Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research

Basic information about our organization

A recording of our webinar with Ido Hartogsohn is now out 06.09.2022

The set and setting principle, which states that context shapes experiences with psychotropics, is the most central, recurring concept in psychedelic science and therapy. It is considered crucial to interpreting the results of psychedelic science, and to optimizing the outcomes of psychedelic therapy. How does set and setting relate to psychedelic phenomenology? Why did it emerge specifically in the context of psychedelic science? And how is set and setting related to other fields of extra-pharmacological investigation like placebo science?

Last spring, scholar of psychedelic history and sociology, dr. Ido Hartogsohn presented a webinar on the evolution, evidence and implications of set and setting for research, therapy and beyond. A recording of the session is now available on our Youtube channel.

Ido Hartogson is an assistant professor at the Graduate Program for Science, Technology and Society, at Bar Ilan University. Hartogsohn’s work explores the subject of set and setting in psychedelic research and culture. His book American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the Twentieth Century appeared with MIT Press (2020).

The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research is a non-profit association promoting scientific research related to psychedelics and the availability of accessible information based on such research.

• • • • •

If you have a professional interest in research on psychedelics or forms of psychedelic-assisted therapy or would like to otherwise support psychedelic research in Finland, you can become a member of the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research.

Recording of our webinar with Peter Gasser now out! 13.07.2022

Legal psychedelic therapy is mostly available in research contexts. Switzerland is an exception to this rule: In addition to research projects, the country grants individual treatment permissions for psychedelic therapy. Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser has extensive experience with these forms of therapy: At the turn of the 90s, he had special permission from the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health to research LSD and MDMA. After 2007, he has conducted two studies for LSD-assisted therapy in patients with anxieties due to life-threatening diseases. Since 2014, he has held individual permissions by the Swiss Health Administration for therapy with mind altering substances, which currently also includes psilocybin.

In Nov 2021, Dr. Gasser lectured in a webinar organized by the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research. Drawing from his own clinical experience and from research projects around the world, Gasser discussed the framework he uses and the conclusions that can currently be made regarding psychedelic therapy.

Born in 1960, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser runs a private practice in Solothurn, Switzerland. He is a husband and a father of three. He was trained in psychodynamic methods as well as in therapy with mind altering drugs, i.e. psycholytic or psychedelic therapy. He has been a member of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy since 1992 and its president since 1996.

• • • • •

If you have a professional interest in research on psychedelics or forms of psychedelic-assisted therapy or would like to otherwise support psychedelic research in Finland, you can become a member of the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research.

Video interview: Psychedelics as tools for psychiatry and psychotherapy – Torsten Passie (Finnish subtitles) 02.07.2022

What kinds of challenges does the medical utilization of psychedelics entail? What’s the difference between psycholytic and psychedelic therapy? Is the optimism towards psychedelic therapies unwarranted? Can MDMA assisted therapy lead to MDMA addiction? What are the effects of excessive MDMA use? Does a therapist working with altered states of consciousness need to have personal experience? What does the data say about microdosing? What kinds of career paths might lead towards one becoming a psychedelic therapist? What are the main problems related to current psychedelic therapy training programs?

Psychiatry and psychotherapy professor Torsten Passie from the Hannover Medical School has been researching psychedelics for a long time: his experience with the legal therapeutic use of psychedelics in Germany and Switzerland leads all the way to the eighties. Passie’s interest in the field was initiated by a spontaneous mystical experience that he found irritating. In his work, he’s mapped out threads such as the history of MDMA and the effects of microdosing, and his broad understanding of psychedelics has been called encyclopedic. In this newly published interview recorded in 2019, Passie discusses questions listed above and several others. The video includes Finnish subtitles.

• • • • •

If you have a professional interest in research on psychedelics or forms of psychedelic-assisted therapy or would like to otherwise support psychedelic research in Finland, you can become a member of the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research.

