Future of C-L Psychiatry
Methods: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has attracted growing attention in recent years. An expanding number of studies suggest rapid and sustained efficacy for conditions commonly encountered by CL psychiatrists, including treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, substance use disorders, and depression/anxiety associated with end of life. However, health professionals who work closely with patients affected by these conditions remain largely uninformed of the current evidence, including risks, efficacy, and mechanisms of action.
This interactive, interdisciplinary workshop is intended to educate CL psychiatrists and psycho-oncologists on recent research on psychedelic-assisted therapy as a potential future treatment in the CL psychiatrist armamentarium.
Structure: Dr. King will introduce and moderate the session. The risks of psychedelics will be introduced in an interactive, 10-minute discussion between the speakers and audience, aimed at eliciting attendees’ knowledge base. Drs. Beaussant and Barnett will segue into a 15-minute dialogue where they will discuss their own research on the views of contemporary medical and psychiatric clinicians as well as invite the audience to share their own perspectives. In the next 45 minutes, each speaker will engage the audience in a discussion and review of recent studies on psychedelics in the treatment of 1) end of life depression and anxiety, 2) addictions, and 3) treatment-resistant depression and PTSD, respectively. Dr. Beaussant will emphasize novel aspects of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, with a focus on how unique aspects of this intervention may be particularly suited for psychiatric symptoms associated with serious medical illness and end of life. Dr. Barnett’s discussion of substance use disorders will challenge the audience to critically consider the complex questions around treating substance use disorders with what are currently controlled substances. Dr. King’s discussion of treatment-resistant depression and PTSD studies will explore mechanisms of action of psychedelics. The workshop will conclude with a 20-minute open format Q&A session, loosely structured around a challenging psycho-oncology case that will incorporate the major teaching points of this presentation.
Conclusions: Psychedelics present unique challenges and benefits, and recent evidence suggests promise in the treatment of several psychiatric conditions. CL psychiatrists and their medical colleagues would benefit from knowledge of available evidence on this potential treatment of the future.