Potential of Psychedelics for the Betterment of Well People

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Beyond Medicalisation: Exploring the Potential of Psychedelics for the Betterment of Well People

About: Given the focus of recent research into the medical applications of psychedelic-assisted therapies for the treatment of a range of mental health conditions from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and substance dependence, the broader community would be forgiven for thinking that treating sick people is the only use for psychedelics at the current time. However, many closer to the action are well aware that psychedelics have a deep history of human use in informing cosmology, forging community, and engendering a connection with the natural world. The current wave of psychedelic research actually commenced with a clinical trial that demonstrated the positive impacts of psilocybin on the mental state of healthy participants, and so in this talk I will discuss several facets of the concept of the “Betterment of Well People”, leading to an exploration of the potential for psychedelics to enhance our lives in ways other than just the purely medical.

Speaker: Dr Martin Williams, Executive Director, Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine

Bio: Dr Martin Williams is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University. His research background is in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. Martin is a co-investigator on a number of Australian clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, including the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in palliative care; the Monash PsiConnect neuroimaging study of psilocybin with mindfulness meditation; the Swinburne pilot study and 3PAP RCT of 2- vs 3-dose psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression; and several other studies of psilocybin, MDMA and other psychedelics for the treatment of a range of mental health conditions. Martin is also a founding member and volunteer supporting Entheogenesis Australis & PRISM.

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