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Post: Psilocybin Mushrooms Enhance Psychological Flexibility, Pilot Study Shows

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Psilocybin Mushrooms Enhance Psychological Flexibility, Pilot Study Shows
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Shutterstock The active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms is being explored for its power to break out of the grip of rigid mental patterns—patterns which often lead to treatment-resistant disorders. Researchers believe it could help to transform therapy by providing an alternative way to tackle mental disorders.

A recent pilot study published in the Journal of Psychedelic Studies has found preliminary evidence that psilocybin, when administered in a group retreat setting, can enhance psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means being present in the moment and having the ability to respond to stimuli in ways that serve your values.

The study, “ A pilot study of the effect of group-administered psilocybin on psychological flexibility and outcomes ,” was conducted by Brian Pilecki, Jason Luoma, and Kati M. Lear.

“I think group-based psilocybin administration is under-studied and has significant value in producing therapeutic change. I also am interested in using psychological flexibility as a way to understand how psychedelics exert their effects and lead to improvements in health and well-being,” study author Brian Pilecki of Portland Psychotherapy told PsyPost .

Nine participants—six female and three male—attended the retreat, ages ranging from 41 to 68. Nine participants were employed: four full-time and five part-time. Four participants endorsed having a regular meditation practice while five did not.

Researchers collected data using a series of assessments at three intervals: one week before the retreat, two weeks after the retreat, and six months later. These assessments utilized standardized questionnaires to measure psychological flexibility, cognitive fusion, values-driven behavior, self-compassion, emotional expressivity, and general well-being.

When asked what their highest dose psilocybin session taken during the retreat was, participants reported between five and 12 grams of dried, homogenized mushrooms, meaning that all participants had at least one “heroic” psilocybin session with a dose that was at least 5 grams.

The study narrowed down quantifiable changes in psychological flexibility rather than just recording any changes in psychological flexibility.

“This study is significant in that it is the first to quantitatively document changes in psychological flexibility facets after psychedelic experiences rather than only more general changes in psychological flexibility,” the study states. “Understanding processes of change involved in psychedelic-assisted […]

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