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Psilocybin occasioned mystical‐type experiences

James, Edward, Robertshaw, Thomas L., Hoskins, Mathew and Sessa, Ben 2020. Psilocybin occasioned mystical‐type experiences. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 35 (5) , e2742. 10.1002/hup.2742

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Objective Research into psychedelic therapy models has shown promise for the treatment of specific psychiatric conditions. Mystical‐type experiences occasioned by psilocybin have been correlated with therapeutic benefits and long‐term improvements in positive mental outlook and attitudes. This article aims to provide an overview of the topic, highlight strengths and weaknesses in current research, generate novel perspectives and discussion, and consider future avenues for research. Design This narrative review was designed to summarise and assess the state of research on psilocybin occasioned mystical‐type experiences and applications for the treatment of specific psychiatric conditions. Results Contemporary methods on the quantification of mystical‐type experiences and their acute subjective effects are discussed. Recent studies provide some understanding of the pharmacological actions of psychedelics although the neurological similarities and differences between spontaneous and psychedelic mystical‐type experiences are not well described. Applicability to modern clinical settings is assessed. Potential novel therapeutic applications include use in positive psychology interventions in healthy individuals. Conclusions Since 2006 significant advancements in understanding the therapeutic potential of psilocybin‐assisted psychotherapy have been made; however, more work is required to understand the neuromechanistic processes and applicability in modern clinical settings. Despite promising results in recent studies, funding issues for clinical trials, legal concerns and socio‐cultural resistance provide a counterpoint to experimental evidence.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0885-6222
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 May 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 19:08

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