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Positive psychology and psychedelics: possible synergies

I gave a talk today about Positive Psychology and suggested a couple of areas where there could be helpful synergies with psychedelics.  Here is the full downloadable talk and below are a few of the slides ... initially just below are the first three:

I've written in the past about synergy between psychedelics and meditation - see here for the text of a recent paper - and, working with colleagues, we have a couple of 5-night/6-day psilocybin and meditation retreats scheduled in the Netherlands (where psilocybin truffles are legal) for May and November of 2023 (email me if you're interested).  The great groundbreaking study in this area was the 2018 paper from John Hopkins - see here for the full paper and the slide below for basic details:

But our retreats will be modelled more on the subsequent fascinating Swiss study by Smigielski & colleagues - see here for the paper and below for basic details: 

Another potential synergy between Positive Psychology and Psychedelics that I suggested in this talk is fairly obvious but probably a bit more 'original' than the frequently visited Psychedelics/Meditation overlap.  This second synergy is between MDMA-assisted therapy and approaches like Positive Affect Treatment.  Positive Affect Treatment and related methods look to tackle the Anhedonia/Reward-System Dysfunction common to many anxiety and depression problems.  This earlier pair of blog posts highlights how useful these approaches may turn out to be ... Accentuate the Positive: An Exciting New Psychotherapy Development.  See the two charts below highlighting that, unsurprisingly, the Positive Affect Treatment (PAT) was more effective than the more traditional CBT-style Negative Affect Treatment (NAT) at increasing positive/pleasant/welcomed feelings like interest, determination, excitement & enthusiasm.  What was more surprising was the PAT was also more effective than NAT when it came to decreasing negative/unpleasant/unwelcomed feelings like distress, fear, guilt & hostility. 


Here's a table of the methods they used in the Positive Affect Treatment:

So for the first 7 sessions they used a form of Enhanced Behavioural Activation ... encouraging participants to generate and then schedule in activities that 1.) they currently found enjoyable, or used to find enjoyable, or believed could be enjoyable.

More to follow ...



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