Jivanescu, V. (2021). Long-term transformative effects and integration challenges of psychedelic experiences – A mixed-method phenomenological study of the Romanian population [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

Psychedelic plants have been used by humans for healing and transformation for thousands of years, yet beginning in the 1960s a new revolution of such use sprouted outside traditional indigenous use. This study looked into the transformative effects and integration challenges of psychedelic experiences with psilocybin and LSD for the Romanian population. The aim was to determine the long-term transformative effects and challenges individuals might encounter during the integration process. The study employed a sequential mixed method design, where qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) (with six interview participants) was followed by a quantitative survey (with 39 responses). The qualitative data analysis led to a multi-layered hierarchical model of themes and subordinate themes spanning across a full developmental spectrum from changes in perception of self, emotional transformation, spiritual transformation, interpersonal transformation, and personal, interpersonal, and cultural integration challenges. The survey results made it possible to compare the interview group with a broader national sample, and the sample’s statistical similarity provided extra validity to the smaller sample qualitative thematic findings. The psychedelic experiences inspired long-term transformation and persisting positive effects in the participants. However, the nature and challenges of the integration journey ranged from mild difficulties to more substantial ones, interpersonal and cultural challenges such as communication challenges and absence of a community and oppressive legislation being common. Further in-depth cross-cultural studies on the topic are necessary to confirm cultural differences.

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