Friday, March 25

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Orientation to the Certificate Program

Dr. Janis Phelps

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Keynote presentation

CIIS and the Re-Emergence of Psychedelics

Keynote Talk by Bob Jesse, with panelists Dr. Howard Kornfeld, Tamra Rutherford and Dr. Susana Bustos

 

Saturday, March 26

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Foundations of Neurobiology

Dr. David Presti

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

 

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Revision and Re-Enchantment of Psychology: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research

Dr. Stan Grof

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Private reception - Desai Matta Art Gallery

CPTR donors, local teachers, and researchers gathered for champagne, music, and refreshments to celebrate the launch of the CPTR certificate program.

 

 
Friday, April 8

3:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Basic Pharmacology

Dr. Nicholas Cozzi

7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Potluck of San Francisco (PPPSF)

UCSF, Stanford, and Bay Area researchers and clinicians met with CIIS trainees for a special potluck on psychedelic research.
 

 

Saturday, April 9

10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Discourse and Power (Letcher, 2007)

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

  

Legal Issues/Regulatory Processes

Shamanic Training

 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

 

1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Basic Pharmacology, continued

Dr. Nicholas Cozzi

4:45 - 5:30 p.m.

Integration Discussion

Dr. Janis Phelps

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Lecture - Namaste Hall

Psychedelic Therapy:  A Treatment in Search of a Disorder

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

 
Sunday, April 10

10:00 - 12:00 a.m.

Structured Role Play for the Practice of Psychedelic Therapy(with James Lawer, MDiv)

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

12:00 - 12:30 p.m.

Weekend Closure

Dr. Janis Phelps

 
Friday, April 29

3:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Special Topics and Cohort Discussions

Dr. Janis Phelps and local guest speakers

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The Neuropharmacology of Classic Psychedelics

Dr. David Nichols

 

Saturday, April 30

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Neuropharmacology, continued

Dr. David Nichols

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

 

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Webinar

Early History of MDMA and the Formation of the Heffter Research Institute

Dr. George Greer

3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Neuropharmacology, continued

Dr. David Nichols

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Lecture - Namaste Hall

Nearly Half a Century Studying Psychedelics

Dr. David Nichols

 

Sunday, May 1

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Evolving Paradigms for Psychedelics in Psychotherapy and Divination

Dr. Ralph Metzner

 

Friday, May 13

3:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Integration and Special Topics

Dr. Janis Phelps and local guest speakers

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Guiding with Holotropic Breathwork: Preparation as Guide and Participant

Diane Haug


Saturday, May 14

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Holotropic Breathwork: Guide Training

Diane Haug

 
Sunday, May 15

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Holotropic Breathwork: Integration

Diane Haug

  

Sunday, June 5 to Thursday, June 9

1:00 p.m., Sunday to 6:00 p.m., Thursday

Retreat Intensive

Therapist Guide Training

Michael and Annie Mithoefer

 
Friday, June 24

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Overview: Summer volunteer service, mentor contact during summer, and integration of learning from spring semester

Dr. Janis Phelps and local guest speakers

4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Karen Cooper, RN and Dr. Dan Muller
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Lecture

Dr. Richards's new book: Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences

Dr. William Richards

 

Saturday, June 25

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art

Dr. William Richards

4:15 - 5:30 p.m.

Closure Discussion

Dr. Janis Phelps and Dr. William Richards

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Film and panel discussion

Psychedelic Mysticism: The Good Friday Experiment and Beyond

Susan Gervasi, director and documentarian; Dr. William Richards; Rev. Mike Young, participant and chronicler

 
Friday, September 9

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Welcome and Orientation

Dr. Janis Phelps

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Integration for Integrators Jan Edl Stein
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Lecture
Psychedelics in Medicine and Psychiatry: An Experimental Treatment Model in Advanced-Stage Cancer and Existential Anxiety

Dr. Charles Grob

 

Saturday, September 10

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Clinical Research with Hallucinogens: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future Dr. Charles Grob

12:30 -2:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Understanding and Navigating Your Changing States of Consciousness

Dr. Ralph Metzner

 
Sunday, September 11

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

The Braided Way: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Integration and Bringing Ancient Wisdom to Contemporary Times

Patricia James

11:30 - 1:00 p.m. Ayahuasca Research: Integrating Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives Dr. Frank Echenhofer

 

Friday, September 30

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Integration Discussion
Peyote: Magic Eraser to Heal Children's Trauma
Dr. Janis Phelps
Fred Vasquez, Native American Church elder
6:00 -7:00 p.m. DINNER BREAK
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Guiding with Holotropic Breathwork: Preparation as Guide and Participant

Diane Haug

 
Saturday, October 1

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Holotropic Breathwork: Guide Training

Diane Haug

 

Sunday, October 2

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Holotropic Breathwork: Integration Diane Haug

 

Friday, October 14

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Integration Discussion

Dr. Janis Phelps

3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Science, Self, and Psychedelics

Dr. Gabor Maté
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The Council: Process Group Adele Getty

 
Saturday, October 15

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Death and Shamanic Practice in Mainstream Care for the Dying

James Lawer
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

 

1:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Clinical Methods of the NYU Cancer Anxiety Psilocybin Research Study

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

 

Friday, November 4

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Integration Discussion Dr. Janis Phelps
The Art of Integration Dr. Mark Seelig
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and the Ethical Use of Power Dr. Dana Blu Cohen
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. DINNER BREAK
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Panel discussion - Namaste Hall

Emergent Themes of Love and Agape in Psilocybin-Facilitated Mystical Experience Research

Mary Cosimano, MSW and Dr. Anthony Bossis

 
Saturday, November 5

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Psilocybin-Facilitated Experiences: Therapeutic Competencies, Preparation, and Integration

Mary Cosimano, MSW

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
2:00 - 6:00 p.m. Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for Palliative Care and Religious Studies Dr. Anthony Bossis

 

Sunday, November 6

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Preparation for Dying and the Way of Council Dr. Ralph Metzner

 
Friday, November 18

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Therapist Competencies for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Dr. Janis Phelps
The Integrative Process Dr. Aharon Grossbard and Francoise Bourzat
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Presentation
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults

Dr. Alicia Danforth and Nick Walker

 

Saturday, November 19

10:00  - 11:15 a.m.

Navigating the Path to Patient Access and Benefit George Goldsmith

11:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Six Decades of Insights from Psychedelic Research Dr. Stanislav Grof
1:00 -2:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Designing and Implementing a Clinical Development Program for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Amy Emerson and Dr. Berra Yazar-Klosinski

3:45 - 6:00 p.m.

Integration Discussion Dr. Janis Phelps
Psychiatric Renaissance: The Power of Psychedelics to Save a Fallen Field Dr. Dan Engle
Commercial Health Insurance and Access to Care: Paving the Way for Partnership Lia Mix

 
Friday, December 2

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Integration Discussion

Dr. Janis Phelps
Dr. William Richards
Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond Dr. Natalie Metz
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

DINNER BREAK

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Presentation - Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, 1187 Franklin Street

Preparing for a Post-Prohibition World: The Past, Present, and Future of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Dr. Rick Doblin

 

Saturday, December 3

10:00  - 1:00 p.m.

The Integration and Application of Personal and Transpersonal Knowledge Dr. William Richards

1:00 -2:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

The Integration and Application of Personal and Transpersonal Knowledge  

Dr. William Richards

 
Sunday, December 4

10:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Closure and Graduation Ceremony

Dr. Janis Phelps
Dr. Bill Richards and
The Cohort of 2016

Click "More" to see full 2016 class descriptions and faculty bios.


All Weekends

Integration, Community Building, Curriculum Expansion
Dr. Janis Phelps
Each week, Dr. Phelps and local teachers will provide an opportunity for the integration of ongoing learning in the certificate program. We will review and discuss various readings regarding personal development resulting from work with psychedelics and entactogens. We will have small group discussions, participate in experiential practices, co-create and engage in a vibrant sense of community as a group of clinicians and researchers who will become influential members of the next wave of forerunners in psychedelic therapies. Local teachers will join us from time to time to share their psychedelic research, thinking, and clinical expertise.

Janis Phelps, PhD, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. She has been a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies for the past 21 years.  She is the former dean of the School of Consciousness and Transformation at CIIS. A licensed clinical psychologist and LMFT, she has held faculty positions in the East-West Psychology and Clinical Psychology doctoral programs. She is currently the Director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. As the Center's founder, she developed the first academically accredited, professional certificate training program for legal psychedelic-assisted therapy and research. The Center also provides harm reduction workshops, webinars on psychedelic research and public educational programs. Her theoretical orientations include transpersonal and wellness therapy models; Buddhism and Eastern disciplines; and phenomenology/existential philosophies. Her research and scholarly writing has focused on psychedelic therapy, qualitative research, entheogens, and mind-body wellness. She serves on the board of the Holos Institute and maintains a private practice in Mill Valley. Her expertise puts her in an excellent position to create and nurture this innovative and timely certificate program.
 
Friday, March 25

CIIS and the Re-Emergence of Psychedelics
Bob Jesse
In the first evening presentation of the inaugural year of the CIIS Certificate on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research, Bob Jesse will offer a keynote presentation followed by a discussion among a panel of esteemed counselors and clinicians. They represent diverse views on traditional and contemporary uses of psychedelics, the various roles of psychedelic guides, and what constitutes "integration" of psychedelic experiences. They will describe their therapeutic approaches in jurisdictions where the use of a psychedelic is legal. What similarities and distinctions do they see between healing, the betterment of well people, and esoteric forms of spiritual exploration and development? When nondual experiences occur in therapy, would people who lack a cartography imparted by a mystical wisdom tradition be disadvantaged in their integration? If so, how can a suitable framework be developed? Looking ahead to expanded legal use, what practices do the panelists see as complementing psychedelic therapy, and why? Panelists will address questions from the audience.

Keynote Speaker Bio:
Bob Jesse is convener of the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP). Through CSP, he was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins University. As one of the team's co-investigators, Mr. Jesse co-authored its first paper, "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance," published in 2006. He now serves on the board of Usona Institute and is an advisor to CIIS. In 2005, he led the writing of an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a key religious liberty case that was decided 8-0 in favor of the U.S. branch of the Brazilian church, the União do Vegetal. Prior to CSP, Mr. Jesse applied his training in computer science and electrical engineering at various information technology companies, including AT&T Bell Labs and Oracle Corporation.

Panel Bios:

Susana Bustos PhD currently teaches research and entheogenic shamanic traditions at CIIS.  For over fifteen years, Susana has focused her work on indigenous and mestizo healing practices from the Americas and their therapeutic value for the West. She has been a therapist researcher at the Takiwasi center for the treatment of drug addiction, which integrates indigenous and Western medicine. Susana holds a private practice in Berkeley, CA.  

Howard Kornfeld, MD, clinical faculty at UCSF for over 20 years, is the founding medical director of Recovery Without Walls in Mill Valley and the pain clinic at Highland Hospital in Oakland.  He is a specialist in emergency, addiction, and pain medicine. He convened the Pacific Symposia on Psychedelic Drugs at Esalen Institute in the 1990's.  

Tamra Rutherford is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and the founder of Inner Life Explorations in Santa Barbara, CA. Her focus on consciousness exploration has led her to conduct extensive research in Mexico within the Mazatec tradition of using psilocybin mushrooms for healing and awakening. She has particularly focused her study on the tradition's practice of integrating the entheogenic experience.


Saturday, March 26

Foundations of Neurobiology
Dr. David Presti
A core hypothesis of contemporary biophysical science is that living organisms can be understood as configurations of molecular components, and the capacity to manifest profound properties - such as being alive and having consciousness - is explicable via deep understanding of these underlying molecular configurations. Centuries of observation and investigation indicate that the human brain and nervous system are intimately connected to our behavior and our mental experiences, such as thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and conscious awareness. Neuroscience - the science of brain, mind, and behavior - has become one of the most exciting frontiers of contemporary science.

This lecture will speak to foundational concepts in neuroscience: atoms, molecules, membranes, cells, neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters, neuronal circuits, and brains. It also seeks to foster the development of intuition about how the brain works - appreciating the beauty and power of molecular and cellular explanations, and at the same time appreciating that the unfathomable complexity of living systems places substantial limits on any sort of seemingly simple explanation.

David Presti, PhD, is Teaching Professor of Neurobiology, Psychology, and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught for 25 years. He also worked for more than a decade in the clinical treatment of addiction and post-traumatic stress at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Francisco, and since 2004 has been teaching neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India. For more than 25 years, Dr. Presti has been involved in shifting policy related to research and psychotherapy with psychedelics.
 

Revision and Re-Enchantment of Psychology: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research
Dr. Stanislav Grof
Consciousness research conducted in the second half of the twentieth century brought revolutionary changes to psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy concerning the nature of consciousness and its relationship to matter, the dimensions of the human psyche, and effective therapeutic strategies. New findings showed that the roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders reach much deeper than postnatal biography, to domains not yet recognized by mainstream theoreticians and clinicians. They also revealed healing mechanisms that become available in these deep domains of the psyche. As a result, effective therapy requires methods and strategies that make it possible to reach unconscious material on these deep levels.

In this class, we will explore the vastly expanded cartography of the human psyche that has emerged from psychedelic research and from powerful experiential therapies without the use of medicines. In addition to the biographical level of the psyche, the new map has two transbiographical realms: the perinatal domain, related to the trauma of biological birth, and the transpersonal domain, which accounts for such phenomena as experiential identification with other people, animals, and plants; visions of archetypal beings and mythological realms; and ancestral, cultural, and karmic experiences. Perinatal and transpersonal phenomena have been described throughout the ages in religious, mystical, and occult literature. Knowledge of these realms, as yet unrecognized and unacknowledged by mainstream academicians and clinicians, is essential for therapists using psychedelics and other powerful experiential techniques, as well as for their clients.

Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist with more than 50 years of experience in researching non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelic substances and various non-pharmacological methods. He is professor emeritus at CIIS, conducts professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association. Dr. Grof has received the prestigious Vision 97 award from the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation in Prague and the Thomas R, Verny Award for his pivotal contributions to pre- and perinatal psychology.

He has published more than 150 papers in professional journals and the books Realms of the Human Unconscious, Beyond the Brain, LSD Psychotherapy, The Cosmic Game, Psychology of the Future, When the Impossible Happens, The Ultimate Journey, Healing Our Deepest Wounds, Spiritual Emergency, The Stormy Search for the Self, and Holotropic Breathwork (the last three with Christina Grof).
 

Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9

Basic Pharmacology
Dr. Nicholas Cozzi
The pharmacology sequence is an introduction to the basic science of drug action, with an emphasis on psychedelic drugs. It offers both a theoretical and an applied framework for understanding how drugs do what they do, and how to use them for best effect. This class will explain the principles of drug action at the molecular, cellular, organ, and whole person levels.  Pharmacology stands at the crossroads between basic science and clinical medicine. Pharmacological considerations are present throughout the entire life cycle of a drug from the earliest stages of discovery, to refinement and testing, to the administration and monitoring of drugs in people. Pharmacology is integrative: it is unique in its almost absolute requirement for the synthesis of knowledge across several disciplines includings biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, pathology, neuroscience, and genetics.

Pharmacology emphasizes quantitative concepts of drug action such as drug-receptor binding affinities, dose-response relationships, efficacy, potency, and the chronological course of drug action due to absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Pharmacology also provides a basis for understanding adverse drug reactions, including drug-drug and drug-food interactions, and precautions for administering drugs to certain populations. These understandings are essential for professionals in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Nicholas Cozzi, PhD, is a scientist and educator at the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. His background and training is in pharmacology, chemistry, and neuroscience.

Dr. Cozzi's research involves the design, chemical synthesis, and pharmacological testing of substances with central nervous system activity, especially those with psychedelic, antidepressant, or psychostimulant effects. He is interested in how these agents act in the brain to improve mood, enhance cognition, and increase awareness, and in their clinical value in treating addiction, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic fear, and other mental health ailments. Dr. Cozzi is internationally recognized for his work in these areas.

Dr. Cozzi teaches medical pharmacology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the UW School of Pharmacy. He is a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions around the United States. Dr. Cozzi has received several teaching and research awards, including a Distinguished Basic Science Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a prestigious NARSAD Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for his studies involving the serotonin uptake transporter. His research has also been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Cozzi is a Senior Research Scientist at the Usona Institute and a consultant for legal, industrial, and government clients.


Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10

Psychedelic Therapy in Context
Dr. Jeffrey Guss
Dr. Jeffrey Guss will connect several disparate areas to offer a context for contemporary psychedelic therapy. We will begin on Saturday with an exploration of psychedelic shamanism, looking in particular at the various ways we understand the theory and methods of indigenous shamanic psychedelic practices, specifically with ayahuasca and peyote. We will compare these ways of understanding psychedelic healing with approaches that are emerging in contemporary psychedelic therapies, attempting to integrate wisdom traditions of indigenous cultures with traditional western psychological methods. Dr. Guss will also share a short film of participants describing their experiences in the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study.

On Sunday, Dr. Guss will give three distinct but related talks: a introduction to the legal and regulatory aspects of psychedelic use in the United States, a discussion of Andy Letcher's paper "Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power in the Study of Psychedelic Consciousness," and an introduction to the basic concepts of Consciousness Studies and a discussion of its relevance of the field of clinical psychedelic therapy.


Saturday, April 9: Evening Lecture
Psychedelic Therapy:  A Treatment in Search of a Disorder
Dr. Jeffrey Guss
Bringing psychedelic therapy into a contemporary medical/psychotherapy culture poses numerous challenges and opportunities.   States of intoxication and dissociation are rarely considered to be adaptive or therapeutic in modern psychotherapy contexts, yet both are a central part of the psychedelic healing experience.  Their occurrence in a therapeutic setting can raise considerable anxiety and caution.

Shamanic wisdom receives respect in most psychedelic cultures, but its language and processes often seem exotic and are easily misunderstood in medical/therapy settings.  In my talk, I will explore both intoxication and dissociation, striving to understand how we can better define their place in our eclectic psychedelic therapy, drawing on shamanic practice as a source of wisdom, asking: how can we weave together the world of indigenous psychedelic shamanism with a model of action for psychedelic therapy that fits meaningfully into a modern context?  

Jeffrey Guss, MD is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with specialization in addictive disorders and psychotherapy.  He is Co-Principal Investigator and the Director of Therapist Training for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Project.  Dr. Guss is developing a model for training therapists for cancer related therapy trials, as well as imagining clinical practice with psilocybin-assisted therapy.  He maintains a psychotherapy based practice in New York City and is a graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.  

 
Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30

The Neuropharmacology of Classic Psychedelics
Dr. David Nichols
This interactive class will comprehensively review the biochemistry and physiology of psychedelics, up to and including potential therapeutic uses. Significant time will be devoted to understanding the nature of the brain receptors that are targets for psychedelics, their molecular features, and how psychedelics lead to intracellular signaling events. We will examine molecular structures of various psychedelics, with ample time for questions and answers.

Consideration will be given to qualitative and quantitative effects of various psychedelics. Preclinical models used to study psychedelics will also be described, and their strengths and weaknesses discussed. MDMA will also be given consideration, and how it differs in structure and function from classic psychedelics, and why that led to the proposal for a new pharmacological class for MDMA and related structures as "entactogens." There will be discussion of what is meant by "designer drugs" and "research chemicals" and the risks involved in recreational use of these materials.

David Nichols, PhD, is Adjunct Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously, he held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Nicholds joined Purdue as an Assistant Professor in 1974 where he remained until his retirement in June 2012. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, is recognized as a leading authority on psychedelics, and is the founding president of the Heffter Research Institute.
 

Saturday, April 30

Early History of MDMA and Formation of the Heffter Research Institute
Dr. George Greer
This class will review some of the history of psychedelic and entactogen use. Topics to be covered include the history of underground psychedelic therapy work that started in the 1960s, Stan Grof's workshops on LSD therapy and transpersonal psychology in the 1970s, administration of MDMA for therapeutic and personal growth in the early 1980s before it was scheduled by the DEA, the series of meetings of psychedelic researchers at Esalen in the 1980s that led to the formation of the Heffter Research Institute and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and the history of Heffter's research and current efforts to gain FDA approval for psilocybin to treat emotional distress in cancer patients.

George Greer, MD, is a psychiatrist who conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his wife, psychiatric nurse Requa Tolbert Greer. Their review of this work remains the largest published study on the therapeutic use of MDMA. Dr. Greer is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. He was also the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the New Mexico Corrections Department during the 1990s. He a co-Founder of the Heffter Research Institute and has been the organization's Medical Director since 1998.

 
Saturday, April 30: Evening Lecture

Nearly Half a Century Studying Psychedelics
Dr. David Nichols
Beginning with his graduate studies in 1969, Dr. David Nichols began research on drug molecules known then as "psychotomimetics." This talk will roughly chronicle his journey from 1969 until the present, presenting advances in the evolution of thinking about these drugs, now popularly called psychedelics. Early work was carried out without knowledge of the biochemical targets for psychedelics in the brain, and hypotheses were proposed that simple molecules such as mescaline and related compounds had a molecular structural similarity to LSD. Dr. Nichols tested these ideas in his research and found that there was no structural similarity between mescaline-like compounds and LSD. His laboratory then carried out extensive studies over many years to identify the shape, or conformation, that psychedelic phenethylamines adopted when they bound to their brain receptors. When MDMA became popular, his laboratory was the first to report on how the drug produced its effects, and he demonstrated scientifically that MDMA was a unique class of drug, which he named "entactogens." Dr. Nichols will describe many of the research approaches he employed.

 
Sunday, May 1

Evolving Paradigms for Psychedelics in Psychotherapy and Divination
Dr. Ralph Metzner
In contemporary research on consciousness, the paradigm of "altered" or "non-ordinary" states are used to describe the effects of psychoactive or psychedelic drugs. Clarity and agreement concerning the set (intention or purpose), a safe, supportive setting, and guidance for integration/application are the crucial elements for therapeutic and insightful experiences. In indigenous shamanic cultures, the paradigm of the "journey" has a similar threefold structure: clarifying the intention or question, the guided altered state journey itself, and return and integration into the matrix of family and culture. The two most widespread methods for moving into the altered state journey are either plants/fungi/drugs or rhythmic drumming. The concept and practice of divination implies that the individual him or herself chooses the purpose and focus thorough intuition and/or meditation with the higher self or core being. During the altered state or shamanic journey one may, with intention and preparation, receive insight for healing and guidance on life issues and questions. The most significant difference in the worldview of shamanic healers from the modern worldview is in the recognition of non-material levels of reality and non-material beings, with whom we can be intentionally and healthfully connected. We will review and practice the essential elements of divination, whether ordinary or amplified. 

Ralph Metzner, PhD, is a recognized pioneer in psychological, philosophical, and cross-cultural studies of consciousness and its transformations. He collaborated with Leary and Alpert in classic studies of psychedelics at Harvard University in the 1960s, co-authored The Psychedelic Experience, and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. He is a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at CIIS, where he was also the Academic Dean for ten years in the 1980s. His books include The Unfolding Self, The Well of Remembrance, Green Psychology, The Expansion of Consciousness, Alchemical Divination, and Mind Space and Time Stream. He is the editor of two collections of essays on the pharmacology, anthropology, and phenomenology of ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms. He is also the president and co-founder of the Green Earth Foundation, dedicated to healing and harmonizing the relations between humanity and the Earth.


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 13, 14, and 15

Guiding with Holotropic Breathwork
Diane Haug
This weekend workshop is an introduction to Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful method of self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing developed by Dr. Stan Grof and Christina Grof, leading pioneers in the field of transpersonal psychology. A highly experiential method, Holotropic Breathwork combines enhanced breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork, art, and group sharing to access and support the intrinsic wisdom of the body/psyche/spirit. By activating the unconscious and mobilizing blocked energies, Holotropic Breathwork mediates access to all levels of human experience including unfinished issues from our post-natal biography, traumatic physical or emotional events, perinatal memories, and a variety of transpersonal experiences.

Holotropic Breathwork will clearly demonstrate the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. It will be of great value to practitioners training to assist in the emerging field of psychedelic therapy and research. Offering a hands-on experience that is both personal and professional, we recognize the time-honored truth that there is no better preparation for serving others than work on oneself.

Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, is a licensed therapist and a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) staff. Her background includes a decade of working with adults and children dealing with life-threatening illness. Over the last 25 years, she has been deeply involved with transpersonal psychology and the international breathwork community, leading Grof training events in Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, South America, and Europe. Diane has taught GTT training modules including The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork, Music and Transcendence, The Language of the Soul: The Art and Practice of Integrating Deep Inner Experience, Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom, Living with Dying, and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member at Southwestern College, a transpersonally oriented graduate school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She serves as the Executive Director of the Ocamora Retreat Center in Ocate, New Mexico, and maintains a practice that includes both private and group work.


Sunday, June 5 to Thursday, June 9

Retreat Intensive: Therapist Guide Training
Michael and Annie Mithoefer
This retreat will be an intensive introduction to the therapeutic approach used in clinical trials sponsored by MAPS and described in the Manual for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (available at maps.org). We will begin with a brief review of the history of MDMA research, the results of completed clinical trials, the design of ongoing and planned research protocols, and the therapeutic principles set out in the Manual. After that introduction, the course will be centered around watching video from MDMA research sessions, pausing frequently for group discussion.

Videos will include preparatory sessions, MDMA-assisted sessions, and integrative sessions, illustrating challenges that may arise and emphasizing the importance of preparation and integration, as well as set and setting. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and to share their ideas about the nature of the therapeutic process and their personal reactions to watching the videos, some of which are emotionally intense. Time will be taken for self-care and group support. The retreat will take place at the Marconi Conference Center, 90 minutes north of San Francisco on Tomales Bay. Ride shares will be arranged for all out-of-town trainees.

Michael Mithoefer, MD, is a psychiatrist who specializes in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy including Holotropic Breathwork and Internal Family Systems therapy. He and his wife, Annie Mithoefer, conduct MAPS-sponsored research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. In 2008, they completed the first clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant PTSD and are now conducting a similar study of military veterans, firefighters, and police officers with PTSD, as well as an FDA-approved study administering MDMA in a therapeutic setting to psychotherapists who have been trained to work in MDMA clinical trials. Michael is Medical Monitor for other MAPS-sponsored MDMA studies, and he and Annie conduct training for therapists who work in those trials. He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner, a certified Internal Family Systems therapist, and is board certified in psychiatry, emergency medicine, and internal medicine. Michael is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Annie Mithoefer, BSN, is a psychiatric nurse and Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner who is also trained in Hakomi Therapy. She and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, have practiced in Charleston, South Carolina for 20 years using experiential methods of psychotherapy and self-exploration, including Holotropic Breathwork. They now focus on clinical research with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. They are co-therapists for MAPS-sponsored clinical trials, and they conduct training programs for other MAPS-sponsored researchers.  


Friday, June 24: Evening Lecture

Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences
Dr. William Richards
Dr. Richards will discuss Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, a required textbook for the certificate program that was recently released by Columbia University Press and has been heralded as a sequel to William James's Varieties of Religious Experience. Written not only for scholars of the psychology of religion, psychotherapy, neuroscience, comparative religion, theology, and drug policy, this book reaches out to all who have encountered profound, potentially transformative states of consciousness, with or without the use of psychedelic substances. Dr. Richard , whose involvement in psychedelic research dates back to 1963 and currently continues at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will describe the book's origin, scope, and purpose, read selected portions, and invite discussion of this fascinating frontier of knowledge. Copies will be available for purchase.

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 15 years, and also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore.  His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he pursued psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967-1977.


Saturday, June 25

Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art
Dr. William Richards
This seminar will focus both on the "being" and "doing" of effective therapists in psychedelic research, and on methods for the development and strengthening of personal qualities and practical skills that are advantageous in the implementation of research projects. Sensitivity to the challenges of skillfully communicating in supportive ways when clients are experiencing a variety of alternative states of consciousness will be explored, as will the importance of one's own genuineness and capacity to maintain presence and openness to whatever experiential content may be expressed during entheogenic sessions.


Saturday, June 25: Evening Film and Panel Discussion

"Psychedelic Mysticism: The Good Friday Experiment and Beyond"
Panelists:
Susan Gervasi, Director of the documentary film
Dr. William Richards, Johns Hopkins and
Rev. Mike Young, Good Friday participant
   
Friday, September 9 

Integration for Integrators
Jan Edl Stein
Using processes that may be applied in working with clients in the integration of their numinous and expanding experiences, the group will be offered an experience to integrate all that the program has brought so far along with experiences from the summer break.  We'll use meditation, guided imagery, and shamanic journey (via drum) to explore our inner landscapes and take note of the contours, textures, and felt sense of how psyche has received the impressions of this experience. We will share in council style, reflecting the archetypal dimensions of each person's experience. The intention is to offer an integration and to inwardly prepare for what lies ahead while offing one brief model of integration work. 

Jan Edl Stein, MFT, is the clinical director of Holos Institute, a counseling center grounded in principles of eco-psychology, and a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Marin. Her theoretical orientation is in depth psychology, ecopsychology, and shamanism. She is interested in the integration of shamanic practices in clinical practice and the development of an eco-psychological framework that supports eco-resiliency and environmental awareness. She is also adjunct faculty at CIIS. Jan leads workshops and retreats that interweave meditation, active imagining, shamanic journeying and nature-based experiences. More information about Jan may be found at www.janedl.com

Psychedelics in Medicine and Psychiatry: An Experimental Treatment Model in Advanced-Stage Cancer and Existential Anxiety
Dr. Charles Grob
Over the past two decades, there has been a resumption of clinical research with hallucinogens. In particular, several studies have been approved in the United States and Europe exploring the clinical effects and therapeutic potential of psilocybin, the active alkaloid of hallucinogenic mushrooms. This talk will review the ethnobotany, anthropology, chemistry, and toxicity of psilocybin, as well as the implications of the prior record of psychiatric investigations in this field. The hallucinogen treatment model with advanced-stage cancer patients with existential anxiety will be examined, including past and current research methodologies and outcomes.   

Charles Grob, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. His longstanding interest in the history of psychiatric research with hallucinogens has generated an impressive history of conference presentations and publications in leading medical and psychiatric journals. Dr. Grob received the first FDA approval to carry out human research with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in the early 1990s. He has collaborated with Drs. Dennis McKenna and Jace Callaway on the Hoasca Project, research that explored the biochemical, physiological, and psychological impacts of long-term ayahuasca use in Brazil. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Grob conduced an FDA-approved study examining the effects of psilocybin in advanced-stage cancer patients with severe anxiety. Results from this trial were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2011. Dr. Grob is currently conducting a pilot study of an MDMA treatment model for autistic adults with social anxiety. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute. Dr. Grob is the editor of Hallucinogens: A Reader, and the co-editor with Dr. Roger Walsh of Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics.  

 

Saturday, September 10

Clinical Research with Hallucinogens: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Dr. Charles Grob
Dr. Grob will discuss his experiences over the last 25 years conducting formal psychiatric research with MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin. The significance to modern research of knowledge gleaned from indigenous use will be examined, as will the value of early pioneer investigations from psychedelic research in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. Grob will describe his path to becoming a researcher in the field and the important lessons learned from previous generations as well as contemporary colleagues. The importance of establishing effective safety parameters will be examined, as will the future implications of the psychedelic treatment model to the practice of psychiatry and medicine.  

