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A Dangerous Method? Psychedelic Therapy at Modum Bad, Norway, 1961-76

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Abstract

After many years of disregard, the use of psychedelic drugs in psychiatric treatment has re-emerged in recent years. The prospect that psychedelics may again be integrated into mainstream psychiatry has aroused interest in long-forgotten research and experience from the previous phase of psychedelic therapy, which lasted from the late 1940s to the 1970s. This article will discuss one large-scale psychedelic therapy programme at Modum Bad Nervesanatorium, a psychiatric clinic which treated 379 inpatients with psychedelic drugs during the years 1961-76. The psychiatrists there initially regarded the psychedelic treatment as efficacious and without serious negative reactions, but reports of long-term harm have since surfaced. This article discusses how insights from Modum Bad might benefit the new generation of psychedelic treatment efforts.
Johnstad, P. G. (2020). A dangerous method? Psychedelic therapy at Modum Bad, Norway, 1961–76. History of Psychiatry31(2), 217-226., https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0957154X19894537
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