MDA-assisted psychotherapy with
neurotic outpatients: a pilot study

Yensen R, Di Leo FB, Rhead JC, Richards WA,
Soskin RA, Turek B, Kurland AA
J Nerv Ment Dis, 1976; 163(4):233-45


Ten neurotic patients (five males and five females) were treated over a period of 2 to 6 months (mean, 4.1) as outpatients. The study allowed for a maximum of 75 hours of psychotherapy (mean, 51.55 hours). During the course of treatment, two to four (mean, 3.5) administrations of MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) were employed as adjunctive aids in an effort to enhance the psychotherapeutic process. The mean duration of the drug sessions was 8 hours (range, 6 to 14 hours). The first administration of MDA took place when, in the therapist's judgment, sufficient rapport had been established with the patient. All patients received an initial dose of 75 mg of MDA; subsequent dosage was allowed to range up to 200 mg. On these occasions, the drug appeared to be well tolerated with no serious side effects or complications observed. Psychometric assessments were obtained pre- and post-treatment, employing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Wittenborn Psychiatric Rating Scales (WPRS), and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). In addition, follow-up evaluations were obtained 6 months after the termination of therapy by the use of the MMPI, WPRS, BPRS, and a Social History Questionnaire (SHQ) which had also been administered before treatment was initiated. Clinically, the impression was obtained that psychotherapy and the adjunctive use of MDA appeared to facilitate improvement in these patients. This impression was substantiated by significant reductions in scores on the psychometric assessments measuring depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive traits. The meaures evaluating the sense of well-being and self-actualization also were encouraging. Although some of the patients were not as responsive as others, there were no observations to suggest that the condition of any of these patients had become worse.

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