Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for People with Eating Disorders

This review (2022) offers food for thought on the potential use of psychedelic-assisted therapy for treating eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa, using up-to-date research.


Purpose of Review: A growing body of research suggests psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) may be safe and effective for a variety of mental health conditions. Among these, eating disorders have been a recent target of interest. This review provides an up-to-date summary of the potential mechanisms and use of PAT in people diagnosed with eating disorders, with a focus on anorexia nervosa.

Recent Findings: Classic psychedelics may have transdiagnostic efficacy through several mechanisms relevant to eating disorder pathology. Interest in, and efforts to increase access to PAT are both high. Early clinical trials are focused on establishing the safety and utility of this treatment in eating disorders, and efficacy remains unclear.

Summary: High-quality published data to support the use of PAT for people with eating disorders remains lacking. Recent studies however suggest PAT has the potential to augment the efficacy of current interventions for these difficult-to-treat conditions.”

Authors: Natalie Gukasyan, Colleen S. Schreyer, Roland R. Griffiths & Angela S. Guarda

Summary of PAT for People with ED

There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT), a hybrid intervention consisting of a limited number of moderate to high doses of a psychedelic drug embedded within a brief psychotherapy intervention.

Eating disorders include pathological eating and weight control behaviours, characterized by highly restrictive or selective eating, binge eating, and compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain. Co-occurring anxiety, mood, or substance use disorders are common and frequently complicate treatment and prognosis.

To access this content, you must purchase one of the following memberships: Sprout Membership or Tree Membership. The membership will give you access to exclusive data, including summaries of psychedelic research papers, extended company info (Tree), and our member-only visualisations. Save yourself multiple hours each week by having access to Blossom’s resource library.

Find this paper

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for People with Eating Disorders

Paywall | Google Scholar | Backup | 🕊

Published in
Current Psychiatry Reports
November 14, 2022
0 citations

Study details

Topics studied
Eating Disorders

Study characteristics
Literature Review


Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Natalie Gukasyan
Dr. Natalie Gukasyan is a psychiatrist and post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Roland Griffiths
Roland R. Griffiths is one of the strongest voices in psychedelics research. With over 400 journal articles under his belt and as one of the first researchers in the psychedelics renaissance, he has been a vital part of the research community.


Institutes associated with this publication

Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University (Medicine) is host to the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, which is one of the leading research institutes into psychedelics. The center is led by Roland Griffiths and Matthew Johnson.