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.
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, email@example.com. For questions about CE, visit www.spiritualcompetency.com or contact David Lukoff, PhD at CE@spiritualcompetency.com.
Other Upcoming Courses
Psychological Approaches to Psychedelic Therapy, Fall 2021 | Online
A Reading & Study Group teaching focusing on various psychological concepts central to psychedelic therapy.
Access and Inclusion in Psychedelic Treatment | Webinar Series
This 10-week webinar series explores the present challenges and future opportunities for addressing social injustice in the field of psychedelic medicine, focusing on the role of the clinician’s voice in context of the larger healthcare system.
Sep 23, 2021 - Dec 9, 2021
7:30 - 8:45 PM ET
Kelly Sykes, PhD, Dr. Elizabeth Nielson, Alexander Camargo, PsyD
Fluence x Osmind Psychedelic Integration Study | September 23rd Webinar
Recruiting Psychedelic Integration Therapists in the USA. The primary aim of this prospective observational study is to obtain basic information about therapists who provide psychedelic integration, to better understand clients who seek psychedelic integration from these therapists, and whether such patients report improvements in wellbeing and decreases in stigma associated with seeking care.