The psychedelic debriefing in alcohol dependence treatment: Illustrating key change phenomena through qualitative content analysis of clinical sessions

Elizabeth M. Nielson, Darrick May, Alyssa A. Forcehimes, Michael P. Bogenschutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research on the clinical applications of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has demonstrated promising early results for treatment of alcohol dependence. Detailed description of the content and methods of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, as it is conducted in clinical settings, is scarce. Methods: An open-label pilot (proof-of-concept) study of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol dependence (NCT01534494) was conducted to generate data for a phase 2 RCT (NCT02061293) of a similar treatment in a larger population. The present paper presents a qualitative content analysis of the 17 debriefing sessions conducted in the pilot study, which occurred the day after corresponding psilocybin medication sessions. Results: Participants articulated a series of key phenomena related to change in drinking outcomes and acute subjective effects of psilocybin. Discussion: The data illuminate change processes in patients' own words during clinical sessions, shedding light on potential therapeutic mechanisms of change and how participants express effects of psilocybin. This study is unique in analyzing actual clinical sessions, as opposed to interviews of patients conducted separately from treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number132
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume9
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 21 2018

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Psilocybin
Hallucinogens
Alcoholism
Psychotherapy
Therapeutics
Drinking
Interviews
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Addiction treatment
  • Alcoholism
  • Ego-dissolution
  • Hallucinogens
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Psilocybin
  • Psychedelic assisted therapy
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

The psychedelic debriefing in alcohol dependence treatment : Illustrating key change phenomena through qualitative content analysis of clinical sessions. / Nielson, Elizabeth M.; May, Darrick; Forcehimes, Alyssa A.; Bogenschutz, Michael P.

In: Frontiers in Pharmacology, Vol. 9, No. FEB, 132, 21.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nielson, Elizabeth M. ; May, Darrick ; Forcehimes, Alyssa A. ; Bogenschutz, Michael P. / The psychedelic debriefing in alcohol dependence treatment : Illustrating key change phenomena through qualitative content analysis of clinical sessions. In: Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. FEB.
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