Rita Kočárová

Rita Kočárová

Rita Kočárová

Psychedelic Research in 60´s: Teachings and Implications for Future

The former Czechoslovakia (CSSR) was one of the main centers of psychedelic research in the 60's. One of the reasons was probably the fact that CSSR was next to Switzerland, the only country which was producing its own synthetically pure lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); its production with research and therapeutic use lasted until 1974. The period of legal LSD research was “a golden era” of psychedelic research and by exploring what was already done, much can be learnt. Recently, research in Prague was restored. Hence for the first time all human studies with psychedelics on patients published in the former Czechoslovakia between 1952 and 1974 were systematically analyzed. Studies with patients where therapeutic or psychological effect was studied were systematically reviewed with emphasis on implications for current and future psychedelic research. Information was also gained from the analysis of the interviews with the mental health professionals who underwent LSD sessions in the 60´s. According to available studies, in the 60s psychedelics proved effective for disorders on the neurotic spectrum, depression, anxiety, phobias, neurasthenia, obsessive-compulsive personality, and also psychosis or personality disorders. Even more interesting than various therapeutic indications, are insights in terms of the treatment protocol, like group therapy or “weekend psycholytic clinics”, and many other types of intervention. More importantly, this talk will examine the ethical issues and responsibility of psychedelic researchers. On the basis of historical and current evidence and experience real risks of psychedelics will be evaluated. The talk will also question of the role of research in the relationship between society and psychoactive substances. The importance of studying the history will be proposed, as so much was already done.

RITA KOČÁROVÁ, MSc, is a junior researcher at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the research program of Social Psychiatry and in the on-going psilocybin study, PhD student of clinical psychology at Charles University in Prague, trainee of Gestalt therapy and MDMA for PTSD therapy (MAPS), and executive director of Beyond Psychedelics - multidisciplinary global forum on psychedelics.  She is also a co-founder of Czech Psychedelic Society. In her research she focuses on mechanism of therapeutic functioning of psychedelics on psychological level, especially psilocybin, ayahuasca, and recently also natural substances containing 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin (Bufo alvarius toad, yopo), therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, studies with psychedelics and deliriants conducted in 60s in former Czechoslovakia and also complex approach to the addictions. Besides research, she is providing psychological support with the integration of the psychedelic sessions. She was at the research internship in Takiwasi Center in Peru in 2014. She is a member of scientific committee of International Transpersonal Conference 2017, Young Psychiatrists Network Meeting and Rational Drug Regulation.