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The hidden therapist: evidence for a central role of music in psychedelic therapy

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Title: The hidden therapist: evidence for a central role of music in psychedelic therapy
Authors: Kaelen, M
Giribaldi, B
Raine, J
Evans, L
Timmerman, C
Rodriguez, N
Roseman, L
Feilding, A
Nutt, D
Carhart-Harris, R
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Rationale Recent studies have supported the safety and efficacy of psychedelic therapy for mood disorders and addiction. Music is considered an important component in the treatment model, but little empirical research has been done to examine the magnitude and nature of its therapeutic role. Objectives The present study assessed the influence of music on the acute experience and clinical outcomes of psychedelic therapy. Methods Semi-structured interviews inquired about the different ways in which music influenced the experience of 19 patients undergoing psychedelic therapy with psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was applied to the interview data to identify salient themes. In addition, ratings were given for each patient for the extent to which they expressed “liking,” “resonance” (the music being experienced as “harmonious” with the emotional state of the listener), and “openness” (acceptance of the music-evoked experience). Results Analyses of the interviews revealed that the music had both “welcome” and “unwelcome” influences on patients’ subjective experiences. Welcome influences included the evocation of personally meaningful and therapeutically useful emotion and mental imagery, a sense of guidance, openness, and the promotion of calm and a sense of safety. Conversely, unwelcome influences included the evocation of unpleasant emotion and imagery, a sense of being misguided and resistance. Correlation analyses showed that patients’ experience of the music was associated with the occurrence of “mystical experiences” and “insightfulness.” Crucially, the nature of the music experience was significantly predictive of reductions in depression 1 week after psilocybin, whereas general drug intensity was not. Conclusions This study indicates that music plays a central therapeutic function in psychedelic therapy.
Issue Date: 2-Feb-2018
Date of Acceptance: 21-Dec-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/58714
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-017-4820-5
ISSN: 0033-3158
Publisher: SPRINGER
Start Page: 505
End Page: 519
Journal / Book Title: PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Volume: 235
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/),which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction inany medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the originalauthor(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license andindicate if changes were made.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
The Beckley Foundation
Funder's Grant Number: MR/J00460X/1
N/A
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Neurosciences
Pharmacology & Pharmacy
Psychiatry
Neurosciences & Neurology
Psychedelic therapy
Depression
Psilocybin
Music
INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
PSILOCYBIN-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER
HEALTHY-HUMAN VOLUNTEERS
LIFE-THREATENING CANCER
3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
HALLUCINOGEN PSILOCYBIN
AGONIST PSILOCYBIN
LSD
EXPERIENCES
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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