Arts & Mental Health Festival

The therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

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11 Nov 2020


18:30 - 19:30



The therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

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In the 1940s, psychiatrists and psychotherapists discovered a class of substances that could change the state of consciousness in a very peculiar way. Back then, they thought of this altered state of consciousness to be very similar to certain aspects of a patient suffering from psychosis.

Later they found out these substances didn’t only increase empathy towards this type of patients when the therapists themselves took them but also could alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychological trauma, and addiction in themselves and their patients. They started investigating these substances and their possible applications.  After the ban of psychedelics in 1967, research came to a full stop.

Since 1990 psychedelic research has had a steady revival. There are several studies on psilocybin for depression, MDMA for PTSD, and neuroscientists are looking into brain imaging to find out what is happening in the brain. Even Ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic, has proven to be a very effective antidepressant.

This talk is a short introduction to the potential of psychedelic substances in psychotherapy. I will take you through the basics and the possible future of this promising field.