Friday, March 13

1:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Welcome

Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Cathy Coleman, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Laura Pustarfi

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Orientation to Beloved Community

Shirley Strong, M.Ed.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Small Group Discussions

Faculty and Guests

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Break

 

2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

Overview of Program: Mission, Opportunities, Requirements and Competencies

Dr. Janis Phelps, Center Founder

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy

Dick Simon, YPO Psychedelic Group

4:30 - 4:45 p.m.

Break

 

4:45 – 6:15 p.m.

Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power

Dr. Jeffrey Guss, NYU

6:15 – 7:15 p.m.

Welcome Reception for New Students in

Desai | Matta Gallery

Everyone

7:15 - 8:30 p.m.

Film: A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

Pre- and Post-Discussion by Guest Teachers from JHU and NYU

 

Saturday, March 14

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art

Dr. William Richards, JHU

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Break

 

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

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

 Dr. Anthony Bossis, NYU

12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Lunch

 

1:45 – 4:15 p.m.

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

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Small Group Discussions

Faculty

5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Q & A on Program Requirements

Dr. Janis Phelps

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Dinner

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

How to Understand Effect of Trauma on the Next Generation:  Treatment Implications

Certificate program students will be joined by the public for this presentation

Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Bronx VA, NYU

 

Sunday, March 15

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

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

Dr. Anthony Bossis

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Practical Matters in Session Guidance

Dr. William Richards

12:00 - 12:15 p.m.

Break

 

12:15 - 1:00 p.m.

Weekend Closure and Small Group Discussions

Faculty

 

Friday, May 1

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Welcome and Home Group Discussions

Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Cathy Coleman, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Laura Pustarfi

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Break

 

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic

Mary Cosimano, MSW, Johns Hopkins University

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Break

 

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.

Panel on A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin Film

Dr. William Richards and Dr. Brian Richards, JHU

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Break

 

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Structural Competencies and the Underserved: Beloved Community in Action

Shirley Strong, M.Ed.

5:30 – 5:45 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Faculty

 

Saturday, May 2

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Non-Profit Development of Psilocybin for Major Depression: Why it Matters and a Bit About What It Takes

Dr. Charles Raison, UW Madison

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Break

 

11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration   

Patricia James, Medicine Woman

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

 

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Decriminalize Nature’s Oakland Community Healing Initiative—A Bottom-up, Community-Driven, Ecosystem Approach to Healing

Carlos Plazola, M.S., Decriminalize Nature Oakland; Sizwe Andrews-Abakah and Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah, MPH, Spearitwurx

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Break

 

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

 

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Conclusion of day

Faculty

4:40 – 6:00 p.m.

Happy Hour (OPTIONAL)

 

 

Sunday, May 3

9:00 – 10:45 a.m.

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

Mary Cosimano

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.

Break

 

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Psychedelic Political, Cultural, and Social History: From Recognition to Criminalization

Dr. Maria Mangini, CIIS

12:15 - 1:00 p.m.

Weekend Closure and Home Group Discussions

Faculty

 

June 20-21, June 27-28, and July 18

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. daily

Weekend Intensive: Therapist Guide Training

Completion of Part A, first half of Part B, and all of Part D of the MAPS Training

Michael Mithoefer, MD, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

 

Friday, September 18

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Welcome

Janis Phelps, Cathy Coleman, Maria Mangini, Laura Pustarfi

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Home Group Discussions

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Break

10:30 a.m. - Noon

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

Mary Cosimano, Bill Richards, and Brian Richards

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

Break

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

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

Mary Cosimano assisted by Janis Phelps

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Break

 

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma and Psychedelic Therapies

Monnica Williams, U. of Ottawa

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

Faculty

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Break

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Social Hour

 

Saturday, September 19

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness: The Legacy of Stanislav Grof, MD

Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, Grof Transpersonal Training

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Break

 

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

The Art of Guiding High-Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Reenactments and Discussion (cont.)

Mary Cosimano, Bill Richards and Brian Richards

12:45 - 1:15 p.m.

Break

 

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

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

Mary Cosimano assisted by Janis Phelps

2:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Break

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.

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

Keith McCoy, CPTR Grad 2019

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

 

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

Faculty

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Break

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Social Hour

 

Sunday, September 20

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides and Beyond

Natalie Metz, CIIS

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Qualities of Inner Wisdom of the Psychedelic Therapist

Janis Phelps

12:15 - 12:45 p.m.

