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Psychedelic therapy: Betty Grover Eisner and LSD

Betty Grover Eisner audiotape

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently completed reformatting the audio tapes contained in the Betty Grover Eisner papers, held by University Archives. Eisner was at the vanguard of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs in her psychotherapy research during the 1950s and 60s. The majority of the tapes document long, multi-hour therapy sessions, with patients on mind alterting substances. Because of the content, which is often sexually explicit, these tapes are restricted; those interested patrons who want to listen to these tapes should contact the University Archivist for more information. A handful of tapes do have worldwide access however, including this cassette of a talk Eisner gave at a UCLA psychology seminar exactly 42 years ago. 

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After decades of being classified as an illegal drug with no medical research, a casualty of Richard Nixon's Controlled Substances Act in 1970, there have been renewed efforts to take another look at LSD's use in psychotherapy. Getting approval for a study involving psychedelics is a very slow process, according to this article from last week's Popular Science, "Why Doctors Can't Give You LSD (But Maybe They Should)." Canadian psychotherapist Andrew Feldmár has advocated for the use of psychedelics in treating depression, and last week saw the second international conference in Oakland, CA on the scientific benefits and risks of assorted drugs.    

 

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