Psychedelic Medicines: A paradigm shift from pharmacological substitution to transformation-based psychiatry

Event in the MIND Academy's Forum Bewusstseinskultur

Friday, January 31, 2020 | 19:30 - 21:00 | betahaus Berlin


Clinical evidence shows that psychedelic medicines have the potential to accelerate psychotherapeutic change processes in supportive settings and resolve mental health problems related to anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress and addictive behaviors. While ketamine and psilocybin have been researched extensively in the past decades, the plant medicine ayahuasca currently stimulates a tremendous public and scientific interest. Beyond its traditional indigenous use in the Amazon, ayahuasca is currently spreading all over the world as an alternative plant medicine in various ritualistic contexts. This rapid dissemination coincides with the observational evidence that ayahuasca facilitates transformative processes with beneficial health outcomes.

In my talk, I will review the adaptogenic effects of psychedelic medicines on body, brain and mind from the perspective of contemporary neuroscience. Next, I will discuss the potential of psychedelics to shift the paradigm from substitution to transformation-based psychotherapy. This novel treatment framework is less focused on specific symptoms and their substitution by means of psychotropic drugs, but rather aims at directly resolving underlying maladaptive processes. Finally, the challenges of intercultural knowledge transfer and future research directions of developing pharmahuasca applications for integrative mental healthcare will be discussed.

Psychedelic Research in Switzerland: Exploring the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and DMT and the Swiss compassionate use framework for psychedelic-assisted therapy

Friday, June 28, 2019

Cannabis and psychoactive plants research forum: potential therapeutic applications and new access frameworks for mental health and addiction

University of Melbourne, Australia

Psychedelic medicines: A paradigm shift from pharmacological substitution towards transformation-based psychiatry

World Ayahuasca Conference 2019 | Girona, Spain

Saturday, June 1, 2019 | 15:30 - 17:45


Clinical evidence shows that psychedelic medicines have the potential to accelerate psychotherapeutic change processes in supportive settings and resolve mental health problems related to anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress and addictive behaviors. While ketamine and psilocybin have been researched extensively in the past decades, the plant medicine ayahuasca currently stimulates a tremendous public and scientific interest. Beyond its traditional indigenous use in the Amazon, ayahuasca is currently spreading all over the world as an alternative plant medicine in various ritualistic contexts. This rapid dissemination coincides with the observational evidence that ayahuasca facilitates transformative processes with beneficial health outcomes.

In my talk, I will review the adaptogenic effects of psychedelic medicines on body, brain and mind from the perspective of contemporary neuroscience. Next, I will discuss the potential of psychedelics to shift the paradigm from substitution to transformation-based psychotherapy. This novel treatment framework is less focused on specific symptoms and their substitution by means of psychotropic drugs, but rather aims at directly resolving underlying maladaptive processes. Finally, the challenges of intercultural knowledge transfer and future research directions of developing pharmahuasca applications for integrative mental healthcare will be discussed.

Sternstunde der Nacht: Im Rausch

Samstag, 4. Mai 2019, 20:55 Uhr | SRF 2

Link zur Sendung:
https://www.srf.ch/kultur/gesellschaft-religion/neue-wege-in-der-psychiatrie-psychedelische-substanzen-heilung-statt-horrortrip

Rausch und Ekstase – zu allen Zeiten suchten Menschen nach dem Eintritt in andere Welten. Psychoaktive Substanzen bescheren uns kreative Höhenflüge, Leistungssteigerung und Reisen in unbekannte Bewusstseinsräume – und sie haben ihren Preis. Eine «Sternstunde der Nacht» im Delirium.

Dem Alltagstrott entfliehen, den Leistungsdruck hinter sich lassen, den Horizont erweitern: Die Suche nach Rausch und Ekstase sind menschliche Konstanten. Um sich selbst zu vergessen oder in andere Welten einzutauchen, konsumieren die einen Alkohol, Kokain oder LSD, andere greifen zu Ayahuasca oder anderen Psychedelika. Wiederum andere finden den Rausch im Extremsport oder der Askese. Halluzinogene kommen heute auch in der Psychiatrie zum Einsatz, etwa als Mittel gegen schwere Depressionen. Wo endet die Droge und wo beginnt das Medikament? Was unterscheidet den Drogenrausch vom Extremsport? Brauchen wir Menschen den Rausch – oder kommt der wahrhaft glückliche Mensch ohne ihn aus?

