Friday, March 23
|4:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Welcome and Orientation||Dr. Janis Phelps; Andrew Penn, RN, NP; certificate program graduates|
|6:00 - 7:00 p.m.||Light dinner and champagne reception in Desai | Matta Gallery|
|7:00 - 8:00 p.m.||Film: A New Understanding: Science of Psilocybin by Robert Barnhart|
|8:00 - 8:30 p.m.||Post-film discussion||Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and New York University (NYU) researchers|
Saturday, March 24
|10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art||Dr. William (Bill) Richards (JHU)|
|12:00 - 1:00 p.m.||Johns Hopkins States of Consciousness Research, Psilocybin, and Mystical Experience||Dr. Brian Richards|
|1:00 - 2:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|2:30 - 4:30 p.m.||Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for Palliative Care and Religious Studies||Dr. Anthony (Tony) Bossis (NYU)|
|4:30 - 5:30 p.m.||Practical Matters in Session Guidance and Music Selection||Dr. Bill Richards|
|5:30 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:00 - 9:00 p.m.||Session Guidelines and Case Presentations||Dr. Tony Bossis|
Sunday, March 25
|10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.||Entheogenic Experience and the Pathways of the Soul in the World||Dr. Ralph Metzner|
|1:00 - 2:00 p.m.||LUNCH|
|2:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Weekend closure and review of course requirements||Dr. Janis Phelps|
Friday, May 4
|4:00 - 5:00 p.m.||Welcome and small group discussions||Dr. Janis Phelps and guest teachers|
|5:00 - 6:30 p.m.||Psychedelics in Medicine and Psychiatry||Dr. Charles Grob (UCLA)|
|6:30 - 7:30 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:30 - 9:00 p.m.||Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and the Psychedelic Healing Movement||Dr. Monnica Williams|
Saturday, May 5
|10:00 - 10:45 a.m.||Psilocybin Experiences in the Research Setting||Karen Cooper, RN, BSN, MA (MAPS)|
|10:45 - 11:30 a.m.||Love, Connection, Authenticity, Play, and Therapeutic Competencies||Mary Cosimano, MSW (JHU)|
|11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.||Demonstrations of Psilocybin Sessions||Karen Cooper & Mary Cosimano|
|12:30 - 1:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:30 - 5:30 p.m.||Role Play of Psilocybin Sessions||Karen Cooper & Mary Cosimano|
|5:30 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:00 - 9:00 p.m.||Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power in the Study of Psychedelic Consciousness||Dr. Jeffrey Guss (NYU)|
Sunday, May 6
|10:00 - 11:45 a.m.||Role Play for Psychedelic Therapy||Dr. Jeffrey Guss|
|12:00 - 1:30 p.m.||Clinical Research with Hallucinogens||Dr. Charles Grob|
|1:30 - 2:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|2:30 - 3:00 p.m.||Weekend closure||Dr. Janis Phelps & Dr. Maria Mangini|
|3:30 - 5:30 p.m.||OPTIONAL: A Community Ecopsychology Approach to Intentions and Integration||Hank Obermayer|
Sunday, June 24 to Saturday, June 30
|3:00 p.m., Sunday to 2:00 p.m., Saturday||Retreat Intensive: Therapist Guide Training||Michael and Annie Mithoefer|
Friday, September 14
|1:00 - 2:00 p.m.||Orientation and small group discussions||Diane Haug, Maria Mangini, & Cathy Coleman|
|2:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Firsthand Report: Psychedelic Research Participant's Experience||Research Participant|
|3:15 - 4:45 p.m.||Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond||Natalie Metz|
|4:45 - 5:45 p.m.||Room check-in|
|6:00 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:15 - 9:15 p.m.||The Role of Grof Holotropic Breathwork in the Training of Future Psychedelic Therapists||Diane Haug & team|
Saturday, September 15
|8:00 - 9:00 a.m.||BREAKFAST|
|9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Holotropic Breathwork||Diane Haug & team|
|12:30 - 1:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:45 - 5:45 p.m.||Holotropic Breathwork||Diane Haug & team|
|6:00 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:15 - 9:00 p.m.||Small group sharing||Diane Haug & team
Sunday, September 16
|8:00 - 9:00 a.m.||BREAKFAST|
|9:00 - 9:30 a.m.||Room check-out|
|9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Integration of Holotropic Breathwork experience||Diane Haug & team|
|12:30 - 1:15 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:30 - 2:30 p.m.||Navigating the Landscape of Grief in Psychedelic Sessions||Andrew Penn|
|2:30 - 3:45 p.m.||Ketamine-Assisted Therapies||Paul Abramson|
|3:45 - 4:00 p.m.||Weekend closure||Diane Haug, Maria Mangini, & Cathy Coleman|
Friday, October 26
|4:00 - 4:45 p.m.||Review and small group discussions||Dr. Janis Phelps & Dr. Wendy Feng|
|5:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Ketamine Therapy for Mood and Anxiety Disorders||Dr. Alison McInnes|
|6:15 - 7:15 p.m.||The Medicinal and Ecological Imperative of Psychedelics||Allan Badiner|
Saturday, October 27
|10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration||Patricia James|
|12:15 - 1:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:30 - 3:00 p.m.||Psilocybin-Assisted Clinical Cases Discussion via video conference||Dr. Charles Grob|
|3:15 - 5:30 p.m.||Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice: 20 Years' Clinical Experience||Dr. Maria Mangini|
