Friday, April 9

(All times are Pacific Time)

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Invocation

Dr. Janis Phelps, CPTR Staff, and Patricia James

10:00 – 11:15 a.m

Findings and Implications of Psychedelic Research for Emotional Distress Associated with Dying or a Life-Threatening Illness

Dr. Anthony Bossis, NYU

11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Findings and Implications of Psychedelic Research for Emotional Distress Associated with Dying or a Life-Threatening Illness (cont.)

 Dr. Anthony Bossis, NYU

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Research on the Skills of Psychedelic Therapists

Dr. Janis Phelps, Center Founder

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

 

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps, and CPTR Staff

  

  

Saturday, April 10

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art

Dr. William Richards, JHU

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Break

 

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art (cont.)

Dr. William Richards, JHU

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Break

 

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Therapist Competencies II:  Practical Matters in Session Guidance

Dr. William Richards with Dr. Brian Richards, JHU

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Break

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Building Beloved Community: Addressing Structural Racism in Healthcare by Staying “Woke”

Shirley Strong, M.Ed

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

 

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps, and CPTR Staff

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Break

4:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Film Night (OPTIONAL)
Panel on A New Understanding:
The Science of Psilocybin
film
Dr. William Richards and Dr. Brian Richards, JHU

  

  

Sunday, April 11

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

The Art of Guiding High-Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Reenactments and Discussion

Mary Cosimano, LMSW, Dr. William Richards, and Dr. Brian Richards, JHU

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Break

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Indigenous Perspectives on Conserving Peyote Practices and Protecting American Indian Religious Freedom

 Dawn Davis, MA, U. of Idaho and Indigenous Program for STEM

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Conclusion and w eekend closure

Dr. Janis Phelps, and CPTR Staff

   

   

Friday, May 14

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome 

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

9:45 – 11:30 a.m.

The Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration

Patricia James, Medicine Woman

11:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Break

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Special Topics in the Neurobiology of Psychedelics

Dr. David Presti, UC Berkeley

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Ceremonial Use of Psychoactive Plants: A Brief History

Dr. Susana Bustos, CIIS

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.

The Art of Guiding High-Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Reenactments and Discussion

Mary Cosimano, LMSW and Dr. Brian Richards, JHU

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps, and CPTR Staff

  

   

Saturday, May 15

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power

Dr. Jeffrey Guss, NYU

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Break

 

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Role-Play with Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Scenarios from the NYU Research

Dr. Jeffrey Guss, NYU

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Break

 

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Role-Play with Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Scenarios from the NYU Research (cont.)

Dr. Jeffrey Guss, NYU

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Break

 

1:45 – 2:35 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic

 Mary Cosimano, LMSW, JHU

2:35 – 2:50 p.m.

Break

2:50 – 3:15 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic (cont.)

 Mary Cosimano, LMSW, JHU

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

3:45 – 4:00 p.m

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Break

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Certificate Graduate Panel: Their Current Work in the Field (OPTIONAL)

Dr. Manish Agrawal (2018); Dr. Yvan Beaussant (2018); Dr. Dominique Morisano (2019); Andrew Penn, MS, PMHNP (2017); & Tal Sharabi, LPC (2020)

  

   

Sunday, May 16

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Trauma-Informed Relational-Somatic Foundations for Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Dr. Devon Christie, University of British Columbia

11:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Break

 

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Topical Small Groups

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Conclusion and weekend closure

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

   

  

Friday, June 4

9:30 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.

Welcome 

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

9:35 – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome to MAPS Part B

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN, MAPS

9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

MAPS Part B

 Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN, MAPS

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Set and Setting in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies

Dr. Anthony Back, University of Washington

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps, and CPTR Staff

    

   

Saturday, June 5

9:30 – 1:15 p.m.

MAPS Part B

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN, MAPS

1:15 – 11:15 a.m.

Break

 

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy

Dick Simon, YPO Psychedelic Group

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Small Group Discussions

 

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

  

  

Sunday, June 6

9:00 – 11:15 a.m.

MAPS Part B

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN, MAPS

11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Special Considerations for those in the LGBTQIA+ Community with Religious Trauma

Dr. Keith McCoy and Emma Knighton, MA, CPTR Grads 2019

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Conclusion and w eekend closure

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

   

  

Friday, June 18

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

MAPS Part B Weekend 2

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

A Bottom-up, Community-Driven, Ecosystem Approach to Healing

Sizwe Andrews-Abakah and Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah, MPH, Spearitwurx

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Break

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Coming Together as a Beloved Community (OPTIONAL)

Dr. Bhavya Rajanna, Baystate Health

   

  

Saturday, June 19

9:30 – 1:15 p.m.

MAPS Part B Weekend 2

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Break

 

1:45 – 2:45p.m.

Halfway Up the Mountain: Set, Setting and Cultural Considerations

Dr. Robert Strayhan

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Commemoration and Meditation for Juneteenth

 Shirley Strong, M.Ed.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

  

   

Sunday, June 20

9:30 – 11:15 a.m.

MAPS Part B Weekend 2

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Break

11:45 a.m.– 1:15 p.m.

Ecotherapy and the Ecopsychological Frame in Psychedelic Integration

Jan Edl Stein, MFT, Holos Institute
1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Conclusion and weekend closure

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

   

  

Friday, September 17

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Welcome

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Home Groups

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Break

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Guided Imagery

Mary Cosimano, LMSW, JHU

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

BREAK

3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Role-Play

Mary Cosimano, LMSW, JHU


4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Break

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Role-Play (cont.)

Mary Cosimano, LMSW, JHU

  

    
Saturday, September 18

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

The Role of Grof Holotropic Breathwork in the Training of Future Psychedelic Therapists

Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, Grof Legacy Training

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In Psychedelic Service: The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association Dr. Alex Cardenas,
Emma Knighton, MA,
Dr. Monnica Williams, and Solana Booth, BASc

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Structural Competency Workshop: Examining the Structural Determinants of Health

Shirley Strong, M.Ed., MA and Joshua Neff, MD

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Break

3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Structural Competency Workshop: Examining the Structural Determinants of Health (cont.)

Shirley Strong, M.Ed., MA and Joshua Neff, MD

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Break

5:00 – 5:45 p.m.

Home Groups

5:45 – 6:00 p.m.

Break

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Social Hour

    

     

Sunday, September 19

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

The Science of Drug Action for Psychedelic Therapists: Drug Metabolism and Drug Interactions

Dr. Nicholas V. Cozzi, UW-Madison

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Lunch Break

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Qualities of Inner Wisdom of the Psychedelic Therapist Dr. Janis Phelps, CIIS

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Home Groups

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Conclusion of the Weekend Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

        

     

Thursday, October 21

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Welcome and Check-In

Dr. Janis Phelps,
Dr. Laura Pustarfi, and CPTR Staff

2:45 – 4:30 p.m.

MAPS Training

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

All-Class Discussion

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

  

   

Friday, October 22

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Check In

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

9:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

MAPS Training

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN


4:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

5:25 – 5:30 p.m.