Über Bewusstseinstechniken aller Art und ihre Folgen diskutieren: Milan Scheidegger, Neurowissenschaftler und Psychedelika-Forscher; Reda el Arbi, Überlebender der «Drogenhölle» am Zürcher Letten; die Philosophin Svenja Flasspöhler; die Extremsportler Evelyne Binsack und Michi Schwery; die Suchtexperten Toni Berthel und Boris Quednow sowie der Sufi-Scheich Peter Hüseyn Cunz. Gastgeber sind Barbara Bleisch und Yves Bossart.

Veränderte Wachbewusstseinszustände in der Psychotherapie: Gegenwärtige und zukünftige Entwicklungen

Veränderte Wachbewusstseinszustände in der Psychotherapie: Gegenwärtige und zukünftige Entwicklungen

Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2019, 9-17 Uhr
| Weiterbildungszentrum, Rue de Rome 6, Freiburg

Detailliertes Programm:
https://www3.unifr.ch/formcont/de/kurse/detail.html?cid=1802

Veränderte Wachbewusstseinszustände gehören zu den archetypischen und rätselhaften Phänomenen der menschlichen Psyche. Sie können bei grosser Anstrengung, Hyperventilation oder Tanz als Trance auftreten. Im medizinischen Bereich können sie im Rahmen einer Hypnosebehandlung, beim Meditieren oder z.B. auch während einer EMDR-Exposition auftreten. In den letzten 20 Jahren hat die Schulmedizin ein gesteigertes Interesse an diesen Zuständen und ihrem therapeutischen Potential entwickelt, wohl auch vor dem Hintergrund, dass viele Behandlungsverfahren der konventionellen Pharmako- und Psychotherapie für viele schwere, chronische Krankheitsbilder nur unbefriedigende Resultate erbringen. In diesem Zusammenhang erleben derzeit Substanzen, die einen solchen Bewusstseinszustand induzieren können, eine „Renaissance“ des wissenschaftlichen und klinischen Interesses.

Der Seminartag vereint Kliniker und klinische Wissenschaftler, welche ein gemeinsames Interesse an der Anwendung und Vertiefung der Kenntnisse bezüglich der therapeutischen Anwendung dieser veränderten Wachbewusstseinszustände haben. Durch Vorträge und Diskussionsrunden soll zum einen die Relevanz dieser Zustände und die Anwendungsmöglichkeiten in der klinischen Praxis aufgezeigt werden. Zum anderen soll der aktuelle Stand der psychedelischen Forschung und die kurz- und langfristigen Auswirkungen dieser „psychedelischen Renaissance“ auf die Ausrichtung von Medizin und Gesellschaft im 21. Jahrhundert reflektiert werden.

Neuroepistemology of drug-induced exceptional experiences

EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES - 20th Annual Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Conference
Friday 7 - Saturday 8 September 2018 | Regents University, Regents Park, London |
www.bps.org.uk/cep/exceptionalexperiences

This conference will explore exceptional experiences such as mystical, spiritual, psychic, NDE and other 'anomalous' experiences. It will also address experiences engendered through the use of psychedelics. Such experiences can involve a sense of interconnectedness, a wider sense of self, a sense of peace, joy, bliss, awe and/or wonder and may be perceptually intense. In some cases they appear to offer exceptional knowledge. In many instances such exceptional experiences have a positive transformative effect on the experient.

The conference will look at accounts of exceptional experience, positive aspects of altered states, recent research on what is happening in the brain in altered states such as meditation and the benefits of exceptional experience, seen for example in recent work on the potential therapeutic benefit of various psychedelics in addressing depression. All welcome.

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Neuroepistemology of drug-induced exceptional experiences
Milan Scheidegger, MD, PhD, MA HPK

Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history to induce exceptional experiences for therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Nowadays, in the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research, psychoactive drugs could serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of altered states of consciousness. In this talk, I will give an overview about how drug-induced exceptional experiences can be explained from the perspective of contemporary neuroscience. In particular, advanced neuroimaging technologies provide exciting novel insights into the brain dynamics underlying pharmacologically induced altered states of consciousness. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states also raise profound philosophical questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in living systems. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored.

Transformations of Consciousness

A Totnes Consciousness Café Special Event: The Royal Seven Stars Hotel, The Plains, Totnes, UK
Wednesday 5th September, 7:00 arrival, for 7:30 to 10:00 pm


Dr Milan Scheidegger on ‘Mind in Nature: Towards a Molecular Epistemology of Consciousness’

The interfaces between mind, brain, consciousness and nature, remain exciting unresolved frontiers in science and philosophy: What is the nature of the human mind and how does conscious experience and meaning emerge in living systems? In the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research we are currently facing a paradigm shift in the understanding of consciousness. As Freud’s dream theory deepened the psychoanalytic understanding of the unconscious, psychoactive compounds could nowadays serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of consciousness. Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history for shamanic, therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states of consciousness also raise profound philosophical and existential questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in the universe. This transdisciplinary talk provides an integral approach of understanding the nature of human existence from its molecular basis up to the level of phenomenal consciousness. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored.

Exploring the antidepressant effects of ketamine: Insights from multimodal neuroimaging

CINP World Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology, Vienna 2018.
19.06.2018 | 09:45 – 11:30 | Austria Centre Vienna

Understanding the mechanism of action of ketamine-like drugs in mood disorders and their implementation in the clinic
Chair Dr Jennifer Phillips, The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research, Canada
Co-Chair Prof Richard Frey, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Speaker 1 Dr Gerard Sanacora, Yale University School of Medicine, USA,
Molecular and cellular mechanisms for the rapid-onset of antidepressant-like effects

Speaker 2 Dr Milan Scheidegger, Zürich University Hospital for Psychiatry, Switzerland,
Exploring the antidepressant effects of ketamine: Insights from multimodal neuroimaging

Speaker 3 Dr Bashkim Kadriu, National Institute of Mental Health, USA,
Behavioural, peripheral, and central nervous system biomarkers for treatment response of ketamine-like drugs

Speaker 4 Dr Jennifer Phillips, University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, Canada,
Cumulative and sustained effects of ketamine on depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in treatment-resistant depression

75 Jahre LSD: Wohin führt die Reise?

75 Jahre LSD - Eine Jubiläumsveranstaltung zum 75. Jahrestag der LSD-Entdeckung
Donnerstag, 19. April 2018, 8:30 - 19:15, Hotel Hofmatt, Basel

Podiumsdiskussion: LSD, wohin führt die Reise?

Moderation: Claudia Müller-Ebeling

Peter Gasser (CH), Psychiater, Psychotherapeut, Präsident der Schweizerischen Ärztegesellschaft für Psycholytische Therapie (SÄPT), Leiter von LSD-Studien in der Schweiz

Milan Scheidegger (CH), Arzt, Forschung mit Psychedelika

Catherine Ritter (CH), Ärztin, Mitarbeiterin BAG Sektion Öffentliche Gesundheit

Roger Liggenstorfer (CH), Leiter des Nachtschatten Verlags, Mitbegründer verschiedener drogenpolitischer Organisationen und Initiativen

Mind in Nature: Towards a Molecular Epistemology of Consciousness

PROJECT 325: Interfaces and beyond
PROJECT 325 is a transdisciplinary retreat, taking place in Wartburg near Lake Constance, Switzerland, 15th-18th February 2018.

The interfaces between mind, brain, consciousness and nature, remain exciting unresolved frontiers in science and philosophy: What is the nature of the human mind and how does conscious experience and meaning emerge in living systems?

In the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research we are currently facing a paradigm shift in the understanding of consciousness. As Freuds dream theory deepened the psychoanalytic understanding of the unconscious, psychoactive compounds could nowadays serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of the molecular epistemology and phenomenology of consciousness. Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history for shamanic, therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states of consciousness also raise profound philosophical and existential questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in the universe.

This transdisciplinary talk provides an integral approach of understanding the nature of human existence from its molecular basis up to the level of phenomenal consciousness. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored. This journey into remote territories advocates an attitude of epistemological humility: Reality turns out to be an ever-changing dance of possibilities that transcends the conceptually misleading distinctions between mind and matter that pervade the history of rationalistic thought.