Gateway to the Heart–Press Release


Oct. 1, 2012

Petaluma, CA—In the early 1980s some psychologists and psychotherapists were working with a legal drug known as MDMA which showed extraordinary potential for facilitating insight and change, spiritual growth, and alleviating interpersonal anxiety in their clients. Perhaps most encouraging were the positive experiences of subjects who had PTSD such as victims of rape and war.

Unfortunately, under the street-names of “Adam” and “Ecstasy,” MDMA had become the recreational drug of choice in the club dance scene and at parties known as “raves.” The situation seemed so dire to America’s politicians that in 1985 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency used its emergency administrative power to classify MDMA as a “Schedule One” drug which has no redeeming medical uses (along with LSD, heroin, and marijuana). Many therapists and psychologists objected and testified in Congress as to MDMA’s value, urging the government to allow the use of MDMA for therapeutic purposes and scientific study. No exceptions for therapy or scientific study were granted, and research ground to a halt.

An informal network of therapists and others who were working with MDMA before 1985 had encouraged their subjects to write down and/or tape-record their experiences, both during and after the MDMA-facilitated sessions. These subjects submitted the fifty-four vignettes collected in this volume, the first edition of which was published in 1985. Even though these sessions occurred before the drug became illegal, the accounts in this book were published anonymously. Though not part of a formal research study, their testimonies illustrate the enormous potential of MDMA for enhancing personal growth and facilitating psychotherapy.

Almost three decades later, MDMA is once again being used in therapeutic trials in several countries and on a limited basis even in the U.S., mostly with veterans with PTSD from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like many professionals in the field of psychotherapy, the editors of Through the Gateway of the Heart, Second Edition believe that a fresh look at this very promising substance is long overdue.

Through the Gateway of the Heart

Second Edition

Edited by Sophia Adamson

With new sections by Ralph Metzner, PhD, and Padma Catell, PhD.

Through the Gateway of the Heart
Through the Gateway of the Heart

MDMA, or as it is commonly known, “ecstasy” or “molly,” has a paradoxical double role in contemporary society. As the party-drug ecstasy, it is consumed by tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of people at “rave” dance parties in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. In its other role as a promising adjunct to psychotherapy, MDMA is currently being researched as a treatment for many conditions, including PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and interpersonal anxiety. This book, originally published in 1985 before MDMA became illegal, is a compilation of experiences conducted in supportive and/or therapeutic settings. The vignettes are not part of a formal research study, and there is no control group. These accounts illustrate the value and potential of MDMA for generating insight, facilitating empathic communication, and supporting spiritual practice. Although the use of MDMA remains illegal (except in the limited context of research), the editors of this book, like many professionals in the field of psychotherapy, believe that a fresh look at this very promising substance is warranted.

The paperback version of Through the Gateway of the Heart is available at Amazon Barnes and Noble, other online retailers, and may be ordered from any bookstore. It is available for Kindle and all popular ebook formats.

The Second Edition Includes:

• A New Foreword by Ralph Metzner, PhD

• A New Preface by Padma Catell, PhD

• Updated Guidelines for the Sacramental Use of Empathogenic Substances

Publication Date: January 4, 2013 • Trade paperback: $25.00

ISBN (Print Version): 978-929150-79-6 • 202 pages • 6” X 9”

ISBN (eBook Version): 978-0-929150-80-2 • $5.99