Break

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Reports from Home Groups and Weekend Closure

Faculty

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Break

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Social Hour

 

Friday, November 6

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Welcome

Janis Phelps, Cathy Coleman, Maria Mangini, Laura Pustarfi

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Home Group Discussions

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Break

10:30 a.m. - Noon

The Bristol-Imperial MDMA-for-Alcoholism (BIMA) Study: The World's First Addictions Study Using MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Ben Sessa, MD, Imperial College

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

Break

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Cultural Sensitivity toward Indigenous Peyote Practices: The Need for the 1994 Amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act

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

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Break

 

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Ketamine: Paradigms of Treatment and Current Controversies

Raquel Bennett, PsyD, KRIYA Institute

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

Faculty

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Break

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Social Hour

 

Saturday, November 7

9:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Experiential and Interactive Learning: High-Dose Psilocybin-Assisted Sessions

Karen Cooper, RN, and Dan Muller, MD

11:15 - 11:45 a.m.

Break

 

11:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Experiential and Interactive Learning: High-Dose Psilocybin-Assisted Sessions (cont.)

Karen Cooper, RN, and Dan Muller, MD

1:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Break

 

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Mental Imagery Procedures in Psychedelic Therapy

William Richards, PhD, JHU

3:30 - 4:05 p.m.

Small Group Discussions

4:05 – 4:15 p.m.

Conclusion of the day

Faculty

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Break

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Social Hour

 

Sunday, November 8

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Panel on Healing in Diverse Communities

Bioethics and Interculturality: Temazcal for Postpartum and Puerperium

Lorena Herrera Mendoza, MA, Colegio de Bioética, Michoacan, Mexico

How Can the Role of Black Churches Inform Black Psychedelic Communities and Integration Circles?

Mary K. Sanders, MS, LCSW, 2019 CPTR graduate, EMPATH Center

Honoring African Traditional Religious Practices in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies with Black Clients

Courtney Watson, MS, MEd, MFT, 2019 CPTR graduate, Doorway Therapeutic Services

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.

Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ayahuasca Experiences from a Psychotherapeutic View

Anja Loizaga-Velder, PhD, Nierika Institute

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Break

1:00 – 1:35 p.m.

Home Group Discussions

1:35 – 2:00 p.m.

Reports from Home Groups and Weekend Closure

Faculty

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Break

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Social Hour

 

January 7-10, 2021

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. daily

Weekend Intensive: Therapist Guide Training

Completion of second half of Part B of the MAPS Training

Michael Mithoefer, MD, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN

All times in Pacific Time.


Click "More" to see full 2020 class descriptions and faculty bios.

Additional details for the fall 2020 trainings will be published as they are available. Please check back for updates. 

Friday, March 13

Orientation to Beloved Community
We are pleased to have our very first presenter of the year be Shirley Strong, M. Ed., former Dean of Diversity at CIIS. This presentation will be a review of the values and guidelines for creating a community that honors the need for each member to thrive and feel safe. Shirley is a mentor and teacher in the certificate program who was devoted to making change at CIIS for the benefit of the diverse groups of students and faculty here at the university. The principals that form the ideal of beloved community as defined by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. include: the interrelatedness of all things; the solidarity of the human family; the equal moral status of the individual and the community; the realization that each of us lives eternally “in the red” (that is, benefiting from the contributions of others). We are honored to have Shirley with us and we look forward to creating our own beloved community as part of this 2020 cohort.

Shirley Strong, M.Ed., was CIIS Dean of Students for 3 years and then the Dean of Diversity for another 5 years. She is currently Executive Director of Diversity at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. Shirley contributed to our CIIS community in improving the quality of student life as well increasing diversity and pluralism. Her initiatives evolved the quality of our curriculum, public programs and performances, grants and sponsored projects, and community service.

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Overview of Program: Mission, Opportunities, Requirements and Competencies
Founder of the certificate program in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research and clinical psychologist, Dr. Janis Phelps will give a brief history of the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the training program. She will describe the relationships that we have with all the research organizations in the U.S. A review of the CIIS training program's format will be followed by a discussion of the psychotherapist competencies that graduates of the training will demonstrate: 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 complementary techniques. A delineation of the 12 fundamental domains of study for the training and development of these therapist competencies will be discussed.  

Janis Phelps, PhD, is a leader in the field of psychedelic therapy training as the Director of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. Dr. Phelps developed and launched the first academically accredited, professional training program for psychedelic therapy and research. Her current publication on training therapists is in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology: “Developing Guidelines and Competencies for the Training of Psychedelic Therapists”. She has written a chapter on the topic in the 2019 textbook by Michael Winkelman and Ben Sessa, editors, Advances in Psychedelic Medicine: State-of-the-Art Therapeutic Applications. Dr. Phelps served as the Academic Dean at CIIS for the graduate departments in the school of social sciences and humanities. She has held U.S. university professorships master's and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, east-west psychology, and counseling psychology for 30 years. Janis has invested over 40 years researching the viability and global beneficial uses of psychedelic medicines for healing, enhanced well-being, and clinical applications. She teaches graduate courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, mindfulness, Buddhism, and psychotherapy. She serves on the board of the Holos Institute and maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, CA. as a clinical psychologist.