Understanding and Navigating Your Changing States of Consciousness
Dr. Ralph Metzner
Each state of consciousness that we experience - ranging from the familiar states of waking, sleeping, dreaming, and meditating to the expansive spiritual states of mystics, visionaries, and psychedelic explorers - has its own distinctly different mind-space and time-stream. Expanded and expansive states involve a broadening and deepening of the scope of attention: when we awaken from sleep every morning, for example. Beyond the daily cycle, they can occur spontaneously with creative inspiration and peaceful contemplation, and more dramatically in the visions of mystical and psychedelic explorers. Intentionally and purposively contracted states of consciousness, with narrowing of awareness, happen when we engage in the essential activities of daily work and skillful functioning. Dysfunctional narrowing of awareness occurs in states of fear and rage and can become an unhealthy fixation in addictions and compulsions. We need to learn and practice navigating out of contractive, unhealthy states into healthier, life-affirming states. Besides expansions and contractions of awareness there is a third, poorly understood process: an unconscious and unintentional dissociation or splitting, which is at the root of the extreme - though widespread - pathologies of PTSD. We will review these conditions and methods of understanding and healing them, which are essential tools for the psychedelic therapist.   

Ralph Metzner, PhD, is a recognized pioneer in psychological, philosophical, and cross-cultural studies of consciousness and its transformations. He collaborated with Leary and Alpert in classic studies of psychedelics at Harvard University in the 1960s, co-authored The Psychedelic Experience, and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. He is a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at CIIS, where he was also the Academic Dean for ten years. His books include The Unfolding Self, The Well of Remembrance, Green Psychology, The Expansion of Consciousness, Alchemical Divination, and Mind Space and Time Stream. He is the editor of two collections of essays on the pharmacology, anthropology, and phenomenology of ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms. He is also the president and co-founder of the Green Earth Foundation, dedicated to healing and harmonizing the relations between humanity and the Earth.  

Sunday, September 11 

The Braided Way: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Integration
Patricia James
"When the wisdom of the sky and the wisdom of the earth are braided through the human heart, then there will be a rainbow of people."  This prophecy of indigenous peoples speaks to the practice of braiding traditional and contemporary insights, creating something entirely new that embraces the old rather than replacing it. This experimental workshop will explore the use of ancient modalities - drumming, guided journeys, breath, Aikido, mudras, and more - and our growing knowledge from today's science and research to access and ground non-ordinary states. We will discuss breakthroughs, how to make our insights lasting and sustainable, and methods of taking action to bring about change, integration, and wisdom. The group's experiences and questions will guide our exploration. Participants will achieve a deeper understanding of methods that can evoke integration of changing states of awareness and remembrance of the profound and sacred promise of life.  

Patricia James is a traditionally trained and initiated Medicine Woman, a Cheyenne Pipe Carrier, and Priest. Patricia is of mixed blood of Seminole heritage. She is a ceremonialist and expert in cross-cultural traditions and practices. Patricia has trained and been initiated in multiple indigenous spiritual traditions, has studied and taught in modern Mystery Schools, and co-founded the Youth Mystery School of the Nine Gates Mystery School. She has a private practice in the East Bay that focuses on psycho-spiritual mentoring, integration, and change processes. Patricia weaves the work of Angeles Arrien (a longtime mentor), Eugene Blackbear, Sr. (her Cheyenne grandfather), and many of her traditional teachers into her practice. She teaches and holds healing, initiatory, and celebratory ceremonies throughout the country.  

Ayahuasca Research: Integrating Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives
Dr. Frank Echenhofer
This talk will discuss the Amazonian psychoactive brew ayahuasca that can induce shamanic journey experiences, similar to the transformative experiences widely reported in many cultures throughout history. These experiences are said to facilitate psychological and physical healing, creativity, and spiritual development. A model is proposed to integrate findings from neuroscience, dreaming, psychotherapy, and spiritual development. The model's three main sequential stages are form dismantling and healing processes, form creation processes, and form expression processes. These stages are supported by our findings that ayahuasca sessions initially focus on the letting go of habitual ways of struggling with unresolved life concerns, followed by exploratory creative experiences, leading to the integration and expression of these experiences. Ayahuasca was found to change global EEG alpha, beta and gamma frequency coherence patterns across the cortex. The model's limitations will be discussed. Current research exploring how EEG, personality, gender, and cultural context may be related to different arcs of transformation will be described.   


Frank Echenhofer, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and a professor of Clinical Psychology at CIIS. Dr. Echenhofer conducted the first EEG meditation research study with the Dalai Lama's guidance at his monastery in India. Currently, he is the chair of CIIS's Kranzke Scholarship faculty committee that awards $5,000 scholarships to students doing psychedelic research and has chaired eight CIIS dissertations exploring different dimensions of psychedelic experience. Since 2000, he has conducted research in Peru and Brazil exploring the different ways that ayahuasca facilitates healing, creativity, and spiritual development. This research has found indications that different kinds of EEG changes after ayahuasca ingestion often correspond to different kinds of ayahuasca experiences. His current ayahuasca research explores in more detail how EEG, personality, gender, and cultural context may be related to different arcs of transformation.    

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 30, October 1 and 2 

Guiding with Holotropic Breathwork
Diane Haug
This workshop is a continuation of our introduction to Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful method of self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing developed by Dr. Stan Grof and Christina Grof, leading pioneers in the field of transpersonal psychology. Holotropic Breathwork combines enhanced breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork, art, and group sharing to access and support the intrinsic wisdom of the body/psyche/spirit. By activating the unconscious and mobilizing blocked energies, Holotropic Breathwork mediates access to all levels of human experience including unfinished issues from our post-natal biography, traumatic physical or emotional events, perinatal memories, and a variety of transpersonal experiences.  

Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, is a licensed therapist and a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) staff. Her background includes a decade of working with adults and children dealing with life-threatening illness. Over the last 25 years, she has been deeply involved with transpersonal psychology and the international breathwork community, leading Grof training events in Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, South America, and Europe. Diane has taught GTT training modules including The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork, Music and Transcendence, The Language of the Soul: The Art and Practice of Integrating Deep Inner Experience, Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom, Living with Dying, and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member at Southwestern College, a transpersonally-oriented graduate school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She serves as the Executive Director of the Ocamora Retreat Center in Ocate, New Mexico, and maintains a practice that includes both private and group work.       
     

Friday, October 14

Science, Self, and Psychedelics
Dr. Gabor Mate
The renewed interest in the potential of psychedelic healing reflects a deep crisis in Western culture and in Western therapeutics. Prevailing conditions engender increasing alienation from self on all levels of human existence - emotional, physical, spiritual, and social - while mainstream treatment modalities are concerned with only the superficial, behavioral, and biological manifestations of such alienation. We seek to correct or manage dysfunctional behaviors, thought patterns, and medical syndromes where we need to guide people to reconnect with their true selves and to recognize and heal the trauma that created the disconnection in the first place. This is where psychedelic-supported therapy has a powerful contribution to offer. Psychedelic work, in the appropriate context and with experienced guidance, enables people to re-witness early trauma with the eyes of the insightful, compassionate adult, to experience the purity of self that predated trauma and has always maintained itself despite trauma, and to let go of modes of belief and behavior that reflect the needs and misconceptions of the traumatized self-concept rather than the authentic self. This workshop will combine didactic teaching with experiential exploration.  

Gabor Maté, MD, is a medical doctor recently retired from active practice. He was a family physician for two decades and for seven years he served as Medical Coordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital. For twelve years he worked in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hardcore addiction, mental illness, HIV, and related conditions. For two years he was the onsite physician at Vancouver's unique Supervised Injection Site, North America's only such facility. He is internationally known for his work on mind/body unity in health and illness, on attention deficit disorder and other childhood developmental issues, and his breakthrough analysis of addiction as a psychophysiological response to childhood trauma and emotional loss. He is the author of four bestselling books published in twenty languages on five continents, including When The Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection and the award winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction. Gabor is the recipient of an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Degree of Law from the University of Northern British Columbia, among other awards. He frequently addresses professional and lay audiences in North America on childhood development and parenting, physical and mental health and wellness, and addiction. He is an adjunct professor in the Criminology department at Simon Fraser University. His next book, Toxic Culture: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a World of Materialism will be published in 2016.  

