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Article: The effect of MDMA assisted psychotherapy in PTSD

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a psychoactive substance that can be effectively combined with psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD. A good deal of research has been conducted in the field that gives us a good insight into the effect of MDMA in psychotherapy. In this professional article, we collect literature from the field to provide a systematic review of the literature, especially with a focus on safety and efficiency. 


There is a demand for better implementation of new forms of treatment for PTSD and a great need for reduced drop-out from treatment, therapy adapted to the individual, intensive treatment courses and more. A large proportion of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) do not respond to standard treatment and many discontinue treatment. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be relevant to these focus areas. 

Post traumatic stress disorder is a reaction caused by overwhelming events. Some of the symptoms include re-experiencing, negative thoughts and feelings and avoiding triggers. This often affects social and occupational function. Here, MDMA assisted psychotherapy can open a "tolerance window". 

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has been given the status of breakthrough therapy by US authorities. Compared to other drug treatment options, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can contribute to increased openness, closeness and self-compassion (Kamilar-Britt & Bedi, 2015; Mithoefer, 2013; Vollenweider et al., 2002), becoming conditions such as withdrawal, anxiety, shame, fault and self-harm avoided (Frankfurt & Frazier, 2016). In this way, MDMA in psychotherapy can help to limit trauma memories and overwhelm during therapy. 

About the research

Through this research article, we have reviewed three different databases - Medline, Embase and Psychoinfo, to collect literature written about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and create a systematic overview of the literature. The focus has been on the safety and efficacy of MDMA in psychotherapy. 

In the first part of the professional article, we give a general introduction to the effects of MDMA, psychotherapy and the effect of how the two can work together in the treatment of PTSD. Furthermore, we go into the harmful effects, method and purpose. 

In the next part of the professional article, we present our research. Here you will be introduced to the research method and results of the research on the literature that has been reviewed. Here, a special focus has been placed on finding the effect of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, as well as emphasizing safety and risk. 

Finally, we will come to a conclusion about the research carried out. 

Good reading! 

If you want to read more, you can read the entire professional article on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

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