The Rose in Psychedelic Psychotherapy
About the Rose

​​Psychedelic Psychotherapy - the Rose tradition props were used in early psychedelic psychotherapy to deepen the experience starting in 1953. It began in Saskatchewan, Canada with two British psychiatrists, Drs. Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond, who set aside time in the afternoon for patients to gaze deeply at a single long stemmed red rose under the effects of LSD.  ​

By trial and error a system was developed which seemed to propel patients into the desired stage of psychedelic experience more readily. Simple props were used, for it was found that they elicited better responses than the best analytic methods. After having the patient write a brief autobiography, he is asked to bring to the session cherished trinkets, favorite phonograph records and photographs of people who are close to him. Musical background, provided both from the patient's collection and the hospital's library, is used to divert the patient's mind from himself and to relax him to the point of surrendering to the drug's urgings. The patient is often blindfolded and provided with earphones in the initial part of his session. A little later on the blindfold and earphones may be removed, if the session is going suitably, and the patient will be asked to look at the mementos and photographs he has brought; or he is given a list of questions, relevant to his life and predicament, to study and think over. (This is not to be construed as a "test" of any kind.) He may be shown various "universal symbols"—a rose, a cross, a seashell, for instance and he will probably be asked to relate facets of his own personality to those of other people in the room. Any of these stimuli may precipitate him into a "psychedelic experience." []

A patient at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center who was being treated for alcoholism had this experience on LSD:

Given a week of preparation and a single large dose of LSD, this patient felt (among other things) that be was being chased, struck with a sword, run over by a horse, and frightened by a hippopotamus–– a quite typical "bad trip." His own verbatim report of his trip then continued:

I was afraid. I started to run. but something said "Stop!" When I stopped, everything broke into many pieces. Then I felt as if ten tons had fallen from my shoulders. I prayed to the Lord. Everything looked better all around me. The rose was beautiful. My children's faces cleared up ' I thought of alcohol and the rose died. I changed my mind from alcohol toward Christ and the rose came back to life. I pray that this rose will remain in my heart and my family forever. As I sat up and looked in the mirror, I could feel myself growing stronger. I feel now that my family and I are closer than ever before, and I hope that our faith will grow forever and ever. [ Albert A. Kurland et al., "The Therapeutic Potential of LSD in Medicine," in  LSD, Man and Society, ed. Richard C. De Bold and Russell C. Leaf (Middle town, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1967), p. 23.]
Addiction, Despair, and the Soul: Successful Psychedelic Psychotherapy, A Case Study
by Richard Yensen and Donna Dryer