LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Anxiety Secondary to Life Threatening Illness
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Peter Gasser, MD

Abstract: Over time, it has become clear that LSD does not fit in the usual paradigm of psychiatric medicines but rather is a kind of catalyst of psychological processes. This altering of mind facilitates personal regressive experiences with emotional and cognitive insights in biographic material as well as deep encounters with the personal self or transpersonal openings into mystical or spiritual experiences. Further factors that are important are the creating of a trusting relationship with the therapist(s) and the ego-strengthening experience of overcoming anxiety and fear of loss of control when facing the unknown. In 2007, after a 35-year breakdown of research and therapy using mind-manifesting drugs, Dr. Gasser obtained approval for a MAPS-sponsored pilot study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in persons suffering from anxiety associated with advanced-stage life-threatening diseases. This presentation, which is taking place exactly on the 70th anniversary of Albert Hofmann’s discovery, will report on the approval, conduct, and results of this historic project.

Desired Outcomes for : At the conclusion of the activity, learners will be able to:

  1. Inform patients about new research into the risks and clinical effectiveness of LSD as an adjunct to psychotherapy
  2. Refer patients to clinical research studies
  3. Develop strategies for conducting their own clinical research on psychedelics
  4. Evaluate research on LSD-assisted treatments as new literature becomes available

Dr. Peter Gasser was born in 1960. He is a physician in psychiatry and psychotherapy working in private practice in Solothurn, Switzerland. Dr. Gasser is trained in psychodynamic methods as well as in therapy with mind-manifesting drugs, i.e. psycholytic (or psychedelic) therapy. Peter has been a member of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy (SAePT) since 1992, and SAePT’s president since 1996. He is married and has three children.

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