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Psychedelics and Wellness: What’s the Connection?

December 18, 2019

By Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, CNS, APRN-BC
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The opinions expressed by Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not meant to reflect the opinions of the publication.

How can this help guide future psychedelic research? 

We were so intrigued with the findings from the pilot study that we decided to expand the survey and conduct an Institutional Review Board-approved study. We launched the current study in mid-2019 and have almost 600 completed surveys with a goal of 5000. We will use the findings to help educate others on the intersection of psychedelics and wellness. If our research colleagues receive US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the medical use of psychedelics, we hope to collaborate and study the power of wellness as a wraparound intervention to the psychedelic experience.

We are so optimistic about the power of wellness that we are designing a protocol to study the impact of implementing a 30-day wellness program within 2 weeks of a psychedelic experience. Since neuroplasticity is at a peak shortly after a psychedelic experience, we are curious as to the effects of integrating wellness-enhancing behaviors and positive psychology practices during that window of opportunity. We hope to launch this study in the second quarter of 2020.

Can readers participate in your survey? 

Absolutely! Participants must be at least 18 years old and have taken a psychedelic at least once in their lifetime. The study involves an anonymous online survey that takes about 8-10 minutes to complete. Your readers can access the survey at Please feel free to email me at with any questions. 

Thanks, Andrew, for the opportunity to tell your readers about this study.

Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC is an Adjunct Clinical Affiliate, School of Nursing, at The University of Texas at Austin. She serves on the Psych Congress Steering Committee.

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, CNS, APRN-BC was trained as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. He has completed extensive training in Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy at the California Institute for Integral Studies and recently published a book chapter on this modality in The Casebook of Positive Psychiatry, published by American Psychiatric Association Press. Currently, he serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California-San Francisco School of Nursing, where he teaches psychopharmacology, and is an Attending Nurse Practitioner at the San Francisco Veterans Administration. He has expertise in psychopharmacological treatment for adult patients and specializes in the treatment of affective disorders and PTSD. As a steering committee member for Psych Congress, he has been invited to present internationally on improving medication adherence, cannabis pharmacology, psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, grief psychotherapy,  treatment-resistant depression, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder, and the art and science of psychopharmacologic practice.

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