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About the study

Psilocybin is naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms”. Recent research has shown that it has potential anti-depressant effects. People who have received psilocybin for depression describe a deeper connection and acceptance of self, others and the world.

Interpersonal psychotherapy is effective in improving, social, occupational and interpersonal functioning, and focuses on how mood is affected by relationships and how relationships affect mood. It also incorporates activities to strengthen circadian rhythms that can impact on mood.

This study will investigate the feasibility of delivering psilocybin treatment integrated into interpersonal psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant major depression. Participation will involve receiving a combined therapy and psilocybin intervention.

Participation in the study

The intervention involves 8 sessions of psychotherapy and two psilocybin sessions over 10 weeks, with one follow-up session at 18 weeks, in the Clinical Research Unit, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch. This includes a combination of interpersonal psychotherapy sessions, psilocybin dosing and debriefing sessions, and screening and testing measure sessions.

The study will recruit participants who have a current diagnosis of Treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder. Participants will need to agree to cease psychotropic medications including antidepressants as part of the preparation for study. Participants will also be required to refrain from illicit drug use during the course of the study and have no major physical health conditions.

After screening, potential participants will be clinically assessed by a consultant psychiatrist on the team, who will oversee participants' care throughout the study and will liaise with the participants' current health providers regarding the study, antidepressant discontinuation, clinical progress and any support required at the conclusion of the study.

If you are interested in participating, please register your interest and complete screening questions at the link below.

Recruitment has now closed for this study.

Contact us

If you have any questions (including media enquiries), please contact:

Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch

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