Therapy and Research in Psychedelic Science (TRIPS) Seminar Series

TRIPS is an online seminar series that hosts speakers discussing science-informed presentations and discussions about psychedelics to educate healthcare professionals. This series was created to guide healthcare providers and students preparing to be professionals towards the most relevant, pragmatic, and essential information about psychedelic-assisted therapy, changing legal statuses, and harm reduction approaches in order to better serve clients and communities.

This seminar series is a fundraiser for our clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder that Portland Psychotherapy investigators are preparing for and starting in the Fall of 2021. All proceeds after presenter remuneration will go to fund this clinical trial.

These presentations are hosted through Zoom. Each presentation will be approximately 30 minutes with a 30-minute Q&A discussion afterward. Presentations will be recorded and sent to anyone who registers for the event. The recording will be available for 30 days after it has been sent to registered attendees.

Cancellation Policy: We charge a $10 administration fee for cancellations made by participants more than two weeks before the training event. For cancellations within two weeks of the training event, we will refund 50% of the tuition after subtracting the administration fee. Alternately, participants may elect to apply 100% of their tuition to a future TRIPS training event. No refunds will be given after training events.

Cost: $10

Time: Every 2nd Friday of the month from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (Pacific Time)

Location: Virtual (through Zoom)

UPCOMING TRIPS SEMINARS

October 8th, 2021 – Psychedelic-Assisted Therapist Training: Current Perspectives and a Look Forward with Dr. Elizabeth Nielson

Therapists receive both broad training in core clinical competencies and specialized training in the modalities they practice. This talk will give an overview of therapist training including what the psychedelic therapist training field looks like now. We’ll discuss two publications that have shaped the conversation, started to establish standards for alignment with theoretical models and research-based programs. The presenter will discuss her work training therapists for community practice through Fluence, as well as next steps for the field and how research training informs training for community practice.

November 12th, 2021 – Psychedelic Research: Implications for Palliative Care and End-of-Life Existential Distress with Anthony Bossis, Ph.D.

This lecture will review the history of psychedelic research and present scientific findings from FDA-approved clinical trials aimed to relieve the psychological and existential distress associated with a life-threatening illness or the end of life. The 2016 landmark NYU School of Medicine clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in helping individuals with cancer cultivate meaning, enhance existential and psycho-spiritual well-being, and foster a greater acceptance of the dying process with less anxiety. The scientific findings of a reduction in depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and demoralization along with improvements in spiritual well-being will be presented along with implications for the future of palliative and hospice care. The mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote an openness to the mystery of death and to a deeper understanding for the study of meaning and spirituality. 

December 10th, 2021 – Implementing Culturally-Attuned & Anti-Racist Psychedelic Therapy: Impact over Intention with Jamilah R. George, M.Div., M.S.

As the field of psychedelic science continues to expand, psychedelic-assisted therapy is gaining an evidence base for its potential to treat a range of mental disorders. However, psychedelic science runs the risk of inflicting harm upon Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) if it becomes widely accessible without acknowledging and dismantling the cultural insensitivities and historical exclusion embedded within it. This presentation will first briefly review the field of psychedelic science as it relates to limitations regarding cultural attunement and humility. It will also highlight the legacy of racism and exclusion of BIPOC in both the historical and present context of psychedelic treatment. Finally, the presenter will explore the implementation of treatment approaches that are intentionally culturally attuned and anti-racist as informed by an emotional harm reduction and social justice lens. *Note: Attendees are strongly encouraged to engage in discussion as much as possible and come prepared to practice transparency and vulnerability in a safe space designed to facilitate psychedelic therapy that is more accessible and equitable for everyone.

January 14th, 2022 – Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy of Major Depressive Disorder using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Therapeutic Frame with Jordan Sloshower, MD, MSc

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is based on the premise that psychedelic substances can act as catalysts or adjuncts to psychotherapeutic processes. Recent clinical trials involving psychedelic-assisted therapy have generally employed a similar three-part structure consisting of preparation, support during the dosing sessions, and subsequent “integration.” However, the content of these sessions and the frame through which the therapists approach participants and understand the clinical process has, thus far, been inconsistent among studies. In designing a manualized therapy protocol for a small clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for major depressive disorder, our group sought to delineate an explicit and replicable, evidence-based model that intentionally builds upon both the neurobiological actions of the medication and the phenomenology of the drug experience. Having identified considerable concordance in proposed mechanisms of change between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and psilocybin therapy, we employed ACT as an overarching psychotherapeutic framework. We hypothesize that the psilocybin experience can provide direct experiential contact with ACT processes that increase psychological flexibility, and that these deeply felt experiences may in turn be reinforced during ACT-informed follow-up therapy sessions. In this presentation, we describe the rationale for selecting ACT, areas of potential synergism between ACT and psilocybin therapy, the basic structure of our treatment model, and a case study using this approach. Relevant preliminary findings will also be shared.

February 11th, 2022 – Drug-Drug Interactions Between Psychiatric Medications and MDMA or Psilocybin Aryan Sarparast, MD

MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapies are moving through the Food and Drug Administration’s drug development process for treatment of PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), respectively. Many of those suffering from a mental illness are already on a psychiatric medication as treatment, some who have seen benefit and some who have not. What hasn’t been clear is how psychiatric medications interact with psychedelics. Modern psychedelic studies require most psychiatric medications to be tapered off before starting MDMA- or psilocybin-assisted treatment, an approach that is common in underground psychedelic treatments. This poses unique challenges for vulnerable people who are placed in a position of having to pick between conventional treatment (e.g. SSRIs, lithium, etc.) and psychedelic treatment, oftentimes having to do this without appropriate support or education given that criminalization of psychedelic substances have led to limited research to inform practitioners. In this talk, I will present a summarization of all existing research on interactions between psychiatric drugs and MDMA or psilocybin. My aim is to educate attendees and share the knowledge necessary to keep vulnerable people safe. I will not be providing specific clinical advice or recommendations.


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OTHER WORKSHOPS WE ARE HOSTING RELATED TO PSYCHEDELICS

October 22nd, 2021 – An Introduction to Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy for Clinicians

November 19th, 2021 – Ethical & Legal Considerations in Psychedelic Integration Therapy

PREVIOUS EVENTS

  • December 11th, 2020 – Ethical and Legal Considerations in Providing Psychedelic Integration Therapy with Brian Pilecki, Ph.D. & Jason Luoma, Ph.D.
  • January 8th, 2021 – What’s It Like to Trip? The Patient Experience in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy with Brian Pilecki, Ph.D.
  • February 12th, 2021 – Returning From All: Integrating 5-MeO-DMT Experiences in Psychotherapy with Rafael Lancelotta, M.S.
  • March 12th, 2021 – What does Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy for Depression Look Like? A Clinical Case Presentation based on a Recent Clinical Trial from Johns Hopkins with Alan K. Davis, Ph.D.
  • April 9th, 2021 – Ketamine 101: An Introduction to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy with Gregory Wells, PhD.  
  • May 14th, 2021 – Research on MDMA and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: An Overview of the Evidence for Clinicians with Jason Luoma, Ph.D.
  • June 11th, 2021 – Becoming a Psychedelic-Informed Therapist: Toward Developing Your Own Practice with Nathan Gates, M.A., LCPC
  • September 10th, 2021 – Cultural Considerations in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy with Terence Ching, PhD

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