|5:30 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:00 - 9:00 p.m.||Conversation with Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS Founder||Dr. Rick Doblin|
Sunday, October 28
|9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.||The Role of Entheogenic Experience in the Second Half of Life||Dr. Ralph Metzner|
|12:30 - 1:30 p.m.||Wrap-up and discussion||Dr. Maria Mangini & Dr. Wendy Feng|
|1:30 - 2:30 p.m.||LUNCH (for those staying for the optional program)|
|3:15 - 5:30 p.m.||OPTIONAL: Finding Your Place in Community: Healing Our Connection to Ourselves and to the Future||Hank Obermayer|
Friday, November 30
|4:00 - 4:45 p.m.||Welcome and small group discussions||Dr. Maria Mangini & Dr. Wendy Feng|
|5:00 - 7:00 p.m.||Mental Imagery Experiential Workshop||Dr. William Richards|
Saturday, December 1
|10:30 - 11:45 a.m.||MDMA Research in the 1980s; How to Create a Psychedelic Research Proposal: The Heffter Research Institute's Model; Setting Up an Expanded Access Clinic for MDMA-PTSD Therapy: The New Mexico Model||Dr. George Greer|
|12:00 - 1:00 p.m.||Commerical Health Insurance and Access to Care: Paving the Way for Partnership||Lia Mix|
|1:00 - 2:00 p.m.||LUNCH|
|2:00 - 4:00 p.m.||Insights on the Clinical Research Process of Starting a Phase 3 Study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy||Amy Emerson, Dr. Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Rebecca Matthews (MAPS Research)|
|4:15 - 6:15 p.m.||Theoretical Reflections and Integrative Summary: Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion||Dr. William Richards|
|6:30 p.m. forward||DINNER and PARTY: Details TBA||Organized by the 2018 Graduation Party Committee|
Sunday, December 2
|10:00 - 11:00 a.m.||Psychopharmacology of Psychedelic Molecules||Dr. Wendy Feng|
|11:00 - 11:45 a.m.||Small group closure, Graduation Party Committee announcements, and ceremony preview||Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Wendy Feng, Adele Getty, Michael Williams, Patricia James, and 2018 Graduation Party Committee|
|11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.||LUNCH & ceremony set-up|
|1:00 - 2:00 p.m.||Class completion ceremony|
|2:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Class completion reception|
Click "More" to see full 2018 class descriptions and faculty bios.
Friday, March 23
A New Understanding: Science of Psilocybin
A New Understanding explores the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences. The documentary explores the confluence of science and spirituality in the first psychedelic research studies with terminally ill patients since the 1970s.
Through the eyes of patients, their loved ones, therapists and researchers, A New Understanding examines the use of psilocybin in a controlled setting to reduce psychospiritual anxiety, depression, and physical pain. The treatment aims to help the patient understand that a 'good' death is possible, and to help the patient's family deal well with the dying process.
Saturday, March 24
Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art
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.
William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 18 years, and 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 contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.
Johns Hopkins States of Consciousness Research, Psilocybin, and Mystical Experience
This overview of psilocybin research to date at Johns Hopkins University will include discussion of the many studies conducted since 2000. Special emphasis will be given to research design, therapeutic intervention, and study outcomes.
Brian Richards, PsyD, is a Clinical Director with MedOptions, the largest provider of behavioral health services in the United States. He is an affiliated investigator with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he works on states of consciousness research at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Bayview Medical Campus.
Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for Palliative Care and Religious Studies
This lecture will review scientific findings and implications from FDA-approved psilocybin-generated mystical experience research. The NYU School of Medicine clinical trial published in 2016 demonstrated efficacy of a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in helping individuals with cancer cultivate meaning, enhance existential and psycho-spiritual well-being, and foster a greater acceptance of the dying process with less anxiety. The landmark findings of a rapid decrease in depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and demoralization along with improvements in spiritual well-being will be presented. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, awe, ineffability, and an enhanced awareness of positive emotions including that of love. The psilocybin-generated mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death. A review of existential and psychological distress in palliative and end-of-life care will be presented along with a review of the phenomenology of mystical experience drawn from both the world's religious traditions and psychedelic research. An overview of the clinical trial examining the utility of psilocybin-generated mystical experience with religious leaders will also be presented. Implications for the enhanced understanding of religious and consciousness studies will be addressed.
Anthony P. Bossis, PhD, was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator and session guide on the NYU psilocybin cancer-anxiety clinical trial and is the lead investigator and primary session guide for a clinical trial evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. He is a training supervisor of psychotherapy in the NYU department of psychiatry, co-founder and former co-director of the Palliative Care Service at NYU-Bellevue Hospital, and a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. He has a long-standing interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.
Practical Matters in Session Guidance and Music Selection
This session will focus on the practical implementation of the principles surveyed earlier with careful reflection on the past experiences and current thinking that influence the therapeutic choice of musical selections during therapy with psilocybin.
Please see above for Dr. Richards's bio.
Session Guidelines and Case Presentations
This lecture will focus on the session guidelines for study guides and participants in FDA-approved psilocybin research. Case presentations from the NYU cancer-anxiety and religious leader studies will be presented. Video of participants from the NYU psilocybin cancer-anxiety clinical trial discussing their session experiences will be shown. This will include a group discussion on clinical aspects of psilocybin research.
Please see above for Dr. Bossis's bio.
Sunday, March 25
Entheogenic Experience and the Pathways of the Soul in the World
Beyond their use as adjuncts and amplifiers of psychotherapy, entheogens can help us understand our life experiences, visions and challenges on the six great archetypal pathways. You sense intuitively that as a human soul you are here on Earth for a purpose. Spiritual and shamanic traditions speak about finding a vision for your life in the world. Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my soul choose to be born into this family, at this time, in this place? What are the pathways in which I can best express my creative vision and talents? These are basic questions we can find ourselves confronting - at important choice points in our lives, in entheogenic experiences, and on vision quests. Explorer-Scientist, Healer-Peacemaker, Warrior-Guardian, Artist-Musician, Teacher-Historian, Builder-Organizer - each of these is not only a career or profession, our work in the world, but also at a deeper level a pathway for manifesting our soul's destiny (based on Ralph's book, The Six Pathways of Destiny).
Ralph Metzner, PhD, is a recognized pioneer in the 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 quarterly Psychedelic Review. He is a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at CIIS, where he was also the Academic Dean for 10 years in the 1980s. His books include The Unfolding Self, The Well of Remembrance, Green Psychology, Ecology of Consciousness, and, most recently, Overtones and Undercurrents. He is the editor of two collections of essays on the pharmacology, anthropology of ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms. He is also the president and co-founder of the Green Earth Foundation (www.greenearthfound.org), dedicated to healing and harmonizing the relations between humanity and the Earth.
Friday, May 4
Psychedelics in Medicine and Psychiatry: An Experimental Treatment Model in Advanced-Stage Cancer and Existential Anxiety
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 conducted 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, along with his colleague Dr. Alicia Danforth, recently concluded 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.
Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and the Psychedelic Healing Movement
Trauma is caused by feeling profoundly unsafe - physically, emotionally, or spiritually - and is often the root of mental illness. Despite the misperception that PTSD is most commonly caused by a single event, for many people, simply existing in a society that marginalizes their identities is inherently and perpetually traumatic. Oppression, poverty, and discrimination can all contribute to traumatic experience at both individual and collective levels. These ongoing traumatic experiences - enhanced and compounded for people who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities - are often under-diagnosed and thus under-treated. There is vast potential for psychedelics to help heal trauma and move people toward wholeness. But how does that healing potential stand up to systemic oppression? Dr. Williams will discuss the traumatizing impact of life in America on people of color and the work being done at the MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program UConn site, which is focused on the traumas of people of color. This presentation will explore if and how psychedelics can contribute to healing the trauma that stems from racism and create a more just society.
Monnica Williams, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry. Prior to her move to Connecticut in 2016, she served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She also worked for four years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received training from Dr. Enda Foa. Dr. Williams has published over 100 scientific articles on mental health and culture. Her current work includes unacceptable thoughts in OCD, the impact of OCD on intimate relationships, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, assessment of race-based trauma, and interventions to reduce racial bias. She is lead teacher for the Person of Color Training Initiative for MAPS, in which therapists identified as people of color are being trained to work as therapists in MDMA-assisted research for MAPS. She also gives trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations.
Saturday, May 5
Psilocybin Experiences in the Research Setting: The Power of Presence and the Healing Triad
Karen writes, "I believe that everyone involved in the creation of a research study is part of, and has an influence on, the set and setting, and the total experience of the participant. The main focus for this talk is one particular to my experience in creation of the physical setting-some "behind-closed-doors" aspects not typically published but important to share...things you may or may not encounter or have wondered about...which I hope will be helpful in increasing your awareness about aspects of this amazing research."
