalism 


// If you want to dive into this level of healing with a small group of self-identified womyn, having plant medicine retreats in Alaska and Hawaii, adventures in nature and learning more about your mind and your deeper Soul Purpose, visit AdventureMastermind.com to get on the waitlist to be the first to hear about the next dates and locations. (P.S. If you’ve already done the mastermind, stay tuned for a special alumni retreat. We’ll pick up right where we left off and dive even deeper!) 


// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics. 


// Want something more self-paced with access to weekly group support and getting coached by yours truly? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!