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  • 1.
    Ahlin, Klas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Prerequisites for teaching mindfulness and meditation: Experienced teachers from different traditions share their insights2016In: Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, E-ISSN 2157-7595, Vol. 6, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Several authors have suggested demands and requirements for teaching mindfulness and meditation. In the scientific literature there is however a lack of evaluation of mindfulness teachers and how to teach mindfulness meditation effectively. This study aims at providing deeper insight of the importance of the teachers in the field of mindfulness and meditation and it investigates how mindfulness and meditation teachers describe the prerequisites for teaching mindfulness and meditation.

    Method: The method of Thematic Analysis, TA, was utilized to analyse the data from semi-structured interviews conducted with twelve experienced teachers, from different mindfulness and meditation traditions. The participants are mindfulness and meditation teachers from either within the Buddhist, secular or both Buddhist and secular contexts.

    Results: The analysis resulted in three main themes and nine subthemes, such as for example the main theme; Teacher qualification with subthemes; Becoming teacher, Being teacher, Pedagogic skills and Social skills. The results suggest a flexible and pragmatic view on how mindfulness and meditation teaching should be provided. Instead of a fixed set of requirements for the teacher and the student, what makes mindfulness and meditation teaching effective has to do with the ability to recognize the potential in every unique situation with an understanding of the impermanent and interdependent relationship between teacher, student and context.

    Conclusion: Being and becoming a teacher is a continuous process and anyone can assume the role of mindfulness and meditation teacher. It is dependent on the students and the context. A formalized education is not a prerequisite but what is required is sufficient compassion and insight. For the teacher’s compassion and insight to ripen and for the student to learn, non-ideal conditions and suffering, is required and it is helpful with supportive fellow practitioners, teachers, especially if they themselves practice what they teach and share what they know.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Martin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Aspects of Substance displacement - from illicit drugs to novel psychoactive substance2016In: Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, E-ISSN 2155-6105, Vol. 7, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several hundred new synthetic drugs, novel psychoactive substances (NPS) or “legal highs” have in recent years appeared on the drug market. These can effortlessly be obtained from on-line vendors, offering an easy access to a plethora of new and untested substances, often with unknown or dangerous effects. Several different attempts to reduce the availability of NPS and to prevent accidents and fatalities have been applied by governments around the world. Nonetheless this complex and constantly evolving situation provides palpable dilemmas and challenges to legislators and prevention strategists. One unintended consequence from prohibition and current drug policies occurs when possibly more precarious substances are used to substitute older and more well-known illicit drugs; so called “substance displacement”. We have performed extensive research on the use of NPS, by analyzing Internet resources (drug discussion forum, on-line questionnaires), and published several NPS studies. During our research we observed how substance displacement is a common issue, with implications for both clinical practices, drug prevention strategies, as well as for legislators. In the present review we discuss two common themes of substance displacement: 1) Synthetic cannabinoids replace herbal cannabis, and 2) Different attempts for self-medication using NPS. Incitements for substance displacement, that exposes the user to possibly more harmful substances, are founded both in legislation (availability of substances and fear of legal repercussions) as well as from certain policies or cultural perceptions of various medical conditions. We offer no obvious solutions to these complications, but would like to contribute to awareness of how these factors effects drug users and how measures intended to reduce harm in many cases have the opposite effects. Further studies on the divergent motivations and different groups of NPS users are highlighted as imperative to find new and realistic solutions going forward. 

  • 3.
    Andersson, Martin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety (from 2013).
    The slippery slope of flubromazolam: Experiences of a novel psychoactive benzodiazepine as discussed on a Swedish online forum2017In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 217-229Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the effects experienced by users of a novel psychoactive substance, the benzodiazepine flubromazolam, by analysing users' own accounts on the Swedish forum Flashback.org. Method: A thematic analysis of anonymous self-reports published on the forum was performed and generated five general themes describing effects and experiences by flubromazolam users. Results: The themes which emerged were: Onset and duration, Desired effects, Adverse effects and addiction, Loss of control, General estimations and evaluations. The main reported characteristics of flubromazolam were heavy hypnotic and sedative effects, long-lasting amnesiac effects and the rapid development of tolerance. Flubromazolam was also anxiolytic and acted as a muscle relaxant for many users. Some users experienced euphoria or intense wellbeing. Other prominent characteristics were loss of control (leading to poor choices and actions, with unpleasant consequences) and long-lasting, often severe withdrawals. There were also serious incidents where users had been admitted to hospital, acute psychiatric treatment or taken into custody by the police. Conclusion: Flubromazolam appears to be a highly addictive and precarious benzodiazepine with many, possibly severe, side effects. The substance is generally described as very potent and with long-lasting effects. Memory loss and loss of control are common adverse effects, and withdrawals appear to be severe for many users

  • 4.
    Andersson, Martin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Persson, Mari
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Psychoactive substances as a last resort—a qualitative study of self-treatment of migraine and cluster headaches2017In: Harm Reduction Journal, ISSN 1477-7517, E-ISSN 1477-7517, Vol. 14, no 60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Treatment resistant cluster headache and migraine patients are exploring alternative treatments online. The aim of this study was to improve comprehension regarding the use of non-established or alternative pharmacological treatments used by sufferers of cluster headaches and migraines.

    Methods: A qualitative thematic analysis of the users’ own accounts presented in online forum discussions were conducted. The forum boards https://shroomery.org/, http://bluelight.org, and https://clusterbusters.org/ met the inclusion criteria and were used for the study.

    Results: The analysis resulted in six themes: a desperate need for effective treatments; the role of the forum—finding alternative treatments and community support; alternative treatment substances; dosage and regimens; effects and treatment results; and adverse effects. The results provide an insight into why, how, and by which substances and methods sufferers seek relief from cluster headache and migraines.

