One-on-one sessions with a licensed therapist can be one of the most effective ways to deal with personal issues that a person can do for themselves. Therapists are awesome. There is just something about being able to talk to a person about what is going on in your life without worrying about judgment. Sometimes all we need to figure things out is an unbiased opinion. Therapists can be that shift in perspective that unlocks the root of a lot of the issues we face with ourselves every day.
The key to effective sessions with a therapist still remains in the individual. It’s a therapist’s job to navigate our emotions and personal conditions in a manner that gets to the foundations of who we are, and why we are like we are. Opening these seemingly locked doors requires honesty and a level of vulnerability that some people are not comfortable with. You hear people talking about having a “breakthrough” with therapists, and that’s essentially what they are – a barrier being breached into how you really feel about something. New research is being done into even more effective ways to dismantle those mental barriers that we create, and it revolved around the use of MDMA.
MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or “molly”, has been shown to make people more open in therapy sessions because it changes people’s perceptions of themselves. Matthew J. Baggot, the author of the study, says: “We found that MDMA simultaneously positively altered evaluation of the self (i.e. increasing feelings of authenticity) while decreasing concerns about negative evaluation by others (i.e. decreasing social anxiety).
Consistent with these feelings, MDMA increased how comfortable participants felt describing emotional memories.”
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The study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, suggests that when people feel more authentic, they are more open and honest about their feelings. When you are talking about dealing with conditions like PTSD, the individual’s appraisal and acceptance of the way they feel are the absolute keys to healing the emotional wounds left by a major trauma in life.
The researchers concluded that “Although conclusive studies are lacking and the current study must be considered preliminary and requires replication, MDMA appears to have unusual socioemotional effects, consistent with the proposal that it represents a new class of psychoactive with psychotherapeutic potential.” I personally think that in a controlled environment, drugs like MDMA have a real place in therapy.
Again, the key there being “in a controlled environment.” Conditions like PTSD are crippling for the people that suffer from them and making a deeper connection to your own feelings, without worrying about judgement, is an amazing way to break down the barriers that keep those feelings trapped underneath the surface of our everyday lives.