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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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Mad 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).

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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A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin
A New Understanding explores the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences. The documentary explores the confluence of science and spirituality in the first psychedelic research studies with terminally ill patients since the 1970s.

Through the eyes of patients, their loved ones, therapists and researchers, A New Understanding examines the use of psilocybin in a controlled setting to reduce psychospiritual anxiety, depression, and physical pain. The treatment aims to help the patient understand that a 'good' death is possible, and to help the patient's family deal well with the dying process. Tony Bossis, Bill Richards, and Jeff Guss will conduct a panel discussion, moderated by Janis Phelps.  

Saturday, March 14

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

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the “Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research” at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 19 years, and a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.

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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 from psychedelic-generated mystical experience research to relieve the psychological, existential, and spiritual distress associated with cancer or at the end of life. Building upon research from over 50 years ago, NYU and Johns Hopkins University published findings from clinical trials in 2016 ( Journal of Psychopharmacology) demonstrating efficacy of a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in helping individuals with cancer cultivate meaning, enhance existential and psycho-spiritual well-being, and foster a greater acceptance of the dying process with less anxiety. The landmark findings of a rapid decrease in depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and demoralization along with improvements in spiritual well-being will be presented. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, awe, ineffability, and an enhanced awareness of positive emotions including that of love. The psilocybin-generated mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death. A review of existential and psychological distress in palliative 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 include the alleviation of end-of-life emotional distress, enhanced psychological well-being, treatment of myriad mental health disorders, and a deeper understanding for the study of meaning and spirituality.

Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. conducts FDA-approved clinical research with the psychedelic compound psilocybin at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Bossis was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and session guide on the 2016 psilocybin-cancer clinical trial and is lead investigator on a study evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. He is a training supervisor of psychotherapy at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center and co-founder and former co-director of the Bellevue Hospital Palliative Care Service. He is editor (along with Charles Grob, MD) of a special series on psychedelics for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Dr. Bossis is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.

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Role-Play with Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Scenarios from the NYU Research
This beginner’s exercise, lasting about 2.5 hours, including 45 minutes of discussion, 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 of about 20 follows, then aftercare/debriefing. The witness watches everything and provides feedback at the end of the exercise, and when all reconvene, there will be a group discussion of the experience, focusing on the personal values and qualities we each hope to bring to this work. This will be followed by small group discussions.

Please see above for Dr. Guss’s bio.

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How to Understand Effect of Trauma on the Next Generation: Treatment Implications 
There has been much interest in understanding whether and how the effects of trauma are passed down to the next and subsequent generations.   Epigenetic research has provided models for how such effects might be transmitted in animal models and there has been great speculation regarding whether and to what extent such mechanisms can be applied towards understanding some of the enduring effects of trauma in offspring of survivors.  This presentation will focus on the consequences of parental trauma and will examine the question of whether such effects are biologically ‘transmitted.’  Most of the research has been conducted on adult children of Holocaust survivors but is supported by observations in children born to pregnant women who survived the world trade center attack on 9/11.  Findings demonstrating epigenetic marks associated with parental trauma effects of PTSD will be reviewed and discussed in the context of whether they represent generational “damage” resulting from adversity or indicate attempts to adapt to environmental challenge to achieve resilience.  In any event, the application of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to the process of exploration of intergenerational effects will be considered.

Certificate program students will be joined by the public for this presentation

Rachel Yehuda, PhD. is a Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry, and Professor of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also the Mental Health Patient Care Center Director at the Bronx Veterans Affairs, which includes the PTSD clinical research program and the Neurochemistry and Neuroendocrinology laboratory at Mount Sinai and the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Yehuda is a recognized leader in the field of traumatic stress studies. She has authored more than 450 published papers, chapters, and books in the field of traumatic stress and the neurobiology of PTSD.  Her current interests include PTSD treatment innovation, PTSD prevention, the study of risk and resilience factors, psychological and biological predictors of treatment response in PTSD, genetic and epigenetic studies of PTSD and the intergenerational transmission of trauma and PTSD. She has an active federally-funded clinical and research program that welcomes local and international students and clinicians.

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Sunday, March 15

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.

Please see above for Dr. Richards’s bio.

Friday, May 1

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 in two related classes. In this first didactic class, Mary will discuss her personal belief about love as our true authentic nature and as one of the main outcomes of the psilocybin studies. She will also talk about her view around the value of play and fun, and then share why she regards 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. We will discuss the competencies that are important for guiding psychedelic sessions with emphasis on presence, empathy and non-directive support. An outline will be presented on the role of preparation for optimal sessions including the logistics of the session day as well as how to prepare for high and low dose psychedelic sessions. Of special focus will be safety issues and support skills focusing on set and setting of sessions: an examination of safety, agreements, intentions and comfort, as well as the role of touch and non-verbal expression. A question and answer period is planned as part of the presentations.

Mary Cosimano, MSW, 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 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.

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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, moderated by Janis Phelps.

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the “Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research” at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 19 years, and a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.

Brian Richards, PsyD, completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, where he contributed to and co-authored some of the original research administering psilocybin with cancer patients.  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 treatment center in Maryland. Dr. Richards is now working on clinical research protocols administering psilocybin for Treatment Resistant Depression at Sheppard Pratt Hospital (with COMPASS Pathways), and will soon be initiating a psilocybin study to help Cancer patients at the Aquilino Cancer Center. This cutting-edge, purpose-built clinic will be the first of its kind in the world, and, in addition to clinical trials, will provide a host of resources and support for both patients and staff.  The Aquilino Center for Healing may serve as a prototype for future clinics nationwide. 

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Structural Competencies and the Underserved: Beloved Community in Action
This class will be taught by Shirley Strong, Med, who will discuss structural competency in light of psychedelic-assisted therapy and further our discussion of beloved community, which Shirley began in March. 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 including food systems, zoning, infrastructure, and racism are present in healthcare encounters. Clinicians, therapists, scholars, public health professionals, and educators can broaden their understanding of race and culture 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 that impact health outcomes. After their 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 3 years and then the Dean of Diversity for another 5 years. She is currently Executive Director of Diversity at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. Shirley contributed to our CIIS community in improving the quality of student life as well increasing diversity and pluralism. Her initiatives evolved the quality of our curriculum, public programs and performances, grants and sponsored projects, and community service.  

Saturday, May 2

Non-Profit Development of Psilocybin for Major Depression: Why it Matters and a Bit About What It Takes
This talk will address two interconnected topics: 1) the potential importance of developing a novel antidepressant on a non-profit basis; and 2) the type of study that is required to obtain FDA approval should results be positive. In terms of the topic of importance, I will provide a high level overview of the strengths and shortcomings of current medication-based treatments for depression, highlighting the challenges these agents pose when they—in fact—do work for a patient, focusing on the interrelated topics of oppositional tolerance and tardive dysphoria. Following this we will discuss unique aspects of likely psilocybin delivery protocols (should the drug be FDA approved) that make it an especially attractive target for development on a not-for-profit basis. For a number of reasons, psilocybin turns out to be a challenging molecule to investigate using the type of study design that is standard for big pharma drug development and required by the FDA to gain their approval. In the remainder of this talk, we will examine how the Usona Phase 2 study design addresses these challenges, albeit imperfectly. My hope for this talk is that attendees will come away with an enhanced empathic understanding of what those of us who are working for FDA approval for psilocybin are up against and why we are doing things the way we are. The remainder of this talk will focus on the protocol design of the about-to-launch Usona Institute Phase 2 study of single dose psilocybin for major depressive disorder.

Charles Raison, MD, is the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. Dr. Raison also serves as Director of Clinical and Translational Research for Usona Institute and as Director of Research on Spiritual Health for Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Dr. Raison has served as mental health expert for CNN.com for many years. Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioral effects of compassion training. More recently, Dr. Raison has taken a leadership role in the development of psychedelic medicines as potential treatments for major depression. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Raison received the Raymond Pearl Memorial Award from the Human Biology Association “in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biocultural origins of mental health and illness.” With Vladimir Maletic he is author of “The New Mind-Body Science of Depression” published by W.W. Norton in 2017. Dr. Raison serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration  
"When the Wisdom of the Sky and the Wisdom of the Earth are braided through the human heart, then there will be a rainbow of people." This prophecy of Indigenous Peoples speaks to the practice of braiding traditional and contemporary insights, creating something entirely new that embraces both rather than replacing one or the other. This experiential workshop with explore the use of ancient modalities (drumming, guided journeys, breath, mudras, etc.) and our growing knowledge from today's science and research to access and ground non-ordinary states. Discussion will include breakthroughs, how to make insights sustainable, and methods of taking action to bring about change. The group's experiences and questions will guide our exploration. Participants will achieve a deeper understanding of methods that can evoke integration of changing states of awareness and remembrance of the profound and sacred promise of life.

