FRIDAY
OCTOBER 6TH, 2017
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm
RECEPTION

SATURDAY
OCTOBER 7TH, 2017
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
CONFERENCE DAY I

SUNDAY
OCTOBER 8TH, 2017
10:00 am – 5:30 pm
CONFERENCE DAY II


2017 SPEAKERS

(Alphabetical)

Michael P. Bogenschutz, M.D.
Research Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center
"A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D.
Researcher at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Coordinator of McNair Scholars Program at UC San Diego
"A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 10:50 am - 11:35 am

Shannon Clare Carlin, M.A., IMF,
MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) Therapy Training Program Manager, Zendo Project Integration Coordinator, Co-therapist in MAPS-Sponsored Clinical Trials
"Vision Becomes Reality: the Making of a Legal MDMA Therapist Through Recent Research”

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 11:40 am - 12:20 pm

Neşe Devenot, Ph.D.
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, University of Puget Sound
"The Role of Poetic Language in Psychedelic Science"

Speaking Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 11:50 am - 12:35 pm

Holly Duane
Therapist, NYU School of Medicine Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence, and Clinical Trial on the Effects of Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience in Religious Leaders
"A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Amanda Feilding
Founder and Director of the Beckley Foundation
"From The Mystical Experience to Microdosing"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 3:20 pm - 4:05 pm

Débora González, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist and Pharmacologist with the ICEERS Foundation
"The Therapeutic Potential of Altered States of Consciousness in Grieving Processes"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 4:10 pm – 4:55 pm

Rob Heffernan
Ayahuasca Defense Fund Associate, Independent Researcher, Activist“Guard-en-ing the Gates of Heaven: Protecting and Cultivating the Legality, Health and Safety of Sacred Medicines”

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 2:35 pm – 3:20 pm

Mendel Kaelen, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London
"Music in Psychedelic Therapy"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Anja Loizaga-Velder, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); Director of Psychotherapy and Research, Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine- Mexico
“New Psychotherapeutic Perspectives With Ancient Medicines”

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

Elizabeth M. Nielson, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center
"What Psychedelic Therapists Don't Talk About and Why: The Case for Research on First-hand Experience with Psychedelics"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 2:20 pm - 2:55 pm

Nicholas Byron Powers, Ph.D.
Poet, journalist, and Associate Professor of English, SUNY Old Westbury
"Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies: Race and Psychedelics"

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

Stacy B. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology, California State University, Chico (CSUC) and former Co-Director of the Museum of Anthropology (CSUC)
"Communing with the Gods: Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) in the Lifecycle of Huichol Indians of Mexico"

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Philip E. Wolfson, M.D.
Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and Principal Investigator, MAPS MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness Study
"Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and the Ketamine Opportunity"

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 10:00 am - 10:50 am


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Michael P. Bogenschutz, M.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Research Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center

Michael Bogenschutz, M.D., is Research Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. Prior to joining the faculty of NYU in June 2015, he served as Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Vice-Chair and Division Director for Addiction Psychiatry, and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. For 10 years he was Principal Investigator of the Southwest Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. He founded and was formerly director of the addiction psychiatry fellowship program at UNM, and has extensive experience in mentoring junior investigators. Dr. Bogenschutz’s research interests focus on development of novel combinations of pharmacologic and psychosocial therapies to improve outcomes in patients with alcohol and other drug addictions, the integration of addictions treatment into medical settings, and the treatment of co-occurring psychiatric and addictive disorders. He is particularly focused on the development of psychedelic medicines for the treatment of addictions and other psychiatric and behavioral conditions. He is currently conducting a phase II randomized double-blind controlled trial of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder.

