Hannes Kettner
Psychedelics researcher

Psychedelic communitas: Exploring the Role of Intersubjective Experience During Ceremony

Legal in many countries, retreats working with psychedelics and plant medicines offer a structured, supportive environment for an ever increasing group of individuals seeking healing, insight, or personal growth through the use of these compounds. Yet, little empirical research has been done on the psychological, social, and environmental factors - 'set' and 'setting' - which determine acute subjective and long-term responses to guided experiences in ceremonial and other naturalistic environments. In this talk, I will focus on the social components at play during psychedelic ceremonies and retreats, proposing a conceptual framework for the interpersonal dimension of psychedelic experiences inspired by anthropological research on ritual process and rites of passage.

Hannes has studied biosciences, philosophy, and psychology in Heidelberg and holds a MSc in Neuropsychology from Maastricht University. He is currently a member of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. While studying in the Netherlands, Hannes was involved in research with psychedelic experience providers for the first time. Through this interaction he became interested in how cognitive and mental health research can be integrated into and informed by naturalistic settings of psychedelic and plant medicine use, which is the focus of his work at Imperial.