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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Decriminalize Nature’s Oakland Community Healing Initiative—A Bottom-up, Community-Driven, Ecosystem Approach to Healing
Carlos Plazola & guests Sizwe Andrews-Abakah and Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah will focus on interesting developments in decriminalize nature movements, particularly in Oakland, CA. 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. Decriminalize Nature (DN) seeks to end the human war against nature, and by extension, the war against ourselves as part of the nature. In many ways, DN is as much a spiritual movement (seeking to put humans back into the garden as participants in the planetary ecosystem) as it is a humanistic healing approach to relieving trauma. DN 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. Decriminalize Nature’s Oakland Community Healing Initiative (OCHI) seeks to honor the messages of the entheogenic plants and fungi by creating systems of healing that not only serve these 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.

Carlos Plazola, M.S.,cofounder of Decriminalize Nature Oakland,became confounded by the concept of the infinite and the end-of-life after learning about the death of a loved one at an early age. This obsession with understanding the existential questions carried him through various forms of childhood trauma. Based on his desire to understand the nature of life, he self-funded his way through college, working long hours, while also attending UCLA where he received a BS degree in Biology and Anthropology. Seeking further inner-growth, he lived with the Achuar of Ecuador for several months where he saw first-hand the destruction of the rainforest and impact on ancient traditions. He then obtained a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Yale University. Upon the passing of his mother in 2013, he realized that the healing from his childhood trauma was not complete despite years of effort, and he immersed himself in seeking greater understanding by studying physics and participating in yoga and meditation. While these were helpful in bringing him to “the void” or the absence of anything, they failed to reveal the answers he sought. He then engaged in two powerful and transformative journeys using psilocybin mushrooms and Ayahuasca. These journeys enabled the spiritual connections he had sought since youth and awakened a deep connection to the sacred which he is still exploring. Due to the power of this experience, he has become an advocate for the decriminalization of entheogenic plants and fungi in a just and equitable way, ensuring they become accessible to all communities, especially to low-income communities which experience the highest levels of life-inhibiting trauma. In February, 2020, Decriminalize Nature launched the Oakland Community Healing Initiative.

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.

Sunday, May 3

Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Guided Imagery and Integration
In the follow-up class from Friday, Mary Cosimano will address integration practices and goals by exploring the steps, purposes, and optimal outcomes of integration. Through discussion, demonstration, and guided imagery with simulations based on actual psilocybin guide and study participant experiences, Mary will offer a powerful approach to allow students to personally experience and explore the roles of guide (therapist and co-therapist) and study participant in a non-threatening, supportive setting. Experiential learning and practice via guided imagery will to be used to incorporate the demonstrations, information and techniques discussed. Dyad or small group sessions will provide an opportunity for debriefing, reflection, feedback, and to increase compassion and trust for themselves, each other, and the recommended therapeutic approach. Trainees will deepen their understanding of how to further develop their skill levels in these essential areas of psychedelic-assisted therapy. A question and answer period is planned as part of the presentations. Each student will discover the strengths and limitations of their personal styles, cultivate their self-awareness and capacity for being a healing presence. Lecture periods will include skills to support mystical, spiritual, painful, blissful, disruptive, or quiet experiences of study participants. Students will be encouraged to discuss their experiences with death, loss, surrendering the ego and expectations, and how that might affect them and their future work in the field of psychedelic research and therapy.

Please see above for Mary Cosimano’s bio.

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Psychedelic Political, Cultural, and Social History: From Recognition to Criminalization
This lecture will discuss the early European and North American investigation of psychoactive plants and LSD. Myths, misconceptions, and fallacies about psychedelics will also be explored, with particular emphasis on LSD before criminalization. The lecture begins with an assessment of historic European attitudes and approaches to psychoactive substances. The development and history of the Native American Church and the use of peyote will be explained. Discussed at length will be the development and early therapeutic use of LSD from 1943, when Albert Hoffman synthesized the medicine, to 1970, especially incorporating an analysis and critique of risks, persistent myths, and misconceptions. Other aspects of the political and cultural landscape of psychedelic drugs over the last 60 years will be analyzed. After the presentation, there will be time for discussion and questions.

Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife since 1985. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. She completed her doctorate in Community Health Nursing at UCSF, where her research centered on drug use and drug policy. She is an Emerita professor of nursing at Holy Names University  in Oakland, where  she was the director of the MSN/FNP program for 20 years. Her current project is the development of a Thanatology program for the study of death and dying.

Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21; Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28; and July 18

MAPS Part B & D 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/July 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 five classes (plus the role plays) constitute the first part of the MAPS Part B and D training. The second and longer portion of the MAPS Part B training will be completed in January 2021. Our students complete Part A of the training prior to the June 20, 2020.  

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, comleted 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.

Friday, September 18

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

This panel consists of Bill Richards PhD, Brian Richards PsyD, and Mary Cosimano MSW. 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.

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the “Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research” at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 19 years, and a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.

