Friederike Meckel
Retired psychotherapist

Lessons from the Underground: Reflections on the Therapeutic Potential of Different Settings.

This talk will address the unquestioned setting of the clinical trial model and other psychedelic therapies, with one client and two therapists sitting next and being there only to hold a hand. For a period of about 10 years, psychiatrist Friederike Meckel-Fischer worked with approximately 100 people underground, in a controlled setting, using MDMA, LSD and 2 CB for psychointegrative work. This presentation will give insights into her own experiences providing psychedelic therapy in different settings, and suggest new considerations for effective therapeutic interventions during psychedelic sessions. She will argue for a nuanced view on when a therapist should intervene, suggesting that while there are processes which can be managed by the client themselves, the capacity for psychedelics to elicit the emergence of unconscious, repressed material to emerge, moments may arise, in which the client is overwhelmed, gets stuck or finds himself in a situation where he needs help, and in these moments therapeutic intervention is needed.

Friederike Meckel trained as a medical doctor and a medical psychotherapist in Germany. From 1989-1991 she trained as a Holotropic Breathwork© facilitator with Prof. Stanislav Grof in the US. From 1992-1995 she trained to be a psycholytic therapist. She also underwent training as a couple’s therapist, a family therapist and a family-constellation-worker. After receiving her license for psychotherapy in 1997, she worked in her own private (psychotherapeutic) practice providing conventional psychotherapy, Holotropic Breathwork©-groups and systemic-family-constellation work. For nearly ten years she offered substance-supported therapy, working underground. After her being betrayed in 2009 she gave talks about her work at conferences, like “Breaking Convention” and “Beyond Psychedelics”.

Being retired now she still offers some private psychological counselling in Zürich. Her book „Therapy with Substance “* was published in 2015. She is an advocate of substance supported therapy and is engaged in sharing her knowledge and experience with others and to learning and exchanging from other people in this growing field.