At 6:30am, Friederike Meckel Fischer's doorbell rang. There were 10 policemen outside. They searched the house, put handcuffs on Friederike -- a diminutive woman in her 60s -- and her husband, and took them to a remand prison. After a few hours, Friederike, a psychotherapist, was taken for questioning.
The officer read back to her the promise of secrecy she had each client make at the start of her group therapy sessions. "Then I knew I was really in trouble," she says.
"I promise not to divulge the location or names of the people present or the medication. I promise not to harm myself or others in any way during or after this experience. I promise that I will come out of this experience healthier and wiser. I take personal responsibility for what I do here."
The Swiss police had been tipped off by a former client whose husband had left her after they had attended therapy. She held Friederike responsible.
What got Friederike in trouble were her unorthodox therapy methods. Alongside separate sessions of conventional talk therapy, she offered a catalyst, a tool to help her clients reconnect with their feelings, with people around them, and with difficult experiences in their lives. That catalyst was LSD. In many of her sessions, they would also use another substance: MDMA, or ecstasy.
Friederike was accused of putting her clients in danger, dealing drugs for profit, and endangering society with "intrinsically dangerous drugs." Such psychedelic therapy is on the fringes of both psychiatry and society. Yet LSD and MDMA began life as medicines for therapy, and new trials are testing whether they could be again.