Break

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Special Guest Appearance:
A Conversation with Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS

  

   

Saturday, October 23

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Welcome and All Class Discussion

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

MAPS Training

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

  

   

Sunday, October 24

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Check-In and All-Class Discussion

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

MAPS Training

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

   

   

Monday, October 25

9:30 – 9:35 a.m.

Check-In and All-Class Discussion

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

9:40 – 10:45 a.m.

MAPS Training

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN


10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

All-Class Discussion

11:45 – 12:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

12:15 – 12:30 p.m.

Conclusion of the weekend

Dr. Janis Phelps,
Dr. Laura Pustarfi, and CPTR Staff

 

 

Friday, December 3

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome

Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Anne St. Goar, and CPTR Staff

9:45 – 10:45 p.m.

Ayahuasca Experiences from a Psychotherapeutic View

Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder, Nierika Institute

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ketamine: Paradigms of Treatment and Current Controversies

Dr. Raquel Bennett, KRIYA Institute

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Topical Home Group Discussion

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Break

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Topical Mentor Group Discussion

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

  

  

Saturday, December 4

9:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Perils and Pearls: Effective Settings

Karen Cooper, RN, and Dr. Dan Muller

11:15 – 11:45 p.m.

Break

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond

Dr. Natalie Metz, CIIS

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch break

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Mental Imagery Procedures in Psychedelic Therapy

Dr. William Richards, JHU

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Topical Small Group Discussion

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

   

  

Sunday, December 5

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Topical Group Discussion

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.


Break

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Psilocybin Therapy for Real World Suffering: Evaluating Palliative Care Data Through a Pragmatic Lens

Dr. Brian Anderson, UCSF

12:00 – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch Break

12:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Therapeutic Challenges of the Global Majority: Insights Through Lived Experience

Dr. Kwasi Adusei, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Psychedelic Society of Western New York

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Topical Small Group Discussion

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

Dr. Janis Phelps and CPTR Staff

All times in Pacific Time.


Click "More" to see full 2021 class descriptions and faculty bios.

Additional details for the fall 2021 trainings will be published as they are available. Please check back for updates. 

Friday, April 9

Opening Invocation

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.

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Findings and Implications of Psychedelic Research for Emotional Distress Associated with Dying or a Life-Threatening Illness
This lecture will review the history and implications of psychedelic-generated mystical experience research to relieve the psychological, existential, and spiritual distress associated with cancer or at the end of life. Following a 2011 study from UCLA and building upon pioneering research from over 50 years ago, NYU and Johns Hopkins University published findings from clinical trials in 2016 (Journal of Psychopharmacology) demonstrating the 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 deeply felt 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 care will be presented along with a discussion of the phenomenology of mystical experience drawn from both the world’s religious traditions and psychedelic experience. Implications for the scientific study of psychedelics and mystical experience for palliative and hospice care, enhanced psychological well-being, treatment of myriad mental health disorders, and a deeper understanding of the study of meaning and spirituality will be discussed.

Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine conducting FDA-approved clinical research with the psychedelic compound psilocybin since 2009. He was director of palliative care research and co-principal investigator on the landmark 2016 clinical trial and publication demonstrating a significant reduction in psychosocial distress from a single psilocybin session in persons with cancer. He is study director and lead session guide on the FDA-approved clinical trial evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. Dr. Bossis is a training supervisor of psychotherapy at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center and co-founder of the Bellevue Hospital Palliative Care Service. Dr. Bossis is on the faculty of The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA., and at the Art of Dying Institute in NYC.  He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and a guest editor (with Charles Grob, M.D.) for the journal’s Special Series on Psychedelics. He has a long-standing interest in comparative religion and mystical experience and on the interface of psychology and spirituality.  He maintains a private psychotherapy and consulting practice in NYC.

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Research on the Skills of Psychedelic Therapists
Optimal therapist skills and competencies can be culled from the dispersed psychedelic literature of the past 6 decades. There are six therapist skills from the extant literature: empathetic abiding presence; trust enhancement; transpersonal intelligence; knowledge of the physical and psychological effects of psychedelics; therapist self-awareness and ethical integrity; and proficiency in somatic, affective, and cognitive complementary techniques. A delineation of the 12 fundamental domains of study for the training and development of these therapist skills will be discussed.

 The CIIS training program is developed around these domains, based on decades of clinical research and the wisdom traditions that inform psychedelic therapies. These ideas will be woven throughout the training program. We will address the full range of varied interpretations of these therapeutic skills as taught by dozens of leaders in the field during our classes. Trainees will be inspired in this class to review their prior therapy and counseling training in light of the important subtle and obvious differences between psychedelic-assisted therapies and talk therapies/counseling. This class serves as an overview for what is to come in the entire training program.

Janis Phelps, PhD, is a leader in the field as the Director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. As the Center’s founder, Dr. Phelps developed and launched the first university accredited, post-graduate training program for psychedelic therapy and research. She has held the position of the Dean of Faculty of the six doctoral departments in the CIIS School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her 2018 journal publication, Developing Guidelines and Competencies for the Training of Psychedelic Therapists, describes best practices in the academic training of medical and mental health professionals in this field. These ideas are further developed in a 2019 chapter on “Training Psychedelic Therapists” in Advances in Psychedelic Medicine, edited by Michael Winkelman and Ben Sessa. Dr. Phelps is a board member of the Heffter Research Institute, which has conducted uniquely influential psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy research since the 1990’s. Janis has studied psychedelics for 50 years and shares her knowledge and clinical skill with an honoring of the lineages of her teachers in this field, as well as a deep love for the earth which is home to all healing plants. A licensed clinical psychologist, she is a key contributor to the creation of a national accreditation board for psychedelic therapists and to methods of scaling effective training programs to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained mental health and medical professionals in the field of psychedelic medicine. Dr. Phelps maintains a private clinical practice in Mill Valley, CA.

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Saturday, April 10

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.

Therapist Competencies II: Practical Matters in Session Guidance
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 structure of sessions during therapy with psilocybin.

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the “Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research” at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with psilocybin for the past two decades, a clinician at the Aquilino Cancer Center in Rockville MD 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.

Brian D. Richards, PsyD, completed a Master’s degree in Existential-Phenomenological Psychology at Duquesne University, a Psy.D. at the University of Denver, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, where he contributed to some of the original research administering psilocybin with cancer patients and healthy normal adults. Dr. Richards was formerly a Clinical Director with MedOptions, the largest behavioral health provider in the United States. He also provides diagnostic psychological testing at Oasis, an acute outpatient center in Maryland. Dr. Richards is a Lead Trainer and Mentor for Compass Pathways (a UK-based Life Sciences Company) and he also mentors students at CIIS. Dr. Richards is now working on clinical research protocols administering psilocybin for Treatment Resistant Depression at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, a Compass Center of Excellence. He is Lead Psychologist on an innovative simultaneous group administration psilocybin trial with Cancer patients at the Aquilino Cancer Center in Rockville, Maryland (also with Compass Pathways). It is the first purpose-built Psychedelic Medicine Clinic in the United States. Dr. Richards’ clinical and research interests include non-dual experience, accelerated self-actualization, brain science based approaches to health and wellness, and working with treatment refractory patients.

