Friday, December 15, 2017

MDMA Psychotherapy Revealed

Article and video How Clinical Trials Are Making the Case for MDMA in Psychotherapy.

Below, excerpts from another article, MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy: How Different is it from Other Psychotherapy?

Caveat: No one knows how any psychiatric treatment, psychotherapy, or psychopharmacology actually works, even when we understand the essential elements or many of the physiologic essential elements or many of the physiologic effects.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is especially complicated in this regard because it combines psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.

In the meantime, our observations about possible therapeutic mechanisms are speculative, based on clinical observations.

THE GUIDELINES:

  • Establishing a Safe and Supportive Therapeutic Setting and a Mindset Conducive to Healing: The effects of MDMA appear to increase the likelihood that participants will be able to maintain enough trust in the therapists and a broad enough perspective about their own inner experience to process their fears without emotionally or physically withdrawing from the therapeutic alliance.
  • Emphasis on FEELING rather than thinking: Anxiety Management Training/Stress Inoculation Training, Prolonged Exposure. and EMDR are used along with methods such as mindful diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Exposure Therapy: Revisiting traumatic experiences through "imaginal exposure" is accomplished by asking the participant to repeatedly read or recite an account of their traumatic experience. Therapists can bring up the trauma if it does not come up spontaneously, but in almost 100 research sessions we have never had to.
  • Cognitive Restructuring: In MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, cognitive restructuring may result from dialogue with the therapists using elements of CBT, psychodynamic therapy, and other methods according to the individual therapists’ training and experience as allowed for in our research Treatment Manual. Our largely nondirective approach often results in spontaneous cognitive restructuring resulting from qualities engendered by MDMA: increased mental clarity, confidence, and the courage to look honestly at oneself.
  • Transference and Countertransference: Becoming aware of often unconscious feelings that arise in the client toward the therapists and vice versa.  We know that participants taking MDMA can be exquisitely sensitive to verbal and nonverbal expression from the therapists, and we encourage honesty and openness about any feelings that arise. The effects of MDMA appear to increase the likelihood that participants will be able to process their fears without emotionally or physically withdrawing from the therapeutic alliance.
  • Somatic Manifestations of Trauma: MDMA-assisted psychotherapy often includes focusing attention on body sensations and using breath and movement to facilitate awareness, expression and release of tensions, or pains in the body that may be associated with the trauma.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Possibility of legal Psilocybin in California

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Psilocybin for Depression

Peter Thiel is betting on magic mushrooms to treat depression — and he's not the only one
  • A for-profit company that Peter Thiel invests in has plans to start clinical trials of magic mushrooms for depression within the first three months of 2018.
  • Psychedelics appear to disrupt the brain's activity patterns in a positive and life-changing way.
  • Several research institutions are studying psychedelics for their potential to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mind's Eye Blink

‘Mind’s eye blink’ proves ‘paying attention’ is not just a figure of speech.  The attention gaps being studied are reminiscent of cessations experienced by advanced meditators.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Psilocybin & Meditation Study Making Progress

The researchers at Johns Hopkins have finally accumulated their target of 40 long term meditators not previously exposed to psilocybin.

“There was a participant in the study who had had an extensive, extensive practice, like tens of thousands of hours of meditation, which is an incredibly extreme amount,” said Frederick Barrett, PhD at the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “And she indicated after her psilocybin session that she relived all of the peak experiences she had ever had meditating. Wow.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Largest Psilocybin Dose in an FDA Study

This is the personal account (i.e. trip report) of a participant in a phase I clinical trial for psilocybin.  If I were to map this onto a Buddhist progress of insight map, it sounded like the person was dealing with the unsatisfactory states in the first two trips and in the 3rd trip described here finally broke through into equanimity.

I was pure awareness, but there was no awareness. I was pure consciousness, but there was no consciousness. There was a sense of pure wisdom and knowledge, but there was no wisdom or knowledge. It was a state of perfection, but there was no perfection. There was no desire. There was no emotion. There was no bliss. No oneness. No unity consciousness. There was nothing. This state was a perfect state. This state, which was not a state, was above all.

The trial used three increasing doses, 0.30 mg/kg, 0.45 mg/kg, and 0.60 mg/kg.  For a typical 70 kg person, this would equate to a dried mushroom dose of around 3.5 grams, 5.3 grams, and 7.1 grams.  This person can claim the "highest" dose because they were heavy, around 98 kg.

And this was an FDA study.  There is an unpublished UNM study that Rick Strassman was involved with that used even higher doses of 0.90 mg/kg and 1.10 mg/kg, for reference our 70 kg person would be taking around 11.2 and 13.8 grams of dried mushrooms, some prodigious doses.  It should be noted that at the highest dose they noted that a "confusional state" was induced.

Friday, November 3, 2017

How To Meditate

I've added some material on How To Meditate over at the other blog, also linked here at the top right.  The material is the equivalent of a small pamphlet, and includes the best advice I could come up with for a do-it-yourself-er.