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My research is primarily concerned with positive adult development, or what Abraham Maslow described as the “farther reaches of human nature.” I am particularly interested in the role of peak and plateau states in the process of psychospiritual growth throughout adulthood. A central focus has been studying the role for psychoactive substances in promoting optimal mental health and well-being through enhanced access to awe and related states. This dovetails with my clinical interest in existential anxiety and the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in psychosocial oncology and palliative care. I am particularly concerned with the relationship between loss and grief and the developmental process of self-transcendence.

St. Arnaud, K. O., & Sharpe, D.  (2023). Entheogens and spiritual seeking: The quest for self-transcendence, psychological well-being, and psychospiritual growth. Journal of Psychedelic Studies,

St. Arnaud, K. O., & Sharpe, D.  (2022). Opening to awe: Psychedelic-assisted self-transcendence and positive adult development. Journal of Adult Development,

St. Arnaud, K. O., & Sharpe, D.  (2022). Contextual parameters associated with positive and negative mental health in recreational psychedelic users. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, https://10.1080/02791072.2022.2039815

St. Arnaud, K. O. (2021). Toward a positive psychology of psychoactive drug use. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy,

St. Arnaud, K. O. (2019). Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for existential suffering: Facilitating self-transcendence at the end-of-life. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies,

St. Arnaud, K. O., & Cormier, D. C. (2017). Psychosis or spiritual emergency: The potential of developmental psychopathology for differential diagnosis. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 6, 44-59,

St. Arnaud, K. O. (2017). Encountering the wounded healer: Parallel process and supervision. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 51, 131-144.


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