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Low Doses of Dipropyltryptamine in Psychotherapy - Interview 8



Type of Spiritual Experience


It is not very clear in the paper but the interview appears to have been with a 29-year-old, court-committed alcoholic with a history of antisocial behavior. He had spent the major portion of his life from the age of 9 years in reformatories and prisons.

A description of the experience

Low Doses of Dipropyltryptamine in Psychotherapy Robert A. Soskin, PhD; Stainslav Grof, MD; William A. Richards, STM, Baltimore

Interview 8, in which he received 20 mg of DPT, follow:

It appeared quite obvious that [the patient] received DPT " today. At first, he looked rather thoughtful and had very little to say. He claimed that his mind was a blank. After being encouraged to close his eyes and to go inward, he said that it seemed that his head was split laterally down the middle. On the left side, he could see a spring landscape, which appeared cheerful and optimistic to him, whereas on the right side he could see only darkness, gloom, and negatively toned feelings.

It seemed that the right side was stronger than the left and was suppressing the left side.

Later, he said that it seemed that he felt extreme hatred to, the right side. He seemed somewhat surprised at the intensity of this feeling. He could feel this emotion in his facial expression and I told him to exaggerate it, whereupon he made a face some-what like a lion, snarling.

Shortly thereafter, his right hand began to make a number of motions which he experienced as occurring on their own and not under his voluntary control. The right hand kept clenching into a fist, and I encouraged him to try to assume the role of the hand and express what the hand was feeling.

He was unable to do this, so I encouraged him to strike a cushion with his fist. Upon starting to do so, his eyes welled up with tears, sad he said, "That's what I've been fighting-I want to cry."

However, he suppressed this emotion and insisted that he would never allow himself to cry. Later, the right hand assumed a distorted position and he said that it seemed as if this represented a feeling of bent crippled and weak. Afterwards, he said that the right hand wanted to hide. In fact, he kept the hand obscured from the therapist's line of vision. He experienced all the events occurring in do hand as ego-alien and, at one point, stated that it didn't seem that the hand belonged to him. I pointed out that the feelings expressed by the hand seemed to represent another aspect of himself with which he was in conflict. He asked whether the images experienced in the beginning of the interview represented the warring parts of his personality.

This was a very intense session emotionally and quite interesting from a psychodynamic point of view in terms of the dissociative expression of repressed emotions through his hands. On one previous occasion when I felt [the patient] had received DPT, felt "scared to death" and was unable to articulate clearly any of his feelings, whereas today he was at least able to give distorted expression to them through the aforementioned process.

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items




Activities and commonsteps