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Building Beloved Community: Addressing Structural Racism in Healthcare by Staying “Woke”
This class will be taught by Shirley Strong, M.Ed., She will discuss building a Beloved Community and addressing structural racism in healthcare. Structural racism, often referred to as structural competency, is the capacity for health professionals to recognize and respond to health and illness as the downstream effects of broad social, political, and economic structures. Factors include: food systems, zoning, infrastructure, immigration, and racism which are present in healthcare encounters. Clinicians, therapists, scholars, public health professionals, and educators can broaden their understanding of structural racism and microaggressions so as to more effectively treat individuals and the structural inequities that surround clinical relationships. Structural competency also offers ways to rethink the social and economic factors and interventions that impact health outcomes. After the presentation, an open discussion will focus on these concepts and what psychedelic therapists need to know about addressing these issues during clinical treatment.

Shirley Strong,
MEd, was CIIS Dean of Students for 8 years and Dean of Diversity for 5 of those 8 years. She recently retired from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland as Chief Diversity Officer. Shirley contributed to our CIIS community in improving the quality of student life as well increasing diversity and inclusivity. Her initiatives evolved the quality of our curriculum, public programs and performances, grants and sponsored projects, and community service.

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Panel on A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin film
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. Bill Richards and Brian Richards will conduct a panel discussion.

Please see above for Dr. Bill Richards’ and Dr. Brian Richards’ bio.

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Sunday, April 11

The Art of Guiding High-Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Reenactments and Discussion
This panel consists of Mary Cosimano MSW, Bill Richards PhD, and Brian Richards PsyD. They will discuss vignettes that they enacted and recorded, based on experiences they have witnessed as guides in psilocybin-assisted treatment sessions. These vignettes are composed of 29 different scenarios that illustrate managing fear, paranoia and other forms of distress, as well as joy and exaltation.  There is an emphasis on presence, empathy, and firm support when required.  During these Zoom sessions, we will view these scenes in small clusters and then discuss with one another and the panel members the issues, principles and techniques portrayed.

Mary Cosimano, LMSW, is currently with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the Director of Clinical Services for the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and has served as study guide and research coordinator for the psilocybin studies for 20 years. During that time, she has been a session guide, involved with all the psilocybin studies and has conducted over 450 study sessions. She has trained post doctorate 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 taught at California Institute to Integral Studies (CIIS) for their Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research program. 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.

Please see above for Dr. Bill Richards’ and Dr. Brian Richards’ bio.

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Indigenous Perspectives on Conserving Peyote Practices and Protecting American Indian Religious Freedom
This class will provide some foundational understanding on the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 which legally allow for use, possession, and transportation of Peyote by members of federally recognized tribes. Discussion on the pivotal court cases that granted protection for Peyote use within the Native American Church will also provide further context about the complex legal history surrounding Peyote use by Native Americans within the United States. Topics surrounding Peyote decline, threats, cultural appropriation, cultural misappropriation, and cultural sensitivity regarding traditional Indigenous practices will also be discussed as interest and use of Indigenous plant medicines are increasing. The class is designed to provide a historical background and insight from an Indigenous perspective while also offering ways in which individuals can exercise mindfulness, reverence, and consciousness of not only the practices of traditional Indigenous uses, but how to also be in respectful relationships with the plant medicines, and their traditional users.

Dawn D. Davis, MA, is a mother, a wife, co-editor of the Journal of Native Sciences, a founding member of Source Research Foundation, a Newe and a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. Dawn is a twice awarded National Science Foundation recipient as a fellow under the Integrated Graduate Education Research Traineeship and an Indigenous STEM scholar including research funding from the Pacific Northwest Alliance-Cosmos. Her previous research has focused on the cultural, environmental, and anthropogenic issues that surround the revered Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) cacti which is integral to her spiritual practice. Current research includes the use of GIS to model changes in Peyote habitat due to anthropogenic impacts and defining core and common boundaries across its range. Dawn has shared her research among Indigenous, academic, ethnobotanical, and psychedelic audiences nationally and internationally.

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Friday, May 14

The 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 will 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 assist our exploration. Participants will achieve an understanding of methods that can evoke integration of changing states of awareness and remembrance of the profound and sacred promise of life.

Please see above for Patricia James' bio. 

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Special Topics in the Neurobiology of Psychedelics
Following a brief synopsis of foundational concepts in molecular and cellular neurobiology, we will extend the discussion into recent basic and clinical science with psychedelic medicines. This includes detailed investigation of the molecular interactions between psychedelics and neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, investigations of neuroplasticity at the cellular level, and measurement of whole-brain activity with imaging technologies such as fMRI and MEG. Some of these studies are not so clear and straightforward in their interpretation as they often appear in the popular media surrounding them. We will compare and contrast what is understood about molecular mechanism in different kinds of psychedelic substances – ranging across classical psychedelics, MDMA, salvinorin, nitrous oxide, and ketamine, for example. We will continue the exploration of molecular structure by talking about the relevance of stereochemistry. And we will discuss some of the nuances of clinical efficacy, including the role of placebo effects – one of the more potent exemplars of mind-body connection.

David E. Presti, PhD, is a professor of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught for 30 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 and dialoguing about neuroscience with Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. He has been involved in shifting policy related to research and psychotherapy with psychedelics for 30 years. He has doctorates in biology from Caltech and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon.

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Ceremonial Use of Psychoactive Plants: A Brief History
This class offers an overview of the use of psychoactive plants, fungi, and cacti through time and across cultures, and focuses on their ceremonial utilization. We will review archaeological and anthropological evidence of plant use in different continents and time periods and explore the main common types, characteristics, and traditional functions of their ceremonial use across cultures. This class also discusses indigenous, mestizo, and religious ceremonial plant uses in the present times, particularly in the Americas; and addresses what is the relevance of the synergy of the cosmology, the social organization, and the ritual practice that characterizes the cultures and institutions that place these plants in a central position.

Susana Bustos, PhD (CIIS, 2008), MA in Clinical Psychology and in Music Therapy from Chilean universities, is adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies and other schools in the Bay Area and abroad. Susana also conducts independent research on entheogenic shamanic traditions of the Americas and holds a private practice in Berkeley, CA. Her teaching, research, and clinical work focus mainly on the healing potential of non- ordinary states of consciousness, their integration into ordinary life, and on the quest for adequately bridging Amerindian cosmologies and practices into the West. Susana has written articles and book contributions on the interphase of shamanic song and healing and on entheogenic integration, and she lectures internationally on these topics. She directed the Spiritual Emergence Network in the US between 2016 and 2020.

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The Art of Guiding High-Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Reenactments and Discussion (Continued from April)
This panel consists of Mary Cosimano, MSW, and Brian Richards, PsyD. They will discuss vignettes that they enacted and recorded, based on experiences they have witnessed as guides in psilocybin-assisted treatment sessions. These vignettes are composed of 29 different scenarios that illustrate managing fear, paranoia and other forms of distress, as well as joy and exaltation. There is an emphasis on presence, empathy, and firm support when required. During these Zoom sessions, we will view these scenes in small clusters and then discuss with one another and the panel members the issues, principles and techniques portrayed.

Please see above for Mary Cosimano's and Brian Richards' bio.

