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    ayahuasca grief therapy study ICEERS

    Potential Use of Ayahuasca in Grief Therapy


    Potential use of ayahuasca in grief therapy

    Débora González, María Carvalho, Jordi Cantillo, Marc Aixalá, and Magí Farré.

    OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying



    About the study

    The principal objective of this study was to explore the effects of ayahuasca on grief therapy and to compare its potential therapeutic benefits with peer-support groups in a sample of grieving people. This study was a mixed method, cross-sectional study, using an online survey method.

    This is the first study to explore the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in grieving processes. The findings indicate that people who used ayahuasca reported lower level of grief than people who attended a peer-support group.

    These preliminary findings show the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the grieving process. It can also evoke experiences whose contents could facilitate the intrinsic natural regulation of the grieving process, promoting post-traumatic growth.



    Background: The death of a loved one is ultimately a universal experience. However, conventional interventions employed for people suffering with uncomplicated grief have gathered little empirical support. 

    Methods: The present study aimed to explore the potential effects of ayahuasca on grief. We compared 30 people who had taken ayahuasca with 30 people who had attended peer-support groups, measuring level of grief and experiential avoidance. We also examined themes in participant responses to an open-ended question regarding their experiences with ayahuasca.

    Results: The ayahuasca group presented a lower level of grief in the Present Feelings Scale of Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, showing benefits in some psychological and interpersonal dimensions. Qualitative responses described experiences of emotional release, biographical memories, and experiences of contact with the deceased. Additionally, some benefits were identified regarding the ayahuasca experiences.

    Conclusions: These results provide preliminary data about the potential of ayahuasca as a therapeutic tool in treatments for grief.

    Link to the article


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    Categories: Studies & papers , Ayahuasca
    Tags: ayahuasca , scientific research , study , grief , therapy