    Conclusions: These patients are in a desperate and vulnerable situation, and illicit psychoactive substances are often considered a last resort. There appeared to be little or no interest in psychoactive effects per se as these were rather tolerated or avoided by using sub-psychoactive doses. Primarily, psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide, and related psychedelic tryptamines were reportedly effective for both prophylactic and acute treatment of cluster headache and migraines. Treatment results with cannabis were more unpredictable. No severe adverse events were reported, but it was observed how desperation sometimes spurred risky behavior when obtaining and testing various treatment alternatives. The forum discourse mainly revolved around maximizing treatment results and minimizing potential harms. 

  • 5.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Sundequist, U.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, Gun
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Nursing.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Effects of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) on stress related muscle pain: What makes the difference in therapy, attention-placebo or the relaxation response?2005In: Pain Research and Management, 10, 201-209Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Sundequist, U.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, L.
    Nordenström, K.
    Nordström, Gun
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Nursing.
    Eliciting the relaxation response with the help of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) in patients with stress-related ailments2006In: Internation journal of Stress Manage. 2006;13:154-175Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
    Sundequist, Ulf
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
    Nordström, Gun
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
    Effects of Flotation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) on Stress Related Muscle Pain: Are 33 flotation sessions more effective as compared to 12 sessions?2007In: Social behavior and personality, ISSN 0301-2212, E-ISSN 1179-6391, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 143-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to investigate whether or not 33 flotation sessions were more effective for stress-related ailments than 12 sessions. Participants were 37 patients, 29 women and 8 men, all diagnosed as having stress-related pain of a muscle tension type. The patients were randomized to one of two conditions: 12 flotation-REST treatments or 33 flotation-REST treatments. Analyses for subjective pain typically indicated that 12 sessions were enough to get considerable improvements and no further improvements were noticed after 33 sessions. A similar pattern was observed concerning the stress-related psychological variables: experienced stress, anxiety, depression, negative affectivity, dispositional optimism, and sleep quality. For blood pressure no effects were observed after 12 sessions, but there was a significant lower level for diastolic blood pressure after 33 sessions. The present study highlighted the importance of finding suitable complementary treatments in order to make further progress after the initial 12 sessions.

  • 8.
    Edebol, Hanna
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Enhanced independence and quality of life through treatment with flotation-Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique of a patient with both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Aspergers Syndrome: a case report2009In: Cases Journal, ISSN 1757-1626, Vol. 2, no 6979Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction

    The objective of this qualitative case report was to describe experiences of flotation-Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique from the perspective of a woman with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Aspergers syndrome and experiences of depression and distress.

    Case presentationThe respondent is a 36-year-old woman from Sweden, assessed and diagnosed by a neuropsychological multi-professional team in 2006. The 19-session flotation series prolonged during almost one year.

    Conclusion

    The positive development of arousal control, activity regulation, sensory integration and interpretation, cognitive functioning and emotional maturity created experiences of personal independence and quality of life. Flotation-restrictive environmental stimulation technique was experienced as a meaningful treatment. Additional studies of treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and comorbid disorders in adults using the flotation-restrictive environmental stimulation technique are strongly encouraged.

  • 9.
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Grim, Katarina
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Do highly sensitive persons experience more non-ordinary states of consciousness during sensory isolation?2014In: Social behavior and personality, ISSN 0301-2212, E-ISSN 1179-6391, Vol. 42, no 9, p. 1495-1506Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Our aim was to investigate whether or not highly sensitive persons experienced more nonordinary/altered states of consciousness (ASC) during 45 minutes of sensory isolation in a flotation tank, than did less sensitive persons. Psychology students (N = 57) were allocated to 1 of 2 groups (high and low levels of sensitivity) depending on their score on the Highly Sensitive Person Scale. Prior to the flotation session participants completed questionnaires to assess their degree of depression, anxiety, optimism, absorption, and how often they had experienced a mystical state. After the flotation session we assessed degree of ASC. The main finding was that the highly sensitive individuals experienced significantly more ASC during flotation than did the individuals in the low sensitivity group. Further, the highly sensitive participants had significantly more absorption and anxiety, and had experienced mystical states more frequently prior to flotation, in comparison to individuals with low-level sensitivity.

  • 10.
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety.
    Characterizing the experience of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A phenomenological study2017In: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, ISSN 1876-3820, E-ISSN 1876-3839, Vol. 12, p. 53-59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Among the anxiety disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is currently the most treatment resistant, suggesting that treatment protocols could be enhanced. A promising treatment of GAD is flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique), which in earlier studies has been shown to alleviate symptoms in GAD. Although, research on flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has shown promising results no study has explored how the treatment is experienced. By applying a phenomneological perspective the present study aims to characterize the experience of undergoing flotation-REST treatment while suffering from GAD. Nine participants with GAD, as defined with self-report measures, participated. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews that were conducted after the completion of a twelve session treatment profram with flotaiton-REST. The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) method was usedfor gathering and analyzing the data. The analysis resulted in six themes that characterize the experience of undergoing a flotation-REST treatment while having GAD: (1) obstacles in treatment, (2) a relaxed and safe vantage point, (3) non-ordinary states of consciousness, (4) connecting with oneself, (5) new attitudes and coping strategies, (6) enhanced life-quality. The results highlights that flotation-REST treatment of GAD was experienced as a comprehensive processes that were both challenging and pleasant. The results indicated that the method positively affected symptoms and the core issue associated with GAD on an experiential level. The present study also genereated some initial understanding regarding potential mechanisms that migh mediate and maintain positive treatment effects when flotation-REST is applied as an intervention of GAD. 

