Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meditation and PTSD

TM meditation, which is simply meditation using a repeated mantra like "Om", reduced PTSD symptoms significantly.  I'm not excited that the research is, unsurprisingly, from the TM Mahariji foundation, but this is a result that makes sense.  Participants didn't re-experience trauma, but I would expect that at some point this might come up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Psychedelics and No-Self

Model Hallucinations, a slightly heavy piece on the self as a cognitive model and the fact that psychedelics can help bring this into awareness.

Ketamine Intranasal Spray

Ketamine has passed phase III trials for treatment resistant depression, apparently based on injection.  But a derivative (isomer) of ketamine has passed phase II trials based on an intranasal spray which would be much more practical for people to use.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pragmatic Dharma Podcasts

Deconstructing Yourself has a soundcloud podcast with some interesting pragmatic dharma type folks such as Kenneth Folk, Shinzen Young, Vincent Horn, David Chapman, Daniel Ingram, Culadasa, Judson Brewer, Almaas, and Thomas Metzinger.  I'll be listening for weeks.

The fast talking Daniel Ingram was also recently interviewed at

Also Vincent Horn at Warrior Radio.

Friday, December 15, 2017

MDMA Psychotherapy Revealed

Article and video How Clinical Trials Are Making the Case for MDMA in Psychotherapy.

Below, excerpts from another article, MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy: How Different is it from Other Psychotherapy?

Caveat: No one knows how any psychiatric treatment, psychotherapy, or psychopharmacology actually works, even when we understand the essential elements or many of the physiologic essential elements or many of the physiologic effects.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is especially complicated in this regard because it combines psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.

In the meantime, our observations about possible therapeutic mechanisms are speculative, based on clinical observations.


  • Establishing a Safe and Supportive Therapeutic Setting and a Mindset Conducive to Healing: The effects of MDMA appear to increase the likelihood that participants will be able to maintain enough trust in the therapists and a broad enough perspective about their own inner experience to process their fears without emotionally or physically withdrawing from the therapeutic alliance.
  • Emphasis on FEELING rather than thinking: Anxiety Management Training/Stress Inoculation Training, Prolonged Exposure. and EMDR are used along with methods such as mindful diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Exposure Therapy: Revisiting traumatic experiences through "imaginal exposure" is accomplished by asking the participant to repeatedly read or recite an account of their traumatic experience. Therapists can bring up the trauma if it does not come up spontaneously, but in almost 100 research sessions we have never had to.
  • Cognitive Restructuring: In MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, cognitive restructuring may result from dialogue with the therapists using elements of CBT, psychodynamic therapy, and other methods according to the individual therapists’ training and experience as allowed for in our research Treatment Manual. Our largely nondirective approach often results in spontaneous cognitive restructuring resulting from qualities engendered by MDMA: increased mental clarity, confidence, and the courage to look honestly at oneself.
  • Transference and Countertransference: Becoming aware of often unconscious feelings that arise in the client toward the therapists and vice versa.  We know that participants taking MDMA can be exquisitely sensitive to verbal and nonverbal expression from the therapists, and we encourage honesty and openness about any feelings that arise. The effects of MDMA appear to increase the likelihood that participants will be able to process their fears without emotionally or physically withdrawing from the therapeutic alliance.
  • Somatic Manifestations of Trauma: MDMA-assisted psychotherapy often includes focusing attention on body sensations and using breath and movement to facilitate awareness, expression and release of tensions, or pains in the body that may be associated with the trauma.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Possibility of legal Psilocybin in California

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Psilocybin for Depression

Peter Thiel is betting on magic mushrooms to treat depression — and he's not the only one
  • A for-profit company that Peter Thiel invests in has plans to start clinical trials of magic mushrooms for depression within the first three months of 2018.
  • Psychedelics appear to disrupt the brain's activity patterns in a positive and life-changing way.
  • Several research institutions are studying psychedelics for their potential to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD.