Event Details

At Monday May 18th, there will be a lecture by Joost Breeksema, the president of OPEN, at the University of Groningen. This lecture is organized by the English lecture committee of student society VIP (Psychology University of Groningen), in collaboration with the OPEN Foundation.

VIP created a Facebook event with more information on this lecture.


Discussing the therapeutic and mystical potential of psychedelics

When LSD was discovered in 1943, it was initially seen as a tool to mimic and understand psychosis. In the following years, psychedelics would be regarded as valuable instruments that could provide insight into otherwise inaccessible realms of the human mind. Pioneering Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof thought that ‘psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for medicine or the telescope for astronomy.’ Shortly after, however, psychedelics and related research were outlawed.

Recently a ‘psychedelic renaissance’ took off, ushering in a whole new phase of scientific investigation. Can psilocybin really help people overcome their fear of death? How does MDMA interact with the brain to heal heavily traumatized patients? Can psychedelics be used to treat addiction? And what role do mystical experiences play in all this?

In this lecture Joost Breeksema discusses past, present and future research directions, the latest scientific results and whether we really need science to understand the potential that psychedelic experiences offer.


Joost Breeksema (1982) earned his MA degree in philosophy with a thesis on mystical experiences. His interest in humanity’s ambiguous relationship with psychoactive substances has lead him to research, lecture and train on a variety of drug-related topics, like the Dutch Coffee Shop regulation and applying harm reduction in Eastern Africa. As co-founder and president of the OPEN Foundation in the Netherlands he is dedicated to reviving academic interest in the multi-faceted psychedelic experience.

This lecture will be in English