OPEN Foundation

P. Liknaitzky

Combining Psychedelic and Mindfulness Interventions: Synergies to Inform Clinical Practice

Abstract

Psychedelic and mindfulness interventions have been shown to improve mental ill-health and wellbeing, with a range of clinical processes and effects in common. However, each appear to contain specific challenges in the context of mental health treatment. In this Perspective, we focus on a set of distinct affordances, “useful differences”, within psychedelic and mindfulness interventions that might address common challenges within the other intervention. Accordingly, we propose a set of applied synergies, indicating specific ways in which these two promising interventions might be combined for greater benefit. Metaphorically, on the journey toward mental health and wellbeing, we propose that psychedelic treatments may serve the role of Compass (initiating, motivating, and steering the course of mindfulness practice), with mindfulness interventions serving the role of Vehicle (integrating, deepening, generalizing, and maintaining the novel perspectives and motivation instigated by psychedelic experience). We outline a set of testable hypotheses and future research associated with the synergistic action of psychedelic and mindfulness interventions toward improved clinical outcomes.

Payne, J. E., Chambers, R., & Liknaitzky, P. (2021). Combining Psychedelic and Mindfulness Interventions: Synergies to Inform Clinical Practice. ACS pharmacology & translational science, 4(2), 416–423. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsptsci.1c00034

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Psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression: How do we advance the field?

Abstract

In the quest for new treatment options for depression, attention is being paid to the potential role of psychedelic drugs. Psilocybin is of particular interest given its mechanism of action, its benefits in early trials and its relatively low side effects burden. This viewpoint outlines a number of key issues that remain to be elucidated about its potential use in the clinical environment, including clarification of the profile of people most likely to benefit and those who might experience adverse effects, longer-term outcomes and the role of psychotherapeutic input alongside the drug itself. There are also opportunities to understand better, the neurobiology underpinning its effects.

Meikle, S. E., Liknaitzky, P., Rossell, S. L., Ross, M., Strauss, N., Thomas, N., … & Castle, D. J. (2019). Psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression: How do we advance the field?. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 0004867419888575., https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867419888575
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30 April - Q&A with Rick Strassman

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