Karen Cooper, RN, BSN, MA, was Lead Guide and Clinical Research Nurse for the University of Wisconsin's Psilocybin Pharmacokinetic Study, and served as the study trainer with the Usona Institute 2013-2016. She enjoys serving as mentor, guest faculty, and member of the Advisory Board for the Certificate in Psychedelic Therapies and Research program at CIIS, and is currently Project Manager and Co-therapist in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the Multi-site MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder studies sponsored by MAPS.
Karen's MA in Holistic Health Education at John F. Kennedy University included a focus on transpersonal and psychosomatic psychology. She is a student of meditation and yoga, a Registered Nurse, and a licensed bodyworker and massage therapist. Karen finds that her eclectic nursing background working in a variety of settings with patients in prenatal, neonatal, family, and end-of-life care lends well to this work. She has a passion for the interface of science, spirituality, transpersonal and somatic psychology, and non-dual awareness. Additional interests include learning how to grow and harvest vegetables, herbs, and native plants in the Northern Colorado climate; ecstatic dance; exploring, biking, and hiking with her husband Dan Muller; and the wondrous path of being a grandma.
Love, Connection, Authenticity, Play, and Therapeutic Competencies
In this talk, Mary will discuss her personal belief about love as our true authentic nature, and as one of the main outcomes of the psilocybin studies. She will also talk about her view around the value of play and fun, and then share why she regards her beliefs as deeply important to our work as psychedelic therapists and how they relate to therapeutic competencies.
Mary Cosimano, MSW, is currently with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Since 2000 she has been working with the clinical and research components of all the psilocybin studies, and as study guide has conducted over 400 study sessions. She has trained postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and interns as assistant guides. She has administered the psychological evaluations for psilocybin studies as well as other studies in the Behavioral Biology Research Unit. 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. She taught individual and group meditation to breast cancer patients in a Johns Hopkins research study and in 2003 she started and has maintained a meditation group for employees in her department. She also has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer.
Demonstrations of Psilocybin Sessions
Role Play of Psilocybin Sessions
Mary Cosimano and Karen Cooper offer a powerful approach to allow students to personally experience and explore the roles of guide (therapist and co-therapist) and study participant in a non-threatening, supportive setting. Through discussion, demonstration, and role play simulations based on actual psilocybin guide and study participant experiences, students will be offered opportunities to practice realistic skills that they might use in a psilocybin-assisted therapeutic research setting to (1) discover the strengths and limitations of their personal styles; (2) cultivate self-awareness and increased capacity for being a healing presence; and (3) offer impromptu ways to support a mystical, spiritual, painful, blissful, disruptive, emotional, somatic, and/or quiet study participant experience.
Dyad, small group, and large group sessions will provide an opportunity for debriefing, reflection, feedback, and to increase compassion and trust for themselves, each other, and the recommended therapeutic approach. Students will be encouraged to speak with each other beyond the classroom about their experiences with death, loss, surrendering the ego and expectations, and how that might affect them and their future work in the field of research and therapy with entheogens.
Please see above for Ms. Cooper's and Ms. Cosimano's bios.
Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power in the Study of Psychedelic Consciousness
This talk is a close reading of Andy Letcher's insightful paper that explores the role of language and power in regulating who can speak and what can be said about psychedelics and psychedelic consciousness. Letcher draws on some basic concepts from Michel Foucault's writing to illuminate the multiple levels at which control of discourse affects what we can know, what we can study, and what can be spoken aloud (and where).
Jeffrey Guss, MD, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher with specializations in psychoanalytic therapy and the treatment of substance use disorders. He was Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Therapist Training for the NYU School of Medicine's study on psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of cancer-related existential distress. He is currently a study therapist in a trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for alcoholism and the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study, and co-wrote the therapy manual for Yale's depression and psilocybin study. Dr. Guss is interested in the integration of psychedelic therapies with contemporary psychoanalytic theory and has published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society. He is an instructor and mentor for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies & Research certificate program and maintains a full-time private practice.
Sunday, May 6
Role Play for Psychedelic Therapy
This exercise, lasting about two hours, offers an accelerated experience of preparatory therapy, guiding a session, integration work and then supervision of the experience. We will divide into groups of three; each triad will have a therapist, a journeyer and a witness. Each journeyer will have a written scenario to work from, and the therapist will do preparatory work as the journeyer enacts their character. A journey of about 20 follows, then aftercare/debriefing. The witness watches everything and provides feedback at the end of the exercise, and when all reconvene, there will be a group discussion of the experience, focusing on the personal values and qualities we each hope to bring to this work.
Please see above for Dr. Guss's bio.
Clinical Research with Hallucinogens: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
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.
Please see above for Dr. Grob's bio.
