Again and again we read that psycholysis is something controversial, dismissed by the scientific mainstream. And that’s just as well! Being controversial does not automatically signify something bad. On the contrary, now is really the time to debate about it. The prejudice associated with the word ‘drug’ has also spread quite naturally to psycholysis, because the drugs concerned are now being used in a psychotherapeutic context. Despite widespread ignorance within the professional world, efforts are being made around the globe to research and professionalise psycholysis. However, one hears almost nothing about this in Germany and therefore one might perhaps also believe that none of this effort exists.
In 1980, Stanislav Grof published his book ‘LSD Psychotherapy’, in which he brilliantly summarised the experience of 24 years’ clinical research with LSD. The book provides a clear presentation of the framework conditions, indications and contraindications for psycholysis with LSD.
As one of the core texts regarding the conduct of psycholytic therapy, ‘Listening into the Heart of Things’ by Samuel Widmer summarises the experience of psycholysis during the period of special authorisation granted by the authorities in Switzerland. The book presents an easy to understand overview of the realm of experience with psychedelic substances.
Warmly recommended as an introduction for readers with scientific interest is the book by Hendrik Jungaberle ‘Therapy with Psychoactive Substances: Approaches to and Critique of Psychotherapy with LSD, Psilocybin, and MDMA’ [Therapie mit psychoaktiven Substanzen: Praxis und Kritik der Psychotherapie mit LSD, Psilocybin und MDMA, currently available in German only].
In ‘Entry into Healing States of Consciousness’ [Eintritt in heilende Bewusstseinzustände, currently available in German only], Claudia Möckel describes the practical aspects of conducting psycholytic sessions. This handbook should be of help to people engaged with consciousness-altering substances who are interested in best possible practice.
The book ‘LSD: Return to Clinical Research’ [LSD: Rückkehr in die klinische Forschung, currently available in German only] is based on the master’s thesis of Matthias Diesch concerning the Swiss psychiatrist Dr Peter Gasser’s study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with anxiety secondary to advanced-stage life-threatening illness.
The authors of the book ‘News from the Other Side’ [Neues von der anderen Seite, currently available in German only] examine the renaissance of the psychedelic from various perspectives including conversations with brain researchers, users and legal experts. The book deals with one of the central issues for mankind, intoxication, and explains why prohibition will not put a stop to it.