Council and Process Group
Adele Getty
Students will be facilitated in a council with one another. This process group will provide a safe container for everyone to express ideas about the training program, their future work in the field, issues of diverse groups' access to these medicines, and other issues brought forth by the students.  
Adele Getty, MA, is a scholar and the author of A Sense of the Sacred: Finding our Spiritual Lives through Ceremony. She has studied graduate-level anthropology and received her MA in psychology. Adele has studied traditional ceremonies in global cultures and nurtured community for over 40 years. She says, "My primary work is focused on aspects of the sacred and how to bring sacredness into life events, ceremony, and initiatory experiences. I am particularly interested in the spiritual aspect of deep journeying and curating ways for multi-generational ceremonial gatherings to take place. Working with high-functioning individuals, who have the capacity to create real change in the world, is a special joy." 

Saturday, October 15 

Death and Shamanic Practice in Mainstream Care for the Dying
James Lawer
Beginning with an understanding that our human bodies are neither the subject nor the object of ritual, but rather sacred ritual itself, this presentation will call on two decades of shamanic practices specifically done with the dying and their families, even in the midst of mainstream care. The content will explore how this view of body-as-ritual can generate fresher images for narratives of death and how new narratives can invigorate care of the dying and death rituals. Throughout, the presentation will weave shamanic practices that support the dying and their friends and families, while also bonding them to formerly severed connections with nature and earth-centered spiritualties.   As with so many things, the talk will begin with a story. Along the way, the presentation will explore the benefits of animistic philosophy and practice, the use of trance induction for the dying, and the role of practitioners who are comfortable in the realms of transition.  

James Lawer is an initiate and practitioner of five medicine traditions that are mutually informing. He is an ayahuasca curandero, the keeper of an indigenous medicine altar that originated in Mexico, an authorized sweat lodge leader, and an ordained minister offering pastoral counseling and hospice chaplaincy. For more than 50 years, James has used drums, rattles, and tuned and non-tuned instruments to heal and induce physiological changes that take people into trance. He is a leader and practitioner of mythopoetic drumming groups and a drummer for American Indian and pagan ceremonies. James has graduate degrees in both theology and theatre, is on the Board of Directors for the Cuyamungue Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is the Provost of the Druid College, teaching advanced students direct experiences of earth-centered spirituality.   

Clinical Methods of the NYU Cancer Anxiety Psilocybin Research Study
Dr. Jeffrey Guss
This workshop will describe the methods of psychedelic therapy developed for the NYU Cancer Anxiety Psilocybin Research Project. We will begin with a study of meaning-making and spiritual experience as the central paradigm for understanding the therapeutic process, including writings by Viktor Frankl and William Breitbart. Following this, Dr. Guss will give a detailed overview of preparatory and medication sessions, including participant education and the use of Life Review exercise. We will review guidelines for conducting safe and effective sessions, and explore how to think about integration sessions. The workshop will conclude with role-playing exercises to allow direct experimentation with ways of speaking and listening, and a film of participants describing their experiences in the NYU study.  

Jeffrey Guss, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with specialization in addictive disorders and psychotherapy. He is co-principal investigator and the Director of Therapist Training for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Project. Dr. Guss is developing a model for training therapists to undertake cancer-related therapy trials, as well as imagining clinical practice with psilocybin-assisted therapy. He maintains a psychotherapy-based practice in New York City and is a graduate of the NYU postdoctoral program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.   

Friday, November 4 

The Art of Integration
Dr. Mark Seelig
Experiencing states of consciousness, particularly those called "shamanic" or "non-ordinary" require effective modalities of integration. In this webinar, Dr. Seelig will share insights from 30 years of work in Europe and the U.S., including psycholytic work with empathogens and hallucinogens in Europe at a time when their use was still legal, as well as integration after Holotropic Breathwork sessions and other methods that are non-substance-based.  


Mark Seelig, PhD, has a MDiv degree and is a clinical psychologist. He is a member of the German College for Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy. Mark is a founding member Ken Wilberʼs Integral Institute and is on the advisory board of the Association Holotropic Breathwork International (AHBI). As a former Professor of Psychology at Columbia Pacific University, Mark mentored and advised psychology dissertations. His clinical specialties include trauma therapy, addiction therapy, family constellation therapy with groups, and therapeutic support for people in spiritual crises. Mark holds certification and advanced training with Grof Transpersonal Training in transpersonal psychotherapy and Holotropic Breathwork and has studied shamanic psychotherapy with Ralph Metzner. He maintains a private practice as a psychologist. www.praxis-seelig.com/english.  

Feminist and Social Justice Approaches to MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and the Ethical Use of Power
Dr. Dana Blu Cohen
In her talk, "Feminist and Social Justice approaches to MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and the Ethical Use of Power" Dr. Cohen will deconstruct ideas of power and power dynamics and cover the ethical use of power, egalitarianism and empowering clients in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. This presentation is informed by her dissertation research and her research while on the MAPS adherence rating team.

Dr. Dana Blu Cohen, PsyD, earned her clinical psychology degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies.  In 2010 she received therapists training by the Mithoefers in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment resistant PTSD. Since that time she has been an adherence rater and trainer for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies viewing approximately 200 hours of MDMA-assisted therapy tapes. Blu conducted her dissertation on creating a training manual and measure to capture the efficacious components of the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy model for Phase III studies, titled "Countering the Dynamics of Dominance: how therapists create Safety through Egalitarianism in MDMA assisted psychotherapy for women veterans with complex PTSD". She is interested in the intersection of person-centered, feminist and social justice approaches and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as well as research and
program development. Dr. Cohen currently sees individual clients and groups in private practice in San Francisco www.innerpowertherapy.com  

Emergent Themes of Love and Agape in Psilocybin-Facilitated Mystical Experience Research
Mary Cosimano, MSW and Dr. Anthony Bossis
FDA-approved clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University and NYU School of Medicine have evaluated the effects of a psilocybin-facilitated mystical experience with diverse populations including individuals diagnosed with cancer experiencing psycho-spiritual and existential distress - many of these patients at the end of life. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, and a greater connection to deeply felt positive emotions, including love. This evening presentation and panel discussion will explore the prominent, meaning making, and transformative experiences of love and agape (spiritual, transcendent, or highest form of selfless love) that frequently emerge in psilocybin sessions. Background information on psilocybin research and clinical case vignettes on the emergence of love within the psilocybin-facilitated mystical experience and its role in cultivating compassion and promoting healing will be explored. The presenters will give a brief synopsis of their clinical experience related to this theme within the research setting followed by a panel question-and-answer period moderated by Dr. Janis Phelps. 


Mary Cosimano, MSW, is currently with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Ms. Cosimano has served as study guide and research coordinator for psilocybin studies for over 15 years. During that time, she has been a lead session guide for six studies and has conducted over 350 sessions. She has trained post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, and interns as assistant guides. She has administered the psychological evaluations for psilocybin studies as well as many other studies in the Behavioral Biology Research Unit. Ms. Cosimano has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer. In addition to her work with the psilocybin studies, she has been involved in the salvia divinorum, dextromethorphan, and club drug studies conducted at Johns Hopkins.  


Anthony Bossis, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He is director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and a session guide for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, an FDA-approved clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon the existential and psycho-spiritual distress in persons with cancer. He is also Lead Investigator and the primary session guide for the NYU Psilocybin Religious Leaders Study. Dr. Bossis is the co-founder and former Co-Director of the Palliative Care Service and a clinical supervisor of psychotherapy at Bellevue Hospital.  He has a longstanding interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, and the interface of psychology and spirituality.  He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.   

