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Integration Essentials | Online

A 14-week Reading and Study Group for therapists and healthcare providers with Jeffrey Guss, MD. Starting January 21, 2021

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Event details

Integration Essentials

THIS CLASS IS FULL - Please click here to see all available upcoming classes.


Jeffrey Guss, MD


Thursdays, 9:15-10:45 US Eastern Time (EST through March 13, EDT starting March 14th)

1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22




$1,200 for 12-sessions

Optional CE certificate for $65

To obtain your certificate, the CE form must be filled out within 14 days of class completion.

Certificate Program

This course can be taken in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Fluence Postgraduate Certificate in Psychedelic Integration Therapy or Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy.

Course Description

This 14-week course is a diverse and challenging set of readings aimed toward deepening each student’s understanding of psychedelic processes and their application in psychedelic integration therapy.  The papers and chapters have been chosen to engage with multiple discourses relevant to this goal--academic, anthropological, indigenous/shamanic, mindfulness-based, psychoanalytic and existential--to deepen our capacity to facilitate growth and well being in the individuals who come to us for help.  The course is committed to the inclusion of a diversity of perspectives on psychedelic healing; it seeks to include academic research, psychotherapy approaches with mindfulness and indigenous wisdom traditions.  

The first and last weeks are devoted to hellos and goodbyes. Of the remaining twelve weeks, several classes focus on integrative visions with a grand scope:  How do psychedelics really work? What are the prominent theories currently offered for understanding psychedelic action/experience/healing? Several papers engage questions of ego, self and self or ego dissolution; these are illuminated through the discourse of mindfulness by several well-known writers in that field. Other papers bring us the voices of participant-observer anthropologists in writing about shamanic and neoshamanic ayahuasca ceremonies (among other research methods).  A week focuses exclusively on survey research on micro-dosing and another focuses on a review of harm reduction theory and clinical practice. and there is one week dedicated to creativity. Several papers address current trends in the integration of psychedelic therapy with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),with a special focus on psychological flexibility. We inquire into how psychedelic experiences may facilitate ACT processes, and vice versa.

It is our expectation that students will be able to commit a few quiet hours per week devoting time to read these often-dense papers, and then participate in a lively discussion. There will never be more than 30 pages/week, and often less than that.  We will offer an “Assigned” paper/s, which we ask you to read first, and the occasional“Supplemental” paper for those intrigued to read further.  All papers will be accessed through our online learning platform. We welcome feedback on the papers offered, as our way of refining our teaching platform to better help our students.  

Reading list

Session 1




Orientation and Details


Session 2

Big Picture:

The mind on psychedelics in cultural context

Assigned Paper:

1. Michael Lifshitz, Eli Sheiner, and Laurence Kirmayer

Cultural Neurophenomenology of Psychedelic Thought: guiding the “Unconstrained” Mind Through Ritual Context

The Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous thought: Mind-Wandering, Creativity an Dreaming. Kalina Chrisotff and Keiran Fox, Editors. (26 pp.)

Supplemental Papers

1. C P Mueller and Gunter Schumann

Drugs as instruments: A new framework for non-addictive psychoactive drug use.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2011 Dec) 34:293-347.


Session 3




Assigned Papers

1. Ido Hartogsohn

“”Constructing drug effects: A history of set and setting” in

Drug Science, Policy and Law, Vol 3(0) pp. 1-7

2. Logan Neitzke-Spruill.

Race as a component of set and setting: How experiences of race

can influence psychedelic experiences.”

Journal of Psychedelic Studies 4(1) pp. 51-60.

3. Jamilah George, Timorth Michaels, Jae Sevelius and Monnica Williams

The Psychedelic renaissance and the limitations of a White dominant medical framework: A call for indigenous and ethnic minority inclusion”.

