Psych psychiatry at the Wellcome

9 Feb

News just in via Radionic pal and Wellcome Research Officer Ross Macfarlane… a very interesting archive has recently appeared at the Wellcome Library:

In 1952 psychiatrist Ronald Sandison, based at Powick Hospital in Worcestershire, embarked on a study tour of Swiss psychiatric hospitals. It was during this visit that he met Albert Hofmann and became aware of the therapeutic potential of LSD.

Returning to England with a supply of the drug, Sandison developed what he referred to as “psycholytic therapy”, using small amounts of LSD to assist patients in exploring their subconscious. By 1958, Powick Hospital had a dedicated LSD treatment unit, where Sandison worked until he left the hospital in 1964. LSD therapy continued at Powick for a further two years after Sandison’s departure. The increasing publicity around recreational use of LSD by figures such as Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley, along with tighter regulation of its use, led to Sandoz withdrawing the drug from the market.  After leaving Powick Hospital, Sandison never again used LSD therapy. However, he continued to believe in its value as a treatment when used in a clinical setting.

Full story at the Wellcome Library blog

As a bonus, here’s an in-depth interview with Sandison about his LSD research, conducted by Dominic Streatfeild for his excellent book Brainwash.

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