Archive for Month: September 2022
“Mystical-type experiences under psychedelics explain later improvements in well-being and mental health” – What’s the evidence?
This post provides a slightly extended version of and references for my brief talk at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research 2022 on September 23, 2022. This research will also be published as a peer-reviewed article later.
2022-09-22 Samuli Kangaslampi, email@example.com
“[E]lements of the psychedelic experience, such as experiences of mystical-type, account for the therapeutic benefit” (Palhano-Fontes et al., 2019). “[M]ystical-type experiences are predictive of beneficial outcomes from psychedelics administered in experimental contexts” (Yaden & Griffiths, 2021). Statements such as these are commonly made in recent articles on psychedelics and their potential therapeutic effects, and are typically followed by some references to studies that have indeed found this to be the case. Meanwhile, other authors have questioned the relevance and meaning for therapeutic outcomes of the subjective effects entirely (Olson, 2021) or the concept of mystical experiences in particular (e.g., Sanders & Ziljmans, 2021).
So, what is the evidence that mystical-type experiences under psychedelics associate with or predict changes in well-being and mental health a) in general and b) compared with other possibly relevant acute subjective aspects of the experience (such as psychological insights and emotional breakthroughs)? To my knowledge, no comprehensive reviews on the state of the evidence have been presented1. Therefore, I conducted a comprehensive review based on a systematic search of the available quantitative evidence for such associations.
This blog post presents a rough, general summary of the results of this review to accompany my talk at ICPR 2022. A full, proper article will be published later.