By Stanislav Grof
Publication by means of Stanislav Grof
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Additional resources for The human encounter with death
The clinical impressions of the often dramatic effects of LSD psychotherapy on the emotional condition of cancer patients were supported by the results of the ratings. The most pronounced therapeutic changes were observed in the areas of depression, anxiety, and pain, closely followed by those related to fear of death. The results were least dramatic in the area of medical management. "Dramatic improvement" was defined arbitrarily as an increase of the global index of four or more points and "moderate improvement" as a gain of two to four points.
Another source of data was the therapist's assessment of the patients' psychedelic experience. According to Richards, the data collected in the DPT study show better therapeutic results in patients who had a psychedelic peak experience than those who did not. One important aspect of this work will necessarily elude even the most sophisticated methodology in all similar studies conducted in the future. It is the depth of the personal experience of those who are privileged to share the situation of dying with another human being and see the psychological crisis so frequently accompanying the encounter with death alleviated or even completely reversed as a result of a psychedelic experience.
In a special interview we explained the nature of this treatment and discussed openly with the dying individual and the family the benefits and risks inherent in this experimental form of psychotherapy. If we reached an agreement, the patient was asked to sign a consent form and was accepted into the program. After the dying person had the initial interviews, he or she was introduced to one of the therapists at the center and the therapeutic work began. The course of psychedelic therapy consisted of three phases.
The human encounter with death by Stanislav Grof