Saturday, November 5   

Psilocybin-Facilitated Experiences: Therapeutic Competencies, Preparation, and Integration
Mary Cosimano, MSW
We will discuss the primary therapeutic competencies that are important for guiding psychedelic sessions with emphasis on presence, empathy and non-directive support. An outline will be presented on the role of preparation for optimal sessions including the logistics of the session day as well as how to prepare for high and low dose psychedelic sessions. Of special focus will be safety issues and support skills focusing on set and setting of sessions: an examination of safety, agreements, intentions and comfort, as well as the role of touch and non-verbal expression. Finally, we will address integration practices and goals by exploring the steps, purposes, and optimal outcomes of integration. Experiential learning and practice via role play will to be used to incorporate the information and techniques discussed.   Please see Friday, November 4 for Ms. Cosimano's bio.  


Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for Palliative Care and Religious Studies
Dr. Anthony Bossis
This lecture will review two FDA- and DEA-approved clinical trials of psilocybin research conducted at NYU School of Medicine. The recently completed Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Project investigated the benefits that a psilocybin-generated mystical experience provides in helping individuals cultivate meaning, enhance spiritual well-being, and experience a greater acceptance of the dying process with less psychological and existential distress. Many patients diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer experience hopelessness and despair, but for some, a cancer diagnosis can initiate a search for meaning. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, and a greater connection to deeply felt positive emotions, including love. The psilocybin-generated mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death. This presentation will review the NYU study and include clinical vignettes and patient video.   The Psilocybin for Religious Leaders Study investigates the utility of a psilocybin-generated mystical experience for religious leaders. This study enlists the assistance of religious leaders in describing the phenomenology of mystical states of consciousness, evaluates the effect of psilocybin-generated experience on their work as clergy and in their spiritual practice, and potentially seeks to better identify the common ground of religions and promote interreligious dialogue. Rationale and objectives of the study along with a brief overview of the mystic core of the major religions and wisdom traditions will be presented.   Please see Friday, November 4 for Dr. Bossis's bio.  

Sunday, November 6 

Preparation for Dying and the Way of Council
Dr. Ralph Metzner
In the healing of trauma and the facilitation of therapeutic communication, MDMA has been recognized as beneficial medicine, due to its non-hallucinogenic, empathogenic, life-affirming action. However, for end-of-life support and preparation for dying, classical psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin are preferable because they can provide, with a supportive set and setting, an unparalleled opportunity to practice suspending attachments to the physical world and expanding awareness to the transcendental worlds beyond. We will discuss some classical ways of preparing for dying, as well as studies of ego-death in psychedelic states and extensive studies of near-death experience. We will practice the ancient Way of Council, adapted from indigenous cultures, in which participants sit in a circle, pass a talking staff or object, and take turns sharing their story or their experience on the chosen topic of dying. The stories are listened to with respectful attention and without analysis, response, or interpretation. Council circle ceremonies like this in a group or community can be regarded as an integrative complement to individual therapeutic sessions with entheogens, especially on the sensitive topic of death and dying.     Please see Saturday, September 10 for Dr. Metzner's bio.     
  

Friday, November 18 

Therapist Competencies for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
Dr. Janis Phelps
With some effort, therapist competencies can be sifted from the dispersed psychedelic literature of the past 6 decades. There are six therapist competencies from the extant literature: empathetic abiding presence; trust enhancement; spiritual intelligence; knowledge of the physical and psychological effects of psychedelics; therapist self-awareness and ethical integrity; and proficiency in complementary techniques.  A delineation of the 12 fundamental domains of study for the training and development of these therapist competencies will be discussed. The creation of professional curricula, focused on desired therapist competencies and domains of study, is essential. This development is particularly timely if expanded access and compassionate care programs are approved by the FDA in the near future. There will be a discussion of the contribution of the CIIS certificate curriculum in this regard and the potential pioneering contributions of this first certificate program cohort.   Please see the "All Cohort Weekends" section, immediately preceding the course descriptions for Friday, September 9, for Dr. Phelps's bio.  

The Integrative Process
Francoise Bourzat and Dr. Aharon Grossbard
Integration is the understanding, concretizing and weaving into daily life what the client experiences and discovers during psychedelic experiences. Integration is rooted in the intention stated before the psychedelic experience, although the intention is only a part of the preparation for the experience. Many times, understanding the depth and scope of the experience depend, too, on the ability of the guide to support the client in clarifying her/his experience. In order to weave the psychedelic experiences in one's life, it also important to explore different modalities and techniques of implementation. In the presentation we will describe the process of integration through the various aspects of human life. 


Francoise Bourzat, MA, holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Somatic Psychology. She is also a certified Hakomi Therapist. She is adjunct faculty in the East West Psychology program at CIIS, where she teaches a course on Expanded States of Consciousness and Psychotherapy. Since 1987, Francoise has apprenticed with shamans and healers in the U.S. and Mexico to study sacred plants healing. In the last 17 years, she has traveled with groups to Mexico, incorporating her counseling practice experience with her knowledge of expanded states of consciousness. She also leads workshops in the U.S, France, England, and Israel.   

Aharon Grossbard, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice in San Francisco, with a focus on healing, growth and human potential. He integrates in his work western psychology with eastern philosophy and various shamanic approaches and tools. He works with individuals and groups around the world. Aharon was trained by Pablo Sanchez, a Native American healer, teacher and psychotherapist; Salvador Roquet, a Mexican psychiatrist who was a pioneer in the field of psychoactive plants and substances; and Ralph Metzner, a psychologist, teacher, explorer of consciousness, and scholar. Aharon graduated from CIIS's Integral Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology programs in 1989 and has trained therapists in his style of work in San Francisco, New York, and Israel for the last 18 years.  

MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
Dr. Alicia Danforth and Nick Walker
This two-part talk will focus first on pioneering research into MDMA-assisted therapy's potential for treating social anxiety in autistic adults. Learn how the investigators for a current clinical study 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.  

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, holds a master's degree 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. 

Saturday, November 19  

Navigating the Path to Patient Access and Benefit
George Goldsmith
This session will provide background on medicines regulation in the U.S. and Europe. These processes are the only way that legal use of psychedelic-assisted therapies will reach patients and be reimbursed by government and insurance companies. We will then discuss a case study of COMPASS's regulatory strategy, clinical trial protocol, and stakeholder engagement process as the basis for securing regulatory approval for psilocybin-assisted therapy. We will conclude with a Q&A session to address issues of interest and concern for participants.  

George Goldsmith, MA, holds a bachelor's degree in cognitive psychology from the University of Rochester, and a master's degree in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. He has founded several technology companies - including The Human Interface Group, TomorrowLab, and Tapestry Networks - and served as a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company before founding COMPASS, a multi-tiered medical research foundation. COMPASS leads mental health policy dialogues; funds new treatment research protocols, including research on the clinical applications of empathogens and entheogens; and forms strategic partnerships to bring research findings into clinical, regulatory, and legislative settings.  

Six Decades of Insights from Psychedelic Research: A Conversation with Dr. Stan Grof
Dr. Stanislav Grof
This is a rare opportunity to be with Dr. Grof in an informal setting. Dr. Grof is here to work with the cohort in a deepening discussion about the nuts and bolts of doing psychedelic-assisted therapy. His vast experience will inform dialogue and a question-and-answer session with trainees. In particular, we will focus on questions about set and setting from Dr. Grof's point of view as a clinician.   Sample questions from the cohort may include:

  • What does a therapeutic alliance in this modality look like?
  • What are best practices to prepare for psychedelic sessions?
  • How does a clinician interact with the person ingesting a psychedelic medicine during the session?
  • What are the best ways to facilitate deep integration of the sessions into clients' daily lives?
  • What specific methods and strategies make it possible to reach unconscious material?  

Stanislav Grof, MD, received his medical degree in 1965 from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology, and founding president of the International Transpersonal Association. For the past 35 years, he has conducted research on therapeutic and heuristic aspects of non-ordinary states of consciousness; experiential psychotherapy using psychedelics and nondrug techniques; alternative approaches to psychoses; the problem of spiritual emergencies and treatment of transpersonal crises; and the implications of new developments in quantum physics, information and systems theory, biology, brain research, and consciousness studies for psychiatric theory and the emerging scientific paradigm. He is the author of Realms of the Human Unconscious (Viking Press, 1976), Beyond the Brain (SUNY Press, 1985), The Holotropic Mind (Harper Collins, 1992), The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (SUNY Press, 1998), and Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research (SUNY Press, 2000). 