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Saturday, May 15

Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power
This talk will be 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 psychedelic 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).

Role-Play with Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Scenarios from the NYU Research
This beginner’s exercise offers an introductory 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 follows, then aftercare/debriefing. The witness watches everything and provides feedback at the end of the exercise. 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, as well as issues of working with diverse populations. This will be followed by small group discussions.

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.

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Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic
In this class, Mary Cosimano will present on compassion, connection, authenticity, play, and therapeutic competencies. She 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 these as deeply important to our work as psychedelic therapists and how they relate to therapeutic competencies. Mary will cover the primary therapeutic competencies necessary for guiding psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and discuss the competencies that are important for guiding psychedelic sessions with emphasis on presence, empathy and non-directive support. She will also cover the importance of establishing a safe set and setting in sessions with focus on safety issues (e.g., working with women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ clients), agreements, intentions and comfort. A question and answer period is planned as part of the presentation.

Please see above for Mary Cosimano’s bio.

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OPTIONAL PANEL

Certificate Graduate Panel: Their Current Work in the Field
We will be joined by several graduates from previous cohorts of the CPTR certificate program, who will share their experiences working with research organizations, businesses, and/or including integration work in their private practice.

Manish Agrawal, MD, is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. He graduated from Auburn University, College of Engineering and attended medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Georgetown University Medical Center, and his fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He attended the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research with the 2018 class. Dr. Agrawal currently serves as Co-Director of Clinical Research at the Aquilino Cancer Center in Maryland. He is developing a psychosocial oncology and palliative care program integrated with cancer care in this community setting. This program supports studies of psilocybin-assisted therapies to address psychological and existential distress in patients with cancer and their families. He is an active member in the following professional societies: American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, Montgomery County Medical Society, Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Yvan Beaussant, MD, MSc is a French-trained hematologist and palliative care physician. He holds a Master’s in medical ethics, completed a two-year research fellowship at Dana- Farber Cancer Institute and graduated in 2018 from the Certificate program in Psychedelic- Assisted Therapies and Research at CIIS, where he now serves as a mentor. Dr. Beaussant is faculty at Harvard Medical School and an instructor in the department of psychosocial oncology and palliative care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he develops and assess novel interventions addressing psychological and existential distress in patients with cancer and terminal illness. His team investigates the effects and applications of psychedelic-assisted therapies in this population through mixed-method trials, with the aim of developing novel evidence-based treatment regimens, refining safety and efficacy measurement, understanding mechanisms of action and implementing equitable treatment models. In 2021, they will be starting a feasibility study of psilocybin-assisted therapy to address demoralization in patients receiving hospice care. Dr. Beaussant’s work informs his vision that researching and integrating palliative and psychedelic medicines into our medical and societal models have the potential to improve serious illness care and to foster healing, growth and well-being in individuals and communities.

Dominique Morisano, PhD, CPsych, is a clinical psychologist, adjunct professor, and researcher living in Toronto, Canada (and originating from small town CT). Post CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research 2019, she joined Field Trip Health, a psychedelic-assisted therapy company, as their Chief Psychologist. She holds academic appointments at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Collaborator Scientist), University of Toronto (Adjunct Professor), and Erasmus University Rotterdam (Visiting Scholar), where she conducts research on personal goal-setting. She also runs a private practice in Toronto and New York focusing on trauma and addiction. She is a lead organizer of the upcoming conference “From Research to Reality: Global Summit on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Medicine” (in-person; Toronto; May 26-29, 2022), sponsored by three Canadian government-affiliated mental health organizations (CAMH, MHCC, CCSA). She is dedicated to JEDI and social justice and the study/use of psychedelic- assisted therapies for both personal growth and addressing human suffering. Her website is drmorisano.com.

Andrew Penn, MS, PMHNP is a UC San Francisco trained psychiatric nurse practitioner. He serves as an associate clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing and practices at the San Francisco VA where he works with NP residents and students. He is a 2017 graduate of CPTR and has worked as a study therapist on the MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted therapy protocol for PTSD and is currently a Co-Investigator on the Usona-sponsored study of psilocybin-facilitated therapy for depression. Along with three CPTR classmates, he co- founded the Organization of Psychedelic and Entheogenic Nurses (OPENurses.org) and has two papers in press on the role of nursing in psychedelics. Along with Charles Raison, MD, he is the co-chair of Sana Symposium, a national CME meeting on psychedelics. He can be found at andrewpennnp.com.

Tal Sharabi, LPC, (she, her, hers) is a somatically oriented psychotherapist and graduated from Regis University in Denver, Colorado with a master’s degree in counseling. She is a licensed professional counselor in the states of Colorado and Oregon, and a licensed addiction counselor in the state of Colorado. Tal worked in the field of mental health for seven years in different capacities both private practice and agency work. Currently, she supports clients in a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic in Portland, Oregon. Tal grew up in Israel and lived in Canada, Argentina and the United States, and her love of life keeps her motivated to seek adventures and explore both inner and outer.

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Sunday, May 16 

Trauma-Informed Relational-Somatic Foundations for Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
This class seeks to assist learners to develop a trauma-informed approach to psychedelic- assisted psychotherapy, as well as introducing foundational principles of relational-somatic therapy, and specific applicable skill sets within this phenomenological process-oriented approach. Through assigned readings, pre-recorded lectures and video demonstrations, learners will understand why and how this material can be applied across the arc of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, from preparation, psychedelic-assisted sessions, to integration. This class will serve as a high-level review of key material (completion of pre- readings and pre-recorded video materials is essential) with Q&A, as well as an opportunity for learners to practice skills they have seen demonstrated followed by reflecting on their experiences as a group.

Devon Christie,
MD, CCFP, RTC, is a family physician and certified Functional Medicine provider with a focused practice in chronic pain management and a clinical instructor with the UBC Department of Medicine. Devon is also a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and certified Relational Somatic Therapist, as well as a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and Kundalini Yoga teacher with over 20 years’ personal experience in cultivating mindfulness and yogic practices. Devon is also a trained MDMA therapist with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and has training and experience in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. Devon has also apprenticed with Dr. Gabor Maté over 3 intensive retreats, assisting in preparation and integration of participants’ plant medicine experiences. Devon currently serves as Medical Director with Numinus Wellness Inc. a Canadian publicly listed company. She is passionate about educating future psychedelic therapists in somatic trauma-informed skillsets and relational nuances within this context. Devon is devoted to helping people uncover the root causes that lead to illness, connect with the wisdom and innate healing intelligence of their body- mind, and become active participants in their own wellbeing.

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June 4-6; June 18-20

MAPS Part B Course Description
Part B 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. 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 June part of this course will be centered around watching videos 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 home group support.

These six classes (plus the role plays) constitute the first part of the MAPS Part B training. The second and longer portion of the MAPS Part B training will be completed at the fall retreat. Our students complete Part A of the training prior to June 20, 2021.

