Professor Kevin St Arnaud

Summit Video

A Brief Bio

Kevin St Arnaud’s research is primarily concerned with positive adult development, or what Abraham Maslow described as the “farther reaches of human nature.” He has focused particularly on 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. Kevin’s clinical interests include existential anxiety and the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in psychosocial oncology and palliative care. His work is particularly concerned with the relationship between loss and grief and the developmental process of self-transcendence.


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,

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