Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Erowid References Database
Gordon PE. 
“The Effects of LSD on the Expression of Affect in Psychotherapy”. 
DissertationAbstr.Intern.B. 1975;36(4):1917.
To explore the claims of stimulated emotional growth, intensified abreaction and increased introspectiveness on LSD as an aid to psychotherapy, the effects of small sub-hallucinatory doses of LSD on various parameters of the verbal expression of emotion were studied in 7 cases administered LSD as well as an active (d-amphetamine) and inactive (lactose) placebo at various intervals in their otherwise traditional psychotherapy. The data analyzed was derived from actual therapy transscripts recorded as part of a long term LSD study at the William Alanson White Institute in New York. The affect variables of interest were frequency - or how much affect; quality - whether positive or negative, pleasurable or unpleasurable; source of affect - to whom attributed; direction of affect - to whom directed; time orientation - whether current or past; range - how many different affects experienced; and content - the specific nature of the affect. The general hypothesis proposed was that LSD would have a consistent and meaningful effect on the various parameters of affect for a particular individual. If 3/7 cases exhibited the same tendency, generalization to the case population regarding this variable was made. The investigation of the affect variables involved word counts and a sampling of affect words in their actual therapy contexts. Findings across the 7 cases which could be generalized were sparse. LSD did significantly increase the experience of witty, carefree, playful emotions. Also as a direct result of LSD, patients spoke significantly more about laughing and crying than in response to placebo drugs. Although not satisfying the rigorous conditions for significan¤ of this research, certain trends were suggested by the LSD data: an increase in pleasurable emotions, decrease in aggressive affects and increased introspectiveness or withdrawal of investment with the outside world. d-Amphetamine produced increased aggression, verbal productivity and exterral directedness. Much attention was devoted to a patient by patient analysis of the results as the basic design was the single case study. Each patient reacted in his own peculiar way to the drug, supporting previous research which emphasized individual differences in drug response. The reactions were related to the personality and therapy experience of each case. In several cases, LSD facilitated certain parameters of the verbal expression of affect in treatment. This finding was suggestive at best as it was difficult to separate out the components of the interaction. A conclusive statement about the exact role of LSD as an aid to therapy could not be made.
Comments and Responses to this Article
Submit Comment
[ Cite HTML ]