Psychedelics like ayahuasca have regained attention as potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of stress-related disorders. Preliminary scientific data have shown that ayahuasca can effective in the treatment of treatment-resistant depression. However, it has to be noted this research is based on small samples. In addition it is also known that it is not effective for all patients. Nonetheless, the fact that it works for patients who underwent other, conventional treatments that were not successful for them deserves scientific attention.
Since research in this field is only re-emerging after a standstill of 50 years, we do not know how psychedelics, or ayahuasca in specific, work to induce changes in mood, behavior and well-being. From scientific research we know that positive mood is linked to flexible thinking, flexible behavior, and well-being. We want to test whether ayahuasca will lead to persisting effects on mood and whether this is related to mental wellbeing and speed of cognitive processes.
What do we ask from you?
We will ask you to fill out questionnaires and do a computer task before your stay at the retreat, so that we have a baseline measure or reference point, and on several occasions after you have taken the brew, in order to test how you feel and perform afterwards and whether this state persists.
We will also ask you to ask a significant other to fill out the questionnaires so that we can test whether the outer-world observes and experiences the changes you observe and experience yourself.
The questionnaires will ask about your mood, wellbeing, how you cope with emotions in daily life and diet preferences. The computer task assesses your attention for emotional stimuli. The follow-up assessments will take place within one week after the ceremony and 1.5, 3, 6 and 12 months later.
Important information for you:
‒ All entered data will be stored anonymously. This means that any information you give us can in no way be traced back to you.
‒ The invested time per session will be maximally 30 minutes
‒ You cannot participate in case you cannot understand English or Dutch since the test material (e.g. questionnaires, test instruction) is in English and Dutch
‒ There are no direct benefits in participating in this research
‒ You are voluntarily partaking in the ceremony
‒ We (Maastricht University) do not promote or stimulate the use of psychedelic substances;
‒ This research is ethically reviewed and approved by the Ethical Committee of Psychology and Neuroscience (ERCPN), Maastricht University
In case you have additional questions after reading this information you can always contact one of the researchers by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use this email address in case you have questions after you part-took in this study.