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Linguistic Markers of the Level of Integration of Ayahuasca Experiences

Petra Bokor, MSc Transpersonal Psychology, PhD Candidate, University of Pécs.

The presentation summarizes the linguistic markers that indicate the level of integration of ayahuasca experiences. Eleven European participants were followed for the period of 1 year, during which they participated in 3-5 ayahuasca rituals and a follow up period of 6 months. Follow up reports were gathered every 6-8 weeks in group setting completed by individual closing interviews. Independent clinical psychologists distinguished the participants who integrated the experienced by the end of the one year period from those who failed to do so. The subgroups of ‘integrated’ and ‘not integrated’ were then determined and the follow-up reports of the groups analyzed by a quantitative narrative method (NarrCat) developed by the Hungarian Scientific Academy and the University of Pécs. The NarrCat focuses on linguistic specifics such as the rate of emotional vs cognitive words, passivity vs activity, I vs we reference, the style and tense of narration etc. A Regressive Imagination Dictionary was also used as part of the analysis focusing on psychological qualities such as drive, moral, restrictions, abstraction, defense etc. The linguistic patterns of the two subgroups revealed by the analysis were compared. The overall aim of the analysis is to discover psychological factors that support the integration of ayahuasca experiences allowing therapists to better understand the process of integration and develop tools for its facilitation.

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