Full Course Description

Psychedelics, Hallucinogens and Entheogens: What Clinicians Need to Know

Program Information


  1. Analyze known mechanisms of action for psychedelics, MDMA, and dissociatives as they relate to case conceptualization.
  2. Evaluate recent clinical trials, other research on psychedelics, and their treatment implications.
  3. Determine contraindications to using psychedelics in therapy, as well as other potential risks of use.
  4. Appraise the basic concepts of psychedelic integration as related to clinical treatment.
  5. Utilize clinical strategies to talk about psychedelics when your clients bring up their experiences in session.
  6. Analyze the ethical challenges that may arise when discussing use of psychedelics in session.


Types of Psychedelic Substances: What You Need to Know

  • Classic Psychedelics: LSD, Psilocybin, Mescaline, DMT
  • Empathogens: MDMA
  • Dissociatives: Ketamine, Dextromethorphan, Nitrous Oxide
  • Complex Psychedelics: Ayahuasca, Ibogaine
  • Other Atypical Psychedelics: Salvia Divinorum, Cannabis
History & Context of Psychedelic Use: The Research
  • Epidemiology: Who uses, how, & how often
  • Pharmacology: How they work in the brain
  • Indigenous Use: How they work in culture
  • Safety
    • Addiction to psychedelics
    • MDMA is not ecstasy
    • Potency & purity of “street drugs”
    • Ibogaine & cardiac toxicity
  • Contemporary Research
    • PTSD
    • Addiction
    • End-of-life anxiety
    • Depression
    • OCD
    • Social anxiety
Legal Avenues for Experiencing Psychedelics: Paths Clients May Take
  • Clinical Trials for MDMA & psilocybin
  • Cultural Tourism
    • South American ayahuasca tourism
    • Central American mushroom tourism
  • Contemporary Tourism
    • Mushroom tourism in the Netherlands, Jamaica
  • Church for ayahuasca & peyote
  • Legal Psychedelics
    • Ketamine & cannabis clinics
    • The strange case of Salvia
  • Exercise: Discuss psychedelics with your client
Ethical Considerations for Your Clients
  • Sexual abuse in psychedelics communities
  • Outing & societal pushback
  • Isolation when your client has no community
  • Limitations of the related research
Ethical Considerations in the Therapy Room
  • Assessment strategies to determine high risk
  • The entropic brain theory
  • Diagnoses that may benefit from psychedelic experiences
  • How to talk about future illegal activity
  • Spiritual bypassing: Using psychedelics to avoid working on yourself
  • Exercise: Navigate ethical challenges
Psychotherapy Preparation & Integration
  • Non-directive counseling
  • Grounding techniques
  • The holotropic mind model
  • Exercise: Practice counseling techniques

Copyright : 07/15/2020

Psychedelics in Therapy: New Ways to Catalyze Healing

Program Information


  1. Evaluate the results of clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and their treatment implications. 
  2. Determine the clinical uses of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of trauma. 
  3. Appraise the role therapists play in the sessions while the client is under the effects of these drugs, and how to facilitate the talk-therapy sessions that precede and follow it to improve client outcomes. 
  4. Assess the risks and limitations of MDMA and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. 


  • History of MDMA and Psilocybin 
  • Physiological effects and side effects, risk/benefit profile 
  • Design of past and ongoing non-profit-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy 
  • Results of Six Completed MDMA Phase 2 Clinical trials 
  • Design of ongoing Phase 3 Trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy 
  • Overview of psilocybin clinical trials 
  • Status of FDA drug development – MDMA and Psilocybin, including Breakthrough Therapy Designation 
  • The manualized therapeutic method used in clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy 
    • Essential elements of “inner directed” approach 
    • Illustrated with quotes and videos 
    • Challenges that may arise 
  • Therapist training program for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy 

Copyright : 01/12/2021

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy & Ecstasy: Cutting-Edge Research, Assessment & Intervention for Trauma, Anxiety & More

Program Information


  1. Appraise recent clinical trials and other research done with MDMA as it relates to clinical practice. 
  2. Evaluate contraindications to using MDMA and other potential risks of use as related to clinical treatment.  
  3. Analyze legal and ethical considerations of MDMA-assisted therapy as it relates to clinical practice. 
  4. Evaluate the scientific research of how MDMA works in the brain and the body for a better understanding relating to client outcomes. 


MDMA vs. Ecstasy: What You Need to Know 

  • Pharmacology: How MDMA works in the brain & body 
  • MDMA & ecstasy are different things 
  • Assessment strategies for ecstasy use 
  • Risks associated with ecstasy use 

The Science Behind MDMA-Assisted Therapy 

  • Clinical trials: Completed & Ongoing Research  
    • PTSD 
    • Social anxiety in autistic adults 
    • End-of-life anxiety 
    • Conjoint therapy 
    • Startle testing 
  • Contraindications for use 
  • Limitations of the research & potential risks 

Evidence-Based Clinical Skills for Better Treatment 

  • Non-directive psychotherapy 
  • Somatic approaches: Before & after 
  • Therapeutic silence: Letting the client lead 
  • Case studies: Research participants tell their own stories 

Legal & Ethical Considerations 

  • Changing legal frameworks 
    • Phase III clinical trials & rescheduling MDMA 
    • FDA Expanded Access program opportunities  
  • Ethical concerns 
    • Access and equity: Who deserves to receive this treatment?
    • Informed consent & sexual trauma 

Copyright : 09/29/2020

Psychedelics in Modern Healing

Program Information


Four Concepts of Therapeutic Psychedelic Use

  • Set & Setting       
    • Most Important Determinants: Set & Setting
    • 1960’s Push for Psychedelics in Treating Mental Health Issues
  • Integration of Experience into One’s Life
    • Psychedelic Experiences Are Not Transformative of Themselves
    • Transformation Comes with Integration
  • Expectations vs. Experience
    • Expectations Get in the Way of Experience
    • Exploring What the Experience Was About
  • Attitude of Curiosity

Psychedelics & Pain

  • Belief that One Cannot Handle Pain
  • Embracing Your Ability to Handle Pain
  • Feeling in a Safe, Held Context
  • Connecting with Oneself

1960’s Cultural Phenomenon & Psychedelics

  • Vietnam War, Racism, “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30”
  • Young Adult Use of Psychedelics Leads to “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Situation
  • Repression of Psychedelic Research

Creation of Retreats

  • Focusing on Setting & Integration
  • Increasing Self-Awareness & Self-Processing
  • Creating Shared Community

Psychedelic Drugs

  • Ayahuasca
  • Ketamine
  • MDMA
  • Psilocybin
  • Psychedelics: The Royal Road to the Unconscious

Q&A; Introduction to Andrew Tatarski (Center for Optimal Living)


  1. Appraise the differences among various psychedelic substances and their potential uses in a therapeutic setting. 
  2. Investigate the process of introducing and preparing for a psychedelic-based session with clients. 
  3. Assess how to integrate what has been experienced and learned in a psychedelic journey after the session. 

Copyright : 03/23/2019

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: The Psychotherapy Whose Time Has Come

Program Information


  1. Appraise research related to psychedelic-assisted therapy and efficacy across diagnostic categories.
  2. Evaluate the growing utilization of mental health professionals in the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies.
  3. Investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of psychedelic facilitation of psychotherapy.


  • Review of clinical research and outcomes 
  • Review of neurobiological underpinnings and mechanisms of action 
  • Review of training and utilization of mental health professionals in treatment

Copyright : 12/04/2020