"A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence"

Several lines of evidence suggest that classic hallucinogens such as psilocybin can facilitate behavior change in addictions such as alcohol dependence. This study is a multi-site, double-blind active-controlled trial (n = 180, 90 per group) contrasting the acute and persisting effects of psilocybin to those of diphenhydramine in the context of outpatient alcoholism treatment. Aims of the study are 1) to characterize the acute effects of PO psilocybin 25 mg/70 kg, 30 mg/70 kg, and 40 mg/70 kg in alcohol dependent patients; 2) to evaluate the effect of psilocybin treatment on drinking outcomes for 32 weeks after the first administration, relative to diphenhydramine control; 3) to test whether or not characteristics of the drug administration session experiences mediate effects of psilocybin on short-term (1 week) persisting effects and post-session drinking behavior, 4) to evaluate the explanatory value of changes in alcohol craving, self-efficacy, motivation, and other psychological domains in accounting for the observed experimental effect of psilocybin relative to diphenhydramine control, and 5) to evaluate pre-post changes in drinking in participants after they receive psilocybin in the third session. Preliminary results will be presented and implications for the future discussed.

Presenting with Holly Duane


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Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 10:50 am - 11:35 am

Researcher at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Coordinator of McNair Scholars Program at UC San Diego

Dr. Thomas Kingsley Brown has been researching ibogaine treatment for substance dependence since 2009, when he began conducting interviews with patients at a treatment center in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico and collected data for the purpose of studying quality of life for those patients. In 2010 he began working with MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) on a Mexico-based observational study of the long-term outcomes for people receiving ibogaine-assisted treatment for opioid dependence. That study is complete, and the first research article from the study has been published (Brown and Alper, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2017). In 2013, he published a review article on ibogaine treatment in Current Drug Abuse Reviews. Dr. Brown is an academic administrator at the UC San Diego. His academic training is in chemistry (B.S., University of Pittsburgh and M.S., California Institute of Technology) and anthropology (M.A. and Ph.D., UC San Diego).

"The Past, Present, and Future of Ibogaine Treatment – and Why it Matters for the Opioid Crisis" 

Why is ibogaine not legal in the United States? Why don’t people have convenient access to ibogaine for opiate addiction despite the evidence that it is effective as a treatment? Why, in this time of the opioid crisis, recently declared a “national emergency,” are we not using this valuable tool to address the problem of opiate addiction?

In this presentation I will provide an overview of the history of the development of ibogaine as a medicine for treating addiction, particularly opiate addiction. I will also consider the economic, legal, and political forces hindering research into, and access to, ibogaine treatment in the US and globally. Along the way I will outline the current knowledge about ibogaine’s efficacy in treating addiction, paying particular attention to recently completed studies based in Brazil, Mexico, and New Zealand. I will also examine recent legislative efforts in Vermont and New York aimed at quelling the opioid epidemic in the US, as well as models of ibogaine treatment in other countries. Finally, I will explore the possible future of ibogaine treatment (and legislative efforts) in this regard.


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Shannon Clare Carlin, M.A., IMF

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 11:40 am - 12:20 pm

MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) Therapy Training Program Manager, Zendo Project Integration Coordinator, Co-therapist in MAPS-Sponsored Clinical Trials

  • Shannon Clare Carlin received her Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2014, including a practicum working with youth on moderation management for drug and alcohol use. At MPBC Shannon serves as Therapy Training Program Manager, overseeing administration and program development to educate professionals and researchers to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in approved settings. Shannon is committed to psychedelic harm reduction, providing integration services through the Zendo Project. She served as co-therapist on the MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 trial researching MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, and will be a co-therapist at the Phase 3 site in Los Angeles, researching MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for severe PTSD.

"Vision Becomes Reality: the Making of a Legal MDMA Therapist Through Recent Research”

I will report on MAPS Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted PTSD therapy progress and the MDMA Therapy Training program, including the possibility for more therapists to become involved through Expanded Access 2019 and the general process of becoming a psychedelic psychotherapist. I will also do an update on MAPS' portfolio of projects.


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Neşe Devenot, Ph.D.

