Ann Shulgin, pioneer of psychedelics in therapy, dies at 91


Ann Shulgin, who along with her late husband Alexander Shulgin began using psychotherapy in psychology and wrote two books on the subject, has died at the age of 91.

Shulgin was ill because chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her daughter, Wendy Tucker, said. She died Saturday in a “farm,” a sparsely populated area in the San Francisco Bay Area that she shared with her husband a chemist until his death in 2014, along with his loved ones, Tucker said.

Shulgin has a deep understanding of Jungian psychoanalysis and collaboration with her husband, who in the 1970s rediscovered the MDMA compound, commonly known as ecstasy, and presented it as a potential mental health option. The couple tried things on themselves and some small friends.

“He’s a scientist, and I’m an anthropologist,” Shulgin said of their collaboration in a 2014 interview with the Associated Press. “He was brilliant.”

Born in New Zealand to a US diplomat and the mother of New Zealand, Shulgin grew up in different parts of the world. The family settled in San Francisco after her father retired. a highly skilled and skilled artist, Shulgin drew and sketched her entire life and worked as a medical writer.

In 1978, she met Alexander Shulgin, who created more than 200 chemical compounds for use in psychotherapy.

The couple’s home, where Alexander Shulgin also has his research room, in Lafayette, California, about 22 miles (35 miles) east of San Francisco, has for years been a meeting place for students, teachers and practitioners and psychiatrists.

Although she is not a very professional psychiatrist, “She is always talking to people and you always feel like you can open up to her. She calls herself a psychologist,” she said. Tucker.

The couple wrote down their experiences and observations in others and wrote two books together. PiHKAL: The Love Story of Chemicals, published in 1991, and TiHKAL: Progress, published in 1997.

In PiHKAL, Shulgin writes about her first experience with psychiatrists when she was in her 20s.

“I saw something rising in the air, a little above my level. I thought that maybe it was a few feet away from me, so I realized I could not find it in space at all. It was moving. twist open., there in the cool air, and I know it is a door to another side of life, I can enter through it if I want to finish this special life I am living, and there is nothing scary or scary about it. , in fact, it is very friendly, and I know that I have no intention of going into it because there is still something big I want to do in my life, and I intend to live a long life to do it all. she didn’t do well; she was just there, “she wrote.

The authors were afraid to publish their first book about MDMA so the couple, who are opposed to the pleasure used outside of treatment, published it themselves because they wanted to share their experiences and knowledge with the world. , said Tucker.

“They are the ones who are pushing to do all the PTSD work with the elderly with MDMA because they see people with severe disabilities can really get involved. They have the courage to hit their work because this opens the door and gives the path to everything that happens. It happens now, “Tucker said.

In the United States, many states have agreed to study the potential use of prescription drugs, which are still illegal under federal law. Many of the cities have also destroyed so-called magical mushrooms, and the explosion of investment funds is pouring into the arena.

Experts say the study promises to treat conditions ranging from PTSD to smoking addiction, but be careful that there is a high risk of serious side effects, especially for those with other mental illnesses.

“We’ve lost years and years of research power because of the attitude and fear around psychologists. But we wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for Ann and Sasha,” she said.

Shulgin left behind four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. It is scheduled to be commemorated later in the year.

Struggling to define psychedelics

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