This 12-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.
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.
A limited number of Diversity Fund scholarships are available, please complete this application, in addition to the course application
- 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.
- Describe the basic theory and principles of harm reduction psychotherapy, as well as incorporate those principles into psychedelic integration therapy.
- Describe what “set and setting,” are and explain why attention to both is crucial in understanding psychedelic experiences and psychedelic therapy.
- 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.
- Describe the concept of inner healing intelligence as it relates to psychedelic integration in MDMA assisted psychotherapy
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Explain how the concept of psychedelic integration encompasses a wide range of practices and techniques
- Describe Bathje’ s synthesized definition of integration from the review of many definitions and common elements available in literature
Continuing Education Credit
I was most surprised by the materials applicability to overall therapy work, not just psychedelic therapies. We dove deep into “what makes these experiences therapeutic?” and that question can inform much more than one type of work. These days my work is mostly in supervision of other therapists. I am encouraging all of them to study and incorporate these therapeutic factors into their work with clients, whether or not they are involved in psychedelic prep and integration work.
This was a wonderful class that was lead by a truly wonderful instructor. The content and dynamics within the class was well organized and balanced so that all the participants felt supported, our perspectives and knowledge were valued, and we were able to really delve into issues in a meaningful way. Although we started the class as individuals, we finished the class as a community.