Brian Richards, PsyD, completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, where he contributed to and co-authored some of the original research administering psilocybin with cancer patients. 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 treatment center in Maryland. Dr. Richards is now working on clinical research protocols administering psilocybin for Treatment Resistant Depression at Sheppard Pratt Hospital (with COMPASS Pathways) and will soon be initiating a psilocybin study to help Cancer patients at the Aquilino Cancer Center. This cutting-edge, purpose-built clinic will be the first of its kind in the world, and, in addition to clinical trials, will provide a host of resources and support for both patients and staff. The Aquilino Center for Healing may serve as a prototype for future clinics nationwide.

Mary Cosimano, MSW, 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 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.

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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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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.

Saturday, September 19

The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness: The Legacy of Stanislav Grof, MD

Stanislav Grof, MD, Ph.D., is a living legend. “There is probably no one alive today who possesses as broad and profound a practical knowledge of the processes of deep psychological transformation and non- ordinary states of consciousness as does Stanislav Grof (Richard Tarnas, Ph.D in his forward to Grof’s encyclopedic The Way of the Psychonaut). Grof’s pioneering work in the field of psychedelic psychotherapy is foundational. Diane’s presentation on The Legacy of Stanislav Grof will include an introduction to Grof’s early research and clinical work with LSD; Grof’s ‘holotropic’ perspective; his seminal contribution in relation to the importance of set and setting; the development of Grof’s ‘cartography’ of the psyche; the concept of Spiritual Emergency; and the development of holotropic breathwork, a powerful tool for self- exploration that involves the use of enhanced breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork, art, and group process.

Diane Haug, M.A., LPCC is a licensed therapist and senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training staff. Her background includes a decade of working with adults and children dealing with life-threatening and terminal illness. Since completing the Grof’s first three-year training program in the 1980’s, Diane has been involved with the international Holotropic Breathwork community offering training events in South America, China, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, Slovenia and Mexico. She has developed and co-taught GTT training modules including Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom; The Art of Integration; Living with Dying; The World Within: Jung’s Red Book; and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research (San Francisco, CA), Southwestern College (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the Academy for the Love of Learning (Santa Fe, New Mexico). She also served on the staff for the MAPS MDMA-Assisted PTSD Therapy Training Programs in March / April 2017. Diane, who lives and maintains a small private practice outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently working with Stan and Brigitte Grof on the creation of Grof Legacy Training US – with plans to launch in 2021.

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

In this short talk and discussion, Dr. Keith McCoy (he/him) will share some of his 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 clarity and a reduced burden of “illness”. Keith 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. This talk will outline how practitioners can understand the risks for communities with psychospiritual trauma and some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of harm.

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.

Sunday, September 20

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

Psychedelic therapy offers a unique and powerful vehicle for the exploration of consciousness, and while many experiences generate insight and healing, some can be quite challenging to the physical body, as well as have profound impact in the mental, emotional, spiritual, and other realms of being. The beneficial potential of these experiences may be optimized with intentional attention to parameters such as set and setting, quality and dosage of chosen medicine, working with an experienced guide, and proper preparation, integration, and support from natural medicine and holistic healthcare practices. The holistic paradigm assumes the integration of body, mind, and spirit, and seeks to encourage balance between all aspects of one's being. Working with a holistic healthcare provider and accessing support through nutrition, supplements, herbs, sound healing, and more can help to optimize the psychedelic experience for journeyers, guides, and beyond.

Natalie Metz, ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, herbalist, and core faculty member in the Integrative Health Studies department at CIIS. She has a private practice in Oakland and Santa Fe where she assists patients in their wellness with the support of plant medicine, diet and lifestyle counseling, and the integration of beyond-ordinary life experiences. She is a lifelong student of dance, a lover of art, travel, and all things purple, and enjoys sharing her passion for life with the world. Please visit www.drnataliemetz.com.

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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.

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 highly influential psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy research since the 1990’s. 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.

Friday, November 6

The Bristol-Imperial MDMA-for-Alcoholism (BIMA) Study: The World's First Addictions Study using MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
In this class, Dr. Ben Sessa will describe the rationale and the set-up of the BIMA study, which was held in the UK between 2016 and 2020. Taking a psychological developmental perspective, Dr. Sessa will describe the links between adult mental disorders and addictions and the close links between childhood adversity and abuse and adult pathology. He will further describe the methodology and results of the study and reflect upon how MDMA Psychotherapy can be broadened beyond treating only PTSD. And finally, Ben will discuss in more general terms the rising Psychedelic Renaissance and the future role for MDMA and psychedelics in treating a wide range of mental disorders.