Webinar July 4th. Simon Ruffell – Ayahuasca: from the jungle to the lab 14.06.2022

-> Buy ticket from our web store! <-

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive plant concoction that’s traditionally been used in Amazonian tribal rituals. Recently, research on its possible positive impacts on mental health has been gaining increasing attention. Use of the brew has been studied in both laboratory and traditional settings. Psychiatrist Simon Ruffell is one of the researchers currently investigating the brew. In addition to interesting results on mental health and wellbeing, his research team has been the first to study epigenetic effects correlated with psychedelic use.

On Monday, July 4th at 6PM UTC+3, Ruffell will talk about his research in a Zoom webinar organized by the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research (Psykedeelitutkimusyhdistys ry). He will provide an overview of his research surrounding the ceremonial use of Amazonian ayahuasca and its effect on mental health outcomes, personality, epigenetics, and psychotherapeutic processes. Ruffell also introduces his current research conducting randomised controlled trials with the Psychae Institute into ayahuasca inspired concoctions and discusses the potential benefits and challenges associated with the use of plant medicines in a clinical setting.

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants). You can buy a ticket in our web store.

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2022, the event is free of charge. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership products on the main page of our web store. An email with a link for free registration to the event has been sent to members of the association. If you’re not sure if you’ve paid for your membership this year, feel free to ask us.

About the speaker:

Simon Ruffell studied medicine at the University of Sheffield before specialising in psychiatry. He completed his core psychiatric training at The Maudsley Hospital in London and worked at King’s College London as a Senior Research Associate investigating the use of psilocybin for treatment resistant depression. Simon has a keen interest in transcultural psychiatry and has worked for a variety of charities overseas. Since 2016 he has conducted research into the traditional psychedelic brew ayahuasca and its effects on mental health based in the Peruvian Amazon and is currently completing his PhD in this based at Goldsmiths, University of London. In his spare time Simon volunteers for Psycare – a charity offering support to those undergoing challenging drug experiences at music festivals.

The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research is a non-profit association promoting scientific research related to psychedelics and the availability of accessible information based on such research.

Video interview: Chris Timmermann – DMT neuroscience, experience and changing world views 21.02.2022

We interviewed neuroscientist Chris Timmermann who researches psychedelics such as DMT and LSD at Imperial College London.

The interview was recorded at the Breaking Convention 2019 conference, and discusses topics such as the effects of psychedelics on values and the openness and rigidity of thinking, the experiential worlds catalyzed by DMT, the relationship between science, materialism and idealism, the role of integration in making sense of psychedelic experiences, the bodily effects of psychedelics, interest on psychedelics in the scientific community, the question about the possible biasing effects of self-experimentation with psychedelics, and the relevance of altered states of consciousness.

• • • • •

If you have a professional interest in research on psychedelics or forms of psychedelic-assisted therapy, or you would like to otherwise support psychedelic research, you can join the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research at https://psyty.fi/en/join/membership/.

Webinar March 10th 2022. Ido Hartogsohn: The set and setting complex: Understanding the role of context in psychedelic research, therapy, and beyond 18.02.2022

-> Buy ticket from our web shop! <-

The set and setting principle, which states that context shapes experiences with psychotropics, is the most central, recurring concept in psychedelic science and therapy. It is considered crucial to interpreting the results of psychedelic science, and to optimizing the outcomes of psychedelic therapy.

How does set and setting relate to psychedelic phenomenology? Why did it emerge specifically in the context of psychedelic science? And how is set and setting related to other fields of extra-pharmacological investigation like placebo science?

On Thursday, March 10th at 6PM UTC+2 / 6PM CET, scholar of psychedelic history and sociology, dr. Ido Hartogsohn will present a Zoom webinar on the evolution, evidence and implications of set and setting for research, therapy and beyond. The event is organized by the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research. Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants). You can buy the ticket in our web store.

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2022, the event is free of charge. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership products on the main page of our web store. An email with a link for free registration to the event has been sent to members of the association. If you’re not sure if you’ve paid for your membership this year, feel free to ask us.

Ido Hartogson is an assistant professor at the Graduate Program for Science, Technology and Society, at Bar Ilan University. Hartogsohn’s work explores the subject of set and setting in psychedelic research and culture. His book American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the Twentieth Century appeared with MIT Press (2020).

