Attitudes and Beliefs about the Therapeutic Use of Psychedelic Drugs among Psychologists in the United States

This survey study (n=366) among clinical psychologists finds cautious optimistic attitudes towards psychedelics as medicines. Most psychologists indicate that they lack education or knowledge of effectiveness surrounding treatments with psychedelics.

Abstract

“Psychologists are a vital component of mental health treatment and their perceptions of psychedelic-assisted therapy are critical for future implementation. This cross-sectional quasi-experimental electronic survey study explored the attitudes about psychedelics used in treatment among 366 clinical psychologists in the United States. Participants expressed cautiously favorable attitudes toward therapeutic psychedelic experiences but indicated concern about possible psychiatric and neurocognitive risks. Most participants indicated that they lack an understanding of the full range of effects of psychedelics, would need to seek out additional consultation, and endorsed positive beliefs in the potential of psychedelic treatment and the need for further research. Overall, this research identified the need to increase education and training about psychedelics for psychologists in order to help increase knowledge and reduce stigma about psychedelic therapies.”

Authors: Alan K. Davis, Gabrielle I. Agin-Liebes, Megan España, Brian Pilecki & Jason B. Luoma

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