Ben Sessa, MD, is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist who has worked with young people and adults in the field of addictions and trauma-related psychiatry for over 20 years. For the last 15 years Ben has been at the forefront of psychedelic research in the UK through his affiliations with Bristol University and Imperial College London, under the auspices of Professor David Nutt. He has taken part as a study doctor and as a healthy subject both receiving and / or administering MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, DMT and ketamine in multiple UK research studies. He runs one of the first UK-based medical cannabis prescribing clinics. Ben is the Chief Medical Officer at AWAKN Life Sciences, a new start-up company opening Europe's first psychedelic medical clinic, which will be providing psychedelic therapies, therapist training courses, and conducting independent research. Ben is the co-founder and former president of Europe's largest psychedelic conference, Breaking Convention.

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Cultural Sensitivity Toward Indigenous Peyote Practices: The Need for the 1994 Amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act
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.

Ketamine: Paradigms of Treatment and Current Controversies

Ketamine is 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 and disagreement 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-suicidal 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. Dr. Bennett is the founder of KRIYA Institute and KRIYA Conference, which are both devoted to the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. You can learn more about her work at: www.kriyainstitute.com

Saturday, November 7

Experiential and Interactive Learning: High-Dose Psilocybin-Assisted Sessions

Dan Muller and Karen Cooper offer a powerful approach to allow students to personally experience and explore the roles of guide (therapist and co-therapist) and study participant in a non-threatening, supportive learning environment. Student participation and interaction will be central to the day. Through role play with real-time music and eyeshades and simulations based on actual psilocybin guide and study participant experiences, each student will be provided challenging opportunities to practice realistic skills that they might use in a psychedelic-assisted therapeutic setting. Small group sessions will provide an opportunity for debriefing, reflection, feedback, integration, and to increase compassion and trust for themselves and each other. Students are encouraged to speak with each other beyond the classroom about their experiences and the potential effects on themselves and their clients/study participants in their future work in the field of research and therapy with psychedelics.

Karen Cooper, RN, BSN, MA, has been a Sub-investigator in Therapy Pair and Project Manager at the MAPS Fort Collins site since 2016. 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 enjoys serving as mentor, guest faculty, and in other roles for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research program at California Institute of Integral Studies and helped to launch their inaugural program. Karen’s Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education at John F. Kennedy University included a focus on transpersonal and somatic psychology. She is a Licensed Bodyworker and Massage Therapist and certified yoga teacher, with current practices of meditation and Tai Chi. She offers consultation, mentoring, and coaching to those curious about guiding in the research setting or finding meaning from psychedelic and alternate reality experiences. An 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.

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 as 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. 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, and writing his heretical blog: http://enlightenedmdphd.blogspot.com/2013/02/introduction-and-confessions.html

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Mental Imagery Procedures in Psychedelic Therapy

This presentation will explore ways of understanding and working constructively with spontaneously- evoked mental imagery during preparatory, substance-assisted and integrative sessions during psychedelic psychotherapy, through lecture and video examples. Though eclectic, it will focus on the system of Guided Affective Imagery (GAI) developed by Hanscarl Leuner.

William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the “Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research” at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 19 years, and a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.

Sunday, November 8
Panel on Healing in Diverse Communities

Bioethics and Interculturality: Temazcal for Postpartum and Puerperium

Bioethics is important to individual and collective health care, life in all its expressions, and the preservation of the planet itself. Providing health care and promoting dignified spaces is essential for pregnant, parturient, or puerperal women. Bioethics attempts to address high standards of care as well as obstetric violence that unfortunately continues today and which is the cause of a prevalence of maternal deaths, mainly in vulnerable populations including indigenous women. The low heat sweat lodge called Temazcal has been widely revered in Mexico and elsewhere for healing. The dignity and autonomy of pregnant, parturient, and puerperal women are eminently expressed through their right to receive treatment and care and the right to make autonomous decisions. Since ancient times, the Temazcal has been used during the postpartum period because it allows for acceleration of the healing of the uterus and helps the flow of breast milk. The Temazcal has been used and continues to be used for the benefits of the body for everyone who participates but is especially valued as a preventive and curative measure during pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium.

Lorena Herrera Mendoza, MA in Family Therapy and Bioethics, has a graduate degree in clinical psychology as well as a diploma in Systemic Family Orientation, diploma in Ethics and Bioethics in the Quality of Health Care, diploma in Strategic Ericksonian Hypnosis and a Masters in Systemic Family Therapy. She is currently studying for an International Diploma in Political, Historical and Communal Indigenous P’urepecha training. As a member of the State Bioethics Commission, she coordinated the Diploma in Ethics and Bioethics in the Quality of HealthCare and has presented at conferences for health personnel. She also coordinated the state committee for the evaluation of maternal death in Michoacán. She has 10 years of experience in the field of individual, family, and group institutional and private psychotherapy. She is also a faculty member of the College of Bioethics in Michoacán.