Michael Mithoefer, MD, is a psychiatrist living in Asheville, NC, who, for 25 years, has specialized in experiential therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is now Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, where he is a member of the Executive Team. He and his wife, Annie, completed the first MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for crime-related PTSD, a subsequent study with military veterans, firefighters and police officers, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA combined with Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD.  He has been Medical Monitor for a series of six Phase 2 trials in the US, Canada, Switzerland and Israel, which produced data that led to breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA. Since 2012, he and Annie have conducted training for research therapists and are now supervising therapists in ongoing.

MAPS Phase 3 clinical trials. He received his MD degree from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and completed residency trainings in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia and Psychiatry at MUSC. He is a certified Grof Holotropic Breathwork facilitator and is trained in Internal Family Systems Therapy and EMDR. He has been board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Affiliate Assistant Professor at MUSC.

Annie Mithoefer, BSN, is a registered nurse living in Asheville, NC. She has many years of experience treating people with PTSD in a private practice with her husband Michael and leading Holotropic Breathwork group workshops. She has worked as co-therapist in MAPS Clinical Trials. She and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, completed the first MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for crime-related PTSD, a subsequent study with military veterans, firefighters and police officers, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA combined with Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD.  She is now focusing on offering MDMA therapist trainings, and on supervising therapists in ongoing Phase 3 Clinical trials. She is a Grof certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy.

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Friday, June 4

Set and Setting in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies
The terms 'set' and 'setting' are widely used in the psychedelic literature and by practitioners as shorthand for an important set of variables that therapists can use in the service of psychedelic-assisted therapy. What are set and setting, and why do they matter? In this class, Dr. Tony Back will discuss protocols and considerations for set and setting in clinical models of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, including special considerations for clients who are of Asian descent.

Anthony Back, MD is a co-founder of VitalTalk, a national nonprofit that provides innovative, interactive clinician and faculty development courses to improve communication skills on an individual and institutional level. Dr. Back is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Back earned his MD at Harvard University. He is a triple-board certified in hospice and palliative medicine, medical oncology, and general internal medicine. In his role as a medical communication educator and a VitalTalk co-founder, Dr. Back was the principal investigator for Oncotalk, co-wrote Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients, released the first iPhone app for clinician communication skills, and authored the online communication skills curriculum offered by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

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Saturday, June 5

Destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy
Almost 50 years after prohibition, public impressions of psychedelics have been shaped by “Just Say No” and “Your Brain on Drugs.” Internalizing these messages triggers fear-inducing biases that prevent rationally understanding the possible personal and societal value of psychedelic medicines. Psychedelic therapists have an important role in communicating about and destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy. Nuanced explanation of the science and potential benefits, as well as the potential risks, is critical in garnering broader public acceptance. Watch his TEDx Talk - The Most Dangerous Four-Letter Word in prep for discussion in class.

Dick Simon is an entrepreneur, social enterprise philanthropist, and catalyst for change. After 9/11, he co-founded the Peace Action Network (PAN) of YPO, a network of over 29,000 CEOs in more than 135 countries, to convene top business leaders to address conflict resolution on local and global levels. Simon also created the kNOw THEM Initiative to raise awareness about THEM, the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language. He is Chair of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychedelic Research Center, founded and chairs the YPO Psychedelic Medicines for Mental Health Group and works with organizations pursuing FDA and EMA clinical trials of psychedelic medicines to treat mental health.  In addition, he is creating communities of young researchers and therapists working with these medicines, and projects to shift public perspective and reduce stigmatization related to this work.  www.dicksimon.com

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Sunday, June 5

Special Considerations for those in the LGBTQIA+ Community with Religious Trauma
In this short talk and discussion, Dr. Keith McCoy (he/him) and Emma Knighton (she/her) will share some of their own experiences participating in the 2019 CPTR program as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, including triggering aspects of select readings (including the assigned Grof text), lectures and ceremonies. One major theoretical framework for psychedelic psychotherapy is that these medicines, with safely held therapeutic support, amplify unresolved psychospiritual content, allowing participants to efficiently work through core fears and traumas, see their beliefs and behaviors in a new light, and move forward with a reduced burden of “illness” and increased wellness. Keith and Emma will review ways the LGBTQIA+ community has been oppressed by “corrective” tools of psychologically- and spiritually-oriented practitioners and how these tools are especially risky when combined with consciousness altering molecules; outline how practitioners can understand the risks for communities with psychospiritual trauma, with special consideration for the LGBTQ+ community; and, outline practical steps, including collaborative and trauma-informed approaches to obtaining consent, that can be taken to reduce the risk of harm from psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.

Keith McCoy, MD, is a psychiatrist living in Raleigh, NC and is a graduate of the CPTR 2019 cohort. He works with the State of North Carolina on public sector health policy for individuals with behavioral health conditions and developmental disabilities. He also works as a consultation liaison psychiatrist in an inpatient medical/surgical setting. When he is not sweating in the central NC humidity, you may find him traveling in the mountain west as often as he can.  

Emma Knighton, MA, is a somatic trauma therapist, psychedelic integration therapist, and embodied organizer. In her clinical work, she specializes in working with folks with complex PTSD from childhood abandonment, neglect, and sexual abuse. Emma’s approach is grounded in queer, consent, and feminist theories and she works from an anti-oppression lens. Through her work, Emma strives to serve the psychedelic medicine and the sacred ancestral wisdom passed down through generations of healers.

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Friday, June 18 

A Bottom-up, Community-Driven, Ecosystem Approach to Healing
Sizwe Andrews-Abakah and Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah will focus on honoring the messages of the entheogenic plants and fungi by creating systems of healing that not only serve vulnerable communities, but are actually built by leaders in these communities in collaboration with, and with the support and guidance of, subject matter experts from outside of the community. Our western model of healing seeks to treat acute physical or mental health symptoms, when often the source of illness is the poor health of the underlying socioeconomic and ecological systems. Slavery, colonialism, capitalism, and neo-colonialism have all relied on the extraction of resources from one group of people to benefit another group, with exploited groups and nations often defined and justified based on race, religion and class. Crises in our ecological and biospheric systems have caused grave concern even among those traditionally unaffected by crises in the social systems, and we’re nearing the critical mass needed for a monumental shift in paradigms from a scientific reductionist model to a more robust ecosystem approach to life, more in line with the fundamental inter-connected functioning of our planet and the universe. A summary of decriminalize nature movements will be given. Decriminalize Nature seeks to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi, which have been shown in numerous studies to override the default mode network, enabling a respite from self-destructive narratives, and to create a sense of oneness with others and with nature. If we are to utilize these healing plants to help heal humanity’s trauma, we can’t leave any groups of people behind, despite their place in the socioeconomic hierarchy. From the plants we learn what science and policy will eventually teach us: that long-term sustainability of humans on Earth will rely on widespread empathy and compassion toward all life.

Sizwe Andrews-Abakah is an Educator, Radical Healer and Mentor and has worked throughout the Bay Area. He has supported African American Wellness through the National Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Oakland Freedom School, Flourish Agenda's Camp Akili, Oakland Unified School District's Manhood Development Program, and Determination Black Men's Group at United Roots to name a few. He approaches the work with passion and insight. Sizwe believes that contentedness is our currency and building authentic intimacy is key in our relationships. The practice of being vulnerable with each other can helps us get to a place of transformation and liberation.

Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah, MPH, has worked for over 20 years as a community organizer and youth development professional. Her commitment to social justice has fueled her work as a crisis intervention specialist, health educator, curriculum writer, multi-modal workshop facilitator, community researcher, staff wellness coach, and School-Based Health Center Supervisor. Mizan is a certified Radical Healing Trainer and has a Masters Degree in Public Health.

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OPTIONAL

Coming Together as a Beloved Community
Building intentional communities is both an art and science. It involves using the analytical left brain to put together logistical details, plans, accommodating individual preferences and restrictions, sharing responsibilities and chores, organizing time. It also involves using the artistic right brain in creating safe, healing spaces, building a loving compassionate container that enables openness, vulnerability and trust, nurtures individual and group relationships, and provides support for its members, serving the highest purpose of making each group a “beloved community”. In this class, Dr. Rajanna will provide practical suggestions and advice for building community in your home groups and other gatherings throughout the certificate program and beyond.

Bhavya Rajanna, MD, is an Internal Medicine physician, practicing as a teaching hospitalist at Baystate Health in Massachusetts. She is a 2020 CPTR graduate, part of the first cohort to receive instruction online. She is the founder of Sapience, a psychedelic assisted psychotherapy organization. She successfully created and organized "Diamond Mind Trust", a beloved intentional community formed by several members of the cohort. She is working on several projects in the community with focus on normalizing the conversation with psychedelics.

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Saturday, June 19

Halfway Up the Mountain: Set, Setting and Cultural Considerations
This lecture is intended to acknowledge the gap in access to care that may arise within the context of the unfolding psychedelic renaissance. The potential for medicalizing and commercializing psychedelic assisted psychotherapy poses a serious risk of direct and indirect harm if clinicians approach psychedelic assisted psychotherapy along the lines of business as usual. In order to address this potentially adverse outcome, clinicians have a responsibility to recognize within themselves the barriers that a lack of empathy poses to individuals desiring to facilitate healing via psychedelic medicines both natural and manufactured. This sharing experience will result in an "uncomfortable empathy" which prompts actions to lay the foundations for genuine, compassionate change.

Robert Strayhan, MD, is a physician specializing in psychiatry. He has had a lifelong interest in cross-cultural and transpersonal psychiatry. He is a 2020 graduate of the CPTR program. He has completed the Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, as taught by Michael Harner, PhD. He is particularly interested in examining how the construct of race can influence the set and setting of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. He has personally benefited from the study of various meditation techniques and has been a practitioner of Systema (a Russian martial art), Tai Chi and Afro-centric martial arts.

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Commemoration and Meditation for Juneteenth

Please see above for Shirley Strong's bio.

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Sunday, June 20 

Ecotherapy and the Ecopsychological Frame in Psychedelic Integration
The field of ecopsychology offers us a framework for metabolizing deep psychic and spiritual experiences that expand consciousness beyond the realms of an ego-centric viewpoint to one of an eco-centric viewpoint. Ecopsychology aims to engender a sense of belonging and participation in an interconnected web of life. This class will offer an introduction to the principles of ecopsychology and how these principles might be held in deep psychedelic experiences. It will also offer a brief overview of ecotherapy (an applied practice of ecopsychology) as a wonderful tool in supporting the integration of these deep experiences. Enlisting the natural world as “co-therapist” we turn to the outer world of nature to mirror the inner world. Ecotherapy can offer integration of psychedelic experiences in a very embodied manner utilizing somatic, associative image and liminal state processes to deepen meaning and sustain the significance.  We will review a basic model for conducting ecotherapy sessions with some clinical examples of how to use this work specifically with the integration of psychedelic experiences.

Jan Edl Stein, MFT is a licensed psychotherapist. Jan is also the director of Holos Institute, (www.holosinstitute.net) an educational and counseling center grounded in principles of ecopsychology where she has developed a certificate program in ecopsychology and curates an annual ecopsychology conference. Jan leads workshops and retreats that interweave meditation, active imagining, and earth-based contemplations.  She has taught/presented at Sonoma State University, The Bioneers Conference, Esalen Institute, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and numerous private venues. For over 33 years she has maintained a private practice which includes consultation, individual and couples psychotherapy. Her depth psychology approach utilizes active imagination, liminal state explorations, ecotherapy, EMDR, Brainspotting, and somatic focusing as appropriate.  All of her work draws upon a lifelong study of spiritual traditions and healing practices of earth-based cultures and a deep love of the natural world.  More information at www.janedl.com.

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Friday, September 17

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Guided Imagery
In the follow-up class from May, Mary Cosimano will discuss the use of guided imagery in psychedelic-assisted therapy. She will specify when to use guided imagery, how to use it, and point out different types of guided imagery. Experiential learning and practice via guided imagery will to be used to incorporate the information and techniques discussed.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Role-Play
This an experiential class which will consist of 2 role plays followed by discussions and a question-and-answer period. The role plays will to be used to incorporate the information and techniques discussed in Mary’s prior class which focused on the role of preparation for optimal sessions, therapeutic competencies that are important for guiding psychedelic sessions, and the importance of touch and non-verbal expression.

Please see above for Mary Cosimano’s bio.

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Saturday, September 18

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 living in northern New Mexico. She has been a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training staff over the past three decades. Diane is currently a founding director of the Grof Legacy Project USA; adjunct faculty with the CIIS CPTR certificate program; and Director of the CIIS/ CPTR 2021 Mentoring Program.  In March / April 2017 she served on the staff for the MAPS PTSD / MDMA assisted therapy training program. Having completed the Grof’s first three-year training program, Diane has been involved in the field of transpersonal psychology and the international Holotropic Breathwork community since 1989.  In that capacity, she has taught and staffed training modules internationally including in China, Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, UK, South America, Mexico, and the United States.   

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In Psychedelic Service: The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association
During this panel discussion, members of the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) team will discuss their approach to psychedelic leadership, the challenges of community and legitimacy building in our current system, and the latest and greatest updates on this crucial and burgeoning association. The APPA’s mission is to support our community of practitioners, scientists, and lineage keepers of the psychedelic field towards the integration of psychedelic care for advancement of health care and humanity. The association does this through establishing standards, promoting advocacy, providing education, and building community. The APPA website is available here: www.thepsychedelicassociation.org.

Alex Cardenas, MD, MA, is practicing psychiatrist at several northern California community hospitals with a focus on severe mental illness and community health. He has a research background studying Schizophrenia as well as Social and Emotional Curriculum development and implementation. He studied Psychology at Yale, Medicine as well as Policy and Organizational Theory at Stanford, and was part of the first graduating class (2016) of the Psychedelic Assisted Therapy and Research Certificate at CIIS. Alex's practice draws from Contemporary Psychodynamic and Relational lineages in addition to biological paradigms. His interest in psychedelic assisted modalities focuses on preparation for expanded access through development of clinical skills and standards of care.

Emma Knighton, MA, is a somatic trauma therapist, psychedelic integration therapist, and embodied organizer. In her clinical work, she specializes in working with folks with complex PTSD from childhood abandonment, neglect, and sexual abuse. Emma’s approach is grounded in queer, consent, and feminist theories and she works from an anti-oppression lens. Through her work, Emma strives to serve the psychedelic medicine and the sacred ancestral wisdom passed down through generations of healers.