Journal of Psychedelic Studies 4(1) pp. 4-20 (2020)


Supplemental Papers

1. Matthew Johnson, William Richards and Roland Griffiths

Human Hallucinogen Research: Guidelines for Safety

Journal of Psychopharmacology. (2008) Aug, 22(6): 603-620


Session 4

Harm Reduction and Psychedelic Integration Therapy

Assigned Paper

1. Andrew Tatarsky and Alan Marlatt

State of the Art in Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An emerging treatment for Substance Misuse”

Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session Vol. 66(2) 117-133 (2010)

Supplemental Paper/s

1. Deirdre Ruane

Harm Reduction or Psychedelic Support? Caring for Drug-Related Crises at Transformational festivals

Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 7(3): 55-75.


Session 5



Ego Death, and Egolessness

in Meditation

Assigned Paper

1. Mark Epstein

The Deconstruction of the Self: Ego and ‘Egolessness’ in Buddhist Insight Meditation”.

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1988. Vol. 20, No1. pp. 61-69.

Supplemental paper

1. Myron Stolaroff

Are Psychedelics Useful in the Practice of Buddhism?”

Journal of Humanistic Psychology Vol. 39, No1, Winter 1999, pp. 60-80.


Session 6

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy:

Psychological Flexibility and Psychedelic Therapy

Assigned Paper

Assigned Papers

1. Jason Luoma, Pablo Sabucedo, Johan Eriksson, Nathan Gates Brian Pilecki

Toward a contextual psychedelic-assisted therapy: Perspectives from Acceptance an Commitment Therapy and contextual behavioral science”.

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 14 (2019) 136-145.

Supplemental Paper/s

1. Pablo Sabucedo

The Psychological Flexibility Model from a Cultural perspective: an interpretative analysis of two Native American healing rituals”. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. 10:4. 367-375.


Session 7

Psychotherapy, Meditation and Representations of the Self

Assigned Paper

1. Jack Engler

Therapeutic Aims in Psychotherapy and Meditation: Developmental Stages in the Representation of Self

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (1984) Vol 16, No 1. pp. 25-61.

Supplemental Paper

1. Geoffrey Redmond, MD.

Are Psychedelics the True Dharma? A Review Essay of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics”.

Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Vol. 11 (2004).

Session 8

Spiritual Emergency

Assigned Paper

1.Darlene Viggiano and Stanley Krippner

The Grofs’ Model of Spiritual Emergency in Retrospect:Has it Stood the test of time?

The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies *2010(.volume 29(1).118-128.


Session 9


Assigned Papers

1.Evgenia Fotiou, PhD

“Working with “La Medicine”:Elements of Healing in Contemporary Ayahuasca Rituals”

Anthropology of Consciousness, Prepublication Proof.

2.Ede Frecska, Csaba More, Andras Vargha, Luis E Luna.

“Enhancement of Creative Expression and Entopic Phenomena as after-Effects of repeated Ayahuasca Ceremonies”. (2012)

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44 (), pp191-199.


Supplemental Paper/s

1.Joaquim Soler, Jordi Riba

Exploring the therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca: acute intake increase mindfulness-related capacities.

Psychopharmacology. (November 2016)233, 823-829.


Session 10


Assigned Paper

1.Max Wolff, Ricarda Evans, Lea Mertens, et al

“Learning to Let Go: A Cognitive Behavioral Model of How Psychedelic Therapy Promotes Acceptance”

Frontiers in Psychiatry:Hypothesis and Theory, Feb 2020 Vol 11, Article 6

Supplemental Paper

1.R Carhart-Harris, David Erritzoe, E Haijen, M Kaelen, Rosalind Watts

“Psychedelics and connectedness”

Psychopharmacology (2018) 235;547-550.


Session 11



Assigned Papers

1. Lukasz Smigielski, Michael Kometer, Milan Scheidegger, Rainer Krahenmann, Theo Huber and Franz Vollenweider

“Characterization and prediction of acute and sustained response to psychedelic psilocybin in a mindfulness group retreat.

Scientific Reports.(2019) 9: 14914.

2.KPC Kuypers, Jordi Riba, M de la Fuente Revenga, S Barker, EL Thenissen,and JG Ramaekers.

“Ayahuasca enhances creative divergent thinking while decreasing conventional convergent thinking.

Psychopharmacology(2016) 233: 3395-3403.

3.Ben Sessa

“Is it time to revisit the role of psychedelic drugs in enhancing human creativity?”

Journal of Psychopharmacology.22(8) 821-827.


Supplemental Papers

1. Matthew Baggott

Psychedelics and Creativity:A Review of the Quantitative Literature

Peer JPrePrints, 2015.


Session 12


Assigned Papers

1.Toby Lea, Nicole Amada and Henrik Jungaberle

“Psychedelic Microdosing:A Subreddit Analysis”

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.September 2019.pp 1-12.

Thomas Anderson, et al.

2. Vince Polito, Richard Stevenson

“A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics”

PlosONE 14(2): e0211023. ‘

Supplemental Papers:

1.Megan Webb, Heith Copes, Peter Hendricks.

“Narrative identity, rationality, and microdosing classic psychedelics”

International Journal of Drug Policy.70 (2019) 33-39.

2.Thomas Anderson, Rotem Petranker, Daniel Rosenbaum, Cory Weissman, Le-Anh Dinh-Williams, Katrina Hui, Emma Gapke Norman Farb.

“Microdosing psychedelics:personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers”.

Psychopharmacology (2019) 236:731-740.    


Session 13

Bringing it All Together

Assigned Paper

Link Swanson

“Unifying Theories of Psychedelic Drug Effects”

Frontiers in Pharmacology March 2018, Vol 9, Article 172.


Session 14


Reflections, Suggestions, Goodbyes

Learning Objectives:  

At the end of the Reading and Study Group (RSG), the participant will be able to:

1.  Explain the concept of “unconstrained mind,” its usefulness in speaking of psychedelic states, and then discuss how cultural constructs are an essential part of psychedelic therapy being meaningful and safe

2.  Describe what “set and setting,” are and explain why attention to both is crucial in understanding psychedelic experiences and psychedelic therapy

3.  List the basic safety precautions that are used in academic research institutions when conducting research with psychedelic substances, describe common safety concerns that might arise during integration sessions (without medicine present) for identification and problem solving

4.  Analyze the term “ego” and critique the multiple meanings that it carries, with particular attention to the concept of“ego dissolution” or “ego death” in psychedelic therapy, using existential,  neuroscience, phenomenology and psychoanalysis

5.  Describe the basic principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, including the concept of “psychological flexibility”and apply this to the change process in psychedelic integration therapy

6.  Use concepts that have importance in both meditation and psychotherapy as a way of organizing a narrative about change and growth in psychedelic integration therapy

7.  Explain the basic components of shamanic and neoshamanic ayahuasca practices in the service of offering informed psychedelic integration therapy to individuals who have sought out these types of psychedelic experiences

8.  Explain the layered meanings of the word“acceptance” as it related to psychedelic therapy and use understanding of these notions then use it to organize and frame interventions used as part of psychedelic integration therapy

9.   Describe how creativity and “meaning making”are valuable concepts in conducing psychedelic therapy; plan to use these concepts to understand and foster growth in psychedelic integration therapy

10.  Describe and critique recent studies on microdosing, especially as related to personality changes, creativity and mental health symptoms reported by community microdosers

11.  Describe the basic theory and principles of harm reduction psychotherapy, as well as incorporate those principles into psychedelic integration therapy

12.  Critique the 6 unifying theories of psychedelic effects *(three older theories, three new theories) described by Swanson, differentiating historic theories from contemporary ones, and analyzing their varying utility and relevance to psychedelic integration therapy


Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals (CE)

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

LCSWs, MFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Elizabeth Nielson, For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at