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October 1958

Explorations in Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Providence, R.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):520-527. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100120024

The singularly pervasive effectiveness of lysergic acid in altering the subjective experience and objective behavior of those to whom it is given affords unique opportunity for exploring methods of psychotherapy. Two attributes of lysergic acid psychoses especially favor such study. First, there is no impairment of consciousness during the psychotic reactions. Second, the severity and duration of the reactions and their relation to dosage have been well established. The researcher in psychotherapy has the opportunity to observe the psychotic reaction from its inception to its termination and the advantage of having a subject with whom he can communicate during the entire experience. He thus occupies a position which allows him to judge both the immediate and the enduring effects of any psychotherapeutic methods he chooses to use, and which frees him to employ a series of methods on a trial-and-error basis.

Before proceeding with the method of psychotherapy which is

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