LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY: An Exploration of Psychedelic and Psycholytic Therapy by William Caldwell

LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY: An Exploration of Psychedelic and Psycholytic Therapy

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The interest in the resolution of personal difficulties by psychedelic means continues with only slightly diminished intensity. Dr. Caldwell's contribution is at the same time another of the paeans to psychedelic treatment that he decries so elegantly in his book, and better than most of the articles, reviews and books on the subject that have yet appeared. The book is especially strong as a survey of the history of LSD and its use in therapeutic, nontherapeutic and anti-therapeutic contexts, and as a source of much information which would be of interest to both a professional and concerned layman. In many ways the author presents a reasonably balanced account of both the dangers and potentialities of this drug, but he sometimes falls into the trap of presenting impressions and suppositions as facts. After sifting through the data and ideas, one is struck by his adherence to rather basic psychoanalytic doctrine, with a great deal of emphasis on the concepts of insight and abreaction per se leading to behavioral change. This would suggest a certain amount of ingenuousness, particularly in view of much of the recent data indicating the importance of social matrix in influencing individual behavior. A major deficit in the work is the author's failure to treat with sufficient thoroughness the role of suggestibility in individuals who have taken ISD noted by a number of investigators. Despite its shortcomings, however, there are things to be learned from this book, with one caveat however: the resolution of life problems is not as simple as one would assume from the overall picture the author presents.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Grove