Where Ecstasy Meets Power: The Unique Risks of MDMA Therapy

Several clinical trials have concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy – utilised for the treatment of PTSD – is safe (as well as highly effective). But this doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment is risk-free.  MDMA therapy entails unique risks, and here I don’t mean concerns about possible neurotoxicity. The subject of MDMA’s neurotoxicity is a knotty one;…

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Mescaline: A Neglected Tool for Psychotherapy

There are classic psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, DMT) and non-classic psychedelics (ketamine, MDMA) that receive a lot of scientific and public attention regarding their potential mental health benefits. These are substances that, when combined with psychotherapy, can be helpful in resolving or alleviating conditions such as depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction.…

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Do Psychedelics Really Act as ‘Non-Specific Amplifiers’ of the Psyche?

According to the Czech psychiatrist and LSD researcher Stan Grof, psychedelics are “nonspecific amplifiers” of the human psyche – they amplify whatever contents exist in the mind, be they conscious or unconscious.  This description of these unique substances has since become a widely accepted way of thinking about them. But is it an accurate description?…

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The Paradox of ‘Set’: Conflicting Messages About Tripping When in a Bad Mood

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear when it comes to tripping is not to take psychedelics if you’re in a negative frame of mind. This is encompassed by the concept of ‘set and setting’, with the first half – ‘set’ – referring to the fact that one’s mindset can influence the…

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Flânerie: The Art of Aimless Strolling

Strolling aimlessly – instead of having set routes and set sites to see – is something I’ve always enjoyed doing, especially in big or new cities. I discovered that there was a French term for this aimless wandering, considered to be a kind of art. And that’s flânerie, while the person who engages in this…

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