Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ayahuasca and the Treatment of Depression and Addiction: A Depth Perspective
by Hamilton, Amanda Lin, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 63; 10750209
Abstract (Summary)

Using hermeneutic and heuristic methodologies, this thesis explores the possibility of a psychedelic Amazonian plant medicine known as ayahuasca to be used in the treatment of depression and addiction. Incorporating a depth psychology approach, this thesis explores the similarities and differences between Peruvian shamanism and Jungian depth psychology. The author draws on depth psychological theory in analyzing her experiences with ayahuasca, highlighting the role of psychotherapy in integrating her experiences as part of her process of individuation and healing trauma. The research points to a positive correlation between ayahuasca use and the treatment of mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and substance use disorders such as alcohol use disorder. The thesis examines the role of spirituality and experiences with the numinous in helping one to heal from mood disorders and substance dependency and find a greater sense of empowerment and meaning in life.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pottenger, Rebecca
Commitee: Elliot, Jemma
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Medicine, Clinical psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Ayahuasca, Depth psychology, Major depressive disorder, Plant medicine, Psychedelics, Substance dependency
Publication Number: 10750209
ISBN: 978-0-355-86860-9
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