Psychedelic psychological first aid

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Psychedelic psychological first aid is defined as any behavioral technique which provides an acute and immediate assistance for behavior in psychedelic cognition. These techniques encompass both dissuading dysfunctional behavior and encouraging functional behavior.

This page lists and describes the various psychedelic psychological first aid techniques.


Main article: Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be described as a psychological concept which is well established within the scientific literature and commonly discussed in association with meditation.[1][2]

It is often broken down into two separate subcomponents which comprise this effect: The first of these components involves the self-regulation of attention so that its focus is completely directed towards immediate experience, thereby quietening one's internal narrative and allowing for increased recognition of external and mental events within the present moment.[3][4] The second of these components involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment that is characterized by a lack of judgement, curiosity, openness, and acceptance.[5]

Within meditation, this state of mind is deliberately practised and maintained via the conscious and manual redirection of one's awareness towards a singular point of focus for extended periods of time. However, within the context of psychoactive substance usage, this state is often spontaneously induced without any conscious effort or the need of any prior knowledge regarding meditative techniques.

Mindfulness is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as anxiety suppression and focus intensification. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and cannabinoids. However, it can also occur on entactogens, certain nootropics such as l-theanine, and during simultaneous doses of benzodiazepines and stimulants.

RAPID model

Main article: RAPID model

The Johns Hopkins RAPID PFA Model is a psychological first aid (PFA) model aimed at providing psychological support to a person in acute psychological distress.

In the context of psychoactive drugs, it can be used by trip sitters to stabilize drug users experiencing anxiety, panic, or a bad trip.

RAPID is an acronym that denotes the model's five phases: Rapport and reflective listening, Assessment, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition.

R—Establishing Rapport and Reflective Listening

A—Assessment. Listening to the Story

P—Psychological Triage. Prioritization

I—Intervention Tactics to Stabilize and Mitigate Acute Distress

D—Disposition and Facilitating Access to Continued Care


Everly, G. S., Lating, J. M. (2017). The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid. United States: Johns Hopkins University Press.

See also


  1. Slagter, H. A., Davidson, R. J., Lutz, A. (2011). "Mental Training as a Tool in the Neuroscientific Study of Brain and Cognitive Plasticity". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 5. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2011.00017. ISSN 1662-5161. 
  2. Pagnini, F., Philips, D. (April 2015). "Being mindful about mindfulness". The Lancet Psychiatry. 2 (4): 288–289. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00041-3. ISSN 2215-0366. 
  3. Baer, R. A. (2003). "Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review". Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 10 (2): 125–143. doi:10.1093/clipsy.bpg015. ISSN 1468-2850. 
  4. Creswell, J. D. (3 January 2017). "Mindfulness Interventions". Annual Review of Psychology. 68 (1): 491–516. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-042716-051139. ISSN 0066-4308. 
  5. Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., Segal, Z. V., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D., Devins, G. (2004). "Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition". Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 11 (3): 230–241. doi:10.1093/clipsy.bph077. ISSN 1468-2850.