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Sloshower writes chapter in new book on plant medicines, healing and psychedelic science

September 18, 2018

Jordan Sloshower, MD, MSc, Research Fellow in Addiction Psychiatry, has published a chapter in the book “Plant Medicines, Healing and Psychedelic Science.”

The chapter is titled, “Integrating Psychedelic Medicines and Psychiatry: Theory and Methods of a Model Clinic.” An abstract of the chapter reads:

“Over the past two decades, scientific evidence of the safety and therapeutic potential of plant medicines, such as ayahuasca and psilocybin, has grown significantly to the point where their eventual rescheduling and incorporation into formal psychiatric practice seems increasingly likely. However, this integration could unfold in a multitude of ways, reflecting differences in neurobiological, psychological, spiritual, indigenous, and other ontological understandings of what these substances are and how they exert their therapeutic effects. Attempts to reconcile divergent explanatory lenses and therapeutic approaches will present significant challenges to psychiatric theory and praxis as well as unique opportunities to develop new efficacious treatments, advance scientific knowledge, and promote justice and human rights. In order to achieve these objectives, a model research clinic would treat patients with plant medicines and complementary treatment modalities in a manner that a) respects and incorporates principles and practices from different traditions and paradigms, and b) fosters knowledge generation and transfer across paradigms. Such “critical paradigm integration” would employ interdisciplinary collaboration and reflexive critique in conjunction with contemporary scientific methodologies to unify various ways of understanding plant medicines and other integrative modalities, such as yoga, meditation, and sound therapy, and begin to elucidate best practices for treating various conditions. The resulting clinic would have the capacity to tailor treatments to individual patient needs and learn how variables related to the treatments themselves (dose, preparation, frequency) and to set and setting (use of psychotherapy, music, nature exposure, diet, and group or ceremonial ingestion) affect subjective experience and outcomes.”

According to the book's publisher, the book is about the intersection of three dimensions. “The first is the way social scientists and historians treat the history of psychiatry and healing, especially as it intersects with psychedelics. The second encompasses a reflection on the substances themselves and their effects on bodies. The third addresses traditional healing, as it circles back to our understanding of drugs and psychiatry. The chapters explore how these dimensions are distinct, but deeply intertwined, themes that, in turn, offer important insights into contemporary healing practices.”

Sloshower graduated from the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program in 2018. His research focuses on the therapeutic application of psychedelic substances. In 2015, he helped co-found the Yale Psychedelic Science Group so clinicians and scholars from across Yale could learn about and discuss the re-emerging field of psychedelic science and therapeutics.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on September 18, 2018