  • 11.
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Curing the sick and creating supermen - How relaxation in flotation tank is advertised on the Internet2014In: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, ISSN 1876-3820, E-ISSN 1876-3839, Vol. 6, no 5, p. 601-609Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A randomized controlled pilot trial2016In: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ISSN 1472-6882, E-ISSN 1472-6882, Vol. 16, article id 108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: During Flotation-REST a person is floating inside a quiet and dark tank, filled with heated salt saturated water. Deep relaxation and beneficial effects on e.g. stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression have been documented in earlier research. Despite that treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are effective; it is till the least successfully treated anxiety disorder, indicating that treatment protocols can be enhanced. The use of Flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has not been researched. The aim of the present study was to conduct an initial evaluation of the effects in a self-diagnosed GAD sample.

    Methods: This study was a randomized, parallel group, non-blinded trial with 1:1 allocation ratio to waiting list control group (n = 25) or to a twelve session treatment with flotation-REST (n = 25). Inclusion criteria’s were: 18–65 years and GAD (as defined by self-report measures). The primary outcome was GAD-symptomatology, and secondary outcomes were depression, sleep difficulties, emotion regulation difficulties and mindfulness. Assessments were made at three time points (baseline, four weeks in treatment, post-treatment), and at six-month follow-up. The main data analyses were conducted with a two-way MANOVA and additional t-tests. Forty-six participants (treatment, n = 24; control, n = 22) were included in the analyses.

    Results: A significant Time x Group interaction effect for GAD-symptomatology [F(2,88) = 2.93, p < .001, η2p = .062] was found. Further analyses showed that the GAD-symptomatology was significantly reduced for the treatment group (t(23) = 4.47, p < .001), but not for the waiting list control group (t(21) = 0.98, p > .05), when comparing baseline to post-treatment scoring. Regarding clinical significant change, 37 % in the treatment group reached full remission at post-treatment. Significant beneficial effects were also found for sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression, while the treatment had ambiguous or non-existent effects on pathological worry and mindfulness. All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for depression, were maintained at 6-months follow. No negative effects were found.

    Conclusion: The findings suggest that the method has potential as a complementary treatment alongside existing treatment for GAD. More studies are warranted to further evaluate the treatments efficacy. 

  • 13.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Altering consciousness in the laboratory setting2002Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]



    Abstract. The purpose of the presented investigations was to study the phenomenology and effects of altered states of consciousness (ASC) induced through previous illicit use of psychedelic drugs as well as experimentally induced ASC through the flotation tank restricted environmental stimulation technique (flotation-REST) in a laboratory setting. Of special interest was the effect of flotation-REST induced ASC as a function of previous experiences of ASC and defined experimentally modified settings on creativity, stress and psychological subjective impact.



    In Paper I it was shown that through a structured anonymous questionnaire of previous illicit psychedelic drug users that transpersonal experience clusters, as described by Stanislav Grof during therapeutic use of LSD, were well represented outside the therapeutic setting. The psychological implications and also adverse effects of ASC in non-supportive settings are discussed.



    In Paper II it was shown that such mild techniques as that induced by so called flotation-REST to some extent may induce altered states of consciousness comparable with psychedelic drugs. These experimentally induced flotation-REST experiences are described in detail and the effect as a function of modified pre-flotation setting (fantasy/strict) and previous experiences of ASC was studied in Paper II. It was shown that "expectation" and "setting" had no significant effect on the subjective flotation-experience. Also, a significant elevation of mood and a pain-reducing effect were noted from prefloating to postfloating.



    In Paper III, experimental modifications of both "setting" (stress/non-stress) and technique (chamber-REST versus flotation-REST) were performed in connection with measurements of creativity. Chamber-REST and flotation-REST were equally effective in reducing stress, but flotation-REST altered consciousness to a higher degree than chamber-REST. Floatation-REST induced more originality and impaired deductive thinking whereas chamber-REST induced more realistic and elaborated thinking. An interaction effect was noted in so far as participants stressed in the chamber-REST condition showed more realism than their non-stressed counterparts.



    The results from the present investigations show that flotation-REST offers a safe and practical method of inducing altered states of consciousness in a controlled laboratory setting. In light of the presented findings, the technique is seen as a promising area for future research on stress reduction, pain treatment and personal development.



    Key words: Altered states of consciousness, ASC, Floating, Flotation, REST, Psychedelic, Pain, Creativity.

  • 14.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    The experience of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique: Consciousness, Creativity, Subjective Stress and Pain2003Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract. The purpose of the presented investigations was to study the influence and effects of altered states of consciousness (ASC) induced through the flotation tank restricted environmental stimulation technique (flotation-REST) in a laboratory setting. The results from the present investigations indicate that flotation-REST may offer a safe and practical method of inducing altered states of consciousness in a controlled laboratory setting. Throughout, flotation-REST was experienced as a positive event by the participants. In order to optimize the conditions of flotation-REST, possible differences in the type of experiences due to different settings (strict/fantasy) applied in the laboratory were examined; no such differences were obtained. Nor were experiences in the flotation tank affected by participants earlier experiences of altered states of consciousness. Mental experiences reported from flotation-REST include deep relaxation, experiences of leaving or losing contact with the body, visual and auditory pseudo-hallucinations and transpersonal experiences. Comparisons between chamber-REST and flotation-REST indicated that the flotation-REST group experienced a significantly higher degree of ASC as compared to the chamber-REST group. The instrument, EDN-scale, was developed to allow these measures. Investigations of creativity indicated that flotation-REST induced more originality and impaired deductive thinking, in comparison to chamber-REST. Chamber-REST induced more realistic and elaborated thinking compared to flotation-REST. Comparison of these two conditions indicated that both flotation-REST and chamber-REST were equally effective in reducing subjectively experienced stress. An experimental pain procedure was arranged in order to study the experience of pain in connection with individuals experiencing ASC (induced by flotation-REST). A higher level of pain and stress was obtained in those individuals with high ASC in the flotation-group compared with those with low ASC (as measured with the EDN-scale). The individuals presenting high ASC also experienced duration of experimental pain as shorter compared with low ASC individuals, within the flotation-REST condition. Within the chamber-REST condition, there were no differences between the low ASC and high ASC individuals. To study the possible pain-alleviating effects of flotation-REST upon existing, chronic pain, a series of flotation-REST treatments over a three-week period was carried out. It was found that the participants most severe perceived pain intensity was significantly reduced, whereas low perceived pain intensity was not influenced by the floating technique. Further, the results indicated that the circulating levels of noradrenaline metabolite MHPG (3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylethyleneglycol) were reduced significantly in the experimental group but not in the control group following treatment, whereas endorphin levels were not affected by flotation. Flotation-REST treatment also elevated the participants' optimism and reduced the degree of anxiety or depression; at nighttime, patients who underwent flotation fell asleep more easily. These findings describe possible alleviations in patients presenting with chronic pain complaints. Taken together, these studies on the flotation-REST technique offer a promising avenue of future research on stress reduction, pain treatment and personal development, hopefully elucidating regional brain implicit and explicit processes.





