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Can Ecstasy End the Agony of War? by Jonathan Robinson

One of our most talked about blog articles was Ecstasy as Medicine: The Future of Talk Therapy with Jonathan Robinson. If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to take a look. In the meantime, I am as fascinated by this subject as anyone and wanted to share with you an article by Jonathan that touches upon war and how Ecstasy could help end cycles of violence. Check it out.

Who suffers most in war?

War is in the news again. It seems like wars periodically erupt around the world with no way to end the devastating cycle of violence. But what if there were a new “technology” that could help heal the psychological wounds that underlie the reasons people go to war? The good news is that such a technology exists. It’s called MDMA, often referred to as Ecstasy or Molly. Before you label me a crackpot for thinking a “party drug” can help end war on Earth, hear me out. There are plenty of scientific studies indicating that my far-out notion could actually work. In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated MDMA “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” because studies showed that it was extremely effective in curing people of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In my work as a psychotherapist treating veterans and victims of war, I’ve seen that the trauma war inflicts often leads to a cycle of violence. In essence, people who are hurt by war end up hurting other people. Yet, I’ve seen that this cycle of violence can be extinguished when victims of war and conflict get help with MDMA-assisted therapy.

Recently, I came out with a book, Ecstasy as Medicine: How MDMA Therapy Can Help You Overcome Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression…and Feel More Love. In this book, I detail that dozens of studies show this medicine can heal people of PTSD and many other ailments. Since completing my master’s thesis about MDMA way back in 1984, I’ve repeatedly seen the astounding results it creates in helping folks suffering from PTSD, violence, and abuse. Like a miracle drug, MDMA helps people embrace their future with new hope and healing. This medicine can be a true gift to humanity—but only if used under the right conditions and with a trained therapist.

Unfortunately, in 1985, MDMA became illegal, and then it soon became popular as a drug taken at raves and discos. Of course, “Ecstasy” does indeed feel good, but using it as a party drug is like using a laptop as a doorstop. Sure, it can work, but there are better uses for a laptop than as a doorstop–just as there are better uses for MDMA than as a party drug. However, it took millions of dollars and 40 years of studies to substantiate that this drug can quickly cure people of trauma and end the cycle of violence between people.

In 1998, I was on The Oprah Show for a book I wrote about couples’ communication. When the book became a bestseller, I ended up doing a lot of couples’ therapy. Normally, such therapy is slow and difficult. Couples would come into my office with many years of resentment fueling their blame and anger. Yet, when couples would take MDMA together in a therapy session, I could almost always heal their relationship in a single afternoon of guidance. That got me thinking about the possibility of using MDMA to heal people who have been the victims of war. After all, such people are like couples warring with each other. Miserable couples have years of resentment fueling their blame and anger. What if people who hated each other due to war could take MDMA together and work through their issues? Could the cycle of violence slowly unwind itself?

As of this date, there are no large-scale studies that could adequately answer that question. Yet, I have worked with Israeli/Palestinian and Russian/Ukrainian victims of war and found they were consistently able to let go of decades of hatred in a single afternoon with the help of MDMA. It has been deeply heartwarming to watch people who despised each other suddenly let down their guard and connect in their common humanity. By the end of most of such sessions, everyone experiences tears of joy. They are able to release years of stored-up

resentment and hurts in a single afternoon. It’s a friggin miracle to witness.

For the last couple of years, I’ve trained hundreds of therapists on how to do MDMA-assisted therapy. Many of these therapists have gone on to help veterans, victims of war, and even perpetrators of violence. The results have continued to amaze the therapists that such people can be helped and healed so quickly. Fortunately, most of these therapists are

even able to get amazing results when working with folks over Zoom. Indeed, when Covid hit, I started doing all my MDMA sessions over Zoom and found that the outcomes were the same or even better than in-person sessions. This unexpected result was welcome news. After all, doing this type of therapy over Zoom greatly increases who can access it, and at the same time significantly lowers its cost. People have tried many things to reduce the pain and suffering associated with war and violence—with little effect. Perhaps there’s been too little attention to the reasons why people go to war in the first place. In my experience, people go to war with each other due to things such as built-up resentments, misunderstandings, and a lack of heartfelt communication. MDMA could be a new “weapon” in the ability to quickly overcome hatred, trauma, and the endless cycle of blame that we see today. In the crazy times in which we live, we could all use a little more Ecstasy to heal our hearts…especially people who are impacted by the horror of war.

Jonathan Robinson, M.F.T. is the author of “Ecstasy as Medicine,” and other bestsellers. His websites are and


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