June 2024

Current research continues to gnaw on the borderline between science and spirituality. A recent example is the introduction of a unique Master’s degree in psychedelics and consciousness studies at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

The one-year program, commencing in September, offers “a comprehensive exploration of the therapeutic, spiritual, ritual, and naturalistic uses of psychedelics across cultures and throughout human history”, according to a press release.

The Master of Arts degree is the first of its kind in Canada. There are a number of courses and programs covering psychedelics in many countries, but the combined study of psychedelics, consciousness and spiritual guidance is rare, if not unique, for a course at a mainstream university, as far as FJN understands.

The curriculum covers psychology, comparative mysticism and psychedelic-assisted interventions, including shamanic plant medicine rituals. This approach broadens health and wellbeing in a rare way.

“We are excited to offer this groundbreaking program that will not only advance research but also provide practical training for those working in mental health and spiritual care”, said Dr Monnica Williams, program co-director and professor at the School of Psychology at uOttawa.

The new M.A. program is “a potentially groundbreaking move for alternative medicine”, writes Christopher Plain, head science writer at online magazine The Debrief.

Plain notes that the potential for LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and other psychedelics in treating serious medical conditions has begun to gather momentum in recent years.

Anders Bolling

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