    Key words: Altered states of consciousness, ASC, Floating, Flotation, REST, Pain, Creativity, Stress, setting.

  • 15.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Andersson, Martin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Relaxation and Wellness through Yoga Practice2015In: Journal of Yoga & Physical therapy, ISSN 2157-7595, Vol. 5, no 4Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, K.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Saatcioglu, F.
    Wellness through a comprehensive Yogic breathing program. A controlled pilot trial2007In: Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7, 000-000Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Buhrkall, H
    A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment2010In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 464-472Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aimed to compare the restorative effects of 30 minutes relaxation in a natural environment with an indoor simulation of the same natural environment. A repeated-measure design was carried out and 18 participants suffering from stress and/or burnout syndrome were counterbalanced into the two conditions. Both physiological measures and psychological instruments were applied. Further, qualitative descriptions of experiences were obtained. A phenomenological analysis of the qualitative data resulted in six categories for the natural environment: Intensified sensory perception; A feeling of harmony and union with nature; Well-being and quality of life; Renewed energy and awakening; Here-and-now thinking; and A sense of tranquillity, while for the simulated natural environment, there were five categories: Restlessness and anxiety; Lack of concentration; A sense of being cut off from natures sensory input; A longing to be in real nature; and Positive emotions. The natural environment yielded a significantly higher rating of degree of altered states of consciousness (ASC) and energy than the simulated natural environment. The results suggest that both environments facilitated stress reduction, with the natural environment additionally bringing increased energy and ASC, thus possibly enhancing and promoting restoration

  • 18.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Buhrkall, Hanne
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Preventing sick-leave for sufferers of high stress-load and 'burn-out syndrome': A Pilot Study Combining Psychotherapy and the Flotation Tank2011In: International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy / Revista Internacional de Psicologia y Terapia Psicologica, ISSN 1577-7057, E-ISSN 2340-2857, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 297-306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present pilot study was to get information whether or not a 10-week combined treatment program with relaxation in a flotation tank and subsequent psychotherapeutic sessions, may be beneficial for persons suffering from high stress-load and 'burnout syndrome'. Four women and two men between the ages of 33 and 57 years old took part in the study. They were all diagnosed as on the brink for sick leave and suffering from 'burn-out syndrome' with symptoms of fatigue and problems organizing daily life. All clients participated in the 10-week treatment program consisting of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatments and conversational therapy with a psychologist. During the treatment program they continued their usual work, but were able to leave for 4 hours a week for participating in the treatments. The results revealed a significant decrease in degree of depression and anxiety and an increase in positive outlook on life. There was also a significant decrease in extent of painful areas and a significant decrease in their experienced worst pain-intensity. After the treatment period, they all continued to work, and there was no need for sick-leave. The conclusion is that this combined treatment program is promising and should be further evaluated in a randomized control trial.

  • 19.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Buhrkall, Hanne
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Psychotherapeutic Treatment in Combination with Relaxation in a Flotation Tank: Effects on "Burn-Out-Syndrome"2010In: Qualitative Report, ISSN 1052-0147, Vol. 15, no 5, p. 1243-1269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this study was to investigate experiences gained from treatment combining relaxation in flotation tank with psychotherapy for sufferers from burn-out syndrome. Six people participated in aten week program. They were all interviewed; the data were analyzed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method. Five themes emerged: (a) direct experiences during flotation, (b) effects due to the treatment sessions, (c) psychological transformation, (d)reflections about the treatment program, and (e) demanding and rewarding psychological process over time. All participants went through psychological transformations and improvements in quality oflife. At the end of the treatment program, all participants were able continue working full time. This combined program seems to be more therapeutically beneficial than flotation tank treatment alone

  • 20.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Edebol, Hanna
    Nutrition Gut Brain Interactions Research Centre, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Nordén, Tommy
    Evidens Research and Development Center, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden.
    Quality of Life with Flotation Therapy for a Person Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, Atypical Autism, PTSD, Anxiety and Depression2013In: Open Journal of Medical Psychology, ISSN 2165-9389, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 134-138Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this single-subject study was to report experiences from one and a half years of regular floating as described by a person with neuropsychiatric and mental health disorders. Floating, or Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, involves relaxation and sensory deprivation by means of resting in a tank with highly salted and body-tempered water. The subject, a 24-year-old woman diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, atypical autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression floated regularly for one and a half years. Interviews regarding her experiences were analyzed and the main findings involved a subjective sense of improved quality of life, wellbeing and healthy behavior. There were no negative effects from treatment. Results suggest that floating may have beneficial therapeutic effects on mental health. Further studies that evaluate the efficacy and possible effects of floating with regard to mental health are needed.

