#61 Dr. Elizabeth Nielson on Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder: Possible Anti-Addictive Properties
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Dr. Elizabeth Nielson is a co-founder of Fluence and a psychologist with a focus on developing psychedelic medicines as empirically supported treatments for PTSD, substance use problems, and mood disorders. Dr. Nielson is a Site Co-Principal Investigator and therapist for an FDA approved Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and has served as a therapist on FDA approved clinical trials of Psilocybin-Assisted treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder, psilocybin-assisted treatment of treatment resistant depression, and earlier phase 2 and 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Through Fluence, she provides continuing education and training programs for therapists who wish to engage in integration of psychedelic experiences in clinical settings. Having completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, she has published and presented on topics of psychedelic therapist training, therapists’ personal experience with psychedelics, and including psychedelic integration in group and individual psychotherapy.
Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy is a technique that involves the use of drugs that produce a psychedelic effect in order to assist in the psychotherapy process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named psilocybin-assisted therapy as a “breakthrough therapy.” Over the last two decades, researchers have received approval from governmental authorities to conduct trials on the use of the psychedelic substances to treat various conditions. What researchers have found is that psychedelic substances can have beneficial therapeutic effects. According to the research, there are a number of potential applications for psychedelic therapy such as anxiety, depression, substance use, alcohol use, and PTSD. At present, there are multiple clinical trials on psychedelic assisted therapy, some in phase II and III. While psychedelics have the potential to help treat a number of mental health conditions, it is important to remember that these are powerful substances that can produce profound mind-altering effects. While psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is generally considered safe, there are potential risks such as negative psychological reactions, danger in self-treatment, and personality changes.
Disclaimer: The information shared in this podcast is not a substitute for getting help from a mental health professional.