Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Dr. Adele Lafrance: The Role of Love in Conventional Psychotherapy - Lessons from Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

March 08, 2021 Season 2 Episode 9
Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Dr. Adele Lafrance: The Role of Love in Conventional Psychotherapy - Lessons from Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
Show Notes

The emergence and research of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has yielded a number of  insights with respect to potential mechanisms of change in psychotherapy.  The experience of "love" (including perceiving the love of others, self-love or even being love) has been identified as a particularly powerful element in some forms of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.  In this episode, clinical psychologist, research scientist and author Dr. Adele Lafrance and host Dr. Pete Kelly explore the role of love in psychotherapy including:  

  • the personal and professional origins of Dr. Lafrance's interest in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy
  • a brief consideration of the kinds of mental experiences reported by clients during psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, including love from others, self-love or being love
  • important caveats around safety & potential disruption in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy 
  • the difficulty in discussing "love" in psychotherapy both among professionals as well as with clients, with an important focus on what is meant by the term "love" in the context of psychotherapy (i.e., not romantic love), professional boundaries,  client perceptions, working with vulnerable populations etc.
  • love as a form of truth & relationship to ideas around consciousness   
  • the critical importance of self-love in psychotherapy 
  • how clinicians can foster self-love as a way of bolstering self-care

An important disclaimer: today’s episode is for general information only.  Although we are discussing insights gained from formal scientific research of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, it needs to be underscored that psychedelic compounds are powerful psychoactive chemicals that can carry significant risk of harm for certain vulnerable individuals, especially those with active symptoms of psychosis or bipolar disorder or a clinical or a family history of psychosis or bipolar disorder.  Use of these compounds outside of research settings is also currently illegal in many jurisdictions. As such, in the discussion of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy we are in no way endorsing or encouraging the use of psychedelic compounds for any particular individual. If you are interested in further information around psychedelic assisted psychotherapy please see below for suggestions around sources of reputable information around ongoing research trials in this area. 

Dr. Adele Lafrance is a clinical psychologist, research scientist, author and co-developer of emotion-focused treatment modalities, including Emotion-Focused Family Therapy.  A frequent keynote speaker at professional conferences, Adele has published extensively in the field of emotion and health, including a clinical manual on EFFT published by the American Psychological Association. She is passionate about helping parents to support their kids in a way that is informed by the latest developments in neuroscience. The knowledge and tips in her book, What to Say to Kids When Nothing Seems to Work is an effort to do just that.  With colleagues, she also makes a wealth of caregiving resources available at no cost at Mental Health Foundations. Adele is also a leader in the research and practice of psychedelic medicine, with a focus on ayahuasca, MDMA, psilocybin and ketamine. Currently, she is a collaborator/clinical supervisor on the Imperial College study for psilocybin and anorexia nervosa. She is a founding member of the Love Project.  Adele has a particular interest in mechanisms and models of healing, including emotion processing, spirituality and family-based psychedelic psychotherapy. She is a frequent contributor in the media relating to emotion, health and the science of psychedelics.