Between 1950 and 1965, more than 1000 scientific papers were published on the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, drawing on data from more than 40,000 participants. Though the pace of research slowed with the banning of LSD and the other psychedelic drugs, specialist centres around the world continued to explore the science and, at the end of the 1980s, a programme in Switzerland trained clinicians in LSD-assisted therapy.
In the past two decades, interest in psychedelic science has rapidly grown and there are now research groups at King’s College London, Imperial College London, University College London, Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, UCLA, UCLA and numerous other leading institutions. These programmes have shown promise for psychedelic therapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, and many other difficult-to-treat mental health conditions.
The LSD Psychotherapists will draw on the expertise of three therapists with almost 80 years experience between them working with psychedelic drugs in the clinic. Together we will explore the roles and duties of the therapist in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. The discussion may examine transference and counter transference in psychedelic sessions, training of therapists, Jungian and transpersonal psychological theory, analysis of visionary experience, structure, timing, movement, dosage, substance, preparatory sessions, integration, and various other elements critical to the development of psychedelic therapies.
PROFESSOR EDE FRECSKA (Chair) is Chief of Department at the National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Budapest, Hungary. He is a qualified physician, psychiatrist, psychologist and psychopharmacologist of international merit with 17 years of clinical and research experience in the United States. He published more than 75 scientific papers and book chapters on schizophrenia and affective disorders. His recent research explores psychointegrator plants and techniques, and he is particularly interested in the physiological role of endohallucinogen compounds.
DR PETER GASSER is a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and President of the Swiss Medical Association for Psycholytic Therapy. From 2005 to 2013 he was President of the Solothurn Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Dr Gasser was lead investigator on the first controlled trial of LSD in the 21st century, exploring LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety. He is currently the only person in the world with permission to administer LSD for therapeutic treatment.
DR FRIEDERIKE MECKEL-FISCHER is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with almost two decades of experience with underground psychedelic-assisted therapies. Friederike trained in Holotropic Breathwork with Stanislav Grof, and trained in Psycholytic Therapy in Switzerland, specialising in systemic therapy, family-counselling, couples therapy and family constellation. She worked underground with psychoactive substances first with single clients, and then later with ongoing groups in a controlled setting, ending in 2009. Her book Therapy with Substance was published in 2015 by Muswell Hill Press.
ANDREW FELDMÁR is a psychologist who has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice for 45 years. He was trained and supervised in LSD therapy by R. D. Laing in London, England, and later by Stanislav Grof at the Esalen Institute in California. He worked at Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster, Canada, when LSD was still legally used there in 1969/70. Andrew also studied the anthropology of shamanism with Francis Huxley. Recently, he has been a therapist in a MAPS research study exploring the efficacy of MDMA as an adjunct to psychotherapy with severe cases of PTSD.
Friday 11th November, 6pm-9pm
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, 16 De Crespigny Park, SE5 8AF
David King is the Director of the KCL Society for Psychedelic Studies and a Co-Director of Breaking Convention.