Psychedelics and inner dimensions of sustainability


How can psychedelics support sustainability? In this new paper published in the European Journal of Ecopsychology me and Marion Nilsson review the evidence of links between classic psychedelics and inner dimensions of sustainable change See abstract below:

Tackling sustainability issues requires engagement with inner dimensions of sustainability, including the beliefs, values, worldviews and paradigms that influence how people perceive and behave in society and in relation to the natural world. Research on classic psychedelics is undergoing a renaissance, and despite the oftenstated positive effects and potentials for perceptual and behavioural change, research on psychedelics has previously not been systematically linked with sustainability. This paper aims to explore the role of classic psychedelics for sustainability transformations by outlining the links between the inner dimensions of sustainability and psychedelic research. Through a systematic literature review, we identify how the effects of classic psychedelics have been linked to inner dimensions of sustainability across a range of fields including neuroscience, psychology, psychopharmacology, sustainability studies, ecopsychology, and psychotherapy up until June 2020. We categorise the literature into the overlapping themes: i) values & personality, ii) (nature) connectedness, and iii) worldviews & spirituality. Overall, a small sample of papers made explicit links to inner dimensions of sustainability, and a larger sample of papers could be implicitly linked to inner sustainability. This review shows that classic psychedelics bear potential as a deep leverage point for inner sustainability transformations, and further research is warranted. 

I am very happy to finally have this paper published! This work is building on Marion's masters thesis, and we started the study in 2020 followed by a lengthy process of searching for a suitable journal for this topic. I hope it will inspire future research on links (and caveats) between inner dimensions of change and psychedelics. As this review shows, we are only yet scratching the surface. 


Nilsson, M & Stålhammar, S. (2024) Psychedelics and inner dimensions of sustainability: A Literature Review. European Journal of Ecopsychology 9: 4 - 47 available at: