MDMA therapy has many potential uses, including treating social anxiety in adults with autism, reducing anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, and treating eating disorders.
It may also have general psychological benefits for healthy adults.
Before its legal prohibition in the 1980s, MDMA was widely used in therapy, including for trauma work, relationship issues, and couples counseling.
During an MDMA therapy session, patients take a pill that contains a substance called MDMA. The therapy team then works with the patient to help them overcome traumatic memories.
The goal is to help the patient develop coping strategies. A typical treatment course includes two or three multi-hour MDMA sessions.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program was developed to help clinicians learn to use MDMA to treat patients.
The program is based on the philosophy that every individual has an inherent healing wisdom. This inner wisdom can bloom in a safe environment.
The program has been revised several times since its initial release in 2005, and is the result of decades of experience from many therapists.
- MDMA significantly reduced clinician-rated functional impairment. Using the MMRM method, the effect size of MDMA was 0.43 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of -0.01 to 0.88.
- The mean SDS score of the MDMA-assisted therapy group was -3.1, compared to -2.0 in the placebo group.
- The results of the study showed that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy significantly reduced symptoms of PTSD.
- A mixed model repeated measure analysis confirmed the findings. However, further research is needed to determine which subtypes respond better to the drug.
- This type of therapy should be explored as a novel treatment option for people with dissociative PTSD.
- During the study, one participant reported two severe adverse events, one involving suicidal ideation. Another patient in the MDMA group reported suicidal ideation.
- There were no other significant differences between the treatment arms in terms of race, disability, or CAPS-5 score.
The mean duration of PTSD in the MDMA group was 14.2 years, compared to 12.8 years in the placebo group.
Of the participants in the placebo group, six were diagnosed with a dissociative subtype of PTSD.
MAPS, the organization that runs the MDMA-assisted therapy trial, put multiple video cameras in the treatment rooms to monitor therapists’ compliance with the protocol.
However, these videos do not include the entire MDMA session that Buisson attended. The videos were taken during the study’s Phase II clinical trials, which are used to assess the drug’s safety and effectiveness in patients.
In MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, MDMA is used to facilitate a therapeutic process through the process of inner-directed “touching within.”
MDMA has been shown to decrease anxiety and increase empathy, improve interpersonal trust, and facilitate a more open state of consciousness.
It also allows patients to explore difficult experiences without overwhelming their emotions.