Peter Gasser, MD
The Development of Psycholytic / Psychedelic Therapy
A prominent figure in psychedelic research since the late 1980s, Peter Gasser has begun conducting radical research in Switzerland. His most recent works consists of evaluating the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on illnesses related to anxiety, in which subjects have indicated significantly reduced anxiety levels. He is also one of the very few psychiatrists, who is authorized by the Swiss government, in the world who can legally prescribe psychedelic therapy for their patients.
His concurrent study consists of investigating the effects of LSD on depression.
Research and therapy with mind altering drugs has a tradition in Switzerland. It started with the discovery of LSD in 1943, then the first clinical publication of the use of LSD in 1946, the use of LSD and MDMA in therapy in 1988 until 1993, the important basic scientific work of F. Vollenweider about Psilocybin after the mid 1990s and regular clinical and therapeutical research since the early 2000s. The presentation focusses on the development of the therapeutical use, shows the results of the studies done in Switzerland and outlines the further development towards a normalization of therapy with mind altering substances that is legally embedded and based on medical evidence.
Peter Gasser has been trained in psychodynamic methods and has worked extensively with psychedelic drugs. He is a member of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy since 1992 and its president since 1996. He has been working as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice since 1997 in Solothurn, Switzerland. His continued work with psychedelic-assisted therapy in his practice puts him in a unique position. On an individual basis, Peter Gasser is able to apply for exemptions to compassionately use MDMA and LSD since 2014.
From 2008 to 2012 he conducted a randomized controlled trial with LSD assisted treatment in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. The study found that LSD administered in a medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting can be safe and generate lasting benefits in patients with a life-threatening disease. A second study with the same study questions is running from 2017 to 2021.