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Clinical Psychologists Cautiously Evaluating Psychedelic-Backed Mental Health Treatment

Jan 6, 2022 | Media Partners, Psychedelic News Wire

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A new survey has found that mental health professionals believe that psychedelic substances possess psychological benefits. This was despite concerns about the potential neurocognitive and psychiatric risks linked to using psychedelic treatment.

Gabrielle Agin-Liebes, the author of the study, stated that while there was a lot of interest in the potential use of psychedelics in clinical care, there also existed a lot of negative attitudes toward psychedelic therapy. She explained that understanding the extent to which psychedelic treatments would be accepted in the healthcare system would help advance the clinical use of these drugs once they received approval for medical use.

For their research, the scientists recruited more thann 350 licensed counseling and clinical psychologists in the U.S. for their survey. The researchers found that nearly 75% of them practiced cognitive behavioral therapy while others practiced person-centered/humanistic therapies and analytic/psychodynamic therapies.

Each psychologist was asked about their views on using psychedelics to treat mental health conditions. Of the total number, about 75% admitted that they’d warn their patients about the risks associated with the use of psilocybin to treat major depressive disorder. However, more than 80% also revealed that they’d consider their patients’ psychedelic experience to be psychologically helpful.

Additionally, 55% of them asserted that psychedelics weren’t unsafe when administered in a supervised medical setting with almost 85% maintaining that more research needed to be conducted on the substances. The researchers also found that psychologists were more accepting of conventional drugs than psychedelic therapies.

In an interview, Agin-Liebes stated that the respondents expressed favorable attitudes toward psychedelic drugs but also admitted to lacking a full understanding of the drugs’ safety profile.

Only about 20% of the respondents clearly understood the benefits and risks of psychedelic use in treating anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance-use disorder. In comparison, roughly 52% of the psychologists had a clear understanding of the conventional drugs used to treat mental health indications.

In addition to this, 30% admitted that they believed that psychedelics for recreational use needed to remain illegal. Furthermore, a huge proportion of them judged alcohol and psychedelic substances to be comparable in safety, despite evidence showing that psilocybin was the least harmful substance and alcohol was one of the most harmful substances.

In their report, the researchers noted that their results showed that psychedelic substances were still stigmatized among psychologists, adding that their findings emphasized the need to educate mental health professionals about the safety profile and science of psychedelics. The study’s findings were reported in the “Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

It is unfortunate that despite the positive strides made by entities such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) in advancing the cause of psychedelic medicine, there still exists considerable opposition from the clinical psychologist community regarding what psychedelic substances are capable of in terms of helping to manage or dial back the current mental health crisis.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN

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