MDMA-Assisted Couples Therapy: A Landmark Pilot Study
A landmark pilot trial has provided critical validation of MDMA-assisted couples therapy as a potential tool to improve couple outcomes for those suffering from PTSD. Researchers at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) are researching the effects of treating couples where one member has PTSD, and these results have inspired researchers to continue their work and pursue long-term clinical trials.
To investigate the potential benefits of MDMA in couples therapy, researchers analyzed data from a pilot trial that involved subjects who had PTSD and who had undergone several psychotherapy sessions with their therapist before and after taking the drug. They observed significant improvements across various relationally oriented outcome measures such as decreased fear of emotional hurt and improved communication abilities. The researchers believe these improvements to be due to increased availability and accessibility of MDMA during treatment sessions.
In addition to the symptomatic benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy, findings indicate it may also have non-diagnostic specific effects on couples’ relationships. This finding is significant as many people with PTSD and anxiety disorders struggle in intimate settings.
To guarantee a positive experience for both parties, therapists should conduct an extensive assessment to gauge commitment levels and distress levels. They should also collaborate with their clients on creating shared intentions and an MDMA session process. Ultimately, MDMA sessions offer couples the chance to reflect deeply within themselves and exchange insights and experiences with one another.