OPTIONAL: A Community Ecopsychology Approach to Intentions & Integration
Our current time brings forth fear about the future for many while it also call for collective and creative change. Tools that help people face fear and find themselves, like psychedelic practices, may be extremely useful as we face these challenges. Using a group integration container rooted in the ecopsychology practices of Joanna Macy and The Work that reconnects, we see other ways to work beyond traditional individual-centered psychotherapy. Ground in the wonder of being alive on earth, in shared grief and aliveness, an in forms of intimacy with the future as a way to deepen your own passions and commitment to all life. Finally, by looking at larger cultural potentials of psychedelic work like this, we nourish the seeds of the future.
Hank Obermayer, PhDc, is a group process facilitator working on the relationship with self, with community, and with the planet. He helps individuals with the integration process for vision quests, psychedelic ritual, meditation retreats, and similar work using an emphasis on mindfulness and the body. With groups, Hank focuses on ecological despair and empowerment, mixing in his theater, group process, and counseling background. Hank is trained in Hakomi and is currently a PhD student at CIIS in East-West Psychology. He also has over 25 years of leadership related to ecovillages, intentional communities, and housing cooperatives, including founding Mariposa Grove, his home. Through his family, he is also deeply involved in German-Jewish healing work.
Sunday, June 24 to Saturday, June 30
Retreat Intensive: Therapist Guide Training
This retreat is 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.
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, September 14
Firsthand Report: Psychedelic Research Participant's Experience
A research participant describes her experience in the MAPS Boulder MDMA study, which she will talk about more in depth today, as a difficult but remarkable journey transforming hopelessness into healing. In a rare opportunity for trainees in psychedelic research, she will share her personal story and keen insight by making recommendations to the trainees on what most helped her in being in the MAPS treatment study.
Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond
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 body, as well as have profound impact in the mental, emotional, spiritual, and other realms. The beneficial potential of 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, and 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, sound healing, and more can help to optimize the psychedelic experience for journeyers, guides, and beyond.
Natalie Metz, ND, 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 counseling. 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
The Role of Grof Holotropic Breathwork in the Training of Future Psychedelic Therapists
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 postnatal 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. Diane has taught GTT training modules including The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork; The Art and Practice of Integration; Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom; Living with Dying; and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member with both the CIIS CPTR certificate program (San Francisco, CA) and Southwestern College (Santa Fe, New Mexico). In March / April 2017 Diane helped staff the MAPS MDMA-Assisted PTSD Therapy Training Programs. She maintains a private practice that includes both individual and group work.
Sunday, September 16
Navigating the Landscape of Grief in Psychedelic Sessions
Grief can be an unexpected but difficult visitor in important psychedelic experiences. Grief, when it arises, is often not just an intricate web of current and past losses, but also a realization of things we did not receive. This talk will draw from Francis Weller's important, soulful cartography of grief to provide a map for understanding this landscape. The talk, deeply embedded in the arts and humanities, will suggest how to work with clients to articulate the different facets of the experience of grief.
Andrew Penn, MS, NP, has been a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with Kaiser Permanente, where for the last 12 years he has provided psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic care to adult patients. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he teaches psychopharmacology and second-year Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner students in clinic. He serves as a steering committee member for Psych Congress, the second largest general psychiatric conference in the United States. He recently authored a chapter in a casebook on Positive Psychiatry, published by APA Press, about a patient he treated who was a subject in a MAPS-sponsored trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He is a graduate of the second cohort of the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research.
In recent years, there has been a surge of interest and practice in the use of the dissociative, anesthetic, and psychedelic drug ketamine to augment treatment of a variety of psychological diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD, as well as medical indications like chronic pain syndromes, addiction, and traumatic brain injury. Much discourse has taken place in the medical and psychological communities about best practices for this emerging treatment, but research has been slow to catch up with a wide variety of clinical uses, since ketamine is already approved for use in humans as a Schedule III controlled substance. Such topics as set and setting, preparation and integration, dosage levels, route of administration, contraindications, adverse effects, the risk ketamine use disorders, and how to track short- and long-term effects are of utmost importance but not yet fully developed. Dr. Abramson has been conducting ketamine-assisted therapies in his integrated group medical-behavioral practice in San Francisco for over three years, and will share his clinical observations with his CPTR colleagues.
Paul Abramson, MD, received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and is board-certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He is a graduate of the second cohort of the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research. In addition to managing My Doctor Medical Group, he serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UCSF and on the medical staff at Sutter CPMC. A former engineer, hospitalist physician, and consultant in health technology, Dr. Abramson also completed a residential fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Dr. Andrew Weil's Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He was also an early member of St. John's Divine Rhythm Society and has been a supporter of the return of psychedelics to medical practice for over 20 years.
