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Psychological journals are peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journals that publish original work in some areas of psychology. The most common publications include cognitive, health and clinical psychology, applied, developmental, biological, social, experimental, and educational psychology, and psychoanalysis.

Behavioral Sciences

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Abstract

Background and aims

Impaired inhibitory control accompanied by enhanced craving is hallmark of addiction. This study investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on response inhibition and craving in Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We examined the brain changes after tDCS and their correlation with clinical variables.

Methods

Twenty-four males with IGD were allocated randomly to an active or sham tDCS group, and data from 22 participants were included for analysis. Participants self-administered bilateral tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for 10 sessions. Stop-signal tasks were conducted to measure response inhibition and participants were asked about their cravings for Internet gaming at baseline and post-tDCS. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected at pre- and post-tDCS, and group differences in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes from the bilateral DLPFC and nucleus accumbens were examined. We explored the relationship between changes in the rsFC and behavioral variables in the active tDCS group.

Results

A significant group-by-time interaction was observed in response inhibition. After tDCS, only the active group showed a decrease in the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT). Although craving decreased, there were no significant group-by-time interactions or group main effects. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) showed group differences in post- versus pre-tDCS rsFC from the right DLPFC. The rsFC between the ACC and left middle frontal gyrus was negatively correlated with the SSRT.

Discussion and conclusion

Our study provides preliminary evidence that bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC improves inhibitory control and could serve as a therapeutic approach for IGD.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Since the inclusion of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the International Classification of Diseases (11th ed.), there has been little effort placed into developing clinical recommendations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) clients with this condition. Thus, we develop preliminary clinical recommendations for mental health professionals working with LGBQ clients who may be struggling with CSBD.

Methods

The present paper synthesizes the CSBD literature with advances in LGBQ-affirming care to develop assessment and treatment recommendations. These recommendations are discussed within the context of minority stress theory, which provides an empirically supported explanation for how anti-LGBQ stigma may contribute to the development of mental health conditions in LGBQ populations.

Results

Assessment recommendations are designed to assist mental health professionals in distinguishing aspects of an LGBQ client's sociocultural context from CSBD symptomology, given recent concerns that these constructs may be wrongly conflated and result in misdiagnosis. The treatment recommendations consist of broadly applicable, evidence-based principles that can be leveraged by mental health professionals of various theoretical orientations to provide LGBQ-affirming treatment for CSBD.

Discussion and Conclusions

The present article provides theoretically and empirically supported recommendations for mental health professionals who want to provide LGBQ-affirming care for CSBD. Given the preliminary nature of these recommendations, future research is needed to investigate their clinical applicability and efficacy.

Open access
Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Dusty Rose Miller
,
Jordan Taylor Jacobs
,
Alan Rockefeller
,
Harte Singer
,
Ian M. Bollinger
,
James Conway
,
Jason C. Slot
, and
David E. Cliffel

Abstract

Psilocybe zapotecorum is a strongly blue-bruising psilocybin mushroom used by indigenous groups in southeastern Mexico and beyond. While this species has a rich history of ceremonial use, research into its chemistry and genetics has been limited. Herein, we report on mushroom morphology, cultivation parameters, chemical profile, and the full genome sequence of P. zapotecorum. First, we detail growth and cloning methods that are simple, and reproducible. In combination with high resolution microscopic analysis, the strain was identified by DNA barcoding, confirming the field identification. Full genome sequencing reveals the architecture of the psilocybin gene cluster in P. zapotecorum, and can serve as a reference genome for Psilocybe clade I. Characterization of the tryptamine profile revealed a psilocybin concentration of 17.9 ± 1.7 mg/g, with a range of 10.6–25.7 mg/g (n = 7), and similar tryptamines (psilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, norpsilocin, aeruginascin, and 4-HO-tryptamine) in lesser concentrations for a combined tryptamine concentration of 22.5 ± 3.2 mg/g. These results show P. zapotecorum to be a potent and chemically variable Psilocybe mushroom. Chemical profiling, genetic analysis, and cultivation assist in demystifying these mushrooms. As clinical studies with psilocybin gain traction, understanding the diversity of Psilocybe expands the conversation beyond the molecule.

