How to Change Your Mind: the documentary


How to Change Your Mind: the documentary

How to Change Your Mind

The Netflix documentary series How to Change Your Mind is based on Michael Pollan’s book published in 2018 and explores the history and therapeutic effects of four psychoactive compounds: LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. Directed by Alison Ellwood and Lucy Walker and presented by Pollan, the series aims to educate the public about the potential healing power of psychedelics and reduce the stigma around them.

The show gives viewers a clear look at what psychedelic therapy is like—featuring therapy sessions and interviews with people who have used these substances. While the series helps destigmatize psychedelics, it’s essential also to understand the risks and downsides. A balanced view ensures people are well-informed and can make safe, educated choices.

In the following content, we’ll delve deeper into the key points and insights presented in this documentary.


Summary of the Documentary

The documentary series explores how psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline can transform mental health treatment. It shows how these substances can help with issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction. They can also change people’s thinking patterns, helping them see problems differently and find new solutions.

Using psychedelics can lead to spiritual and transcendent experiences that may bring profound changes in perspective and personal growth. The series emphasizes the potential benefits of these substances when used in the correct settings and under professional guidance.


How do you change your mind on Netflix

As per the official synopsis for the Netflix show How to Change Your Mind, the series focuses on four different mind-altering substances:

  • L.S.D.
  • Psilocybin
  • MDMA
  • Mescaline

Directed by Alison Ellwood and Lucy Walker and presented by Michael Pollan, the docuseries explores these psychoactive compounds’ history and therapeutic effects. The show takes viewers on a journey through the new psychedelic renaissance, shedding light on the almost-forgotten historical context and the potential of these substances to heal and transform both individuals and society.

how to change your mind on Netflix

What is the movie How to Change Your Mind about?

The movie “How to Change Your Mind,” based on Michael Pollan’s book, explores the history and current use of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. Pollan examines how these substances impact consciousness and could revolutionize mental health treatment. The series, executive produced by Alex Gibney and Pollan, delves into our complex relationship with psychoactive substances.

What are “Psychedelics”?

Psychedelics are substances that can change how we perceive and feel. They include LSD, psilocybin (from mushrooms), MDMA, and mescaline (from some cacti). People use them for spiritual and healing purposes and for treating mental health issues like depression and anxiety. They can offer transformative experiences and new perspectives when used safely and with guidance.


The Stigma of Psychedelics

The stigma around psychedelics has been a problem for many years. In the 1960s, scary stories about LSD and other substances caused fear and misunderstanding. This led to people thinking psychedelics were dangerous drugs that could cause harm or even insanity.

Even today, this stigma persists, and many still think of psychedelics in a negative light or associate them with specific groups. However, these stereotypes don’t match the real potential benefits of these substances for mental health. Psychedelics can help people from all backgrounds with various challenges, improving their well-being and offering opportunities for growth.


Four epic episodes

The series “How to Change Your Mind” comprises four episodes, each spotlighting a different mind-altering substance: LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. Let’s delve into the details of each episode for a deeper understanding.


Episode Breakdown


The first episode covers LSD and its history. It explains how the substance was used in the past and its effects on the mind. It also touches on the controversies and potential benefits of LSD.

B. Psilocybin

The second episode is about psilocybin, which is found in “magic mushrooms.” It discusses its use for treating depression and anxiety, as well as its cultural and traditional significance.


The third episode looks at MDMA, also known as ecstasy. It explores how MDMA therapy can help people with PTSD and emotional traumas, showcasing personal stories and expert opinions.

D. Mescaline

The final episode focuses on mescaline, a psychedelic found in certain cacti. It examines its cultural and historical importance, especially in indigenous traditions, and discusses its potential therapeutic uses.

Category Details
Director(s) Alison Ellwood and Lucy Walker
Host/Narrator Michael Pollan
Episodes Four (4)
Episode Focus Episode 1: LSD

Episode 2: Psilocybin

Episode 3: MDMA

Episode 4: Mescaline

Themes Exploration of four different psychoactive compounds

Therapeutic effects and history of psychedelics

Healing potential and stigma surrounding these substances

Critiques Concerns about overlooking the risks of psychedelics

Ethical considerations and balance in the portrayal of benefits and risks

Strengths Insightful storytelling

Engaging and informative presentation

High production values

Will there be a follow-up to Netflix’s How to Change Your Mind?

Netflix has not confirmed whether there will be a follow-up or second season of How to Change Your Mind. Given the show’s popularity and the interest it has generated in the topic of psychedelics, a follow-up season is certainly possible. Fans of the show should watch for any updates from Netflix about a potential continuation of the series.

follow-up to Netflix

In conclusion:

How to Change Your Mind on Netflix provides a compelling look at the potential benefits of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. Directed by Alison Ellwood and Lucy Walker and hosted by Michael Pollan, the series aims to reduce the stigma around these substances by highlighting their healing potential.

The show gives us a glimpse into the world of psychedelic therapy through personal stories and interviews. While it shows these compounds’ positive impact on mental health, it’s essential to be aware of the risks. A balanced approach helps people make informed decisions and explore psychedelic therapy responsibly.

Change Your Mind


Q:Is “How to Change Your Mind” worth a watch?

Ans: In today’s world, where numerous drugs are employed to treat mental health patients, this series stands out as educational, informative, and entertaining. It’s worth tuning in to, though it’s worth noting that it can sometimes be pretty repetitive.


Q: Who is Michael Pollan?

Ans: Michael Pollan is an American writer, reporter, and teacher at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He’s famous for writing about food, farming, and nature in books like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.” In the documentary “How to Change Your Mind,” he’s the main presenter, leading viewers on a journey to understand psychedelics and how they might help people.


Q: What is the documentary series “How to Change Your Mind” about?

Ans: How to Change Your Mind” on Netflix, based on Michael Pollan’s book, explores LSD and psilocybin’s potential for mental health treatment, challenging their negative stigma. Presented by Pollan, it suggests these drugs have therapeutic value.


Q: What essential substances are discussed in “How to Change Your Mind”?

Ans: The documentary series explores LSD, magic mushrooms with psilocybin, ecstasy (MDMA), and mescaline from specific cacti. It looks at their past importance, the potential for therapy, cultural effects, and risks in different episodes.


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Yaniv Ben Ari
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