Psychedelics & Cognitive Flexibility: Therapeutic Implications – Natasha Mason

Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association 02/06/18

In the last decade, there has been a renewed scientific interest in the utility of psychedelics. Increasing evidence suggests that psychedelics like ayahuasca and psilocybin may have potential therapeutic value for disorders like depression, PTSD, and anxiety. The focus of such investigations has been on psychedelics capacity to reduce symptoms of these disorders, thereby improving mood and well-being. However, of equal importance are the higher-order cognitive processes that may be enhanced, or that may play a role in symptom alleviation of the disorders. Examples of such processes include flexible creative thinking, an important aspect of cognitive therapy that allows individuals to generate new and effective cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies. In this presentation, acute and potential long-term effects of psychedelics on flexible thinking and related processes, and the therapeutic implications of such effects, were discussed.

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