The Psychedelic Renaissance: Reassessing the Role of Psychedelic Drugs in 21st Century Psychiatry and Society (Muswell Hill Press)

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9781908995001: The Psychedelic Renaissance: Reassessing the Role of Psychedelic Drugs in 21st Century Psychiatry and Society (Muswell Hill Press)
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Can Psychedelics do for psychiatry what the microscope did for biology and the telescope to astronomy? Can they be used to access on the depths of the psyche that are usually inaccessible? Psychedelic means: “mind manifesting” Psychedelics were inextricably associated with the hippie counterculture of the 1960s and, more recently, with the rave music scene and were once believed to hold great promise for treating a number of medical conditions as well as providing access to profound spiritual experiences. However, legal restrictions on the use of such drugs effectively forced them underground and brought clinical research to a halt — until recently. In this book, psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa makes a persuasive case for the re-evaluation of psychedelics — LSD, MDMA (‘Ecstasy’), DMT, psilocybin, ayahuasca, peyote, ibogaine, and more — as he explores their clinical potential for treating a range of conditions from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression to autism and cluster headaches. Based on a thorough review of the evidence Sessa corrects some common misconceptions about psychedelics and makes a clarion call for their responsible therapeutic use, with appropriate set and setting, in psychotherapy, psychiatry and personal growth. Topics covered in this book include: · What are the drugs and why are they so controversial? · How should they be safely and wisely used · What is the nature of the psychedelic experience? · What are the implications for psychiatry and for psycho spiritual growth? With clarity and wit, the author surveys the contributions of major figures in the psychedelic movement — from Huxley, Hofmann and Sandison to Leary, Grof and McKenna — and takes the reader on a journey through the fascinating history of psychedelic plants and chemicals as he considers the crucial role such drugs have had in human culture from prehistory to modern times. Enter the shamans of science and the psychonauts of psychiatry Although books on psychedelics abound, volumes like The Psychedelic Renaissance show how the field is now addressing the substance of findings from recent research rather than the legions of case reports and anecdotes. Kelly Morris The Lancet Vol. 381 February16, 2013 --The Lancet Vol. 381

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About the Author:

Dr Ben Sessa is a NHS Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working in Taunton, Somerset with children and young people with a wide range of severe mental disorders. He trained in medicine at University College London and is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Sessa research into psychedelic therapy has been published in the The British Journal of Psychiatry. He has worked alongside Professor David Nutt at Bristol and Imperial Universities as part of the growing research into therapeutic applications for the drug psilocybin. He is currently planning a clinical study looking at MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a tool to manage treatment-resistant PTSD. His interest in this field stems from a fascination with the myriad of possibilities for therapy and neuroscientific research afforded by this unique class of compounds. Whilst accepting that the psychedelic drugs have a complex and controversial social history, he believes these drugs carry great potential to improve the depth of psychotherapy for patient's whose history of trauma makes them resistant to many traditional approaches.

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“Although books on psychedelics abound, volumes like The Psychedelic Renaissance show how the field is now addressing the substance of findings from recent research rather than the legions of case reports and anecdotes ... Sessa enthusiastically progresses his account of the potential of psychedelic drugs into spirituality and creativity, bringing his unique clinical background to consider concepts too often neglected in psychiatric illness.” ― The Lancet

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