MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic compound widely recognized for its ability to decrease fear and defensiveness while increasing trust and empathy. It may open a “window of tolerance” in patients undergoing psychotherapy for PTSD—and hold it open long enough for them to step through. 19
MDMA makes it easier for patients to be comfortable between the extremes of fear and avoidance, and may increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy by strengthening the alliance between therapist and patient.
MDMA promotes the release of oxytocin and prolactin, hormones associated with trust and bonding, 20 helping patients discuss their painful memories openly and honestly.