Friday, October 26
Ketamine Therapy for Mood and Anxiety Disorders
This class will review the evidence supporting the NIMH model of intravenous ketamine therapy and contrast it with the use of ketamine for psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. We will discuss what is known about the biological basis of ketamine's efficacy and research efforts to develop additional ketamine-like drugs. We will also address anticipated regulatory frameworks with the imminent FDA approval of intranasal esketamine.
Alison McInnes, MD, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in the biological sciences from Stanford University. She then went on to graduate Alpha Omega Alpha from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where she received a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship to study the genetics of mood disorders. Subsequently, she went on to run her own NIMH funded laboratory as an Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. McInnes then returned to the Bay Area and founded Kaiser Permanente's Regional Ketamine Therapy Program in 2014. In 2017, she became Medical Director of Actify Neurotherapy's San Francisco office and continues to specialize in both intravenous and oral ketamine treatment.
The Medicinal and Ecological Imperative of Psychedelics
Allan Badiner, MA, will present on the imperative of studying the role that psychedelics can play in healing mind, body, and spirit along with our pathological relationship with the natural systems of the Earth. Ibogaine clinics are helping addicts wean off drugs. Cannabis is being used to treat epilepsy and cancer. Ayahuasca is transforming lives and giving rise to greater ecological awareness. It's a new era for therapeutic research and clinical applications of the ancient "plant teachers" as well as laboratory innovations they have inspired. Bringing the ethical system of Buddhism to bear on psychedelics and their potential to alleviate suffering, the exploration of these sacraments becomes essential. All of us are part of a social, spiritual, ecological, and scientific revolution, and the impact on human society will be profound.
Allan Badiner is a contributing editor at Tricycle magazine, and the editor of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. He also edited the books Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology and Mindfulness in the Marketplace and his written work appears in other books including Dharma Family Treasures, Meeting the Buddha, Ecological Responsibility: A Dialogue with Buddhism, and The Buddha and the Terrorist. Allan holds a master's degree from the College of Buddhist Studies in Los Angeles and serves on the boards of Rainforest Action Network and Project CBD. For two years, Allan taught classes at CIIS on Buddhism and modern problems. He is currently working on a book about dietary cannabinoids.
Saturday, October 27
Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration
"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 both rather than replacing one or the other. This experiential workshop with explore the use of ancient modalities (drumming, guided journeys, breath, mudras, etc.) and our growing knowledge from today's science and research to access and ground non-ordinary states. Discussion will include breakthroughs, how to make insights sustainable, and methods of taking action to bring about change. 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.
Bring a mat or towel to lay on if you are a local. Bring a wrap for covering up as you lie in meditation, and a journal for writing. We will have approximately 35 mats for trainees who are from out of town.
Patricia James, BA, is a Medicine Woman and cross-cultural expert. She is of Seminole heritage, and a traditionally trained Cheyenne Pipe Carrier and Priest. Her focus is on bridging ancient wisdom with our contemporary times, bringing practical application to the mystical, and to weaving a new "Braided Way" to live life well. Initiated in multiple indigenous spiritual traditions, Patricia has studied wisdom practices and is trained in modern healing modalities including breathwork and hypnotherapy. She compliments this knowledge with over two decades in public administration. Patricia maintains a private practice in the Bay Area that focuses on psycho-spiritual mentoring, integration, teaching, and workshops. She provides teachings and ritual-based ceremonies throughout the country.
Discussion of Psilocybin-Assisted Clinical Cases (via video conference)
This special class will highlight specific clinical case studies in depth from Dr. Grob's exceptional experience with research studies using psilocybin- and MDMA-assisted therapies. We will hear his narrative and follow the "patient" participant at end-of-life through the stages of preparation, the psychedelic session, and integration sessions. Dr. Grob will give a brief outline of the patient's general history and experience of the treatment. He will also discuss their therapeutic interventions, based on the treatment progress and the transformations experienced by the patient. His dyadic team member was Dr. Alicia Danforth. Opportunities for engaging clinical discussions of these cases will be a focus of this interactive clinical case conference.
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 long-standing 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 conducted 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, along with his colleague Dr. Alicia Danforth, recently concluded 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.
Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice: 20 Years' Clinical Experience
Cannabis is distinguished among illegal drugs for its political symbolism, its safety, and its widespread use. Since the imposition in 1937 of laws inspired by the film Reefer Madness, cannabis has been a source of controversy and a symbol of misunderstanding. The First Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (1972), found that cannabis was a convenient symbol of powerful social conflict between disaffection with traditional social values and the determination to preserve them intact. The passage of the California Compassionate Use Act in 1996 brought the federal government into conflict with the first state-level cannabis ballot initiative. A group of California physicians and cannabis activists filed suit against Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, Attorney General Janet Reno, and Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services, arguing that the threats of prosecution against physicians for talking to their patients violated their First Amendment rights and interfered with their ability as physicians to use "their best medical judgment in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship." In 2002, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Conant v. Walters that physicians have a First Amendment right to discuss and recommend cannabis for their patients. This talk will present some of the difficulties faced by those who were active in recommending and approving cannabis in the early years of implementation, and will offer insights into the experience of being on the leading edge of a novel and controversial program of therapy. The evolution of practice strategies and standards over two decades of a changing social and political matrix will be discussed, and perspectives on the evolution of the cannabis industry will be presented.
Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. She is a founder of the Women's Visionary Council, a nonprofit organization that supports investigations into non-ordinary forms of consciousness and organizes gatherings of researchers, healers, artists, and activists whose work explores these states. Her long history with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic includes having been a barefoot patient, a lead clinician in the medical section, and the chair of the Board of Directors - all in the same lifetime. She has been a Family Nurse Midwife for 35 years, and has been in primary care practice with Frank Lucido, MD, one of the pioneers of the medical cannabis movement, for 24 years. Their practice was one of the first to implement the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the first state medical cannabis initiative. Her current project is the development of a thanatology program for the study of death and dying.
Conversation with Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS Founder
Dr. Doblin will facilitate an evening public program and 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 ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials, and the ongoing study of medical marijuana to treat symptoms of PTSD. We will conclude with a discussion about the expansion of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research across the world, 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.
Rick Doblin, PhD, is 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 thirty-four 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 with his wife and empty rooms from three children who are all in college.
Sunday, October 28
The Role of Entheogenic Experience in the Second Half of Life
The use of non-hallucinatory empathogens like MDMA to amplify and support psychotherapy and the healing of trauma has been well documented and continues to be the subject of ongoing research and applications. By amplifying empathy while releasing identification MDMA has proven to be an ideal tool for dealing with trauma from war or violence, as well as for family and child development issues. Many researchers and therapists believe that for dealing with trauma the hallucinatory amplification provided by the classical psychedelics is not appropriate or desirable. Although prior to the mid-1980s when MDMA was discovered, LSD and psilocybin were widely used as adjuncts for psychotherapy, for example in the work of Stan Grof. Around the middle of the life cycle, in the early 40s, there is a gradual inward turning, as adults become parents and increasingly confront issues of lack of meaning, spiritual development and the problems of the greater world. For the issues of the second half of life, including aging, loneliness and anticipatory fear of dying, psychotherapy supported with the classical entheogens such as LSD and psilocybin is preferable to MDMA and has shown significant promise. With a supportive set and setting and appropriate guidance, they offer unparalleled opportunity to practice suspending attachments to the physical world and expanding awareness to the transcendental realms beyond. We will discuss some of the classical ways of preparing for dying, as well as studies of near-death experiences (NDE) and the role of story-telling and the Way of Council. We will discuss ancient Egyptian and Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death, the afterlife, and reincarnation and how entheogenic experiences can bring expanded understandings and insights on these most basic of all issues.
Ralph Metzner, PhD, is a recognized pioneer in the 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 quarterly 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, Ecology of Consciousness and most recently Overtones and Undercurrents. He is the editor of two collections of essays on the pharmacology, anthropology 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. (www.greenearthfound.org)
OPTIONAL: Finding Your Place in Community: Healing Our Connection to Ourselves and to the Future
Tools that build intimacy with one another, with the past, and with the future can help develop a sense of meaning or purpose. As psychedelic research progresses, collective approaches to health and healing become an area ripe for exploration. Similarly, as social concerns become more planetary in nature, the concerns of individuals may become more connected to global issues. Practices that can be applied to this exist already, like those of the Work That Reconnects, pioneered by eco-philosopher Joanna Macy. In May, many of us began exploring the impact of these kinds of group processes and their role in intentions, healing and purpose. Continuing with similar practices, we will again experience the wonder of being alive on earth, drop into our collective longings, and sow seeds for the future.
Hank Obermayer, MA, is a spiritual counselor and group process facilitator working on the relationship with self, with community, and with the planet. He helps individuals with the integration process for vision quests, psychedelic ritual, meditation retreats, and similar work using an emphasis on mindfulness and the body. With groups, Hank focuses on ecological despair and empowerment, mixing in his theater, group process, and counseling background. Hank is trained in Hakomi, and is currently a PhD student at CIIS in East-West Psychology. He also has over 25 years of leadership related to ecovillages, intentional communities, and housing cooperatives, including founding Mariposa Grove, his home. Through his family he is also deeply involved in German-Jewish healing work.
Friday, November 30
Mental Imagery Experiential Workshop
Both didactic and experiential, this workshop will explore ways of understanding and working constructively with spontaneously-evoked mental imagery during preparatory, substance-assisted and integrative sessions during psychedelic psychotherapy. Though eclectic, it will focus on the system of Guided Affective Imagery developed by Hanscarl Leuner.
