- June 4, 2015
- 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Society
1187 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
The scientific path towards the rescheduling of psychedelics has taken large steps towards that goal. Phase 2 studies are nearing completion for Heffter's psilocybin with a potential indication for anxiety associated with life threatening illness; and for MAPS' MDMA assisted psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both groups are moving rapidly towards respective Phase 3 studies with much larger numbers of subjects required that in some years time could potentially lead to prescription for these two substances. As a Founding former member of Heffter and now engaged in the first Bay area MAPS sponsored study of MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy for Individuals with Anxiety related to Life Threatening Illnesses, I am pleased to offer information and perspective on these developments and their methodologies. As a Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) practitioner, I will offer a view of the use of this dissociative anesthetic as a legal transformative experience and with respect to its much touted antidepressant effect--the current vogue in new treatments for depression. The program will focus on the art of psychotherapy in these revolutionized contexts with substances.
Phil Wolfson, M.D, has been a practicing psychiatrist/psychotherapist for over 40 years. A graduate of NYU School of Medicine, he has taught in graduate programs at JFK, CIIS and at UCSF School of Medicine. Having been part of the Laingian opus, the anti-psychiatry movement (brief though it was) and involved in the beginnings of community psychiatry and family systems therapy, in the late 1970s he was Director of an alternative psychiatric hospital called I Ward, a part of Contra Costa County's then progressive commitment to mental health. Oriented towards 'first break' and non-chronic altered state patients and their families, the hospital followed a 'process' approach that eschewed classical anti-psychotics. In part, out of this work, came Stan Grof's Spiritual Emergency Network. In the early 1980s he became close with Alexander Shulgin and was part of the group that practiced MDMA psychotherapy and attempted to keep it legal for its obvious therapeutic benefits.
Wolfson's oldest son Noah was stricken with leukemia at 12 years of age, dying some 4 years later. Becoming enveloped as a result in the lives of sick kids, kids and parents who lost children, and many people with life threatening illnesses, and his own deep grief, it is gratifying to him to be doing this new work combining both MDMA and the compassionate embrace of those who suffer with illnesses that may well end their lives. His book Noe: A Father/Son Song of Love, Life, Illness and Death tells much of this story. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness: http://www.maps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=381
Thursday, June 4, 2015
First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
1187 Franklin St. @ Geary
$10/$15 at the door
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