Keith Fiveson, MDiv, PATP interviewed me for his podcast, The Mindfulness Experience. We had a wide-ranging conversation on why and how psychedelic care is so important for people faced with a terminal diagnosis, the research and real-world applications demonstrating its healing potential, why control and surrender are both important to the process, psychedelic journeys and chemo sessions, and how end-of-life doulas, hospice chaplains, palliative and hospice care medical professionals, and psychotherapists all play an important role in EoL psychedelic care. The short intro is attached and the link to the full podcast is below.
It is well known that individuals faced with a terminal illness often experience significant psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and existential distress. These symptoms can be debilitating and negatively impact the patient’s quality of life. Even when treatment is sought out, traditional therapies have fallen woefully short, and many patients, along with their families, continue to suffer from these symptoms despite receiving treatment.
Roland Griffiths, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is a highly respected researcher in the field of psychopharmacology, known for his groundbreaking work on the effects of psilocybin on the brain and consciousness. However, his personal experience with cancer has also played a significant role in shaping his research and perspective on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances.
Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), is credited with getting MDMA to the brink of FDA approval. He started MAPS in 1986 with the seemingly impossible goal of bringing mass mental health to the world using psychedelics. He gave it 50 years. With any luck, MAPS will see the legalization of their first psychedelic, MDMA, in 37. But the journey started way back before 1986 and had its roots in Southwest Florida.
Psychedelics have gained mainstream attention because of media’s reporting on promising research and Michael Pollan’s recent documentary on Netflix, How to Change Your Mind. The promise to reduce symptoms related to mental illness, and an ever-growing list of other conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases, anorexia, cluster headaches, autism, substance use disorders, and more, is too good for people to ignore.