Love and Connection in Psilocybin-Facilitated Research Studies
Mary Cosimano, M.S.W.
Sunday, April 23, 2017 • 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM • East Hall
Johns Hopkins University initiated their first psilocybin studies in the year 2000. Since that time, they have completed five psilocybin studies and are currently conducting three additional studies. Major findings from these studies have shown sustained positive effects in attitudes, mood, altruism, behavior and life satisfaction, for as long as 14 months. Another outcome was an increase in the personality domain of openness, and the cancer study results showed significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety. These transformative experiences are often the result having a mystical experience and involve deep-seated feelings of love and connection. I believe that our true nature is love, and I believe that love is connection – connection to ourselves, to others and to everything. There are a myriad of reasons we become disconnected from our true nature. Having been an integral part of these studies from the onset, I will present why I believe these experiences of love and connection are among the most important outcomes of these studies, and appear to offer a means to reconnect to our true nature. Psilocybin seems to act as a key to open our minds and allow access to our true nature, to love. The experiences recounted to me by study participants, as well as my concurrent personal journey, together with our study results, and relevant literature, represent a large body of data from which I derive my conclusions.
Mary Cosimano, M.S.W., is currently with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has served as study guide and research coordinator for the psilocybin studies for over 16 years. During that time she has been a session guide, involved with all the psilocybin studies, and has conducted over 380 sessions. She has trained post doctorate fellows, research assistants and interns as assistant guides. She has administered the psychological evaluations for psilocybin studies as well as other studies in the Behavioral Biology Research Unit. In addition to her work with the psilocybin studies, she has been involved in the Salvia Divinorum, Dextromethorphan, and Club Drug studies conducted at Johns Hopkins. She taught individual and group meditation to breast cancer patients in a Johns Hopkins research study, and taught at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) for their Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Program. She also has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer.