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SPEAKERS

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TORSTEN PASSIE MD PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Torsten Passie MD, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Hannover Medical School (Germany) and currently Visiting Scientist at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main (Germany). He studied philosophy, sociology (MA) at Leibniz-University, Hannover and medicine at Hannover Medical School.  He worked at the Psychiatric University Clinic in Zürich (Switzerland) and with Professor Hanscarl Leuner (Göttingen), the leading European authority on hallucinogenic drugs.  From 1998 to 2010 he was a scientist and psychiatrist at Hannover Medical school (Germany) where he researched the addictions and the psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness and their healing potential, including clinical research with hallucinogenic drugs (cannabis, ketamine, nitrous oxide, psilocybin).  In 2012-2015 he was Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA).

ABSTRACT

THE PSYCHEDELIC EFFECTS OF KETAMINE: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THEIR NATURE, MERITS AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL

Ketamine is a widely used anesthetic and recreational drug. It has a history of psychotherapeutic use and is recently used for the treatment of depression.
The author’s experience with ketamine spans more than 20 years. He has conducted double-blind clincial studies (e.g. comparing different dosages and different positional variants of the ketamine molecule) and studied the available literature on its psychological and therapeutic effects.  He also experienced ketamine in different settings as outside observer and in self-experiments.

Based on this, the lecture will provide an overview on the subjective effects of ketamine and different ways of using it.  This includes side- and after-effects as well as advice for an “optimal” use.

The lecture will provide perspectives on the following questions:
– What are the features of ketamine’s subjective effects?
– What is the incidence of psychedelic experiences with ketamine?
– What are the specifics of ketamine-induced psychedelic experiences?
– Are there “dysfunctional” aspects of psychedelic experiences with ketamine?
– Is there any spiritual value of ketamine psychedelic experiences?
– What are the experiential similarities and differences to other psychedelics?
– Are there similarities to the near death experience?
– What can be viewed as ketamine’s therapeutic potential?