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How Altered States of Consciousness Have a Healing Potential in Psychiatric Illness

Time consciousness and self consciousness are intrinsically related. Subjective time is generated through the sense of self as it is anchored in bodily feelings. A phenomenal analysis of fluctuations in conscious awareness between the extreme states of flow and boredom reveals how the senses of time and self are together modulated. A decreased awareness of the self is associated with diminished awareness of time. This relation is even more evident in altered states of consciousness (ASC) such as in meditative states, as experience in the floating tank, being exposed to the ganzfeld, under the influence of psychedelics and other drugs. A peak experience as reached in such states can occur as culminating in feelings of ‘selflessness’ and ‘timelessness’ – a reported universal spiritual experience when time is not experienced at all and the self becomes connected with others and the world. In many psychiatric syndromes, individuals show hyper-awareness of the self and of time. Patients are hyper self-aware, negative affect is high, and time drags. Moreover, those patients feel a loss of connection with other people. That is, the core features of ASC are antithetical to psychiatric symptoms. In recent years, scientific reports have accumulated which show positive effects of ASC induction on psychiatric symptoms, i.e. through meditation, exposure to the floating tank, and prominently so with psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca. Research is underway that aims at understanding the underlying mechanisms of how the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or drug dependence are reduced through induction of ASC. The modulation of the feeling of self and time is part of this process.



September 7th 2019


10:00 - 10:30


Marc Wittmann

Marc Wittmann

Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health more about the speaker

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Conference tickets

With your ticket you will have access to the whole conference - with keynotes, panels, round tables, posters and daylight social events. We will ask for a small extra fee for the Friday evening social program. The pre-conference workshops have to be booked separately and each workshop needs an individual ticket. By clicking on "Book now" below you also have the option to buy your workshop tickets.

*Reduced fees apply to students, cooperation partners as well as unemployed and retired individuals who have a monthly net income below 840,- €. Proof of status will be required.

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Catering service


With this ticket you can use the catering service all inclusive for three days. The service includes coffee, water, tea and fruit.


after 14 April 2019

  • Standard €250
  • Reduced €150*
  • MIND members Standard €180
  • MIND members Reduced €90



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