Medicine/Healing

Like it or not, the psychedelic renaissance will be televised

The pressure to share information can be almost constant, but psychotherapists who facilitate psychedelic research do not share information about the subjects in their care with the public unless those individuals decide independently that they want to tell their stories.

Research participants are often vulnerable, but also autonomous, and can give consent for interviews with them and grant permission for the researchers to discuss details of their study participation with the media. However, predicting and planning for all potential consequences, such as regretting the permanence of statements and images that remain online indefinitely, can be difficult. The temptation to release media testimonials prematurely for recruitment and fundraising is heavy and often distracting. Researchers are constantly navigating ambiguous ethical territory. For example, a participant might want to give an interview to generate support for the science in ways that could be powerfully healing and meaning-making for them. However, a therapist could have concerns, based on clinical considerations, that media exposure might result in unintended harm or introduce bias into the research process. Is a participant agreeing to an interview because they want to please the researchers for subconscious motives related to the therapeutic relationship? Are they seeking to gain status in the psychedelic community at the risk of skewing findings? Media participation can be beneficial for all involved; however, there are also numerous ways that exposure in the media can interfere, and sometimes have a disturbing impact on, a research participant’s psychological process and the validity of the data. Research therapists need to be prepared to support study participants in making informed choices about interacting with media.

Original Article (Chacruna):
Like it or Not, the Psychedelic Renaissance Will be Televised
Artwork Fair Use: PB Radio

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