- November 18, 2016
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
This two-part talk will focus first on pioneering Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)-sponsored research into MDMA-assisted therapy's potential for treating social anxiety in autistic adults. Learn how the investigators at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center have applied both qualitative and quantitative research approaches to exploring whether MDMA's prosocial effects can result in sustained improvements in various domains of social adaptability. Scholar and author Nick Walker has been the primary consultant from the autism community since the study's inception. He will present on his key role in the study and his perspective on why the study is so important.
In the second hour, Dr. Danforth will share insights on how working with diverse populations and neurodivergent individuals in clinical research has challenged best practice standards for set and setting in psychedelic research in general.
This event is an educational program of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research in collaboration with CIIS Public Programs & Performances.
Alicia Danforth, PhD, is a researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Her work as a study coordinator and co-facilitator on Dr. Charles Grob's clinical trial with psilocybin for existential anxiety related to advanced cancer inspired her to become a licensed clinical psychologist. She attended the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where she co-developed and taught the first graduate-level course on psychedelic theory, research, and clinical considerations for therapists and researchers in training. Her dissertation research was on the MDMA (Ecstasy) experiences of adults on the autism spectrum. Since 2004, she has volunteered as a Black Rock Ranger and harm reduction peer counselor at Burning Man and other similar festivals and events. Her area of focus is supporting individuals who are experiencing challenging altered states of consciousness.
Nick Walker, MA, Nick Walker holds an MA in Counseling Psychotherapy, and teaches in the Interdisciplinary Studies BA program at CIIS and the Psychology BA program at Sofia University. He has been deeply involved in the evolution of autistic community and culture since 2003, and is known for his innovative transdisciplinary work on neurodiversity, autism, neuroqueering, embodiment, and transformative practice. He is a co-founder and editor at the independent publishing house Autonomous Press, and founder and senior instructor of the Aikido Shusekai dojo in Berkeley. His writing can be found in the books Towards an Archeology of the Soul, Loud Hands: Autistic People Speaking, The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children, and The Spoon Knife Anthology, as well as on his blog, Neurocosmopolitanism.