Psychedelic therapy relies on hallucinogens or entheogenic drugs to augment therapy. During the 1950s, before many of these drugs were criminalized, psychedelic therapy showed promise as an effective augmentation of psychotherapy. Reactions to the drugs varied widely and ranged from fearful to joyful, enlightening to depressing, and spiritual to personal. Therapists’ interpretations of these responses also varied significantly, making it difficult to standardize this approach.

Historical Context

The origins of psychedelic therapy can be traced back to the introduction of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1943, when Albert Hofmann, a pharmacologist at Sandoz Pharmaceutical laboratories in Switzerland, identified its powerful psychological properties. His discovery attracted scientific curiosity and resulted in thousands of studies with the drug over the next decade. The psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the ...

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