  • 21.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Erdefelt, Kristin
    Werngren, Lena
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Does relaxation on a bed of nails (spike mat) induce beneficial effects?: A randomized controlled pilot study2011In: Alternative Medicine Studies, ISSN 2038-9477, E-ISSN 2038-9485, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 18-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Self-care treatments with bed of nails or spike mats have gained increased popularity world-wide; advertised as a method for pain reduction and wellbeing. Scientific studies regarding effects are still lacking. The aim of the present study was to investigate if daily relaxation on a spike mat for three weeks could induce beneficial effects.Design and methods: Participants were 36 individuals suffering from muscle tension pains in their back or/and neck. They were randomly assigned to a control group or an experimental group, who were treated with 15 minutes daily rest during three weeks on the spike mat.Results: Significant reduced experienced worst pain intensity was found. There were no effects on normal pain intensity, optimism, anxiety, depression, stress, energy, or sleep quality. Conclusion: The participants appreciated the treatment, but their enthusiastic verbal reports of experienced beneficial effects could not be verified in the statistical analyses. The reduction of worst pain may be explained by the gate-control theory, where competing stimuli applied over the affected area produce a pain reduction. It can also be an effect of placebo or the relaxation. More research on relaxation on a spike mat is needed before its possible effects can be confirmed. No negative effects were found in the present study, but it has to be remembered no studies investigating risks for treatment on spike mats exist.

  • 22.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Eriksson, Anders
    Experiences during shamanic-like monotonous drumming: A phenomenological study2011In: The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, ISSN 1942-3241, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the experiences gained from a 20-minute shamanic-like drumming session. Twenty-two persons participated and made written descriptions afterwards about their experiences. A phenomenological analysis was applied which generated 31 categories, that were organized into six themes: 1) The undertaking of the drumming journey, 2) Perceptual phenomena: visual, auditory and somatic, 3) Encounters, 4) Active vs. Passive role, 5) Inner wisdom and guidance, and 6) Reflections on the drumming journey. A multitude of detailed experiences were described such as visual imagery, hearing sounds, encountering animals, as well as gaining insights. Participants generally appreciated the drumming session and few negative effects were noted. The conclusion made is that shamanic-like drumming can be a valuable supplement to other psychotherapeutic techniques.

  • 23.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Henningsson, Helena
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Soussan, Christophe
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Fascination and social togetherness: Discussion about Spice smoking on a Swedish Internet forum2013In: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, ISSN 1178-2218, E-ISSN 1178-2218, Vol. 7, p. 191-198Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spice is a smoking mixture containing synthetic cannabinoids with psychoactive effects similar to herbal cannabis. It is sold on the Internet and has become popular among young people. The purpose of the present study was to investigate experiences of intoxication induced by Spice, as described on a Swedish internet-based discussion forum.

  • 24.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Jacobsson, Kristin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Soussan, Christophe
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    The quest for well-being and pleasure: experiences of the novel synthetic opioids AH-7921 and MT-45, as reported by anonymous users online.2016In: Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, E-ISSN 2155-6105, Vol. 7, no 4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Two novel synthetic opioids, MT-45 and AH-7921, with mostly undocumented effects and risks, have emerged on the expanding market for recreational drugs on the Internet. The aim of the present study was to characterize the experiences of AH-7921 and MT-45 as described by the users on international drug discussion forums.

    Methods: A systematic data search resulted in 96 self-reports which were collected from the leading edge resources of drug related information online. The data were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis.

    Results: The experiences of MT-45 and AH-7921 were characterized by the following themes: (1) Administration of the substances, (2) Well-being and energy, (3) Sedation and reduced here-and-now awareness, (4) Tolerance and withdrawal effects, (5) Side effects, (6) Evaluation of the effects, (7) Increased appreciation, sociableness and intimacy and (8) Self-medication. The experiences appeared to include not only the general and expected opioid effects like withdrawal, analgesia, euphoria, cough suppression, fatigue, constipation, itching, involuntary muscle spasm, nausea and pupillary constriction but also a noteworthy increase in energy. Furthermore, the users also experienced reduced inhibition and a facilitation of social situations. The results also showed that users engaged in different forms of self-medicating behaviour aimed at reducing pain or withdrawal symptoms from traditional opioid use.

    Conclusion: The spread of unpredictable, potent and novel opioids constitutes a public health concern which needs to be further monitored in order to minimize potential harm. 

  • 25.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
    Methoxetamine (MXE): A Phenomenological Study of Experiences Induced by a "Legal High" from the Internet2013In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, ISSN 0279-1072, E-ISSN 2159-9777, Vol. 45, no 3, p. 276-286Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Methoxetamine (MXE), a ketamine analogue, is one of the new “legal highs” sold on the Internet. The aim of this qualitative study was to provide an initial understanding of what character- izes the experiences induced by MXE. Anonymously written reports (33 persons) on the effects of MXE were collected from public Internet forums and analyzed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological Method. The analysis generated 10 themes: (1) preparation, motivation and anticipation; (2) initial effects; (3) malfunction of cognitive processes stabilizing normal state; (4) inner personal processes and learning; (5) emotional processes; (6) altered sensory perception; (7) dissolution and transition; (8) spiritual and transcendental experiences; (9) effects and processes after the experience; (10) re-dosing and addiction.

