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Demographic information of both observational survey studies collected at baseline

Demographic information of both observational survey studies collected at baseline

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Rationale A general feeling of disconnection has been associated with mental and emotional suffering. Improvements to a sense of connectedness to self, others and the wider world have been reported by participants in clinical trials of psychedelic therapy. Such accounts have led us to a definition of the psychological construct of ‘connectedness’ a...

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... demographics, see Table 1. ...
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... remaining 19 items all had satisfactory loading patterns, where the first factor explained 22% of the variance, the second factor 16% and the third factor 12%, amounting to a total of 50% of variance explained in the final 3-factorial solution. Based on the content of items that loaded on each factor, definitions were assigned that each represented a subtype of connectedness, in line with the hypothesised 3-factorial structure of connectedness (supplementary table S1). Accordingly, the first factor was named 'connectedness to world' (CTW), the second factor was named 'connectedness to self' (CTS), and the third factor was named 'connectedness to others' (CTO) The 3-factorial structure consisting of 19 remaining items showed satisfactory psychometric properties in the EFA and then subjected to a subsequent confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the separate Ceremony Study dataset (N=819), to which a second-order WCS total score was added onto which the three latent subscales were set to load. ...

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... The centrality of increased connectedness surrounding psychedelic experiences provides a compelling match with a core component of attachment theory, namely people's proclivity to develop strong interpersonal bonds (attachments). Arguably, increased connectedness in conjunction with psychedelic-assisted therapy can be experienced in relation to a wider and less well-specified set of targets (e.g., the universe, all of humanity, nature, see Watts et al., 2022) than those typically considered within attachment theory. It should be noted, however, that a sense of connectedness is a prerequisite to what may, and in other cases may not, develop into full-fledged attachment relationships. ...
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In this paper, we set an agenda for a psychedelic science of spirituality and religion based on attachment theory. Attachment theory proposes that people develop internal working models (IWMs) of interactions with others from their relational experiences with caregivers. Such IWMs then function as high-level priors or predictive models, enabling people, for better and for worse, to predict and organize their interpersonal and religious/spiritual relationships. One mechanism by which efficacious psychedelic interventions may work is by relaxing the grip of rigid, defensive priors (e.g. insecure IWMs with regard to others and God), further amplified by corrective relational experiences with the therapist, God, or others. We outline three key proposals to steer future research. First, individual differences in attachment security predict the phenomenology and integration of psychedelic experiences. Second, efficacious psychedelic therapy facilitates increased attachment security as a clinically relevant outcome. Third, attachment-related dynamics (e.g. a sense of connection to others/God/the universe, alleviation of attachment-related worries and defenses) are process-level mechanisms involved in the clinical utility of psychedelic treatment. Finally, we discuss the role of religion and spirituality in psychedelic experiences from an attachment perspective.
... Use of the term "connectedness" to refer to this phenomenon, as proposed by Watts et al. (2017), seems particularly useful for clinically-oriented psychedelic research as it stands in opposition to disconnectedness, a detrimental state commonly reported by depressed patients before undergoing psychedelic therapy . Secondly, the related Watts Connectedness Scale (Watts et al., 2022) distinguishes between three distinct kinds of connectedness: with self, with others, and with the world. All three types are believed to be beneficial to an individual's mental wellbeing and health. ...
... Only two aspects of "connectedness" as proposed by Watts, i.e., with others and the world/universe, are synonymous with "oceanic boundlessness" and "oneness". The third category, connectedness with (own) self, does not overlap with these terms sufficiently as for instance oceanic boundlessness can be described as "positively experienced depersonalization" (Studerus et al., 2010) rather than reconnection with the "deeper aspects" of the individual self (Watts et al., 2022). Therefore "connectedness with self" is not investigated in this study. ...
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