by Jonathan Robinson: As a psychotherapist in training, I gave many of my clients MDMA—now better known as XTC.
This was back in 1984—when it was still legal. In fact, my Master’s thesis was titled, “The Therapeutic Effects of MDMA on PTSD.” After working with about three-dozen clients suffering from PTSD, I concluded that a single session of MDMA assisted psychotherapy was as effective as about 60 to 75 weekly talk therapy sessions. Despite my and other therapist’s promising research with this drug, in 1985 the federal government quickly made MDMA a Schedule One controlled substance.
Since 1985, research with MDMA has been severely curtailed. In the meantime, it became known as a party drug, and a favorite at Raves. Yet, a few years ago, things began to change. That’s when two things happened. First, the U.S. government realized it was spending a lot of money for treating soldiers with PTSD, and getting really bad results. Second, the group known as MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) started funding research into MDMA assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. What they found was what I found way back in 1984: MDMA works phenomenally well in helping people with PTSD.
According to Wikipedia, “In 2017, the treatment (MDMA assisted psychotherapy) was granted breakthrough therapy status by the FDA, a designation that indicates that there is preliminary evidence that an intervention offers a substantial improvement over other options for a serious health condition. In the Phase II trial, 61% of the 107 participants no longer qualified for PTSD two months after they underwent three sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.”
The people in these trials had suffered from PTSD for an average of 17.8 years, yet they were seemingly cured in a couple of months! Wow. Results like that should be shouted from the rooftops.
The U.S. government eventually began to take notice. If PTSD could be cured reliably and quickly, it could save the federal government tens of millions of dollars each year. These results soon paved the way for MAPS and the FDA to implement a Phase III trial with MDMA. If the trial is successful—as expected–the MDMA assisted psychotherapy treatment could be approved as early as late 2023. This would mean that you could go to a specially trained therapist or physician and actually legally get MDMA assisted psychotherapy. Woo-hoo!
Years ago, I gave up my psychotherapy license so that I could help people suffering from PTSD and issues around relationships. When I’ve done this, I simply arrange for my client to find their own source of the drug, then over zoom or at my office they take the medicine. Over the course of several hours, my client and I co-create an environment in which transformational healing takes place. Under the right circumstances and intention, MDMA is like a magic pill for healing psychological and/or relationship wounds. I’ve been trained in over a dozen therapeutic modalities, but nothing can come close to the results I’ve received when working with MDMA.
What makes MDMA so effective is it allows people to greatly decrease feelings of anxiety, fear, and defensiveness. Without these obstacles in the way, a trained therapist can quickly help a client to unwind their particular form of wounding. When I’ve done this work with clients, it often feels like I’m witnessing a sacred, almost miraculous healing event. Contrary to popular opinion, transformation and healing don’t require endless hours of talk. Most transformation happens almost instantaneously when all the right ingredients show up at the right time.
So, what are the right ingredients for these healing breakthroughs to take place? First, a trained therapist is certainly needed. When a person takes MDMA by themselves—or at a party, I have not seen breakthroughs spontaneously occur. Yet, a good therapist can help gently guide a client towards what they have been afraid to face in the past. Then, once a client is properly focused on a wound, a therapist can help them to experience or see that wounding from a fully loving space. This “open, loving” view helps to unwind the wound. Finally, the ingredient of integration is necessary for ongoing healing to occur. This can often be achieved through supplementary talk therapy sessions and/or hypnotic type reprogramming.
While much has been written about the effect of MDMA on PTSD, I have also seen it create amazing breakthroughs when doing couples work and when helping people experience ongoing awakening. After my book, “Communication Miracles for Couples” became a New York Times bestseller, I got a lot of couples coming to me for counseling. In general, I could help most couples pretty quickly, but some couples seemed just too stuck for me to help.
In a last ditch effort to assist such couples, I sometimes suggested the possibility of MDMA assisted couples counseling. So far, I’ve only done this 20 times, yet in 18 of the 20 cases, the transformation of the relationship was both miraculous and ongoing. That’s a friggin miracle. Even the two cases that were not “successful” ended up with the partners being able to divorce amicably.
Lately, I’ve been using MDMA therapy as a way to help people further their experience of awakening. During an MDMA session, I train people to know exactly how they can open to the love within when not on the drug. Then, once they are not on the drug, they can use their new-found “recipe” for finding love within to experience greater and more frequent experiences of expanded states of consciousness.
Due to the increasing popularity of MDMA therapy, I’ve begun to teach courses on how to do this type of work effectively and safely. In fact, I’ll be leading an 8 week online course starting in April of 2023 on how to do transformational MDMA therapy. If you’d like to learn how to help lead yourself, friends, and/or clients in this type of work, you can learn more at www.MDMATraining.net.
In a day and age when we need all the help we can get, I believe that MDMA assisted therapy can be a new “wonder drug.” Unlike anti-depressants and other drugs that often simply mask symptoms, MDMA therapy really seems to reliably cure people of their underlying wounding. Of course, people wanting healing need to make sure they take it with the right intention and under optimal therapeutic conditions. Fortunately, that may soon be available to many more people. In the meantime, practitioners such as myself are helping thousands of people find lasting peace, connection, and spiritual expansion.