Open access

Abstract

Psychological flexibility has been proposed as a core process of change when psychedelics are used for therapeutic purposes, but to date empirical outcomes have only documented changes on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II), a very general measure of psychological flexibility. This pilot study measured outcomes from psilocybin administered in a retreat setting across a range of measures assessing aspects of psychological flexibility. Nine participants attended a 7-day psilocybin retreat and completed measures at baseline, 2-, and 6-month follow up. Participants demonstrated significant improvements in cognitive defusion (Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire), valued living (Valuing Questionnaire), and Self-Compassion (Self-Compassion Scale), as well as a trend towards increased overall psychological flexibility (AAQ). Other outcome and process measures included measures related to acute effects of the psilocybin, belief in oneness, social safeness, mental health, burnout and emotion expressivity. These results offer preliminary evidence that therapeutic benefits obtained from psilocybin experiences may be linked to changes in psychological flexibility.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

First responders such as firefighters and police officers often experience traumatic events as part of their work. As a result, they are more likely to have mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety compared to the general population. Psychedelic-assisted therapy has emerged as a promising avenue to alleviate these issues, but little is currently known about first responders' interest in, and barriers to, these treatments. Here, we aimed to document first responders' attitudes towards LSD-assisted therapy and previous use of psychoactive drugs.

Methods

We recruited 102 participants through mailing lists of first responders' unions. Respondents were typically male firefighters in western Canada; others were police officers, paramedics, and military personnel across Canada and the United States. They were asked about their attitudes towards LSD- and marijuana-assisted therapies, previous psychiatric diagnoses, psychosocial impairments, and substance use.

Results

Respondents showed higher rates of distress and illicit drug use compared to the general population. Of those who sought professional treatment, a minority reported that the treatment had helped them. The respondents were generally interested in taking part in therapy or research involving LSD or marijuana. The setting (e.g., at home vs. a clinic), therapist presence, and drug dose were commonly reported to influence this participation.

Conclusions

First responders may particularly benefit from psychedelic therapy given their high interest in psychedelic drugs and high rates of treatment-relevant disorders. Better understanding the needs of this population will help inform future clinical trials and psychedelic therapies.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Interest in psychedelic research has grown significantly in recent years and the naturally derived substance psilocybin, in combination with therapy, has shown promising results as a treatment for a range of psychiatric conditions. However, the negative effects and risks of psilocybin-assisted treatment are not well-established. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential negative effects of psilocybin-assisted psychological interventions in both the short and long term.

Method

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight psychedelic treatment providers and facilitators. Their content was thematically interpreted.

Results

Three themes of short-term negative effects were identified. They included negative reactions to psilocybin dosing sessions, undesirable processes in the therapeutic relationship, and difficult self-experiences. Four themes of long-term negative effects were identified. They included destabilization of the client, difficulties adapting to life post-treatment, complications in the treatment relationship, and undesirable outcomes.

Conclusions

These results highlight the multifaceted challenges clients may face, emphasizing the need for thorough pre-intervention assessment and post-intervention support. The findings both confirm previous research and highlight new aspects that can contribute to increased safety and be relevant for clinical implementation. Further rigorous research is needed to ensure safety, establish ethical guidelines, and optimize the positive effects of these experimental medicines. Integrating various research approaches and types of measurements will be vital to further our understanding of negative effects of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

Despite increasing public acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and psychedelic medicines, published accounts of queer psychedelia are limited. Specifically, the queer nature of psychedelics and the parallels between narratives of being queer and of psychedelic experiences, are lacking. This report brings queer experiences of psychedelia out of the metaphorical closet and argues for the development of Queer Affirming models of Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (QA-PAP).

Methods

This knowledge report examines the extant psychedelic literature as it relates to queerness, and positions it against reports of rising anti-2SLGBTQ+ sentiments, and legislation aimed at dismantling civil liberties.

Results

Specifically in Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, the current socio-political climate fosters increasingly positive attitudes towards psychedelic medicine, while recently won 2SLGBTQ+ civil rights are under attack. The convergence of these trends means the psychedelic community must guard against repetition of mistakes made during the first wave of psychedelic research.

Conclusions

Including queer narratives within psychedelic research is integral to the equitable, safe, effective and accessible implementation of emerging modalities of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies (PAP), and to ensure that ethical standards protect patients from sexual and gender based violence.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

This study addresses the scarcity of research on Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in non-Western cultures and women, exploring its prevalence, sociodemographic, sexual history characteristics, and sexual and psychological health factors in Iranian married women.

