Magic mushrooms: Easing depression and anxiety at end of life

Could the ancient practice of using psychedelic compounds for insight and healing have a legitimate and safe role in today's health care? For many people, receiving a fatal diagnosis leads to psychological suffering, including anxiety and depression. Discover the intriguing implications of psilocybin-facilitated experiences in offering a sense of connection, meaning and transcendence at the end of life.

Mind-altering medicine

Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D.

Anthony Bossis, Ph.D.

Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D., conducts FDA-approved clinical trials in the reemerging field of psychedelic research. He is a clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine investigating the effects of psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound found in specific species of mushrooms. Dr. Bossis was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and session guide on the 2016 landmark clinical trial showing a significant reduction in psychological distress along with enhanced existential well-being from a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in persons with cancer. He is also lead investigator on a trial evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, and a greater awareness of deeply felt positive emotions including that of love.

Dr. Bossis is a supervisor of psychotherapy at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center and co-founder and former co-director of the Bellevue Hospital Palliative Care Service. He has a long-standing interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.