“It’s like shrooms times a million, plus aliens”: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of experiential accounts from ayahuasca users in Britain

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperpeer-review


Psychedelic consciousness is linked with deeper awareness into one’s psyche and connection to the transpersonal (Metzner, 1998). Recently, academia has witnessed the growth of psychedelic research (Sessa, 2012). Specifically, qualitative analyses into these states, including ayahuasca. Anecdotal reports of ayahuasca include profound transformations in one’s psycho-spiritual nature (Shanon, 2002). Nevertheless, the data is sparse on the phenomenology and there is a shortage of face-to-face interviews on ayahuasca users from western civilisations (Luke, 2011). The aim of the present study was to examine the phenomenological accounts of ayahuasca users from Britain. Three participants (1 male, 2 females) completed semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis philosophy was used to interpret ayahuasca users’ experiences. Research found evidence for 3 super-themes: psychotherapeutic healing, spiritual re-birth and materialistic society anti-spiritual. Research findings promote the future exploration of the therapeutic applications of ayahuasca. Additionally, there is an opportunity to explore the psycho-social features of ayahuasca discursively.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2017
Event60th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association - Athens, Greece
Duration: 20 Jul 201723 Jul 2017


Conference60th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association
OtherThe Parapsychological Association (PA) will be coming to Greece to host Athens’ first international parapsychology meeting in 87 years. The event will be held at the Titania Hotel near Syntagma square, where scientists and scholars from around the world will gather for three days of paper presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on the latest research into psi and related phenomena, such as extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, psychic healing, altered states of consciousness, mediumship and possible survival of bodily death. Organized by PA Members Callum E. Cooper and Nikolaos Koumartzis, the event will be open to the public and to academics alike.
Internet address


  • Ayahuasca
  • psychedelics
  • parapsychology
  • transformation
  • identity


Dive into the research topics of '“It’s like shrooms times a million, plus aliens”: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of experiential accounts from ayahuasca users in Britain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this