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Unravelling the Impact of Childhood Trauma on Post-traumatic Growth

Article Title: “Childhood Trauma, Challenging Experiences, and Posttraumatic Growth in Ayahuasca Use”

Authors:Ksenia Cassidy, CJ Healy, Eva Henje, and Wendy D’Andrea

Publication Date: 2024

DOI: 10.1177/20503245241238316


The study delves into whether individuals with a self-reported history of childhood trauma experience more intense challenges during ayahuasca use and if these experiences contribute to long-term benefits like post-traumatic growth.

Study Overview

Conducted by Cassidy and colleagues, this research utilised an online survey format to gather data from 231 participants, aiming to assess the correlation between childhood trauma and the effects during and after ayahuasca use.

Key Findings

Childhood trauma and ayahuasca:

Individuals with childhood trauma are not at increased risk of adverse experiences during ayahuasca sessions compared to those without such histories.

Post-traumatic growth:

There is no significant increase in post-traumatic growth among those with a history of childhood trauma versus those without.



The study challenges existing assumptions about the impact of childhood trauma on responses to psychedelic therapy. It suggests that ayahuasca could be a viable therapeutic option without increased risk for individuals with traumatic backgrounds.


These findings provide critical insights for therapists and individuals considering psychedelics as a therapeutic tool, highlighting that ayahuasca might be used safely across different psychological backgrounds.

Potential Application

This research paves the way for broader application of ayahuasca in therapeutic settings, especially for managing conditions linked to childhood trauma.


Ayahuasca’s therapeutic use does not correlate with an increased risk of challenging experiences for those with childhood trauma, nor does it enhance posttraumatic growth uniquely for them, suggesting a more universally applicable benefit.



Cassidy, K., Healy, C. J., Henje, E., & D’Andrea, W. (2024). Childhood trauma, challenging experiences, and posttraumatic growth in ayahuasca use. Drug Science, Policy and Law, 10, 1-10.

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