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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Do Psychedelics Really Act as ‘Non-Specific Amplifiers’ of the Psyche?

According to the Czech psychiatrist and LSD researcher Stan Grof, psychedelics are “nonspecific amplifiers” of the human psyche – they amplify whatever contents exist in the mind, be they conscious or unconscious.  This description of these unique substances has since become a widely accepted way of thinking about them. But is it an accurate description?…

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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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The Relationship Between Personality and Sensitivity to Psychedelics

When different people take the same dose of any psychedelic, some will have a more subjectively intense experience than others. This is due to dose-independent factors, or what many psychonauts, psychedelic enthusiasts, and researchers call set and setting. Set is your mindset going into the experience, whereas setting refers to all the environmental factors that…

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The Mistake of Viewing Psychedelics as a Mental Health Panacea

As much as psychedelics hold great promise in alleviating all kinds of psychological distress, they are not a mental health panacea, which they are sometimes touted to be. Based on positive media stories surrounding psychedelic research and anecdotal reports of people being forever cured of chronic, severe mental illnesses, it’s easy to get the impression…

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