Speaking Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 11:50 am - 12:35 pm

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, University of Puget Sound

Neşe Devenot, Ph.D. is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Puget Sound, where she is teaching classes on psychedelics and literature and writing her book project, "Chemical Poetics: The Literary History of Psychedelic Science." In 2016, she was awarded "Best Humanities Publication in Psychedelic Studies" from Breaking Convention and a “Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance” grant from Cosmic Sister. She was a 2015-16 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library's Timothy Leary Papers and a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study. She received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

"The Role of Poetic Language in Psychedelic Science"

Within the field of Psychedelic Studies, qualitative research is a transdisciplinary method of inquiry that seeks to understand how individuals ascribe significance to their psychedelic experiences. In so doing, it complements traditional quantitative methods by A) providing insight into the psychological processes underlying therapeutic outcomes, and B) identifying new, testable hypotheses for future research. In analyzing verbal reports of psychedelic experiences, qualitative research necessarily depends on both science and poetics, since the communication of unprecedented experiences and non-ordinary states of consciousness necessarily rely on metaphor and other creative uses of language. For this reason, I argue that linguistic theory and poetic interpretation are as crucial as chemical analysis for analyzing data within psychedelic science, highlighting the importance of scholarly collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Since poetry employs creative metaphors to communicate subtle nuances of subjective experience, I argue for the inclusion of practicing poets in future studies in order to communicate seemingly ineffable experiences. Furthermore, since scholars of poetry are trained to discern meaning in non-ordinary language, literary scholars are well positioned to articulate the significance of linguistic data in the context of qualitative research.


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Holly Duane

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Therapist, NYU School of Medicine Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence, and Clinical Trial on the Effects of Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience in Religious Leaders

Holly Duane is a therapist in the "Alcohol Dependence" and "Religious Leader" studies.

"A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence"

Several lines of evidence suggest that classic hallucinogens such as psilocybin can facilitate behavior change in addictions such as alcohol dependence. This study is a multi-site, double-blind active-controlled trial (n = 180, 90 per group) contrasting the acute and persisting effects of psilocybin to those of diphenhydramine in the context of outpatient alcoholism treatment. Aims of the study are 1) to characterize the acute effects of PO psilocybin 25 mg/70 kg, 30 mg/70 kg, and 40 mg/70 kg in alcohol dependent patients; 2) to evaluate the effect of psilocybin treatment on drinking outcomes for 32 weeks after the first administration, relative to diphenhydramine control; 3) to test whether or not characteristics of the drug administration session experiences mediate effects of psilocybin on short-term (1 week) persisting effects and post-session drinking behavior, 4) to evaluate the explanatory value of changes in alcohol craving, self-efficacy, motivation, and other psychological domains in accounting for the observed experimental effect of psilocybin relative to diphenhydramine control, and 5) to evaluate pre-post changes in drinking in participants after they receive psilocybin in the third session. Preliminary results will be presented and implications for the future discussed.

Presenting with Michael P. Bogenschutz, M.D.


Photo: Robert Funke

Photo: Robert Funke

Amanda Feilding

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 3:20 pm - 4:05 pm

Founder and Director of the Beckley Foundation

Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, and
is widely recognised as one of the driving forces behind the current
renaissance of psychedelic research. By establishing key research
collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious universities, she
has propelled the field forwards over the last 20 years, conducting several
landmark studies, such as the world’s first LSD brain imaging study (carried
out as part of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme).

Since establishing the Foundation in 1998, she has set about assembling an
international network of scientists, politicians and drug policy experts in
order to build a scientific evidence-base upon which to reform global drug
policies. Advocating the establishment of legally regulated drugs markets,
she has performed an advisory role for several governments and produced
a number of highly influential drug policy reports. She has also co-
authored over 50 scientific papers.

"From The Mystical Experience to Microdosing"

Psychedelics have been used for millennia by cultures around the world as
a powerful source of mystical wisdom and healing. Yet over time, the ritual
uses of these sacred medicines have been lost or suppressed, and we now
find ourselves ill-equipped to deal with a rising mental health crisis. With
an unacceptable proportion of patients failing to respond to available
treatments, the need to regain access to the prohibited domains of the
human psyche is more pressing than ever before.