Please dress comfortably and be prepared to lie on the floor in dyadic interactions.
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 17 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, December 1
I. MDMA Research in the 1980s
This brief lecture will describe the MDMA clinical research done in the early 1980s by George Greer and Requa Tolbert, before MDMA was made a controlled substance. The legal framework, synthesis of MDMA, preparation and session procedures, and results will be presented, with discussion.
II. How to Create a Psychedelic Research Proposal: The Heffter Research Institute's Model
This lecture will explain the procedures and criteria for submitting proposals to conduct a scientific research study with a psychedelic, using the model and procedures followed by the Heffter Research Institute. The proposals are generally written in the format used in NIH grant applications.
III. Setting up an Expanded Access Clinic for MDMA-PTSD Therapy
This lecture will review the process one MDMA Expanded Access group is using to create an Expanded Access clinic for MDMA. Legal, practical, clinical and development of the group's bonding and interpersonal processes will be covered, with discussion.
George Greer, MD, is the President of the Heffter Research Institute, and an investigator in the MAPS MDMA therapist training study, as well as being involved in setting up an Expanded Access clinic in Santa Fe, NM for MDMA-PTSD treatment. Dr. Greer conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his psychiatric nurse wife, Requa Tolbert. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. He was the Medical Director of the Heffter Research Institute from 1998 to 2017, when he became President.
Commercial Health Insurance and Access to Care: Paving the Way for Partnership
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, MS, MFT, holds a master's degree in counseling with a concentration in multicultural populations. Ms. Mix has worked in multiple behavioral health settings: foster care services, dual diagnosis outpatient care, workplace crisis response, managed care and corporate consulting. She helped create national, industry-leading clinical programs and has supported insurance coverage and benefit administration for new behavioral health treatments. Ms. Mix provides consultation for key decision makers within a wide range of corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations and brokerage firms, and provides expertise on healthcare legislation.
Insights on the Clinical Research Process of Starting a Phase 3 Program of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
This course covers insights on the clinical research process of starting a Phase 3 Program of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy regulated by the FDA and EMA in the context of nonprofit and benefit corporation companies within the MAPS group. Topics include a review of applicable regulations and guidelines, completed and planned clinical trials, and the 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 and EMA 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 and EMA Scientific Advice Working Party will be reviewed.
Berra Yazar-Klosinski earned her Ph.D. 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 wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. She has been actively involved in the Phase 1/2/3 clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, most recently as Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs.
Amy Emerson earned her B.S. 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 Head of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.
Rebecca Matthews earned her B.A. at UC Berkeley in 2000. Prior to her work at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001, working on sepsis and monitoring and managing vaccine trials. In 2009, she joined MAPS as a part-time contractor and has since been working with them on MDMA/PTSD studies. In 2015, Rebecca joined MPBC full-time to work on Marijuana/PTSD studies as well as continuing to support MDMA studies as the Associate Director of Clinical Operations.
Theoretical Reflections and Integrative Summary: Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion
Designed to facilitate further integration and solidification of the experiential and didactic content explored in our program, potentially important concepts will be reviewed along with discussion of their theoretical and practical relevance. Reflection on unanswered questions on the entheogenic frontier and consideration of future research opportunities will be welcomed. Dr. Richards may include a summary of the emerging principles intrinsic to the design and implementation of effective investigations with psychedelic substances.
Please see above for Dr. Richards's bio.
Sunday, December 2
Psychopharmacology of Psychedelic Molecules: A Review
The pharmacopeia of psychedelic medicines is broad and likely to expand as more compounds are discovered, distilled, and delved into by humans. This talk focuses on the properties of four major classes of psychedelic medicines based on their primary modes of action: MDMA, Serotonin 2A receptor agonists (Psilocybin/LSD/DMT), Ketamine, and Cannabis. This session will serve as a review to synthesize information learned in the course. Basic considerations for safe and efficacious use will be discussed, including a brief history of our human relationship with the molecule, and pharmacological properties of each molecule including dosing, binding profiles, metabolism and contraindications. Handouts summarizing the lecture will be distributed.
Wendy Feng, MD, is a psychiatrist trained at UCSF, UC San Diego, and NYU. She is an emergency psychiatrist at John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro, CA. She has a small private practice in telepsychiatry in San Mateo, CA. She will be completing her training in ketamine-assisted therapy and is a graduate of the 2016 CPTR training program. As Senior Lecturer for CPTR, she has several roles. Dr. Feng manages two of the CPTR House Discussions. She is the omsbudsperson, as well as peer advisor for any trainee who wishes further consultation on professional development, in addition to managing several special projects for the program.
Need to Contact Us?
CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 575-6243
We are an academic program, and we are not able to provide therapist referrals at this time.