Psychedelics and Spirituality Studies Initiative

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Welcome to the Psychedelics and Spirituality Studies Initiative

Research on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicine is being actively renewed in clinical settings around the world. Substances that have for millennia formed part of humanity’s ritual and religious traditions are now being studied with renewed vigour for their potential benefits in treating a wide variety of illnesses, as well as for spiritual, psychological and educational benefits. A key feature of current psychedelic study is a recognition of the importance of psychological expectation (“set”) and socio-physical environment (“setting”) for therapeutic success. Although the quality of the subjective experience is now widely recognized as a vital component in the psychedelic healing process, the existential/spiritual as well as socio-cultural mechanisms underpinning it remain poorly understood.

Our Vision & Mission

The Psychedelics & Spirituality Studies Initiative (PSSI) at the University of Ottawa is an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graudate students who share a common interest in the study of psychedelics, spirituality and integrative healing.

The vision of the uO’s Centre for the Study of Psychedelics & Spirituality is to unite researchers from Humanities Social Sciences, Psychology and Medicine in the interdisciplinary exploration of the role of psychedelics in healing and human flourishing. The Initiative will serve as a focal point from which researchers in the field of psychedelics and spirituality will be able to share knowledge and expertise and disseminate findings.

Our mission is to:

  • Enable and foster collaborative, multidisciplinary, evidence-based research in the area of psychedelics and spirituality, including mindfulness-based and contemplative practices;
  • Foster interdisciplinary work between the Health Sciences and Social Sciences/Humanities in the exploration of human consciousness and meaningfulness;
  • Advance paradigms of integrative health and healing that acknowledge cross-cultural, indigenous and spiritual perspectives.
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