Historically, it was assumed that LSD and others like it should have two uses in psychotherapy, but at present they are not used for these purposes. First, since it was believed that LSD mimics psychosis, by taking LSD, the psychotherapist could learn more about the patient’s subjective sensations. Indeed, hallucinations, unusual sensations, a breakdown in communication with reality are also characteristic of people with schizophrenia and those who receive hallucinogens. But there are cardinal differences.
Hallucinogens usually cause visual hallucinations, while schizophrenia is characterized by hearing. Thus, the subjective sensations of a person suffering from psychosis and using a hallucinogen are not identical. However, the fact that LSD-like compounds can mimic psychosis can be confirmed by the fact that chlorpromazine and other antipsychotics used in the treatment of schizophrenia effectively eliminate the effects of LSD. Thus, hallucinogens can help to better understand the biochemistry of mental disorders.
Secondly, hallucinogens were supposed to be used as an addition to psychotherapy. The idea was that the psychotherapist could find out the most essential thing about the patient if he was taking LSD, moreover, it helped the patient himself to better understand himself, since hallucinogens reduced the resistance of the ego. Many extravagant statements have been made regarding the beneficial effects of LSD on the treatment of mental illness, but gradually the use of LSD in psychotherapy has been markedly reduced. One of the reasons for this was the political environment, the other is that many psychotherapists thought the potential risk of LSD outweighed its benefits. Indeed, it has not been scientifically proven that, as an adjunct to psychotherapy, LSD is more effective than harmless medication prescribed to calm the patient. Some psychotherapists believe that these compounds deserve to be re-evaluated as possible psychotherapeutic agents, but now attention has shifted to the compounds of the MDA group and MDMA.