Are the Subjective Effects of Psychedelics Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects?
A conversation with David E. Olson and David B. Yaden
hosted by George Fejer
psychedelics, psychoplastogens, subjective effects, therapeutics benefits, treatment ethics
ALIUS recently invited Dr. David E. Olson and Dr. David B. Yaden to discuss whether or not the subjective effects of psychedelics are necessary for their enduring therapeutic benefit in an interactive online discussion. The aim of this discussion is to examine their most recent back-to-back publication wherein Yaden & Griffiths (2021) emphasized the subjective effects of psychedelics, such as mystical experiences, in relation to their long-lasting therapeutic effects, whereas Olson (2021) emphasized that there are certain therapeutic benefits related to the psychoplastogenic properties of these substances that are unrelated to their subjective effects. We invited the authors to clarify the fine points of their arguments and to tease out any point of disagreement between these two perspectives. What follows is an edited transcript of their discussion.