Lea J. Mertens

Lea J. Mertens
Central Institute of Mental Health | CIMH · Molecular Neuroimaging

Master of Science
Clinical Psychologist and Researcher (PhD Candidate)

About

14
Publications
8,512
Reads
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222
Citations
Citations since 2016
14 Research Items
222 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - present
Central Institute of Mental Health
Position
  • PhD Student
February 2018 - August 2018
Imperial College London
Position
  • Master's Student
Description
  • Thesis: Therapeutic Mechanisms of Psychedelics Drugs: Changes in amygdala and prefrontal functional connectivity during emotional processing after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
October 2017 - February 2018
University of Bonn - Medical Center
Position
  • Clinical & Research Intern
Education
September 2016 - August 2018
Maastricht University
Field of study
  • Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Neuropsychology
September 2013 - July 2016
Leiden University
Field of study
  • Internationel Bachelor in Psychology

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many benefits and some harms associated with psychedelic use could be attributable to these drugs’ acceptance/avoidance-promoting effects and corresponding changes in psychological flexibility. Underlying psychological mechanisms are insufficiently understood. Aim: The purpose of this study was the validation of a psychological model o...
Article
Full-text available
Psychedelics such as psilocybin have recently gained remarkable interest in both the specialist literature and the lay press because studies suggest that these substances may have great therapeutic potential in various psychiatric disorders, including major depression. However, clinical trials with psychedelic drugs pose particular methodological c...
Article
Background: Psychedelics, such as psilocybin represent one of the most promising current therapeutic approaches in psychiatry. Objective: Psychedelics seem to have not only potent antidepressant effects. Do they also work particularly quickly, i.e. within one day? Material and methods: The available literature on clinical studies of psychedeli...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction As their name suggests, ‘psychedelic’ (mind-revealing) compounds are thought to catalyse processes of psychological insight; however, few satisfactory scales exist to sample this. This study sought to develop a new scale to measure psychological insight after a psychedelic experience: the Psychological Insight Scale (PIS). Methods The...
Article
Classical psychedelics, primarily psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), have been used and extensively studied in Western medicine as part of substance-assisted psychotherapy in the 1950s and 1960s. Modern clinical research is currently gaining momentum and provides new evidence for the safety and efficacy of classical psychedelics (prim...
Article
Full-text available
Psychedelic therapy shows promise as a novel intervention for a wide range of mental health concerns but its therapeutic action is incompletely understood. In line with acceptance and commitment therapy’s (ACT’s) transdiagnostic model, qualitative research has suggested that reductions in experiential avoidance are an important component of therape...
Article
Full-text available
For most psychiatric disorders, including alcohol use disorder (AUD), approved pharmacological treatments are limited in their effectiveness, and new drugs that can easily be translated into the clinic are needed. Currently, great hope lies in the potential of psychedelics to effectively treat AUD. The primary hypothesis is that a single session of...
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental disorders has been attributed to the lasting change from experiential avoidance to acceptance that these treatments appear to facilitate. This article presents a conceptual model that specifies potential psychological mechanisms underlying such change, and that shows substantial parallels be...
Article
Full-text available
Background Psilocybin has shown promise as a treatment for depression but its therapeutic mechanisms are not properly understood. In contrast to the presumed actions of antidepressants, we recently found increased amygdala responsiveness to fearful faces one day after open-label treatment with psilocybin (25 mg) in 19 patients with treatment-resist...
Article
Full-text available
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious mental and physical health concern worldwide. Although previous research suggests that childhood maltreatment increases the risk for IPV, the underlying psychological mechanisms of this relationship are not yet entirely understood. Borderline personality (BP) features may play an important role in the cy...
Article
Objective: Behavioral problems and psychiatric symptoms are common in patients with epilepsy and have a multifactorial origin, including adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In order to develop a screening tool for behavioral AED effects, the aim of this study was to identify behavioral problems and symptoms particularly sensitive to AED...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To investigate the safety and efficacy as well as potential therapeutic mechanisms of a high dose oral psilocybin (25 mg) in comparison to a low dose (5 mg) and active placebo (100 mg nicotinamide) in treatment-resistant major depression.
Project
A large-scale prospective survey-based study, the results of which allow for an elaborate assessment of factors that are thought to influence the psychedelic experience and outcomes of these experiences. The goal is to advance our understanding of the effects of psychedelics, and in turn help maximise safety, awareness, and wellness.