Program & Replays

Connecting the Psychedelic Dots: Transdiagnostic Psilocybin Healing of Tobacco Addiction, Depression, and Cancer Distress

Broadcast on May 12, 2023
With Matthew W. Johnson, PhD
Hosted by Joe Tafur, MD

Matthew W. Johnson, PhD, has conducted extensive clinical research with psilocybin over the last 19 years, including therapeutic trials examining psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction, major depressive disorder, and cancer distress. Psilocybin appears promising for these indications, prompting the question of whether psychedelic therapy targets unique issues within each disorder or targets common processes at play across such disorders.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • Psychedelic therapy may be effective for several nominally distinct mental health disorders
  • There are likely underappreciated commonalities across such disorders
  • Psychedelic therapy likely facilitates the psychotherapeutic process, invoking common factors known to facilitate healing, regardless of the theoretical orientation of the therapist
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Matthew W. Johnson, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University

Matthew W. Johnson, PhD, is The Susan Hill Ward Endowed Professor of Psychedelics and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Working with psychedelics since 2004, he is one of the world’s most widely published experts on psychedelics. He has published over 150 scientific papers, including psychedelic safety guidelines that helped to resurrect human psychedelic research (2008), the first research on psychedelic treatment of tobacco addiction (2014), and studies of psilocybin in cancer-related distress (2016) and depression (2020). His psilocybin review recommended Schedule IV classification upon potential medical approval (2018).

Matt also conducts behavioral economic research on the psychology of drug use, addiction, and sexual risk. He is a past president of the Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse Division of the American Psychological Association. In 2021 Matt received as principal investigator the first grant awarded by the U.S. government in 50 years for a treatment trial of a classic psychedelic (psilocybin for smoking cessation). He has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business News, NPR, and in Michael Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind

Matthew W. Johnson, PhD