    MXE induced a heavily altered state of consciousness. The effects were similar to those induced by classic hallucinogens (such as LSD, psilocybin) and the dissociative ketamine. MXE seemed to have quite a high abuse potential. Beside the positive effects described, negative effects like fear and anxiety were also reported. Acceptance was considered the best coping strategy. Dissolution of iden- tity and body often culminated in spiritual and transcendental experiences. More research is needed on safety issues, how to minimize harm, and the motivation for using legal highs. 

  • 26.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Lyden, F.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Sensory isolation in a flotation tank: altered states of consciousness and effects on well-being2008In: The Qualitative Report, 000-000Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Designing a Model of the Ayahuasca Experience: A Phenomenological Study2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 28.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Psychedelic drugs: A study of drug-induced experiences obtained by illegal drug users in relation to Stanislavs Grof's model of altered states of consciousness2001In: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 20, 41-57Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Eriksson, A
    Experiences of Encounters with Ayahuasca-: 'the Vine of the Soul'2009In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, ISSN 0279-1072, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 309-315Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew used by the indigenous populations of the Amazon. The aim of this qualitative study was to gain insight into the experiences of western users of ayahuasca, as well as to ascertain the experienced meaning that participants felt by their participation. Twenty-five people from Northern Europe with experiences of group sessions with ayahuasca wrote anonymous descriptions of their experiences. The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method was used for this analysis. The analysis resulted in 33 categories which were assembled into six general themes: (a) motivation and aim, (b) contractile frightening state (c) sudden transformation of the experience, (d) limitless expansive states with transcendental experiences, (f) reflections, and (g) changed worldview and new orientation to life. These themes provided a new structure, called the transcendental circle. Participants reported many positive psychological and physical improvements that indicate that ayahuasca could be of potential interest in the development of new medicines and therapies.

  • 30.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Lindahl, A
    Altered States of Consciousness and Mystical Experiences during Sensory Isolation in Flotation Tank: Is the Highly Sensitive Personality Variable of Importance?2010In: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, ISSN 0276-2366, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 135-146Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to investigate if the highly sensitive personality variable affects the occurrence of mystical experiences and degree of altered states of consciousness during sensory isolation in flotation-tank. Forty-eight persons (20 men, 28 females) were included. Background variables and the Highly Sensitive Personality Scale (HSP) were assessed. The independent variable was derived from this scale, where two groups were formed: low sensitivity and high sensitivity. The treatment lasted 45 minutes in the flotation tank. Dependent variables were assessed through scales measuring mystical experiences and degree of altered states of consciousness. The group with highly sensitive persons experienced significant more mystical experiences and higher degree of altered states of consciousness during the treatment compared to the other group. Also the highly sensitive persons exhibited more stress and anxiety at arrival, but no differences of depression and optimism were found between the groups

  • 31.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Lindahl, Andreas
    Searching for placebo Effect: Do Sensitive Personality and Breathing Instructions Influence the Experience of Flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique)?2009In: Individual Differences Research, ISSN 1541-745X, E-ISSN 2169-3951, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 212-221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the experiences and effects of 45 minutes relaxation in flotation tank were influenced by breathing instruction or by a sensitive personality. A sample of 48 persons, 20 men and 28 females (mean age 27.40 years) were randomized into two groups; with or without a breathing relaxation instruction. The second independent variable was sensitive personality (low, high) derived from the Highly Sensitive Person Scale. Dependent variables were Subjective Flotation Experience (Kjellgren, Sundequist, Norlander, & Archer, 2001) and detection threshold and upper threshold pain endurance. Main results indicated that experiences during flotation with regard to comfort and stress reduction were not influenced by instructions or by sensitive personality. These results are in line with earlier findings indicating that flotation-REST is not particularly affected by expectancies, earlier experiences, personality or surroundings in the laboratory

  • 32.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Soussan, Christophe
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Heaven and Hell: A Phenomenological Study of Recreational Use of 4-HO-MET in Sweden2011In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, ISSN 0279-1072, E-ISSN 2159-9777, Vol. 43, no 3, p. 211-219Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The psychoactive substance 4-HO-MET (4-hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine) with psychedelic qualities is one of many legal so-called Internet drugs. The aim of this qualitative study was to establish an understanding of what characterizes its recreational use. Very little is known about the effects of this substance. Twenty-five anonymous Swedish experience reports (from persons aged 18-30 years) from public Internet forums were analyzed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological Method. The analysis produced 37 categories that were compiled into nine general themes: (1) motivation, preparation and expectation; (2) initial effects; (3) change of perception; (4) unfiltered awareness and intensified flow of information; (5) lateral cognition; (6) border between subject and object is erased; (7) heaven; (8) hell; and (9) subsiding effects. An understanding of the chronological happenings, called The Process, appeared out of the general structure. Drastic changes in cognitive, emotional and bodily functions were described. The motivation for use seemed to be driven by a strong curiosity. The experiences shifted between "heaven" and "hell", but participants appeared satisfied and ready to repeat the experience. The experiences described show great similarity with classic psychedelic substances as LSD or psilocybin. More research is needed about health hazards or possible therapeutic potentials

  • 33.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Soussan, Christophe
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    Jonsson, Kristoffer
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
    New Drugs on the Internet: Analysis of an Online Drug Discussion Forum2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Sundequist, U.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Archer, T
    Effects of flotation-REST on muscle tension pain2001In: Pain Research and Management, 6, 181-189Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Sundequist, U.
    Sundholm, U.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Archer, T.
    Altered consciousness in flotation-REST and chamber-REST: Experience of Experimental Pain and Subjective Stress2004In: Social Behavior and Personality, 32, 103-115Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 36.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Taylor, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Mapping Zazen Meditation as a Develomental Process: Exploring the Experiences of Experienced and Inexperienced Meditators2008In: Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, ISSN 0022-524X, no 2, p. 224-250Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This phenomenological study into Zen practitioners experiences of zazen meditation is based on eight semi-structured interviews with four experienced and four inexperienced zazen meditators. The respondents descriptions were analysed using a five-step Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) process into thirteen super-ordinate themes. The phenomenological analysis revealed differences between the two groups. Some experienced meditators reported differences that might be interpreted as trait changes due to meditative practice. These included the ability to remain conscious in the dream and deep sleep state as well as greater clarity, greater serenity, and more compassion in the waking state. Supplementary quantitative data gathered by a questionnaire indicated that inexperienced meditators perceived a greater difference between meditation and a normal waking state than did experienced meditators. This finding might indicate that the experienced meditators have integrated the meditative state into their daily life as a normal state, an area warranting future inquiry

