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Salvador Roquet
Photographer Unknown
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Salvador Roquet
Summary
Born in Veracruz, Salvador Roquet was a beloved psychiatrist who worked with different shamans and healers throughout Mexico between the years of 1967 and 1974; he trained many psychedelic therapists in his approach, and worked with over 1,700 patients. He developed very intense methods of conducting group psychedelic sessions with powerful impact. Roquet's process, which he called "psicosintesis" (unrelated to the humanistic therapy called "Psychosynthesis" developed by Roberto Assagioli), sometimes used aversive stimuli to induce psychologically difficult states of mind in his patients while they were under the influence of various psychedelics including psilocybin-containing mushrooms, peyote, datura, ketamine, and LSD. In 1974, Roquet was charged with drug trafficking and crimes against the health of his patients. The charges were dropped on April 30, 1975, after a Supreme Court trial during which he was declared not guilty. He spent nine months in Le Cumberri, Mexico City's famous prison of no escape that was once a palace. Roquet used increased sensory stimulation, Gestalt therapy, psychodrama, the creation of art, bioenergetics, Reichian massage, and other processes. Salvador Roquet has very dedicated devotees and has been called far ahead of his time.

Walter Huston Clark participated in Roquet's therapy at his clinic and described the sessions as including "scenes of violence, death and crude pornography, apparently designed to shock and disturb the sensibilities of the average patient". Clark further points out that, "Dr. Roquet deliberately sets up a bad trip to bring the patient's worst fears and problems to the surface although this may mean, and usually does, a visit to his own private underworld where madness lurks. [...] Many conventional psychiatrists might argue that such violent methods may damage the psyche." It may be that Roquet's unconventional use of sensory overload and group trip settings were some of the reasons that his work became more widely known outside of Mexico.
Remembrances
  • Remembering Salvador (MAPS Forum, 1998)