The existential consequence of psychedelic experiences
Anecdotal experience reports indicate that psychedelic substances may facilitate the search for the “meaning of life”, therefore indirectly decrease existential isolation. To find support, personal interviews were conducted to investigate the existential outcome of psychedelic experiences. The study included 5 male and 1 female subjects, whose average age was 48,5 years, all of them have been using psychedelic and related substances for at least 16 years. Their purpose of drug use was to get a better self-knowledge and to grow from the secondary intellectualized interpretation with the goal of a higher self-awareness. The study used a qualitative method, as we have applied a semi-structured interview in order to access deeper, personal levels. According to our results, five out of six persons experienced long-term, lasting changes in their personality, life philosophy and self-knowledge, in combination with other self-supporting methods: meditation, individual and group therapy.
Judit Popovics is a student at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, she is completing a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Her research has focused on usage of psychedelic substances reflecting on issues of existential psychoterapy – concentrating on the integration process and its long-term consequences. Judit is currently working with homeless people and has an interest in person-centered encounter groups, she will complete a degree as a person centered counsellor in 2016.