Pre ICPR Events

About

Pre ICPR Events

About

Celia Morgan, PhD

University of Exeter

Speaker Bio

Prof. Dr Morgan holds a Chair of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter. Her research has concentrated on examining the benefits and side effects of recreational drugs on cognition, mental health and neurobiology. Through behavioural, neuroimaging studies and clinical trials, she has investigated the potentially therapeutic sides of controlled substances in clinical trials aimed at the treatment of addiction and in particularly looking at drugs such as ketamine and MDMA in combination with psychological therapies.

ICPR 2024 Abstract

Do no harm: A cautionary tale for psychedelic integration from trauma therapy

Integration is considered of key importance in securing success in psychedelic therapy. Yet it is poorly defined via research, concept and practice. We ask whether psychedelic therapy without psychedelic integration could be ethical or successful as a clinical practice and what, if any, might be the potential harms of poorly defined integration practices. To inform our consideration of integration in this talk we invoke a precedent from the world of trauma response. ‘Psychological debriefing’ was a seemingly intuitive approach developed to enable participants to try and make sense of their thoughts and feelings immediately following a traumatic event (Mitchell, 1983). This therapy was rolled out and widely used in response to acute trauma for a number of years, until a critical mass of evidence - summarised in a Cochrane review (Small et al., 2000) - found that not only did psychological debriefing not improve outcomes for the people who received it, in some cases it increased the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. The reasons proposed for why it might be harmful included that the process might undermine one’s own inner healing and that memory reprocessing so soon after the trauma could lead to distortion. Furthermore, it was suggested that debriefing medicalizes normal distress by generating in an individual the expectation of a pathological response (Wessley et al., 1999). Might there a similar risk if we impose strict protocols of psychedelic integration? Intriguingly, no research studies have directly set out to test the impact of integration on the outcomes of psychedelic therapy. We will present findings from our systematic review of studies that have used integration and interviews with practitioners to explore which parameters emerge as important for beneficial outcomes.

© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands