Future Plans of the European College for the Study of Consiousness

Spring 1993 Vol. 04, No. 1 Remembrance and Renewal

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The next symposium of the European College for the Study of Consiousness (ECSC) will take place in Zurich, Switzerland either on November 5-7 or 26-28, 1993. Further details about the conference such as exact dates, locations, speakers, and fees will be finalized in March or April.

The ECSC conference in Gottingen in September 1992 [reported on in the Winter,1992 MAPS newsletter] was generally very well received. However, some people for whom this was their first ECSC conference had difficulty appreciating that we are still in a pioneering stage and are trying to synthesize a dialogue between the multiplicity of objective and subjective aspects of the study of human consciousness.

We will soon start to design four research studies: 1) MDMA individual therapy, 2) MDMA group psychotherapy, 3) LSD in dynamically-oriented psychotherpay with adolescents who do not respond to any of the conventional psychotherapies, and 4) Adults who do not respond to psychotherapy. In Germany, the main problem of psychotherapy is focused on the treatment of psychosomatic and neurotic subjects. A field study has shown that 65% of the population who need psychotherapy are unable to open up or do not respond to the official therapies accepted by insurance companies. Psychoactive drugs have been proven in many provisional studies to help a high percentage of these people.

An important distinction must be made between two types of pharmacologically- assisted psychotherapy, psychedelic therapy on the one hand and psycholytic therapy on the other. The first concentrates on guiding the patient toward a cosmic, mystical experience, the second focuses on the psychodynamic reexperiencing of early childhood traumas. Unfortunately, which sort of patients and which sort of clinical indicates respond best to which approach cannot be scientifically determined as of yet.