Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THE HUMAN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH





In THE HUMAN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH, Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Joan Halifax tell how psychedelic therapy can be used to help people with terminal illness.

One way the dying are helped by psychedelic therapy is in accepting their impending death. After a psychedelic-induced transcendent spiritual experience, a person can see their death not just as an ending, but also as a great adventure into the unknown. As a result, patients often have a new zest for life, and savor each moment more deeply, after a good therapy session.

Another effect of psychedelic therapy, and one which surprised me, was the temporary reduction in pain-perception that many people experience after a therapy session.

And this type of therapy also typically improves relations between the dying person and their family--a valuable asset since their remaining time together is probably limited to several months at most. (Incidentally, on rare occasions, in terminal cancer patients who have been undergoing psychedelic therapy, a spontaneous remission has occurred--but it happens too seldom to be in itself a reason for undergoing psychedelic therapy.)















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