Posts

Psilocybin: Do Magic Bullets Taste Like Mushrooms?

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D.

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Roland is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

In 1999 he initiated a pioneering research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the psychological and therapeutic effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced in psilocybin mushrooms, known colloquially as magic mushrooms.

His studies have included investigations into psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, and treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients with life threatening prognoses.

In today’s episode we explore the origin and history of psilocybin research, what it looks like to experiment with psychedelics in a clinical setting, the nature of the hallucinations experienced by participants, and the potential for psilocybin to produce long term, clinically significant reductions in depression and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, with just one single dose.

 

Related Links

Roland Griffiths Laboratory at John Hopkins

The science of psilocybin and its use to relieve suffering – Roland’s TEDMED Talk

Book Recommendations

               

Images courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ 

 

Getting My Head Shrunk

Prof. Tim Carey

Back in Episode 25 I sat down with Warren Mansell to discuss a new and relatively unknown (at least to the general public) form of psychotherapy called the Method of Levels.

Because Method of Levels isn’t as well known as the likes of standard CBT or psychodynamic therapy, I figured the best way to give people an insight into how it actually works would be to give it a try, record the interaction and then let you guys listen in on it.

As well as the session itself, which was recorded with Warren Mansell at his office at the University of Manchester, this episode begins with an introduction to Method of Levels by its co-founder Tim Carey, and I finish up by giving a brief retrospective analysis of what I took away from the session and how it helped me. In other words, it’s a long one. Enjoy!

 

Related Links

The Method of Levels (MOL) – A way of helping people listen to themselves

PCT Web – The theory of control that is changing our world view

MindSurf App – Manage Stress and Improve Quality Of Life (Android, iOS)

Book Recommendations

Images courtesy: Pascal 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychoanalysis

Prof. Elizabeth Lunbeck

Elizabeth Lunbeck is Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, specializing in the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and psychology, with allied interests in women and gender, intellectual and cultural history, and the twentieth-century United States.

She is the author of a number of books including the multi-award winning “The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Modern America”, and “The Americanization of Narcissism” for which she received the 2015 Courage to Dream Book Prize from the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Liz is also an academic program graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and holds an MA in counseling psychology from William James College.

In today’s episode we explore some of the basic ideas of Freudian psychoanalysis, what it is and where it came from, whether there’s any truth to the modern caricature of psychoanalysis as an expensive waste of time exploring Oedipal issues and repressed memories, what modern psychoanalysis looks like in practice, and whether or not Freud still has anything to offer in the the 21st century.

 

Related Links

ElizabethLunbeck.com – Liz’s website

Karnac Books – Online bookstore with around 18000 specialist titles on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy

Book Recommendations

               

 

Image courtesy: Tnarik Innael

The Holy Grail of Psychotherapy?

Dr. Warren Mansell

Warren Mansell (@warrenmansell) is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Manchester, specialising in psychological approaches to bipolar disorder, transdiagnostic interventions for mental health problems, and Perceptual Control Theory.

In 2011 he received the British Psychological Society May Davidson Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of psychology in the first ten years since qualifying as a clinical psychologist.

He is the author of a number of books including “The Bluffer’s Guide to Psychology“, “Coping with Fears and Phobias: A Step-by-step Guide to Understanding and Facing Your Anxieties“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion “A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy“.

In today’s episode we explore the transdiagnostic approach to understanding psychological distress, how a loss of control is at the root of all mental health problems from anorexia to OCD, and why Method of Levels could prove to be the Holy Grail of psychotherapy.

 

 

The transdiagnostic processes common across all psychological disorders, and the fundamental process which underlies them all… Loss of control caused by conflicting goals.

 

Related Links

PCTWeb – The theory of control that is changing our world view

Method of Levels (MOL) – A way of helping people listen to themselves

Method of Levels and Life’s Journey – A demonstration of a Method of Levels therapy in action

Book Recommendations

                         

 

Image courtesy: Max Pixel