From June 16-19, the International Federation of Psychotherapy convened a Congress in Lucerne, Switzerland. As a sign of the growing acceptance of psychedelic psychotherapy research, this mainstream psychotherapy conference had a seminar devoted to the topic. From the U.S., MAPS sent researchers Michael Mithoefer M.D. and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N. to present information from our U.S. MDMA/PTSD study. MAPS also brought Swiss MDMA/PTSD researchers Peter Oehen, M.D. and Verena Widmer, R.N. and Swiss LSD/end-of-life researcher Peter Gasser, M.D. Also on the panel was renowned German psychedelic researcher Torsten Passie, M.D. This was the first presentation about new data from psychedelic psychotherapy research to a mainstream psychotherapy conference in over 35 years.
Out of about 800 attendees at the conference, approximately 50 people crowded the room for the two-hour panel. According to MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D. who also attended the conference, the session on psychedelic research was remarkable because it wasnt remarkable it was a mainstream psychotherapy conference that happened to have a panel on psychedelic psychotherapy research. There were no protestors or vocal dissenters. The promising results were taken seriously and our call for expanding research wasnt even considered controversial.
During the trip to Switzerland, MAPS supporter and friend Vanja Palmers hosted Rick and the Mithoefers at his home in Lucerne, only several blocks from the conference center.