Joost Breeksema – The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research

In this episode, Joe interviews Joost Breeksema from the Netherlands to talk about the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. In the show they cover topics on ICPR 2020, and the importance of accessibility.

3 Key Points:

  1. The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research takes place April 24-26, 2020 in the Netherlands.
  2. It’s important to acknowledge the indigenous, ethical, and political dimensions to psychedelic use at conferences.
  3. Although this conference will be catered toward mainstream science and research, personal experiences and stories are important too.

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Show Notes

About Joost

  • Joost is a part of the OPEN Foundation
  • ICPR is a huge conference
    • Nobody before was doing research on psychedelics in the Netherlands
  • William James work sparked Joost’s interest in psychedelics


  • Starting with the OPEN Foundation, the conference has been very scientific
    • It is interdisciplinary, but also taken very seriously
    • This field is so broad, you could really never get bored
  • Wade Davis, Alicia Danforth, Matt Johnson and more will be speaking at the conference
  • There will be over 80 speakers
  • Joost expects it to be a pretty international conference, half local, and half from abroad
  • Psychiatrists are usually short on time, and they like things compressed more
  • It’s really easy and cheap to grow psilocybin as mushrooms or truffles
    • Even in Mexico, they need to use GMP Psilocybin


  • If this is going to be the treatment, how are we going to help people afford it?” – Joe
  • There is some tricky stuff happening, companies trying to patent different parts of psilocybin to use it for therapeutic use
  • Ketamine has been off patent for years, but you can develop a new route of administration, patent that, and make a ton of money
  • Spravato is making it to the UK

Conference Themes

  • Joost is both excited and scared that they are bringing indigenous practitioners to the conference
    • It’s important to acknowledge the indigenous, ethical, and political dimensions to psychedelic use
    • Talking about concepts and approaches to healing is going to be an important aspect
    • The goal would be to do research with the indigenous communities to be able to address the needs of psychedelic use
  • There are also a few neuroimaging people coming
  • For mainstream scientists, the conference has to be as close to a scientific conference as possible, they may be turned off to the cultural aspects of psychedelics
    • It’s the conservative nature of psychedelia
  • Joost also says that although the scientific research is important, it is really cool to hear the personal experiences
  • People’s experience with psychedelics may be completely different from each other
    • It’s important to share the bad stories with the good stories
    • If we don’t share the stories and data and research, then we can never learn
  • Joe hopes that there will be a growth of citizen science in the near future



About Joost

Joost Breeksema is a part of the OPEN Foundation, which from it came the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. His current research focuses on the experiences of patients that are undergoing therapy assisted by psychedelic substances. His aim is to better understand psychological mechanisms of action/change, to tease out salient themes, and finally to learn about what works and what does not work in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

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