Episode 26

Episode 26: Would you Believe it? Psychedelics and Transformed Worldviews

Published on: 2nd August, 2022

Psychedelics are known for their ability to shake up one’s existing belief system and provoke new ways of seeing the world. Several studies show that people often become more spiritual or religious after a powerful psychedelic experience. There is a trend in moving away from physical or materialistic worldviews into non-physical, fatalistic, or nondual worldviews. In this episode we discussion the function of a worldview in providing a sense of predictability in the world and bring a skeptic’s eye to explaining the increase in spiritual beliefs- is this just human’s proclivity to engage in pattern recognition and meaning-making? We use nerdy terms such as“ontological shock” and “ecstatic literacy”, and describe how the openness created after a deep psychedelic experience can be used for good or evil. Studies discussed in this episode include:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01209-2

https://psyarxiv.com/rdzmy/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32461241/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32345112/

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About the Podcast

Altered States of Context
A Podcast about Psychedelics, Science and Psychotherapy
Brian Pilecki and Nathan Gates, two therapists and long-time psychedelic advocates explore the uneasy fit between a medicalized view of individual mental illness and a psychedelic view of suffering and change.

We'll also explore many of the possibilities, opportunities and pitfalls that emerge from this union.

In addition, we'll keep it weird, and talk about some of the aspects of psychedelic experiencing that make it so interesting, fun, and transformative.

This will hold interests for anyone interested in behavior change, cultural trends, and for professionals eager to explore how psychedelics are poised to change many of our therapeutic orientations and approaches.

About your hosts

Nathan Gates

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Nathan W. Gates MA, LCPC is educated, trained and credentialed as a professional counselor, which is how he earns his living as a private practitioner in rural West-Central Illinois. His career and training have been inspired by insights from psychedelics medicine for more than 20 years. From earning his MA from Naropa University to finding his theoretical home beneath the umbrella of contextual behavioral science, he has consistently pursued an integrative understanding of the human condition. He believes that a central promise and challenge of psychedelic medicine is to create a fully integrated life. We are all called to make sense of our brief time on this planet and purposely serve that which we love. To that end, Nathan strives to weave his roles as psychotherapist, husband, homeschooling parent, ecological citizen, entrepreneur, permaculturist and cattle farmer into a sensible and coherent whole. His success in this endeavor is ultimately an open question, but it puts him in a position to learn a great deal from a very wide variety of human beings. This often leads to great conversations. He is also a founder of the psychedelic special interest group with the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, which has been a tremendous wellspring for creative and ultimately fruitful psychedelic collaborations for people around the world. Additionally, he spoken at regional and international conferences on the usefulness of utilizing contextual behavioral perspectives to make sense of and integrate insights from psychedelic experiences.

Brian Pilecki

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Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist at the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Brian also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. At Portland Psychotherapy, Brian is also involved in research in the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental health problems.