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The Use of Mind-Altering Substances: MDMA, Psilocybin, and Marijuana for Treating PTSD and Other Mental Distress
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For the first time in over four decades, researchers are returning to examining the therapeutic benefits of mind altering substances, including MDMA (ecstasy), psilocybin (mushrooms), marijuana and LSD.

In the 1970s the study of all psychedelics was criminalized in the US, despite emerging evidence of their medical value. Over the past decade, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Research (MAPS) has helped to revive psychedelic research, sponsoring studies across the United States and around the world, including MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, and end-of-life anxiety. The results have been very positive, lasting over 72 months of follow-up, with few adverse effects.

Psychedelics may promote a deepening and acceleration of the psychotherapeutic process. During therapy, people often are able to access and find peace with disavowed, “exiled” parts of themselves.

In this workshop recording the founder of MAPS will describe the evolution of psychedelic therapy, the principal investigator of the Phase I and II level trials will discuss outcomes and processes, the PI of the Hopkins psilocybin study terminally ill patients and a marijuana researcher the promises and pitfalls for that substance. The Boston MDMA study team will discuss clinical experiences and applications.

In appropriate therapeutic contexts, psychedelics may prove to be more effective than most conventional treatments, as well as safer and more cost-effective.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the same content from the 30th Annual International Trauma Conference, you cannot receive self-study credit for this program if you have already attended the live workshops.

Michael Mithoefer, MD

Michael Mithoefer, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2009, he completed & published the first FDA approved clinical trial of MDMA assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant PTSD, followed by completion of a Phase II trial. He is overseeing a multisite Phase III study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 13 sites around the US (including the Trauma Research Foundation), and another MDMA-assisted psychotherapy multisite study in Europe and Israel.

 

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Michael Mithoefer has employment relationships with Columbia University, Bassett Healthcare Network, Medical University of South Carolina, and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. He has an ownership interest in Awakn Life Sciences and serves on the scientific advisory board. Dr. Mithoefer receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Dr. Michael Mithoefer is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, Trauma Research Foundation

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.

Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR. 

He is founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts and President of the Trauma Research Foundation, which promotes clinical, scientific, and educational projects. 

His 2014 #1 New York Times best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, yoga, and other therapies.

Dr. van der Kolk is the past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at conferences, universities, and hospitals around the world.

 

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, the Director of the Trauma Center, and the National Complex Trauma Network. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. van der Kolk receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, IFS Institute

Richard Schwartz, PhD began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief, and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called "parts." These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.

IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms.

In 2013, Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where he is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Richard Schwartz is the Founder and President of the IFS Institute. He maintains a private practice and has a employment relationship with Harvard Medical School. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Schwartz receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Richard Schwartz is a fellow of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare and is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy and the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy. He is a contributing editor for Family Therapy Networker. Dr. Schwartz serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, the Contemporary Family Therapy, the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, and the Family Therapy Collections.

William Richards, Ph.D.

William Richards, Ph.D., Psychologist, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center where he is co-director of the program in psilocybin for terminally ill cancer patients. Contributor Fantastic Fungi.

Daniel McQueen, MA

Daniel McQueen, MA, Psychedelic therapist and executive director of Medicinal Mindfulness.  Author of Cannabis-Assisted Psychedelic Therapy for Trauma Resolution.

James W. Hopper, PhD

James W. Hopper, PhD, Independent consultant and Instructor in Psychology, Cambridge Health Alliance & Harvard Medical School.  Co-editor, Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices.  The MDMA Team, Trauma Research Foundation.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: James Hopper maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with Harvard University and Cambridge Health Alliance. He receives royalties as a published author. James Hopper receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: James Hopper serves on the advisory board for Callisto. He is a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the APA Division 56. James Hopper is an Ad hoc reviewer for several peer review journals, for a complete list contact PESI, Inc.

Anne St. Goar, MD

Anne St. Goar, MD, Primary care physician at HVMA, emeritus certified psychedelic therapist; Boston MDMA Therapy team member with the Trauma Research Foundation.

Elizabeth Call, PsyD

Elizabeth Call, PsyD, offers psychotherapy services to those dealing with life transitions, loss, anxiety, dysthymia, and post-traumatic stress. A psychologist for over 20 years, she utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, in her practice as well as Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy. Throughout her extensive career, Elizabeth Call, PsyD, has served in multiple capacities in mental health facilities in Massachusetts and Arizona. She is also a former instructor in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Elizabeth Call maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with EMDR Institute and Burma Border Projects. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Elizabeth Call is a member of the EMDR International Association and the Massachusetts Psychological Association.

Francis Guerriero, MA, LICSW

Francis Guerriero, MA, LICSW, Private practice, Cambridge, MA; MDMA Therapy team member, The Trauma Research Foundation.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Francis Guerriero maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with the Trauma Research Foundation. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Francis Guerriero has a professional relationship as a therapist and sub-investigator under Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Michael Alpert, MD

Michael D. Alpert, MD, Staff Psychiatrist, BayCove Mental Health Center, Boston Harvard Medical School; MDMA Therapy team member, the Trauma Research Foundation.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Michael Alpert maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with Quincy Asian Resources Initiative, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, and Cambridge Health Alliance. He receives a consulting fee from Lykos Therapeutics and Odyssey PBC. Dr. Alpert receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Dr. Michael Alpert is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Phil Wolfson, MD

Phil Wolfson, MD, is president and CEO of the non-profit Ketamine Research Foundation and directs the training of KAP practitioners through The Ketamine Training Center. Phil’s book, The Ketamine Papers, is the seminal work in the burgeoning ketamine arena. His is principal investigator for the MAPS sponsored Phase 2, the FDA-approved 18-person study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for individuals with significant anxiety due to life threatening illnesses. His clinical practice with ketamine has informed his leadership role in the development of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Philip Wolfson is the founder and CEO of The Ketamine Research Foundation. He has an ownership interest in Progressive Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Wolfson will address off-label uses. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Philip Wolfson has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


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