My recent TEDx Talk on MDMA
(Click picture to view)
The UK MDMA Therapy Training Group, Tyringham Hall, Buckinghamshire in December 2014
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a remarkable substance. Forget what you know about the popular use of this compound in the context of the recreational drug ecstasy (whatever that is these days). MDMA is a medical drug that started it’s life in the clinical setting. It has a unique receptor profile that makes this drug, when combined in a supervised clinical setting with experienced psychotherapists, the perfect tool to enhance trauma-focused psychotherapy.
Early life psychological trauma – especially when induced by child maltreatment and abuse – is very difficult to manage. It underlies most if not all adult anxiety-based disorders such as PTSD and addictions. Sadly, traditional psychiatric treatments with antidepressants and counselling are ineffective for 50% of sufferers because the severity of their distressing trauma is too great for them to discuss and explore their memories with a therapist.
But MDMA provides exactly the right blend of subjective psychological effects to safely and gently hold the PTSD sufferer; providing a secure platform of containment in which they can reflect upon and eventually resolve their long-standing emotional issues.
At present MDMA is unlicensed and cannot be legally prescribed as a treatment for PTSD – either here in the UK or anywhere else around the world. But this is a situation we are trying to change. For the last ten years I have been working with colleagues in the UK and abroad to develop MDMA science within British medicine and neuroscience.
I am currently leading teams putting together a neuro-imaging study at Cardiff University using fMRI to investigate the mechanism behind MDMA Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a study based in Bristol exploring the potential role for MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy in treating Alcoholism.
Some of my publications relating to MDMA Therapy can be seen here.
A short film of me finishing my MDMA therapy training here.
A brief film about MDMA therapy can be seen here.
A talk I gave about MDMA therapy can be seen here.