Research into mind-altering substances for therapeutic purposes – Peter Gasser

After work on mescaline in the 1920s, the research and medical application of mind-altering substances in Western medicine only really began after 1943 when the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD from ergot. Over time, it became clear that these substances should not simply be considered as medications that, when indicated, could be taken by the patient, but rather as a type of catalyst used in a psychotherapeutic context Need to become. The change of consciousness, in turn, gives rise to personal, regressive experiences with emotional and cognitive understanding of biographical events or to an intense experience of being in the present with increased sensory perception and altered meaning, or a more transpersonal experience of the connectedness of the individual and the outer world. Here, the experience aspect is always in the foreground, i. the immediate sensual-emotional-cognitive certainty of the experience, as well as its clear memory, which is important for post-processing and integration. Other important factors include building a trusting relationship with the companions / therapists and the empowering experience of coping with the normal fear of uncertainty and the fear of losing control. After research and therapy came to a virtual standstill in the wake of the worldwide ban on mind-altering substances in response to mass consumption in the 1960s, a number of therapeutically oriented research projects have become possible again in recent years. The speaker had the opportunity to conduct a pilot study in the years 2008 to 2011 entitled: LSD-assisted psychotherapy for persons with anxiety symptoms associated with advanced life-threatening illnesses. A double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II dose-response pilot study. The genesis, implementation and results of this study are presented.