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Psilocybin and Relationships Satisfaction

Studies have shown that a psilocybin experience can create changes in values, behaviors, and beliefs (e.g., Griffiths, Richards, McCann, & Jesse, 2006; Griffiths, Johnson, Richards, Richards, McCann, & Jesse, 2011; Maclean, Johnson, & Griffiths, 2011). These changes include increased empathy and acceptance, two key components of relationship satisfaction. Participating in novel or exciting activities with a partner has also been shown to increase relationship satisfaction. By doing such activities, couples can create a new, shared experienced that can be described as a form of self-expansion (Aron & Aron, 1996). Building on these results, the present research explored the effects that a shared psilocybin experience between committed partners might have on relationship satisfaction. Two hundred and nine participants answered an anonymous questionnaire and qualitative questions about relationship satisfaction, empathy, acceptance, and their experiences engaging in a shared psilocybin experiences. Participants were split into three groups: those who had never had a psilocybin experience, those who had had a psilocybin experience but had not shared itwith their partner, and a third group who had engaged in a shared psilocybin experience with their current partner. There were no statistically significant differences between groups on measures of relationship satisfaction, empathy, and acceptance. The majority of participants who engaged in the shared experience thought it was positive, and over half reported that the experience had lasting, positive effects on their relationship. The results also suggested the importance of set and setting, preparation, one-on-one engagement, intentionality, and conversation between partners as factors that can positively influence a shared psilocybin experience.

Edelson, E. (2017). Psilocybin and Relationships Satisfaction. Psycology. ProQuest, Alliant International University. Doctor of Psycology: 24.