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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

The Use of 3, 4 Methylenedioxy Amphetamine (MDA) As an Adjunct to Brief Intensive Psychotherapy with Neurotic Outpatients.

Yensen, Richard. (1975).
Irvine, CA: University of California.

ISBN: None

Description: Unpublished doctoral dissertation, xiii + 214 pages. Available from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI.

Contents: List of tables, list of figures, acknowledgement, vita, abstract, 10 chapters, appendix: Patient Recruitment, Psychedelic Experience Questionnaire, Modified Linton-Langs Questionnaire, bibliography.

Excerpt(s): A significant reduction in test scores measuring depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive traits, and hysterical tendencies was observed immediately after therapy. Significant increases in measures of wellbeing and self-actualization were found. The beneficial results were, on the whole, stable during the six month followup period. (pages xvii-xviii)

More profound resolution is encountered after experiences of ego death and fusion with the source of consciousness. These mystical experiences are always preceded by an encounter with death (the psychological experience of death appears to be a concomitant of the total breakdown and dissolution of the existing assumptive system) proportionately with their intensity producing a restructuring of values and beliefs around a strong nucleus of self esteem. The most dramatic shift occurring after mystical experiences is the withdrawal of attention from its focus on the individual as the center of the subject universe. A more cosmic and paradoxical view of existence emerges in which the individual feels himself a small part of an inestimably large universe and yet also identifies with the macrocosmos. This ablates any tendency toward a morbid preoccupation with self or minor complaints.

These types of experiences produce the most outstanding improvements in general well-being and psychological health. Failure to achieve the transformative types of experiences (whether on a personal, archetypal or mystical level) usually results in no change in the clinical picture. (page 86)

As mentioned elsewhere, the negative or difficult experiences are of tremendous potential value to the patient. We encourage the person to enter these experiences and express them as completely as possible in our protected setting where the negative consequences they fear are not likely. The guideline of entering the experience fully and non-judgementally came about after the observation, in early work with the psychedelic paradigm at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, that the mystical breakthrough was always preceded by an experience of death or dissolution on some level. It seems that when a difficult or negative area is explored and felt very deeply, there is a shift from negative intrapsychic interpretational systems to positive ones. This shift can be integrated into the usual consciousness as a more positive and healthy outlook on life and the human condition. (pages 87-88)

This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP

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