  • 37.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Westman, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention  – a randomized controlled pilot trial2014In: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ISSN 1472-6882, E-ISSN 1472-6882, Vol. 14, no 417Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Sensory isolation in a flotation tank is a method known for inducing deep relaxation and subsequent positive health effects for patients suffering from e.g. stress or muscle tensions pains. Very few studies have investigated this method as a preventive health-care intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects in healthy participants after receiving a series of flotation tank treatment.

    Methods: Sixty-five participants (14 men and 51 women) who were all part of a cooperative-health project initiated by their individual companies, were randomized to either a wait-list control group or a flotation tank treatment group where they participated in a seven weeks flotation program with a total of twelve flotation sessions. Questionnaires measuring psychological and physiological variables such as stress and energy, depression and anxiety, optimism, pain, stress, sleep quality, mindfulness, and degree of altered states of consciousness were used. Data were analysed by two-way mixed MANOVA and repeated measures ANOVA.

    Results: Stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST group. No significant results for the control group were seen. There was also a significant correlation between mindfulness in daily life and degree of altered states of consciousness during the relaxation in the flotation tank.

    Conclusions: It was concluded that flotation-REST has beneficial effects on relatively healthy participants. 

  • 38. Landström, A.
    et al.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Treating stress related pain in a clinical sample with flotation-REST: A further report on improvements on pain assessed by the Pain Area Inventory (PAI)2007In: Social Behavior and Personality, 35, 1279-1280Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Nordén, Tommy
    et al.
    Evidens Research and Development Centre, Göteborg.
    Eriksson, Anders
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Norlander, Torsten
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Involving clients and their relatives and friends in psychiatric care: Case managers' experiences of training in resource group assertive community training2012In: PsyCh Journal, ISSN 2046-0252, E-ISSN 2046-0260, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 15-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this project was to do a qualitative study of an integrated and flexible ACT model, the Resource Group Assertive Community Treatment (RACT), as seen from the perspective of case managers in training. The resource group normally consists of the client, the case manager and other available personnel in the medical and support areas, as well as family members. Nineteen theses were randomly chosen from a set of 80 theses written by a group of Swedish trainee case managers. The exams were conducted as case studies and concerned 19 clients with psychotic problems, 11 men and 8 women. “The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological Method” was used in the analysis, which generated five overarching themes: (a) the RACT program; (b) the resource group; (c) the empowerment of the client; (d) progress in treatment; and (e) the case manager. These together constituted a “therapeutic circle,” in which methods and tools used within the RACT made it possible for the resource group to empower the clients who, as a result, experienced progress with treatment, during which the case manager was the unifying and connecting link.

  • 40. Norlander, T.
    et al.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Archer, T.
    The Experience of Floatation-REST as a Function of Setting and Previous Experience of Altered States of Consciousness2001In: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 20, 161 - 178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to investigate if experiences induced by flotation-REST (in flotation-tank) are affected by settings or subjects earlier experiences of altered states of consciousness (ASC). No such significant differences were found. Significant effects owing to flotation-REST were found regarding reduction in experienced pain and enhancement of mood. Flotation-REST was considered a pleasurable technique. Different kinds of visual and acoustic effects, altered time perception and a sense of weightlessness have been reported. Also deep transpersonal experiences were quite common, these could be distinguished into three types: experiences of one's own childbirth/delivery, feeling of cosmic unity and experiences of losing contact with the body or out-of-body-experiences. Flotation-REST must be regarded as a consciousness-altering method with promising potential for clinical and therapeutic use.



    Key words: Flotation-REST - Setting - Drug experience - Pain - Mood - Verbal analysis - Altered state of consciousness.

  • 41.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Treating Stress related Pain with Flotation-REST: Are there differences between women and men?2009In: Pain Research & Management, ISSN 1203-6765, E-ISSN 1918-1523, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 293-298Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 42.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Measuring Altered States of Consciousness: Development of the Experienced Deviation from Normal state scale (EDN)2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Rehabilitation of stress related pain, anxiety and depression using expanding reality through therapy and sensory deprevation2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 44.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Archer, T
    Effects of flotation- versus chamber-restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST) on creativity and realism under stress and non-stress conditions2003In: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 22, 341-357Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 45.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Archer, T.
    The experience of flotation-REST as a function of setting and previous experience of altered state of Consciousness2001In: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 20, 161-178Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 46.
    Norlander, Torsten
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Bood, Sven-Åke
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology.
    Rehabilitation Trough Flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique)2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 47.
    Soussan, Christophe
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Andersson, Martin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety.
    The diverse reasons for using Novel Psychoactive Substances - A qualitative study of the users' own perspectives2018In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 52, p. 71-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    The increasing number of legally ambiguous and precarious Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) constitutes a challenge for policy makers and public health. Scientific and more in-depth knowledge about the motivations for using NPS is scarce and often consist of predetermined, non-systematic, or poorly described reasons deduced from top-down approaches. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore and characterize the users’ self-reported reasons for NPS use inductively and more comprehensively.