This talk will address the latest developments from the Beckley
Foundation’s Research Programme, revealing how the use of cutting edge
brain imaging technology and clinical trials are allowing us to scientifically
validate the healing power of altered states of consciousness that was self-
evident to the ancient mystics and shamans. By increasing our
understanding of how substances like LSD, psilocybin, DMT and cannabis
produce their effects in the brain, we are combining the technological
insights of modern science with ancient healing wisdom, and fast-tracking
our way towards more effective treatments for mental illnesses such as
depression and addiction, as well as towards enhanced emotional wellbeing
and creativity.

The talk will also describe how Amanda’s personal childhood interest in
altered states of consciousness and the mystical experience developed into
a passion for the science underlying these experiences, and the setting up of the Beckley Foundation to further explore these states and integrate
them into society.


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Débora González, Ph.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 4:10 pm – 4:55 pm

Clinical Psychologist and Pharmacologist with the ICEERS Foundation. 

Débora González, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology. Her doctoral work was supported by a fellow-ship from the Spanish government. She is co-author of several scientific papers and book chapters about ayahuasca, 2C-B, Salvia divinorum and research chemicals. She is currently conducting a longitudinal study on the long-term effects of ayahuasca on well-being and health of Western users with ICEERS Foundation and a pilot study of the treatment for complicated grief, involving holotropic breathwork as therapeutic tool, with PHI Association.

"The Therapeutic Potential of Altered States of Consciousness in Grieving Processes"

Grieving the death of a love one is one of the most difficult experiences that most of us might face throughout our lives. For some people, however, it might also become a crucial process in which the meaning and purpose one’s own life is reconsidered. Many studies have demonstrated the potential of psychedelics for promoting personal growth but until now, no research has explored their
therapeutic potential for grieving processes. This talk presents the most relevant conclusions within this emerging research line where the therapeutic impact of modified states of consciousness in grieving processes are assessed. Three different studies show promising results on the effectiveness of ayahuasca and holotropic breathwork as therapeutic tools in these type of processes. Both tools can evoke experiences in which a re-encounter with the deceased takes place. This type of experiences can have a strong therapeutic effect on the patient that is hardly reached through the techniques presently used in clinical practices.


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Rob Heffernan

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 2:35 pm – 3:20 pm

Ayahuasca Defense Fund Associate, Independent Researcher, and Activist

Rob Heffernan is a Ayahuasca Defense Fund Associate and an independent researcher and activist. He has been involved in the vegetalismo and Santo Daime ayahuasca traditions for 17 years. He was a member and a chairman of the Santo Daime US legal committee for a several years. He is also a certified Integrative Sound and Music Practitioner; Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator; and a long time student and practitioner of Buddhist Dhamma. He has a B.A. in Communications Fordham University, and works in the AV/IT communications industry.

"Guard-en-ing the Gates of Heaven: Protecting and Cultivating the Legality, Health and Safety of Sacred Medicines”

The ayahuasca community is at a unique juncture. Precedents for legal use have been gained through court cases and the DEA has shown great restraint in pursuing and prosecuting the use of ayahuasca. This talk will outline some of the challenges and opportunities of this unique time. I will suggest a number of best practices that might protect and extend the legality of ayahuasca and safeguard the health, safety and well being of participants. These best practices apply to the use of other sacred medicines as well.

 


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Mendel Kaelen, Ph.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London

Mendel Kaelen holds a master's in neuroscience from the University of Groningen, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Imperial College London. His research interest lies in studying the function of music in psychedelic therapy, combining neuroscience and qualitative research. He works as a post-doctoral research associate at Imperial College London in the Psychedelic Research Group led by Robin Carhart-Harris, and is the lead scientist at Psychedelic Survey, an online research platform advancing our understanding of psychedelics. He is a research fellow of the Beckley Foundation and a board member of the OPEN Foundation.

