Mind Meld 110 | Engineering Awe with Dr. Matthew Johnson

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Dr. Matthew Johnson is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral studies at Johns Hopkins University. Matthew has been involved in a number of studies that revolve around psychedelic medicine, including psilocybin-assisted end-of-life therapy and psilocybin-assisted smoking cessation.

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This, dear friends, is the sort of episode that I just want to charge right in to. It requires no linguistic foreplay, no musings to lubricate the coming mind meld (though I do need to watch my phrasing because I did just make a sandwich of a few fairly innocuous words that get pretty saucy when stacked).

Goofs aside, this one was an honor and a fabulous riff session with a man who is on the tip of the psychedelic spear. In fact you’ve probably read about Dr. Matthew Johnson’s work if you’ve been following the rapidly blossoming field of psychedelic medicine.

More specifically, Dr. Johnson has done trailblazing studies at John’s Hopkins University wielding the majesty of psilocybin. He’s used psilocybin-assisted therapy to alleviate end of life anxiety in late-stage cancer patients. He was involved in an incredibly successful smoking cessation study in which participants received psilocybin therapy as treatment for the notoriously ruthless addiction. (If you’re interested in learning more about the smoking study or enrolling, click here)

Dr. Johnson’s latest study that will explore how psilocybin impacts religious leaders from a variety of faiths.

All of it is unbelievably fascinating and hope-stoking fare that would have seemed beyond the pale just a few years ago.

I could ramble on (as you probably know), but I’ll just say this: If you’ve been following the show, you know how close to my heart the subject of psychedelic medicine is, so I’m overjoyed that we get to dive into it with someone as integral to the field as Matthew Johnson.

Musings in this mind meld 

  • Matthew’s studies and their results
  • The traditional approach to treating addiction versus the psychedelic approach
  • How does one take up the mantle of “psychedelic researcher?”
  • Matthew shares his opinion on other psychedelics and their possible clinical efficacy
  • Are psychedelic substances somehow different from other drugs?
  • How working with psychedelics for a living changes you on the deepest possible level
  • Matthew walks us through a psychedelic therapy session
  • “Keep your focus on the internal and don’t get hung up on the colors”
  • Will psilocybin really find legal use any time soon?

Patron-only Extra 

  • The legalization model Matthew and Michael would like to see
  • Matthew’s new study on how psilocybin will impact religious leaders
  • FMRI scans on people before and after psilocybin
  • More talk on the state of psychedelic medicine
  • Is the cannabis legalization model a good one to apply to psilocybin?



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