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The psychological experiences that have been most dismissed in Western Culture are the states we deem ‘mental illness’, especially anxiety and depression, as well as the ecstatic and mystical states of primary religious experience. In both cases, we have systematically pathologized the sensations from deep within our own bodies and those from beyond ourselves, which are resultantly experienced as aberrant, painful, and meaningless suffering. When we reject these callings, not only do they fester and aggravate, but we equally deprive ourselves of a possible source of psychic fulfillment.

Since 2008, RSF has been funding research into the class of compounds known as ‘psychedelics’ as among the most promising tools for reinstilling access to vital and often repressed parts of our psychic lives. Psychedelics lower our perceptual filters and can provide meaningful expression to relinquished and unbidden material within ourselves and the world around us, allowing them to speak to us through the language of images, archetypes, and emotions, bypassing the defensive or socially conditioned mind. 

RiverStyx Psychospiritual Programs 
Clinical Psychedelic Research 
Clinical Research Funded in Part by RSF

  • Psilocybin for Cancer Anxiety - Johns Hopkins (Phase 2) 

  • Psilocybin for Major Depression and Cancer Related Depression Multi-Site (Phase 3: Beginning 2018) 

  • Psilocybin for the Treatment of Alcoholism - NYU

  • Psilocybin for the Treatment of Smoking Cessation - Johns Hopkins 

  • Psilocybin for the Treatment of Alzheimers - Johns Hopkins 

  • Psilocybin for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder - Johns Hopkins

  • Psilocybin/LSD for the Treatment of Opiate Use Disorder - Johns Hopkins & UBC

  • Psilocybin for Home Hospice Patients - Dana-Farber/Harvard University

  • Psilocybin for Physicians with COVID Related Burnout - University of Washington 

  • MDMA for PTSD (Phase 2) 

  • MDMA for PTSD (Phase 3: Beginning 2018) 

  • MDMA for Anxiety Related to a Life-Threatening Illness

  • Ibogaine for Opiate Use Disorder (Spain/ICEERS) 

  • Ayahuasca for Complex Grief and Bereavement Support - (Spain/ICEERS) 

  • Pre-Clinical: Psychedelics for Inflammatory Illness / Rheumatoid Arthritis -  LSU (2022) 

Psychedelics and Spirituality 
Spirituality Reseach Funded By RSF
  • Psilocybin for Religious Leaders - Johns Hopkins / NYU

  • Psilocybin for Long-Term Meditators - Johns Hopkins 

Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research Funded/Initiated by RiverStyx

  • Subjective effects of psilocybin for cancer anxiety "Cancer at the Dinner Table"

  • Subjective effects of psilocybin for smoking cessation 

  • Subjective effects of psilocybin for alcoholism 

  • Subjective effects of MDMA for the treatment of PTSD + End of Life Distress 

  • Subjective effects of psilocybin in Religious Leaders (in progress)

  • Subjective effects of psilocybin on OCD (in progress)

Grantee Partners 
Women's Visionary Council.jpg
Heffter Research Institute.jpg
Botanical Dimensions.jpg
SF Zen Center.jpg
Usona Institute.jpg
PSI 2000.jpg
Zendo Project.jpg





Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful. Hence, one must choose a master, God being out of style.

-Albert Camus

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