The Influence of LSD on Unconscious Activity
By Eisner, BG
From The Proceedings of the Quarterly Meeting of the Royal Medico-
Psychological Association 1961
Reviewed by Alex Pearlstein
This papers opening paragraph contains the line "LSD and related agents appear to be research tools far beyond present day conception - even the conception of us who have been working with them for years." I found this to be a great introduction to the observations of this well versed researcher. She clearly identifies the positive affects of LSD upon resolving issues of mental illness where the patient can gain a clearer perspective of their lives and the factors causing problems within their lives. To quote directly from the text "..the almost miraculous way in which human dynamics are laid bare and the levels of consciousness become available to scrutiny."
This paper also contains a line I have read in many other research papers on the topic of LSD. It, like so many others, suggests that the best methodology for understanding the practical application of this drug and its therapeutic qualities is personal experience. For it will help aid in the relationship between doctor and instrument as well as Doctor and patient. Without personal understanding of its effects there will be a communication barrier that could complicate therapy or understanding the responses of the patient.
Another common point in this paper that I have observed in others is how "treatment"
is described. It seems that most of the papers that boasted the best results
had the same methodologies applied. This typical treatment mostly revolved around
the idea of the patients problems resolved via self-realization and resolution,
with the therapist playing the role of lifeguard. The therapist's presence is
to assist talking through issues when the patient requested, but mostly the
patient would enter a state of clear rationalization looking at themselves and
problems almost as a third person. This externalization of the issues at hand
helped the patient to make a more rational analysis of their behavior and how
to correct it.
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