A study published in the July edition of the Journal of Psychopharmacology delved into the commonalities and therapeutic implications surrounding psychedelics and hypnosis. Clément E. Lemercier of AlternatiMed and Devin B. Terhune from the University of London conducted the study to explore the phenomenological and neurophysiological similarities between psychedelic states and hypnosis. The duo hoped to apply the findings to the field of psychotherapy going forward.
To gather the data, the researchers analyzed recent advancements in both phenomenological and neurophysiological research on hypnosis and psychedelics, and they summarized early investigations into the similarities in therapeutic contexts. Overall, the analysis found similarities and differences in hypnosis and psychedelics that appear to indicate a potential efficacy when used together. From here, the two suggested that multiple research paths be conducted. They suggest studies in the preparation of a psychedelic-assisted therapy session, as well as during the acute phase and follow-up. Doing so should better "prepare, guide and integrate" psychedelics into the process and hopefully enhance the therapeutic benefits of the session.
With the overlapping similarities and differences between hypnosis and hallucinogens, we may discover that a combination of the two is one of the positive effects that can occur when taking mind-altering substances. As the study suggests, next steps include additional research on several paths and stages of the process. For now, the hypothesis appears unanswered with a hint of optimism.
The study represents one of the numerous projects centered on psychedelics and the mind. With a slew of medical conditions from depression to PTSD to addiction plaguing individuals, new solutions are in-demand. In 2018 alone, a bevy of psychedelic research has delved into the previously mentioned subjects and many more. In one such study, researchers found that psilocybin helps those suffering from depression by acting as a "reset button" for their brain circuits. Meanwhile, another study found direct evidence that suggests psychedelics do "cause both structural and functional changes in cortical neurons." The study went on to note that several psychedelics are capable of producing such an outcome.
Each study into psychedelics helps unmask the truth behind the wide variety of hallucinogens. On one level, any result is a positive result as long as we receive actual proof as to what psychedelics can do. More so, several studies like the ones highlighted above represent that psychedelics apparently have the potential to treat some of the pervasive mental afflictions. If the trend of research continues, certain hallucinogens may be the next drugs more Americans push for rescheduling.