Monnica T. Williams, PhD, MA, is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Dr. Williams' research focuses on BIPOC mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the assessment of race-based trauma, unacceptable thoughts in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and interventions to reduce racism. This includes her work as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD for people of color. She also gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, CBS, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

Solana Booth, BASc, is enrolled into the Nooksack Nation of the Chief Dan George Family and Mohawk from Bay Quinte where the peacekeeper was born, White Owl House of the Wolf Clan. Her Paternal association is Tsymsyan of the Violet Booth Family, Raven Clan. She is a mother of nine and Grandmother of two baby girls. Her children are also members of the Tsymsyan, Tlingit, Haida, Pawnee, Nooksack, Mohawk of Bay Quinte, Lakota and Dakota Nations. Solana graduated with honors in the field of Early Childhood Special Education. Then was immersed as a bona fide perinatal, prenatal, post-natal psychology practitioner and lactation and birth-work educator. Naturally she’s a first foods advocate, somatic archeology and generational brain spotting practitioner. She currently is aspiring to open her own All-Relationship Recovery Center while soliciting legislation in her advocacy to Decriminalize Nature while finishing her Documentary, “Native American and Alaska Native Birth Stories”.

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Structural Competency Workshop: Examining the Structural Determinants of Health
Why are People Sick? Why do health disparities persist? How can we address them at their roots? This workshop goes beyond the common behavioral, cultural, and biological explanations of health disparities to examine the “upstream” social, political, and economic structures that produce and perpetuate modern social inequities. Topics to be discussed range from to structural racism to strategies for responding to harmful structures. 

Please see above for Shirley Strong's bio. 

Joshua Neff, MD, is currently a psychiatry resident at the University of California, San Francisco. After studying social anthropology in college and spending a few years working as a rafting guide and leading wilderness trips for teens, Josh attended the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. He completed medical school and a masters focused on medical anthropology. Over the last few years, he has spent his time developing “structural competency” curricula for health professionals. He currently lives by the beach, where he jumps in the ocean often and aspires to accept the fog.

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Sunday, September 19

The Science of Drug Action for Psychedelic Therapists: Drug Metabolism and Drug Interactions

This pharmacology sequence is an introduction to psychedelic drug metabolism and drug interactions. The presentation will explain the role of the liver and other organs and their associated enzymes in the biotransformation of psychedelic drugs after they are ingested, and the effects of such transformations on drug activity and excretion. Following this, drug-drug and drug-food interactions, and their potential effects on drug response and toxicity, will be discussed. Actions that can mitigate toxic responses will be presented. Together, these topics provide a basis for understanding how drugs are transformed in the body and precautions for administering drugs to certain populations. These understandings are essential for professionals to anticipate and avoid potential complications that could arise in psychedelic-assisted therapy. Upon completion of these topics, students will know the major drug metabolizing enzymes and the impact of metabolism on pharmacological activity and drug excretion. Students will also know the major factors that enhance or inhibit drug metabolism and excretion. In addition, students will understand the major types of drug interactions and will be able to give examples of each.

Nicholas Vito Cozzi, Ph.D. is a scientist and educator with background and training in pharmacology, chemistry, toxicology, and neuroscience. He holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and a B.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. Dr. Cozzi’s research involves the design, chemical synthesis, and pharmacological testing of substances with central nervous system activity, especially psychedelics, empathogens, antidepressants, and psychostimulants. He is interested in how these agents act in the brain to promote neuronal health, improve mood, enhance cognition, and increase awareness, and in their clinical value in treating addiction, depression, post-traumatic fear, neurological diseases, and other health ailments. Dr. Cozzi has published numerous articles and is internationally recognized for his work. As an educator, Dr. Cozzi taught pharmacology at East Carolina University and UW-Madison, and he is a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions around the United States. He has received several teaching and research awards, including a Distinguished Basic Science Teaching Award from the UW-Madison and a prestigious NARSAD Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for his work involving the serotonin uptake transporter. Dr. Cozzi's research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the UW-Madison, and private foundations. Outside academia, he serves as a scientific consultant for legal, pharmaceutical industry, and government clients. Dr. Cozzi is also Co-Founder, President, and Director of Pharmacology at the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute, a psychedelics discovery, development, and educational institute located in Lafayette, CA.

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Qualities of Inner Wisdom of the Psychedelic Therapist
Janis Phelps, PhD, will highlight several important aspects of presence, witnessing, and somatic awareness that typify a skilled psychedelic therapist’s toolbox. We will explore the nature of the therapist’s equivalent to an “optimal zone of arousal”. This class will be focused on the effective qualities that trainees would do well to cultivate within themselves for the rest of their lives. Among these skills are: a keen friendliness to the state of uncertainty; balanced and wide-ranging witness capacity; embodied concentration on the present moment; skill at continually purifying one’s capacity for compassion; an openness to new awareness that might be unsettling to one’s assumptions; a deepening somatic understanding of the flow of intelligence within the breath’s movement; and embracing the uncanny with welcoming curiosity. These qualities are the inner layer of the competencies and wisdom related to this therapeutic work. They reflect the embodied skills we seek to model for our clients in all psychedelic-assisted therapies.

Please see above for Janis Phelps' bio. 

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Thursday, October 21 to Monday, October 25

MAPS Part B Course Description - October 2021 San Francisco Cohort
Part B 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. 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 June part of this course will be centered around watching videos 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 home group support.

Six classes held in June 2021 constitute the first part of the MAPS Part B training. The second and longer portion of the MAPS Part B training (plus the role plays) will be completed during this fall retreat. Our students complete Part A of the training prior to June 20, 2021.

See above for Annie and Michael's bio.

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Friday, October 22

A Conversation with Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS Founder and Executive Director
Dr. Doblin will facilitate an evening conversation about what inspired him to found MAPS in 1986, the current state of MAPS drug development plan for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, the $50 million per year for three years (total $150 million) Bridge to Sustainability plan, the rise of for-profit psychedelic companies, and the future of psychedelic-assisted therapy. We will discuss the results from Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, the path to approvals by the FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the $12.9 million grant from the State of Michigan for a 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, and how the MAPS Zendo Project and harm reduction can help 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 have all left the nest.

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Friday, December 3

Ayahuasca Experiences from a Psychotherapeutic View
In this class we will review the different aspects of the Ayahuasca experience from a psychotherapeutic perspective, as well as strategies to support the preparation for such experiences and their integration into lasting life changes. We will also review mechanisms of change that have been identified in observational studies with participants who have attended ayahuasca ceremonies seeking healing from substance dependency and eating disorders. Findings from these studies will be complemented and reflected on in the light of experiential knowledge, that Anja has acquired in over two decades of training and collaboration with indigenous plant medicine practitioners. She will also offer case reviews from her clinical practice gained from accompanying integration of ayahuasca experiences and in-depth psychotherapeutic work. Finally, also the shadow side of the use ayahuasca and other psychedelics will be addressed reflecting on experiences from psychotherapeutic work with patients who have suffered trauma from inappropriate ayahuasca use, shedding light on the importance of ethical, experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, as well as well-structured and supportive contexts in this work.

