New Transpersonal Bridge between Russia and America

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

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Five persons from the Former Soviet Union: Vladimir Maikov, Ph.D., Evgeny Krupitsky, M.D., Ph.D., Farida Asadullina, Ph.D., Aleksander Neklessa and Kristina Klovaite (Lithuania) recently visited the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) in Palo Alto, California from January 12th till February 2nd, 1993. MAPS sponsored the visit of Evgeny Krupitsky while the ITP sponsored the visits of the other four people. The purpose of the visit was to prepare the groundwork for bringing ITP’s External Program to Russia and Lithuania and to start full scale cooperation in research and teaching in the field of transpersonal psychology. Attendees were being trained as future mentors and received a deep acquaintance with ITP’s External program and with its unique approach to teaching transpersonal psychology. We also received an excellent set of books and printed courses. We attended several classes at ITP and it was an enriching experience for all of us.

For example, for Evgeny Krupitsky it was very useful to take a guided imagery class with Jeanne Achterberg and Frank Lawlis because he is going to carry out research with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for alcoholics and terminal cancer patients in St. Petersburg, and in the framework of this project guided imagery will be used. The experimental group will recieve MDMA and guided imagery while the control group will recieve only guided imagery.

Our meetings in California were not restricted to ITP classes. We were also introduced to the main centers and researchers of transpersonal psychology. We also visited the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, JFK University School of Consciousness and Esalen Institute. We met prominent researchers such as Stan Grof, Frijof Capra, Ralph Metzner, John Broomfield, Alexander Shulgin, Miles Vich, Ruth-Inge Heinre, and others. Our visit was very exciting and helpful for all of us and we would like to thank very much Dwight Judy, Ph.D., chairperson of the External Program ITP, who worked very hard to organize our visit as productively as possible.

For our American partners it was quite unusual to recognize that the connections between academic and transpersonal psychology in the former Soviet Union are much more fruitful and reach deeper than those connections in the United States, where transpersonal psychology is still outside the mainstream of psychology.

As a first step, thirty Russian and Lithuanian students will be accepted this September and will participate at the weekly intensive with American teachers and Russian and Lithuanian mentors to begin their M.A. programs.

Evgeny Krupitsky is also working hard now to organize in St. Petersburg the Institute of Psychedelic Research and Therapy. Evgeny is the chief of the research laboratory which is situated in the Leningrad Regional Center for Chemical Dependence Therapy in the surburbs of St. Petersburg. The laboratory consists of three units – psychological, biochemical and neurophysiological units. Evgeny, his laboratory staff and associate researchers have been working with ketamine psychedelic therapy of alcoholism, drug dependence and neurosis since 1985. They practice a combined approach to their psychedelic research and are not restricted only to investigations of the clinical efficacy of ketamine psychedelic therapy. They also conduct research into the different underlying mechanisms of ketamine therapy such as biochemical, neurophysiological and psychological. Dr. Krupitsky’s laboratory, which has its budget supplied by the Russian Ministry of Health, will form the basis for the Institute of Psychedelic Research and Therapy. This new Institute should be created under the umbrella of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Counseling Harmony , the St. Petersburg Union of Scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences and MAPS, Inc.

The main directions of the study in the Institute of Psychedelic Research and Therapy will be the further investigations of ketamine psychedelic therapy of chemical dependence and neuroses, and also research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy of terminal cancer patients, alcoholics and neurotics, if Evgeny Krupitsky’s attempts to receive permission for MDMA research in Russia will eventually be successful. We are hopeful that the creation of the special Institute for psychedelic research will be an important step toward a new era when psychedelic therapy will flourish not only in Russia but all over the world.

The creation of the new Institutes for teaching transpersonal psychology and for psychedelic research will take a substantial amount of funding. If anyone cares to make a contribution to these projects, they are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to MAPS.