Is MDMA a psychedelic?
In conversation with Rick Doblin and Torsten Passie
By Thijs Roes
Is MDMA a psychedelic or not? And what makes it so well suited for therapy? In this conversation between Rick Doblin, Torsten Passie and Joost Breeksema, the use of MDMA in a therapeutic setting is discussed in-depth.
According to Doblin, MDMA’s potential for healing PTSD-patients differs from the ‘classic’ psychedelics, which usually need a mystical experience or something similar to ego-dissolution in order to show similar results as MDMA. With MDMA, patients feel a sense of safety approaching their trauma ‘with their ego intact’, as Doblin puts it.
Then again, Doblin prefers to use the term broadly, and includes breath-working techniques and dreaming as psychedelic. In this conversation, both guests dive into the intricacies of MDMA therapy. According to both experts, MDMA can be seen as part of psychedelics if the term is used broadly.
Rick Doblin has dedicated his life to making therapeutic MDMA a reality. Ever since 1986, his non-profit association called MAPS has been instrumental in advancing the science of psychedelics and MDMA in particular. Their research into the application of MDMA in therapy received Breakthrough Status from the FDA and he is now in phase 2 and 3 of clinical studies with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in both Europe and the United States.
Torsten Passie is a Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA). His extensive research at Hannover Medical School covers the psycho-physiology of altered states of consciousness and their healing potential, including clinical research with hallucinogenic drugs (cannabis, ketamin, nitrous oxide, MDMA, psilocybin).
He is an internationally known expert on altered states of consciousness and the pharmacology of hallucinogenic drugs. He talks about the intricacies of psychedelic therapy, medicalization and how to integrate psychedelics into mainstream health care.
Both Torsten and Rick will present at ICPR 2020, and we’ll have panels on all these topics. A preview of what is to come in this conversation.