The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research is a non-profit association promoting scientific research related to psychedelics and the availability of accessible information based on such research.

Webinar Nov 11th 2021. Peter Gasser: Lessons learned from doing therapy with LSD and MDMA 25.10.2021

Legal psychedelic therapy is mostly available in research contexts. Switzerland is an exception to this rule: In addition to research projects, the country grants individual treatment permissions for psychedelic therapy. Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser has extensive experience with these forms of therapy: At the turn of the 90s, he had special permission from the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health to research LSD and MDMA. After 2007, he has conducted two studies for LSD-assisted therapy in patients with anxieties due to life-threatening diseases. Since 2014, he has held individual permissions by the Swiss Health Administration for therapy with mind altering substances, which currently also includes psilocybin.

On Thursday, November 11th at 7PM UTC+2 / 6PM CET, Dr. Gasser will be sharing some of his extensive experience in a Zoom webinar organized by the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research. Drawing from his own clinical experience and from research projects around the world, Gasser will discuss the framework he uses and the conclusions that can currently be made.

Born in 1960, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser runs a private practice in Solothurn, Switzerland. He is a husband and a father of three. He was trained in psychodynamic methods as well as in therapy with mind altering drugs, i.e. psycholytic or psychedelic therapy. He has been a member of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy since 1992 and its president since 1996.

The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research is a non-profit association promoting scientific research related to psychedelics and the availability of accessible information based on such research.

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants). You can buy the ticket in our web store.

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2021, the event is free of charge. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership items on the main page of our web store. An email with a link for free registration has been sent to members of the association. If you’re not sure if you’ve paid for your membership this year, feel free to ask us.

Zoom webinar Sept 25th 2021. David E. Nichols: Overview of Medicinal Chemistry Research on Psychedelics 03.09.2021

When psychedelics were criminalized at the turn of the 1970s, most research on them also came to a halt. Yet, some avenues of study still remained open. Veteran of psychedelic research, pharmacologist and chemist David E. Nichols, PhD, has been researching psychedelics since 1969 – over the course of seven decades. On Saturday, September 25th, at 4PM UTC+3, Nichols will present a webinar lecture organized by Psykedeelitutkimusyhdistys ry (Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research). The lecture offers a rich overview of psychedelics with an emphasis in medicinal chemistry. Topics covered include:

  • History of the use of psychedelics, reaching back millenia
  • Research conducted by the Heffter Research Institute, founded by the speaker in 1993
  • How psychedelics are tested in animals
  • The role and functions of the serotonin receptors central to the action of classic psychedelics
  • Research on LSD analogues – as an example, how different conformations of the molecule affect the kinetics of LSD binding to the receptor
  • The effects of psychedelics on brain dynamics as a possible mechanism for their therapeutic potential

The session will help get a better grasp of the growing interest in the broad field of psychedelic research. The lecture provides non-technical information accessible to the general public, but will also delve deeper into chemical and pharmacological details. The event includes a presentation and discussion with questions from the audience. 

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants) in our web store.

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2021, the event is free of charge. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership items in our web store: https://holvi.com/shop/psyty. An email with a link for free registration has been sent to members of the association. If you’re not sure if you’ve paid for your membership this year, feel free to ask us!

In case you might want to mark your calendar, our next international webinar with psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser is scheduled for November 11th.

Information on David E. Nichols

David E. Nichols, PhD is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and was the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology, where he carried out teaching and research for 38 years prior to his retirement in 2012. In 2004 he was named the Irvine H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research, he received the first Purdue Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award in 2006, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2012.

He began studying psychedelics in 1969 while a graduate student and continued that research throughout his entire professional career, being one of only a few investigators able to research psychedelics after they were scheduled. In 1993 he founded the Heffter Research Institute (HRI), which funded the first rigorous clinical studies of psychedelics in humans after a nearly 40-year moratorium and served as its president for more than 25 years. HRI funded the groundbreaking Phase I and II studies of psilocybin for the treatment of depression, as well as substance use disorders. 

