Swiss Physicians Society for Psycholytic Therapy (SÄPT)


The Swiss Physicians Society for Psycholytic Therapy (SÄPT) was founded in 1985 on the initiative of the Swiss psychiatrist Peter Baumann, MD, and fifteen physicians interested in these treatment methods. The aim of the association is to make the substances used in psycholytic and psychedelic psychotherapy accessible for psychotherapeutic use, to control their distribution, to stimulate their further research, and to provide theoretical and practical training necessary for their proper use. Today, the association has about 60 members, mainly from Switzerland and Germany.

From 1988 to 1993, five SÄPT therapists were authorized by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to perform psycholytic therapies with MDMA and LSD in their practice. During these five years, approximately 170 patients were treated and more than one thousand substance-assisted therapy sessions were conducted. The largely positive results of these treatments were described by Peter Gasser in a follow-up study (Gasser 1996).

As part of the global renaissance of research on psychedelics, SÄPT, together with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), funded a study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD (Oehen 2013) and a study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness (Gasser 2014, 2016). Following the successful completion and good results of these clinical trials, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has now granted special licenses to about fifteen Swiss psychiatrists for the psychotherapeutic use of MDMA and LSD.

After a first training group in 1988-1990, the SÄPT is currently offering again a further training in psycholytic therapy. 

For those interested in psycholytic therapy, the SÄPT provides a forum for joint discussion and representation of interests in the field. It also seeks to serve as a point of contact for authorities, provide expert consultation, support research projects, and help develop professional and ethical standards in the field.