On Travel and Escapism

The impulse to travel can be cryptic; sometimes it seems to be a kind of knee-jerk escapist tendency, while other times it is based more on a wish for expansion – for broader and more novel experiences. Actually deciphering the impulse can be tricky, though, as it’s not always clear if it – and the…

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Ethics in Psychedelic Therapy: The Promises and Pitfalls of Increased Suggestibility

Psychedelics are known to enhance suggestibility – in other words, the quality of being inclined to accept and act on the suggestions of others. (Interestingly, those who score high in trait conscientiousness – or being careful, diligent, efficient, and organised – are the most sensitive to this effect of psychedelics.) Psychedelic users are well aware…

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Where Ecstasy Meets Power: The Unique Risks of MDMA Therapy

Several clinical trials have concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy – utilised for the treatment of PTSD – is safe (as well as highly effective). But this doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment is risk-free.  MDMA therapy entails unique risks, and here I don’t mean concerns about possible neurotoxicity. The subject of MDMA’s neurotoxicity is complicated; while some…

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Mescaline: A Neglected Tool for Psychotherapy

There are classic psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, DMT) and non-classic psychedelics (ketamine, MDMA) that receive a lot of scientific and public attention regarding their potential mental health benefits. These are substances that, when combined with psychotherapy, can be helpful in resolving or alleviating conditions such as depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction.…

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The Paradox of ‘Set’: Conflicting Messages About Tripping When in a Bad Mood

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear when it comes to tripping is not to take psychedelics if you’re in a negative frame of mind. This is encompassed by the concept of ‘set and setting’, with the first half – ‘set’ – referring to the fact that one’s mindset can influence the…

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