Jenni, M. (2023). Journeys of transformation: A phenomenological study of health behavior change following psychedelic experiences [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This qualitative study investigates the transformative mechanisms that underlie health behaviour changes following meaningful experiences with classic psychedelics. Drawing upon existing literature that highlights the potential of psychedelics to foster positive health outcomes and lifestyle changes, this research seeks to identify and elucidate the psychological mechanisms propelling these changes. In this context, the study aims to address the gap in empirical research elucidating psychedelic-induced health behaviour change. Using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 participants who reported changes in health behaviours post-psychedelic experience. The interviews focused on their retrospective accounts of psychedelic experiences and subsequent health behaviour changes, including traditional aspects such as diet and exercise and newer components like spiritual practices and nature time. The findings underscored connectedness as a fundamental transformative factor, fostering shifts in health behaviours. This connectedness, experienced at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, and nature-related level, appeared to be mediated by emotional acceptance, embodiment, spirituality, and personal values. These mechanisms revealed through participants’ narratives, have substantial implications for the field of health behaviour change, suggesting a potential role for psychedelics in facilitating healthier lifestyles. In conclusion, the study highlights the capacity of psychedelic experiences to induce positive health behaviour transformations. These insights hold potential for the design of novel, substance-free interventions encouraging health behaviour changes and healthier lifestyles. The research also calls for continued investigation into the complex interplay between psychedelics and other lifestyle practices, contributing to the growing dialogue surrounding the transformative potential of psychedelics.

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