"Music in Psychedelic Therapy"

Within psychedelic therapy, music is considered to be an important therapeutic component. This talk will provide an overview of 5 years of research, including neuroimaging studies, clinical research and online research, that together provides a first empirical framework that outlines the therapeutic functions music serves during psychedelic therapy, and how music can best be used to maximize positive therapy outcomes.


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Anja Loizaga-Velder, Ph.D.

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine,  National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); Director of Psychotherapy and Research, Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine- Mexico

Anja Loizaga-Velder, Ph.D. is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist who has been investigating the therapeutic potential of the ritual use of psychedelic plants for over twenty years.She earned a Ph.D. in Medical Psychology from the Heidelberg University in Germany, and is a Postdoctoral Research Associate  in Health Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She also is a founding member of the Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine in Mexico and Psychotherapist in private practice.

“New Psychotherapeutic Perspectives With Ancient Medicines”

In the search for effective and more natural treatment options for mental health challenges including addictions, depressions, post traumatic stress disorders and eating disorders, increasingly more individuals are seeking out rituals with sacred plants such as peyote and ayahuasca.

This presentation is based on professional experiences of the author both  as a psychotherapist and also as researcher in this field, and explores the  mechanisms and contributing factors  of successful and unsuccessful healing processes with sacred plants and the challenges in this newly arising therapeutic field in western cultures.


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Elizabeth M. Nielson, Ph.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 2:20 pm - 2:55 pm

Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Nielson is a Psychologist in the Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory at NYU Langone School of Medicine. She is a therapist on the psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence trial and on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD trials at NYU and the Study Coordinator for an open-label Phase-2 Trial of the latter. Dr. Nielson’s research includes interview studies of psilocybin therapists working in academic settings, alcohol trial participants, and people who use psychedelics for healing and growth outside of research settings. Dr. Nielson’s professional experience includes teaching substance abuse counselors in training at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), a post-doctoral fellowship in psychodynamic psychotherapy at Adelphi, and one in addiction research at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc./NYU School of Nursing funded
by the NIDA’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). Dr.
Nielson is presently affiliated with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research at NYU School of Nursing and an active member of the New York State Psychological Association. Dr. Nielson is also a clinician in private practice and specializes in harm reduction and other evidence-based addiction treatments.

"What Psychedelic Therapists Don't Talk About and Why: The Case for Research on First-hand Experience with Psychedelics"

Psilocybin and MDMA are rapidly advancing toward FDA approval for
therapeutic use. Researcher and clinician’s personal use of psychedelics was cited as a potential confound in psychedelic research studies conducted in the 1950’s and 60’s, and questions about its influence contributed to the cessation of clinical research with psychedelics in the early 1970’s. There is presently no published experimental research, historical or current, that clarifies the influence of academic researchers and clinicians’ first-hand experience with psychedelics on therapeutic outcomes. This talk addresses the potential impact of personal use on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and presents a
rationale for opening an academic discussion and program of research on this topic. This talk will outline the factors unique to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy therapy such that it can neither fit into the present framework of psychopharmacology research and clinical practice, nor be considered fully analogous to psychotherapy. It will be argued that scientific exploration of the influence of first-hand experience of psychedelics is feasible, timely, and necessary for the future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research. This presentation is based on a paper Dr. Nielson has co-authored with Jeffrey
Guss, MD, also of NYU Langone Medical Center.


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Nicholas Byron Powers, Ph.D.

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

Poet, journalist, and Associate Professor of English, SUNY Old Westbury

Nicholas Powers is an Associate Professor of Literature, poet and journalist. He has written for Truth Out, The Indypendent and The Village Voice. His book "The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street" was published by Upset Press.

"Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies: Race and Psychedelics"

Psychedelics is a "white thing". It is a common idea. Many people of color view "tripping" as an effete practice of the privileged that the oppressed cannot afford. The sentiment is mirrored by the near invisibility of race as a topic in official, often all white, psychedelic conferences. Against white silence and black suspicion, more youth of color, some affluent and integrated are experimenting with psychotropics. Using literature, history and personal testimony, we can map how psychedelics have been interpreted by Black America. What did Malcolm X say about it? Or modern day Afro Futurists? Can the promise of ego dissolution work when black ego defenses are needed to withstand racism in America? Does the black experience re-frame as hypocritical, the grandiose, Utopian claims of the psychedelic movement? Or does it free people of color to embrace a radical humanism, where the spirit arcs across the sky of history like a rainbow?