Designing & Implementing a Clinical Development Program for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Dr. Amy Emerson and Dr. Berra Yazar-Klosinski
This course covers the clinical research process within the regulatory environment that applies to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. We will cover insights on MAPS process of completing a Phase 2 program and what it means to go the end of Phase 2 with the FDA. Topics include a review of applicable regulations and guidelines, completed and planned clinical trials, and how to transition from small Phase 1 or 2 clinical trials to Phase 3. Considerations of conducting multi-site studies, confirmatory trials, compliance with multiple regulatory agencies in parallel, and pursuing FDA approval of medication-assisted therapy will be discussed. We will also touch on what happens in parallel with and after Phase 3: Expanded Access, pilot Phase 2s in other indications, Phase 4, and REMS. Insights from real experiences with FDA Division of Psychiatry Products will be reviewed.  


Amy Emerson earned her BS in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992. Prior to her work at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical development and research beginning in 1993. Amy's previous experience is in the fields of immunology (Applied Immune Sciences), oncology (RPR), and vaccine development (Chiron and Novartis). Amy worked with MAPS as a volunteer starting in 2003 facilitating the development of the MDMA clinical program. In 2009, she began managing the Clinical Research group at MAPS. She is currently the Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research of MPBC.  

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, PhD, earned her doctorate in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She utilizes her scientific training and experience in for-profit pharmaceutical research to support MAPS' work to develop, design, and implement clinical psychedelic research in the U.S and beyond. She earned her B.S. in Biological Science from Stanford University in 2001, with an emphasis on the neurobiology of drugs. Prior to entering graduate school, Berra worked as a research associate with Geron Corporation screening for drugs that activate telomerase, and with Millennium Pharmaceuticals on Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Berra joined MAPS in 2009 in order to work with an organization where profit would not dictate the agenda of scientific research. Since then, she has been actively involved in the ongoing Phase 2 clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with an eye towards Phase 3 clinical trials.  

Psychiatric Renaissance: The Power of Psychedelics to Save a Fallen Field
Dan Engle
The resurgence of psychedelic research is heralding the formal integration of entheogens into the future practice of psychiatry. These traditional and contemporary medicines are now being proven as effective treatments for many of the conditions where mainstream psychiatric treatments fall significantly short. In this talk, Dr. Engle will give an overview the current trends in major areas of research, particularly the effective therapeutic psychedelic use for addiction and trauma. Secondly, he will outline best practice guidelines for psychedelic success as it relates to the three-phase model of pre-care, treatment, and after-care integration support. Lastly, Dr. Engle will explore the future potentials of legalized psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy's formal inclusion into the medical mainstream and the implications for our greater culture at large. He will also share observations from his therapeutic work at Crossroads Treatment Center, where ibogaine-assisted therapy is utilized for people with drug dependence, and at Temple of the Way of Light, where ayahuasca is given to people for several medical indications.  


Dan Engle, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist who specializes in holistic medicine, orthomolecular psychiatry, and integrative spirituality. He is board certified in psychiatry and neurology. Dr. Engle completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and finished his residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. After residency, he completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University. His current practice combines functional medicine with integrative psychiatry to enhance the foundations of regenerative health and peak performance training. He is medical consultant to the Temple of the Way of Light Ayahuasca Center in Peru; Onnit Labs in Austin, Texas; Crossroads Treatment Center in Rosarito, Mexico; and the Rejuvenation and Performance Institute in Sedona, Arizona.  

Commercial Health Insurance and Access to Care: Paving the Way for Partnership
Lia Mix
This class will explore key opportunities and concepts related to coverage of psychedelic therapy by commercial health plans in the near future. Foundational knowledge about the ways in which health insurance carriers impact the delivery of heath care services and process by which new treatments may become covered by benefit plans will be discussed.  By understanding the needs, motivations and challenges that insurance carriers face in implementing new treatments, champions of emerging health care technologies may be able to support terms of coverage that promote access to safe, effective and affordable treatment for a wide swath of the American population.  The focus of this talk is to invite future leaders in the field of psychedelic therapy to consider the significance and opportunities of effective preparation and partnership with the insurance industry to both patient care and the viability of the profession itself.  


Lia Mix, holds an MS in counseling with a concentration in multicultural populations, and is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. Ms. Mix has worked in the behavior health field for 18 years in a wide variety of capacities such as foster care services, dual-diagnosis outpatient care, workplace crisis response and corporate consulting.  She has eight years experience in managed care organizations including department administration, national-scale program design and implementation, and benefits consulting.  Ms. Mix has helped create industry-leading counseling and case management programs and has supported insurance benefit administration and design for newly adopted behavioral health treatments.  She has provided consultation for key decision makers within a wide range of corporate, non-profit and governmental organizations and brokerage firms.  Her current focus is in the area of autism spectrum disorders.    

Friday, December 2 

Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond
Dr. Natalie Metz
Psychedelic therapy offers a unique and powerful vehicle for the exploration of consciousness, and while many experiences generate insight and healing, some can be quite challenging to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. These experiences may be optimized with intentional attention to parameters such as set and setting, quality and dosage of chosen medicine, working with an experienced guide, proper preparation, integration, and support from natural medicine and holistic healthcare practices. The holistic paradigm assumes the integration of body, mind and spirit, and seeks to encourage balance between all aspects of one's being. Holistic support through nutrition, supplements, herbs and more, can help to optimize the psychedelic experience for journeyers, guides and beyond.  

Dr. Natalie Metz is a licensed naturopathic doctor, herbalist, and core faculty member in the Integrative Health Studies department at CIIS. She has a private practice in Oakland where she focuses on digestive and hormonal wellness with the support of plant medicine, homeopathy, and diet and lifestyle interventions. She is a lifelong student of dance, a lover of art, travel, and all things purple, and enjoys sharing her passion for life with the world. Please visit www.drnataliemetz.com  

Integration Discussion 
Dr. Janis Phelps

Please see the "All Cohort Weekends" section, immediately preceding the course descriptions for Friday, September 9, for Dr. Phelps's bio. 

Preparing for a Post-Prohibition World: The Past, Present, and Future of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Dr. Rick Doblin
Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), will facilitate a conversation about what inspired him to found MAPS in 1986, the current state of MAPS drug development plan for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, and the future of psychedelic-assisted therapy. We will discuss results from Phase 2 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, the transition to Phase 3 clinical trials, of MDMA, the ongoing studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with a terminal illness and social anxiety in autistic adults, and the use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD.  We will conclude with a discussion about regulation of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy post-approval and what that would mean for therapists, the plan to build a network of in-patient psychedelic clinic treatment centers, how the Zendo Project and harm reduction can help us prepare for a post-prohibition world, and the consequences of the presidential election on our planning.  

Rick Doblin, PhD, is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a 34-year follow-up study to Timothy Leary's Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston.  

Saturday, December 3 

The Integration and Application of Personal and Transpersonal Knowledge
Dr. William Richards
This final seminar is designed to facilitate further integration and solidification of the knowledge discovered and nurtured in this program. It will include a summary of the emerging principles intrinsic to the design and implementation of effective investigations with psychedelic substances. It will also reflect upon the art of transferring transcendental knowledge that sometimes extends beyond the current limits of human concepts and language into concrete attitudinal and behavioral manifestations in the world of therapeutic practice and everyday living.  Articulation of unanswered questions on the frontiers of psychedelic research will be encouraged, including hypotheses for future studies.  

Bill Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 15 years, and also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he pursued psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967-1977.  

Sunday, December 4 

Closure and Graduation Ceremony
Students will co-create the commencement ceremony with Bill and Janis, using insights gained from their learning in the certificate program. Family and friends will be invited.                                                  

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Need to Contact Us?

CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Rachel Valenzuela-Ours
CPTR Program Manager
Email: rvalenzuela-ours@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

Dr. Janis Phelps
CPTR Director
Email: jphelps@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

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