Hausner, Milan. (2009). LSD: The Highway to Mental Health. Malibu, CA. ASC Books. Translated by Erna Segal. ISBN: 978-0-9797838-0-7. www.ASCbooks.com. US $18.95.

293 +xvi pages, Preface by Dr. Milan Hausner, Publisherís Foreword, The Genesis of LSD: The Highway to Mental Health by Erna Segal, Introduction by Dr. Oscar Janiger, 22 chapters, Conclusion, Epilogue, 2 appendices, bibliography of Dr. Hausnerís publications, general bibliography, index.

Review: There was a big gap in my knowledge about psychedelic psychotherapy that I didnít even know existed until I ran across Hausnerís LSD: The Highway to Mental Health. I had hardly considered: What happened to LSD psychotherapy in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) after Stan Grof came to the US? Grof wasnít the only researcher from there. What about the others? Highway helps fill in that gap.

The book describes the work of Dr. Milan Hausner at his clinic at Sadska, near Prague, where as Medical Director of the psychiatric clinic he supervised over 3,000 LSD therapeutic sessions from 1954 to 1980. As Grof says on a back cover blurb, "He has amassed information that is invaluable for the theory and practice of psychotherapy."

Hausner attributes emotional disorders to the patientsí lack of understanding of hidden thought processes which occur from a combination of dysfunctional social learning processes and faulty parenting. His method of bringing these thought processes to consciousness is a system he calls Pathogenic Confrontation Model within a system of Multigroup Community Therapy. In order to reset patientsí irrational attachments to faulty ideas and emotions, psychotherapy confronts patientsí own past illness-producing experiences and replaces their dysfunctional reactions during the more congenial atmosphere of the therapeutic relationship between patient and therapist.

This is therapy in the psycholytic line of many small to medium dose sessions, rather than the unitive consciousness, mystical experience line. In his clinic, "dosages of LSD ranging from 50 to 400 [micrograms] and were administered in up to 60, sometimes 90, sessions on an inpatientóand weekendóbasis in conjunction with psychotherapy." While 400 micrograms is far above the usual psycholytic dose, apparently such doses were the exception.

Part of the unlearning of faulty patterns of behavior took place in Multigroup Community Therapy. Patients and staff held daily meetings and the patients took a role in running the hospital. This social learning process helped patients build reality-based interpersonal skills and practice them with others.

After 10 chapters of theory and description of Hausnerís model, Highway presents 11 chapters of case histories and back-matter enrichments. Enriched with excerpts from transcripts of sessions, these chapters focus on depression, schizophrenia, double bind, archetypes, sexuality, and other presenting problems.

As well as filling in the gap about treatment that continued in Czechoslovakia, LSD: The Highway to Mental Health presents its psycholytic methods of treating inpatients, a way to use group processes, and social learning as adjuncts on the way to mental health. As in addition to a place in university, medical school, and city libraries, Highway deserves a place in the library of anyone doing LSD-based therapy or investigating it, on the shelves of psychedelic book collectors, and of historians of the 60s and of the history of psychotherapy.

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University
Co-editor of Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Substances as Treatments

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