Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/handle/10219/3122
Title: The role of ceremonial ayahuasca use and the healing of eating disorders: a qualitative study
Authors: Renelli, Marika
Item Type: Thesis
Degree: Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology
Keywords: eating disorders;Ayahuasca;therapeutic potential;conventional eating disorder treatment
Issue Date: 11-May-2018
Abstract: Eating disorders (EDs) are serious mental disorders and are associated with significant physical, psychological and social impairments. As EDs are highly treatment-resistant, novel approaches are needed and therapeutic modalities from other cultures must be explored. A growing body of literature has revealed that individuals struggling with depression, anxiety and problematic substance use and most recently EDs, have reported physical and psychological improvements with the use of a psychoactive plant-based brew known as ayahuasca. The present manuscriptbased thesis sought to better understand ayahuasca’s potential value as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of EDs. Two qualitative studies were conducted to identify; 1) the perceived outcomes from ceremonial ayahuasca that may influence ED healing, and 2) the overall impressions of conventional ED treatment with a comparison of ayahuasca to these conventional approaches. Participants with a history of a diagnosed ED and experience with ceremonial ayahuasca were interviewed and the transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Overall, the themes identified suggest that ayahuasca works as an integrative approach that includes psychological, physical, relational and spiritual aspects of healing. As well, in comparison to conventional-ED approaches, participants perceived that ayahuasca worked on a deeper, more emotional and spiritual level that was more effective than conventional treatment. The study results suggest that ceremonial ayahuasca can serve as a valuable therapeutic tool, giving hope to those individuals for whom conventional ED treatment approaches have not been effective. Further research studies on ayahuasca as adjuncts to ED treatment are warranted.
URI: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/handle/10219/3122
Appears in Collections:Master's theses
Master's Theses

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