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Stacy B. Schaefer, Ph.D.

Speaking on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology, California State University, Chico (CSUC) and former Co-Director of the Museum of Anthropology (CSUC)

Dr. Stacy B. Schaefer has been carrying out ethnographic field research with the Huichol Indians of Mexico since 1976 and members of the Native American Church in the United States from 1993-2015. Her research has focused on traditional beliefs and practices that revolve around the use of the mind-altering peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). She is co-editor with Peter T. Furst, and contributor to the book People of the Peyote, Huichol Indian History, Religion and Survival. Dr. Schaefer also published the book To Think With a Good Heart: Wixárika Women, Weavers and Shamans, 2002, with a second edition of the book in 2015 titled Huichol Women, Weavers and Shamans. From 1991 to 1999 she was Assistant and Associate professor at University of Texas Pan American along the Texas/Mexico border during which time she conducted extensive fieldwork research among federally
licensed Mexican-American peyote dealers and members of the Native American Church (NAC). This work continued through 2015, culminating in Amada’s Blessings From the Peyote Gardens of South Texas, published in 2015 by the University of New Mexico Press, a winner of three literary awards in 2016. Her current research examines the relationship between peyote and the human reproductive system.

"Communing with the Gods: Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) in the Lifecycle of Huichol Indians of Mexico"

This presentation provides insights into the relationship between
Huichol Indians and peyote throughout their lives. The influence of
peyote continues from the womb via their mother's ingestion of peyote
and the implications this may have in their cognitive perspectives of the
world, through childhood, adolescence as a rite of passage, adulthood
and specialization in shamanism and the arts, to death and beyond
where the souls of the deceased travel to the sky above the sacred
peyote desert. The peyote experiences and their interpretations shared
with me by Huichol consultants provide a personal dimension to the
topic and add rich context to my own participant/observations among
Huichol family and community members. In addition to subjective
accounts, biomedical literature on peyote/mescaline is included in the
discussion to bring a holistic understanding to this way of life.


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Philip E. Wolfson, M.D.

Speaking on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and Principal Investigator, MAPS MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness Study

Phil Wolfson, M.D. is Principal Investigator for a Phase 2, 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. Phil’s book The Ketamine Papers has been published by MAPS and is the seminal work in the burgeoning ketamine arena. Phil is a sixties activist, psychiatrist/psychotherapist, writer, practicing Buddhist and psychonaut who has lived in the Bay Area for 38 years. He is the author of Noe – A Father/Son Song of Love, Life, Illness and Death (2011, North Atlantic Books). In the 1980s, he participated in clinical research with MDMA (Ecstasy). He has been awarded five patents for unique herbal medicines. He is a journalist and author of numerous articles on politics, transformation, psychedelics, consciousness and spirit, and was a founding member of the Heffter Research Institute. Phil has taught in the graduate psychology programs at JFK University, CIIS and the UCSF School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and the Ketamine Opportunity

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is a breakthrough modality for the experiential treatment of many humans and many emotional, spiritual and community difficulties. Within the diagnostic framework this includes depression, suicidality, treatment resistant depression, PTSD, Bipolar 2, OCD, menstrual emotional symptoms, relationship and existential crises. While MDMA and psilocybin therapies are approaching Phase 3 studies and may become prescription medicines in 2021 or later, ketamine stands out as a profound experience that we administer in two formats—as trance and transformation. Spreading widely in clinics administering ketamine by anesthesiologists and psychiatrists in a medicalized intravenous drug format, ketamine’s potential as a liberating agent when presented in a psychotherapeutic format is of superior and enduring merit and leads to awakening mind for many.