Held at Oscar Janiger's house. Director's meeting from 7 till 9, then open
to invitees including myself. About 25 came. There were none looking like
old hippies, all smart well-off professionals such as real estate agents,
established therapists and film directors.
Bob Forte will edit the Association's Journal. Says he wants to look at
psychedelics as sacraments rather than as therapeutic agents.
After the meeting, I spoke to Leonard Berne, a psychotherapist who used
MDMA until it became illegal.
Dr. Berne says the benefits of using E are: 1. As an aid to the therapeutic
alliance, 2. To increase introspection, 3. To lift the sense of shame and
'endangerment'. It is this state that is the cause of neurosis, and people
find ways to constantly reinforce this fear of letting go.
He says it is important to work at the end of the MDMA session and over the
next few days about the reality of the state, and to examine what are the
client's beliefs that buttress the sense of endangerment.
He thinks that the greatest potential use in psychotherapy is not with
clients but for training analysts. E would make them aware of their own
neurosis and increase their empathy. Analysts tend to avoid close
introspection and the E would help them to see their own state, thus
helping to break down their Godlike attitude towards their clients. Of
course the present cleft suits most therapists, but many recognize that
empathy with clients is needed.
Asked whether he thinks E will become acceptable, says that he believes the
revolution will come from top down, because there is a current trend
towards recognising that empathy between client and therapist is a key to
successful treatment, and that E is the obvious way of improving this.