Table 2

Suggested disclosure information and questions for consent to psilocybin

Information about the experience‘You may think you are communicating with higher powers or understanding ’deeper’ realities. This happens to people who have spiritual and religious beliefs, but also to those who do not have such beliefs. Those who have experienced this often find it difficult to convey to others exactly what they experienced. Hence, we cannot tell you exactly what this is like, and you may have trouble understanding it before you experience it yourself.’
‘You may feel profound connections that would have seemed odd to you prior to this experience. These may include connections with various people (perhaps all of humanity) as well as animals and nature generally.’
’You may feel a sense that you have lost yourself, that everything is somehow connected, or that all is one.’
Information about potential long-term changes’You may become more open to new experiences and different points of view.’
’You may become more spiritual—whether or not you currently consider yourself spiritual.’
‘You may feel a deeper connection with nature.’
‘You may feel a greater sense of extroversion and openness to new experiences and ideas.’
‘These changes may lead you or your family to perceive you as different in various ways.’
Information about mechanism‘The benefits of this intervention may be related to or depend on these effects of the experience and these changes to your personality. We have found that encouraging participants to embrace the experience is important to achieving the benefits. In fact, trying to resist aspects of the experience can lead to more anxiety provoking and less beneficial outcomes.’
‘The benefits may also be related to the power of suggestion that the drug enables. For instance, patients with cancer have seen decreases in their depression with the experience. This might be, in part, because it helps them to accept the idea that their cancer lacks power over their mood and meaning in life.’
Therapeutic touch‘We can use our clinical discretion to support you during intense moments in the psychedelic experience, for instance by holding your hand if you become distressed. However, we would never do this unless you wished. Would you like us to? If so, we should talk about how to communicate about this during the experience.’
Questions for subjects’ reflection‘Would any of these changes be difficult for you?’
‘Do you have any further questions about this experience, its risks, or its benefits?’