Dr. Nichols also synthesized the DMT used by Dr. Rick Strassman in his human studies, the MDMA that MAPS used for their Phase I and II clinical trials for PTSD, and the psilocybin used by several investigators for human clinical studies including the Phase I and II trials conducted at Johns Hopkins University by Roland Griffiths and his colleagues. He is considered the world’s leading expert on the chemistry of psychedelics. Dr. Nichols, although officially retired, remains active in the field through consulting and collaborations with several academic and pharmaceutical organizations and continues to publish scientific papers.

Zoom webinar Aug 30th 2021. MDMA therapy for the treatment of trauma: A clinical trial therapist’s perspective 04.08.2021


MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has received a lot of attention in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but what exactly happens in an MDMA therapy session? Why is working with PTSD challenging, and how might MDMA help? What is the “inner-directed” approach utilized in clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy?

On Monday, August 30th 6PM UTC+3, the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research presents a Zoom webinar with Marcela Ot’alora G, principal Investigator, trainer, and therapist for studies investigating the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD. Based on her extensive experience, the session includes a presentation and discussion with questions from the audience.

Marcela Ot’alora was born and raised in Colombia, and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has an MA in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Marcela started her career as an installation artist and teacher, using art as a vehicle for self-expression and processing trauma with underrepresented communities. For over 20 years, she’s been in private practice working primarily with PTSD. Her interest and focus on trauma led her to understand the healing journey as an intimate re-connection with one’s innate essence through love, integrity, acceptance, and honoring of the human spirit. In addition to working with trauma and PTSD, she has dedicated her professional life to training and research. She has worked on various studies sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as Principal Investigator and therapist using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. Additionally, she is a lead trainer and supervisor.

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants) in our web store

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2021, the event is free of charge. If you want to buy a membership, you’ll find our membership items in our web store: https://holvi.com/shop/psyty. An email with a link for free registration has been sent to members of the association.

Conference: Psykedeelit 2021 12.07.2021

Psykedeelit 2021
November 18–19, 2021
Conference for Psychedelic Research
Axelia, Auditorium Salin, Piispankatu 8, Turku

Psychedelic research has experienced a renaissance, and studies which have been neglected for years have been revived in universities across the world. Therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances for the treatment of various mental health problems is being investigated widely. Scholarly interest in psychedelics is not limited to clinical studies: psychedelic experiences are also being studied in consciousness research, philosophy, and cultural/social studies.

We are organizing the first Finnish conference for psychedelic studies, Psykedeelit 2021, at Åbo Akademi University on November 18–19, 2021. The conference is aimed at scholars working in Finland, and we hope that it will advance Finnish psychedelic research by bringing together people studying the subject from different perspectives.

Keynote speakers (via Zoom) are Dr. Katrin Preller (University of Zürich), who will lecture on the neurobiological mechanisms of psychedelics in a therapeutic context and Dr. Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes (University of Exeter), who will address the philosophical importance of experiences induced by psychedelic compounds.

The conference is interdisciplinary and open for researchers, students, and others whose work is related to psychedelics (psychologists, physicians, sociologists, philosophers, theologians, anthropologists, gender studies researchers, artists etc.). Presentations on research plans, reviews, and theses are also welcome. In addition to presentations and panel discussions, there will be plenty of time for informal discussion as well. The event will be streamed, and it is also possible to give the presentation online.

Please e-mail your abstract (200 words) in Finnish, Swedish or English to jussi.jylkka@abo.fi by September 15, 2021, at the latest. Abstracts will be assessed by an interdisciplinary committee. Members of the committee are Samuli Kangaslampi, Ph.D., Mika Pekkola, Ph.D., Aleksi Hupli, Ph.D., Erik Aro, MD/Ph.D., and Jussi Jylkkä, Ph.D. Decision on acceptance will be made by September 30, 2021.

The conference is organized by the organizing committee together with the Department of Psychology of Åbo Akademi and The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research (Psyty).

More information about and registration to the conference will be available from this page soon.

 

 

 

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