    Methods

    The self-reported reasons of a self-selected sample of 613 international NPS users were collected via an online survey promoted at the international drug discussion forum bluelight.org and later analyzed qualitatively using inductive thematic analysis.

    Results

    The analysis showed that the participants used NPS because these compounds reportedly: 1) enabled safer and more convenient drug use, 2) satisfied a curiosity and interest about the effects, 3) facilitated a novel and exciting adventure, 4) promoted self-exploration and personal growth, 5) functioned as coping agents, 6) enhanced abilities and performance, 7) fostered social bonding and belonging, and 8) acted as a means for recreation and pleasure. The consumption of NPS was also driven by 9) problematic and unintentional use.

    Conclusion

    The present study contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the users’ own and self-reported reasons for using NPS, which needs to be acknowledged not only in order to minimize drug related harm and drug user alienation but also to improve prevention efforts and reduce the potentially counter-intuitive effects of strictly prohibitive policies.

  • 48.
    Soussan, Christophe
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Chasing the High: Experiences of Ethylphenidate as Described on International Internet Forums2015In: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, ISSN 1178-2218, E-ISSN 1178-2218, no 9, p. 9-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ethylphenidate is a novel psychoactive substance with undocumented effects, risks, and motivation for use. In this study, we investigated the experience of ethylphenidate by analyzing self-reports published on Internet forums, which revealed seven overarching themes: (1) compulsive redosing and addiction; (2) impacts on the mental state; (3) bodily agitation; (4) increased sociableness; (5) administration; (6) diverse evaluations based on intention; and (7) safety and precaution. Ethylphenidate appeared as a potent psychostimulant with an imminent abuse potential. It was mainly used for recreational purposes. The effects included not only pleasurable stimulation, euphoria, and cognitive enhancement but also indecisiveness, anxiety, and cognitive frag- mentation. The users reported an increase in body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, but they also experienced profuse sweating and muscle ten- sion. Ethylphenidate acted as a social lubricant, enhancing intimacy, communication, and social skills. Two opposing user mentalities were uncovered: (1) pleasure seeking and risk neglecting, and (2) safety-first orientation. This information could be of importance to legislators, public health personnel, and prevention strategists. 

  • 49.
    Soussan, Christophe
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Harm-reduction and knowledge exchange: A qualitative analysis of drug related Internet discussion forums2014In: Harm Reduction Journal, ISSN 1477-7517, E-ISSN 1477-7517, Vol. 11, no 25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) are continuously and increasingly appearing on the international drug market. Global Internet forums are a publicly available reality where users anonymously discuss and share information about NPS. The aim of this study was to explore and characterize the discussions about NPS on international Internet forums.

    Methods: The most post-frequent NPS discussions were collected from three “leading edge” international Internet forums. A total of 13,082 posts from 60 threads of discussion were systematically examined and interpreted to reveal recurring topics and patterns. Each thread was coded with emerging topics and supporting quotations from the data set. Eventually, codes with coherent meaning were arranged into 51 broader categories of abstraction, which were combined into four overarching themes.

    Results: Four themes emerged during the analysis: (1) uncovering the substance facts, (2) dosage and administration, (3) subjectively experienced effects, and (4) support and safety. The first theme dealt primarily with substance identification, pharmacology, and assessed not only purity but also legal status and acquisition. The second theme focused on administration techniques, dose recommendations, technical talk about equipment, and preferred settings for drug use. The third theme involved a multitude of self-reported experiences, in which many different aspects of intoxication were depicted in great detail. The users emphasized both positive and negative experiences. The last theme incorporated the efforts of the communities to prevent and minimize harm by sharing information about potential risks of the harmful effects or contraindications of a substance. Also, online support and guidance were given to intoxicated persons who experienced bad or fearful reactions.

    Conclusions: The findings showed that the discussions were characterized by a social process in which users supported each other and exchanged an extensive and cumulative amount of knowledge about NPS and how to use them safely. Although this publicly available knowledge could entail an increase in drug use, the main characteristics of the discussions in general were a concern for safety and harm reduction, not for recruiting new users. Drug-related Internet forums could be used as a location for drug prevention, as well as a source of information for further research about NPS. 

  • 50.
    Soussan, Christophe
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kjellgren, Anette
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    The flip side of "Spice": The adverse effects of synthetic cannabinoids as discussed on a Swedish Internet forum2014In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 207-219Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND - Synthetic cannabinoids in smoking mixtures (such as Spice) or as raw powder are sold for recreational use as an alternative to herbal cannabis (hashish and marijuana). Although clinical case studies have documented an array of side effects, there is also information available at Internet based drug discussion forums. AIM - Our study investigates experiences of side effects from use of synthetic cannabinoids, as described and anonymously shared on Swedish online discussion forums. METHODS - A systematic search yielded 254 unique and publicly available self-reports from the Swedish forum flashback.org. These texts were analysed thematically, which resulted in 32 sub-themes, which were combined into three overarching themes. RESULTS & CONCLUSION - The experiences of negative side effects were described as (1) Adverse reactions during acute intoxication; (2) Hangover the day after intoxication; (3) Dependency and withdrawal after long-term use. The first theme was characterized by an array of fierce and unpredictable side effects as tachycardia, anxiety, fear and nausea. The acute intoxication reactions were congruent with the side effects published in clinical case studies. The day after intoxication included residual effects of dullness, apathy, nausea and headache. Long-term use resulted in dependency and experiences of being emotionally numb and disconnected. Furthermore, withdrawal was described as sweating, shaking, loss of appetite and insomnia. Both the hangover and the long-term effects have previously been given little scientific attention and need to be investigated further. Drug related Internet discussion forums constitute an overlooked source of information which can aid in the identification of previously unknown risks and effects

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