Anja Loizaga-Velder, PhD, is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with humanistic orientation. Parallel to her psychotherapeutic practice Anja has been learning from and collaborating with indigenous healers specialized in the therapeutic use of sacred plants. She also has dedicated part of her professional life to the scientific research of therapeutic potentials of psychedelic plant medicines. She earned a doctoral degree in Medical Psychology from Heidelberg University through research dedicated to identifying therapeutic mechanisms of ayahuasca assisted treatment for mental health challenges and is actually coordinating the mental health section of a Mexican transdisciplinary research group on the therapeutic potentials of psilocybin mushrooms. She is founding member and director of research and clinical services at the Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine, in Mexico, a NGO dedicated to the preservation of indigenous traditions with sacred plant medicines and research around their therapeutic applications in the treatment of mental health challenges.

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Ketamine: Paradigms of Treatment and Current Controversies
Ketamine is a unique medicine with anesthetic, dissociative, and psychedelic properties. In recent years, ketamine has been appreciated for its rapid-acting anti-depressant, anti-obsessional, and anti-suicidal properties. There is a lot of confusion about how to use this tool. In this talk, Dr. Bennett will present three different paradigms for ketamine treatment in a legal context: biochemical/medical, relational/psychotherapeutic model, and shamanic/psychedelic. She will highlight the advantages and drawbacks for each approach. Next, she will talk about the clinical indications for legal ketamine treatment, including the established and investigational uses, according to the most current research literature. Finally, Dr. Bennett will discuss the legal status of ketamine with respect to the various regulatory agencies (DEA, FDA, State Boards). If there is time, Dr. Bennett will talk about some of the current controversies in this burgeoning field.

Raquel Bennett, Psy.D. is a psychologist and ketamine specialist from Berkeley, California. She primarily works with people who are living with severe depression, bipolar disorder, and/or suicidal ideation. Dr. Bennett is fascinated by the antidepressant and anti-obsessional properties of ketamine, and has been studying them since 2002. She also has a long-standing interest in the psychedelic and mystical properties of ketamine, and the potential for this medicine to be used for spiritual exploration in the context of psychotherapy. In addition, Dr. Bennett is the founder of KRIYA Institute and KRIYA Conference, which are both devoted to the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. She has given hundreds of lectures and trained thousands of clinicians worldwide on the use of ketamine in clinical settings. You can learn more about her work at: www.kriyainstitute.com.

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Saturday, December 4

Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and Psychedelic Therapies
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 a 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 racialized individuals and her research addressing the use of psychedelics to address trauma in 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 a board-certified, licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapies. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities, and Director of the Laboratory for Culture and Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, LLC in Tolland, Connecticut, and she has founded clinics in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. 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 previously served as principal investigator on a Phase 3 multisite trial for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She also gives trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations.  

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Perils and Pearls: Set and Setting
Dan Muller and Karen Cooper share perspectives from their psychedelic research experiences, including the introduction of models and concepts that may be useful when doing this work in the research setting, and provide helpful hints and anecdotes from high-dose psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapy work.

Karen Cooper, RN, BSN, MA, served as Guide-therapist from 2016-2021 for Phase 2 and 3 MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy therapy for PTSD studies. She 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 in Madison, WI from 2013-2016. She is currently Instructional Supervisor at the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at California Institute of Integral Studies. Karen’s Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education at John F. Kennedy University included a focus on transpersonal and somatic psychology; she’s a Licensed Massage Therapist and certified yoga teacher, with current practices of meditation, yoga, and Qigong for over 30 years. Her eclectic nursing background from prenatal and neonates to end-of-life hospice has supported her love for teaching, science, consciousness, psychology, psychedelics, and spirituality. Her outside interests include gardening, fiber arts, and exploring the natural beauty and outdoor activities near her home in Northern Colorado with husband Dan Muller. Karen’s on-going personal and professional development and perspectives related to inclusivity, differences, belonging, healing, and compassion are influenced by life experiences being female, bi-racial, and growing into elderhood. 

Daniel Muller, MD., PhD, currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, working as a clinical rheumatologist at University of Colorado Health. He was a lead guide, supervising physician, and consultant for the UW-Madison study of the pharmacokinetics of psilocybin from 2013-2016. Dan retired in 2016 from his appointment as a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, where he was on faculty for 25 years, and served as Director of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine course as well for over 10 years as faculty in the Healer’s Art Program. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Holistic Medicine. He previously did research on the effects of meditation on the immune response and served as a study proposal reviewer for the National Center for Integrative and Complementary Health (NIH). Dan has published over 40 articles in basic science immunology, is the author of several chapters on the role of integrative medicine in treating rheumatologic diseases and fibromyalgia, and was co-editor for the published book Integrative Rheumatology. See his well-cited publications here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel-Muller-4.  He has a personal practice of meditation since the 1970’s and earned his first-degree black belt in Shorin-Ryu karate in 1980. His self-care practices include meditation, road and mountain bicycling, spending time with his beautiful wife and co-teacher Karen Cooper.

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Sunday, December 5

Psilocybin Therapy for Real World Suffering: Evaluating Palliative Care Data Through a Pragmatic Lens
This class is focused on the application of psychedelic therapies for the treatment of psychological distress in patients with serious medical illness. The implications and limitations of currently available clinical data will be discussed. Lessons from recent and remote research on psychedelic-assisted group therapies will be presented against the background of the growing interest in eventually using group settings for administering psychedelics in clinical practice. Suggestions will be shared for the design of more pragmatically-oriented clinical studies, with particular consideration paid to generating data that will hopefully inform real world practice with psychedelic medicines in the (near) future.

Brian Anderson, MD, MSc, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UCSF Weill Institute for the Neurosciences, and he is an attending in the Psychiatric Emergency Services at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. His research has included both ethnographic studies of religious practitioners who use psychedelics in community settings, and clinical trials of psychedelic therapies. In 2018, he conducted a pilot study of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in older, long-term AIDS survivor men. And he is a co-founding member of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. Currently, his research focuses on the development of: 1) novel interventions to address psychological distress in patients with serious medical illness; and 2) training and safety standards for psychedelic guiding.

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Therapeutic Challenges of the Global Majority: Insights Through Lived Experience
Structural racism, culture of mistrust and stigma create significant barriers to mental health care for communities of color. This is without psychedelics. We are navigating a new terrain while we have not fully mastered the old. In doing so, we add layers of complexity to an already complex endeavor – treating the communities that need it the most. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner working with communities of high need, a benefactor of an alternative to incarceration, a patient of the mental health system, and a trainee of psychedelic harm reduction, Kwasi shares his experiences that highlight the challenges we face while offering insights and posing questions that support the kind of care we wish to provide.

Kwasi Adusei, DNP, PMHNP-BC is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and co-founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York, out of which he developed a local psychedelic harm reduction program. Kwasi is a trainee of the MAPS sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and was part of the first ever therapists of color cohort. He intends to bring this method of healing into underserved communities.

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Need to Contact Us?

CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Email: admincptr@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

We are an academic program, and we are not able to provide therapist referrals at this time.

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