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Yensen R, Dryer D.
“Thirty Years of Psychedelic Research: The Spring Grove Experiment and its Sequels”.
Orenda Institute. 1992 Se[.
In the late 1960's a multi-million dollar interdisciplinary research center opened in the State of Maryland. This center for psychiatric research was a consequence of research in psychedelic psychotherapy performed by Albert Kurland and his associates at the Spring Grove State Hospital. Though the studies at Spring Grove State Hospital and those that followed at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center MPRC ended in 1976, they remain the largest, most sustained and systematic study of psychedelic drugs and psychotherapy yet attempted.
This article emerged from a dialogue between the authors. We were doing a retrospective analysis of the Spring Grove research before designing our own study, one that we hope will advance this tradition Yensen, Dryer & Kurland, 1991. We reviewed the studies done at the Spring Grove State Hospital and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center asking the following questions: 1 Why did some studies have such good results and others such equivocal ones? 2 What mistakes occurred that future researchers in this area might avoid? 3 The research team used statistical assessment and double-blind controlled studies. This approach is the accepted standard method for studying psychoactive compounds. Is this methodology appropriate and sufficient to study psychedelic medicines?
Our analysis of the above questions is separated into five themes: 1 A discussion of the evolution of the therapeutic paradigms used in the studies. 2 An analysis of the political and interpersonal contexts affecting the research. 3 A description of the major studies conducted at Spring Grove State Hospital and the MPRC highlighting the methodological issues. 4 A survey of the non-drug therapies that evolved from the psychedelic research. 5 The current status of research and possible future directions for psychedelic research.
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