Methods

A cross-sectional study involving 772 heterosexual married women was conducted between 2022 and 2023, covering all 31 provinces of Iran. Participants were categorized as CSBD+ (at-risk individuals) and CSBD− (low-risk individuals) based on a pre-established cut-off point of ≥18 by the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Scale −7. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-esteem, sexual distress, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual dysfunction were assessed as psychological and sexual health variables by standardized scales.

Results

The prevalence of CSBD was 3.8% in women. Linear regression analysis showed that lower education, being jobless, substance use, pornography use, paraphilic behaviors, conflict on sex frequency, relationship, orgasm and sexual dissatisfaction, higher sexual arousal, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms were positively associated with CSBD. The univariate analysis, at a stringent significance level of 0.005, mirrored the regression findings. Additionally, women with CSBD+ exhibited lower religiousness and higher anxiety compared to those without CSBD−.

Discussion and Conclusions

Raising awareness of CSBD is crucial for health systems and individuals for better policy-making and help-seeking behavior. Identifying risk factors like substance use presents opportunities for prevention, and the association of CSBD with sexual and mental health variables suggests addressing co-occurring issues for improved treatment outcomes. Recognizing culture and gender-specific sexual and psychological correlates enables targeted and effective treatment approaches.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

While the concept of recovery is receiving increasing attention in the context of gambling disorder (GD), no consensus has yet been reached regarding its definition. This scoping review aims to map the literature on GD recovery, identify gaps, and provide insights for a more holistic and patient-centred perspective.

Methods

A systematic search of three databases was conducted (PubMed, PsycINFO, and ScienceDirect). Based on the method by which the results of these studies were produced, the studies included were sorted into four categories (quantitative, instrument validation, qualitative, and mixed studies) and subsequently examined using conceptual analysis.

Results

One hundred thirteen articles were included in this research after the screening process. In the quantitative and instrument validation studies, recovery was defined or operationalized in terms of abstinence, the absence of a GD diagnosis, or mild GD severity, or by reference to treatment outcomes or controlled gambling. A meta-synthesis of the results of the qualitative studies revealed four core features of recovery (insight, empowerment and commitment, wellbeing enhancement, and reconsideration of the issue of relapse).

Discussion

Discrepancies in definitions, outcomes, and variables used were evident across studies. Additionally, the quantitative and standardized approaches employed in most studies exhibited severe limitations with regard to defining recovery from the subjective and multidimensional perspectives of people recovering from GD.

Conclusions

This lack of definitional clarity emphasizes the necessity for further qualitative research. This research should encompass multiple stakeholder perspectives to develop a working definition promoting recovery from a holistic, patient-centred, and tailored approach.

Open access

Abstract

Background

Hypotheses surrounding the etiology of depressive disorders encompass a wide range of biological changes that can occur in a depressed individual, from gene variations to epigenetic modifications and not only serotonergic mechanisms. Once again, the therapy response of the patient to antidepressants is connected to modifications in the epigenetic regulation of genes within the serotonergic system. The persistence of depressive symptoms points to the possibility that stable molecular adaptations in the brain, particularly at the epigenetic level, may be involved.

Methods

Narrative review to first, discuss the historical evidence behind how serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signaling and its associated actors are involved in various biological processes and second, examine the role of ketamine as one of the newer treatments for depression.

Results

There is increasing evidence that responses to psychotherapy for mood disorders are correlated with epigenetic alterations. Although therapy response appears to be associated with epigenetic changes in genes regulating the serotonergic system, there are multiple lines of research that provide additional data implicating epigenetic alterations in the glutamatergic system. Also, the epigenetic regulation of target genes along the HPA axis are becoming more intriguing in linking mood disorders with environmental stressors, and warrant a closer look. Recent research suggests that ketamine's antidepressant effects may be linked to epigenetic alterations. Considering the multiple studies linking BDNF with depression, further exploration of its relation with ketamine in the context of epigenetic signaling is warranted.

Conclusion

Understanding how and to what extent epigenetic mechanisms change gene expression and how these changes are influenced by environmental stressors may eventually allow mental health professionals to better understand the biological basis of depression as well as to gauge the efficacy, onset, durability and duration of therapies to treat mood disorders. Moreover, understanding the relation between serotonergic neurotransmission and epigenetic mechanisms of how these may be modified by ketamine should lead us to a greater knowledge of their therapeutic potential.

Open access