Integration of psychedelic experiences linked to self-actualization via improvements in personal development and self-insight



According to recent studies, self-improvement and self-awareness enhancements serve as a conduit for post-psychedelic integration techniques and optimal wellbeing. This is supported by the study, which is published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, for both clinical and non-clinical groups.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin (often known as “magic mushrooms”) are psychedelic medications that have showed promise in the treatment of mental disorders, especially when used in conjunction with supportive psychotherapy. These medicines may also assist non-clinical persons psychologically, according to some preliminary study. The goal of the current study’s authors was to comprehend the potential benefits of psychedelic experiences for wellbeing.

According to research author Nicole Amada, a PhD candidate at City University of New York, “I got interested in the impacts of psychedelic experience on well-being early on in my PhD career.” I found the new study to be fascinating and was motivated to attempt to make sense of it all.

“After noticing certain gaps in the research of psychedelics, I made the decision to try to develop and test a comprehensive model of the possible connection between psychedelic experience and wellbeing. This model can serve as the foundation for further longitudinal investigations and should be able to explain this association in both clinical and non-clinical groups. I believed that this would be an excellent place to start in the field.
The researchers examined data from a sample of 748 English-speaking people who had previously used LSD and/or psilocybin and came from 46 different nations for their study. A little over 26% of the sample said they had received a mental health diagnosis in the past but weren’t experiencing symptoms right now, while 20.72 percent said they were presently dealing with a mental health diagnosis.
The participants responded to inquiries on their methods for integrating their psychedelic experiences. They described how much they wrote in journals or other kinds of writing, talked to people about their experiences, and did research on psychedelics and related subjects. They also described how much they purposefully went back to certain parts of their psychedelic experiences.
The participants also completed the Characteristics of Self-Actualization Scale, an evaluation of creative and humanitarian potential based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and indicated the extent to which they thought their use of LSD and/or psilocybin had improved their personal development and self-insight.

The researchers discovered that integration was positively correlated with self-actualizing traits after adjusting for the length and frequency of psychedelic usage. Therefore, individuals who reported higher levels of integration practices were more likely to concur with the following claims: “I accept all of my eccentricities and desires without shame or apology,” “I frequently feel gratitude for the good in my life no matter how many times I encounter it,” and “I feel as though I have some important task to fulfill in this lifetime.”

Enhancements in personal growth and self-insight acted as mediators between integration and self-actualization. In other words, people who practiced integration more frequently tended to report more positive effects from LSD and/or psilocybin usage, which was linked to increased support for self-actualizing traits.
According to Amada, the results “may point to something basic to all of our well-being, not just persons with diagnoses; the ability to know ourselves fully and strive for our potential.”

The researchers did point out that they are unable to establish causation or the direction of any impacts due to the cross-sectional nature of the data. This data wasn’t collected with controlled groups before and after psychedelic experiences, according to Amada. According to the authors, “This research should serve as a basis model that should be more thoroughly examined over time and attempt to extend the model to account for the other vital factors at play (demographics, set & setting, degree of ego-dissolution, etc.)”

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