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How can the Role of Black Churches Inform Black Psychedelic Communities and Integration Circles?
In this short discussion, Mary will share her personal journey in the 2019 CIIS Psychedelic Certificate which motivated her to explore ancestral knowledge and healing practices within the Black community. Mary wrote her final paper reflecting on the role and impact of Black churches in American society and identified five main tenets that may inform Black psychedelic communities and integration spaces. Additionally, she will connect her research to her present-day experiences as participant in a Black-led and Black-organized plant medicine community.

Mary K. Sanders, MS, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with whose focus is on addressing trauma in communities of color and marginalized populations. She has worked with Black, Indigenous, (BIPOC), Veterans, immigrants and refugees from Iraq and Syria, foster youth and LGBTQIA+ community members. Mary currently provides community mental health services for formerly unhoused Veterans for Veteran Affairs in San Francisco, CA. In addition to her role working with Veterans, she has a private practice called EMPATH Center in Oakland, CA serving Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Her vision is to implement psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and incorporate community integration. Mary is certified in Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and currently enrolled at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. She graduated from the 2019 CIIS Certificate cohort and since has focused her efforts around building BIPOC psychedelic community locally and nationally. She will be a founding member of the national organization, People of Color Psychedelic Collective, whose goal is to increase content, awareness, and access to psychedelic medicine practice that represent BIPOC voices. Mary would like to acknowledge Black Bird Tribe medicine teachers and community members who have had a profound impact on her ancestral healing and continue to guide her in this work.

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Honoring African Traditional Religious Practices in Psychedelic Assisted Therapies with Black Clients
On this panel, Courtney will speak to the importance of including major aspects of African Traditional Religious Practices (ATRs) in psychedelic work with Black clients. Courtney will advise students on how to invite Black clients to bring in aspects of the cultural and spiritual practices when undergoing altered states of consciousness. Major themes such as ancestor veneration, spirit possession, implicit bias, in/appropriate intervention, full informed consent, and music will be addressed.

Courtney Watson, MS, MEd, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex therapist. She is the owner of Doorway Therapeutic Services, a group therapy practice in Oakland, CA focused

on addressing the mental health needs of Black Indigenous People of Color, Queer folks, Trans, Gender Non-conforming, Non binary and Two Spirit individuals. Courtney has followed the direction of her ancestors to incorporate psychedelic assisted therapy into her offerings for folks with multiple marginalized identities and acknowledges the importance of Black and Queer providers offering these services. Courtney spent most of 2019 training with the California Institute of Integral Studies' Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research to provide psychedelic-assisted therapy. She is deeply interested in the impact of psychedelic medicines on folks with marginalized identities as well as how they can assist with the decolonization process for BIPOC. She believes this field is not yet ready to address the unique needs of Communities of Color and is prepared and enthusiastic about bridging the gap. She is currently preparing to be one of the few QTPOC providers offering Ketamine Assisted Therapy in 2021 in the Bay Area by completing additional Ketamine training at the end of 2020. She is also hoping to offer other medicines as they become FDA approved.

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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 of into life changes. We will reflect on two observational studies on therapeutic mechanisms of ayahuasca use that were based on a similar research design. The first explored the use of ayahuasca for the treatment of addiction and the second for treatment of eating disorders. Findings from these studies will be complemented and reflected on in the light of experiential knowledge, acquired in over two decades of training and collaboration with indigenous plant medicine practitioners. Anja will also offer case reviews from her clinical practice of different mental health conditions that have responded favorably to Ayahuasca assisted psychotherapy and reflect on factors contributing to therapeutic change. Adequate preparation for and integration of sessions with ayahuasca experiences play an essential role. Finally also the shadow side of the use of psychedelic plants will be addressed reflecting on experiences from psychotherapeutic work with patients who have suffered trauma from inappropriate psychedelic use, shedding light on the importance of well-structured and supportive contexts in the work with psychedelic plants.

Anja Loizaga-Velder, PhD, is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with humanistic and transpersonal orientation. As part of her quest for bridging indigenous and western approaches to find effective treatments for mental health challenges, she has collaborated with indigenous healers and has been investigating the therapeutic potential of the ritual use of psychedelic plants for over 25 years. She earned a PhD degree in Medical Psychology from Heidelberg University in Germany with a doctoral dissertation on: The therapeutic uses of ayahuasca in addiction treatment. She is founding member and director of research and psychotherapy of the Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine in Mexico and is adjunct professor and researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Additionally, she works as psychotherapist with humanistic and transpersonal orientation in private practice.

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Need to Contact Us?

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

Dr. Cathy Coleman
CPTR Admissions Manager | Certificate Manager
Email: ccoleman@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6261

Leslie Carson, MS, LPCC
Admission Project Assistant, and Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Graduate 2017
Email: admincptr@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

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