This program is a curated series of videos with key teachers and psilocybin researchers introducing you to fundamentals of psilocybin clinical research, pharmacology, therapeutic models, and ethical considerations surrounding the use of psilocybin in clinical treatment. The program consists of 5 mini-courses:
1. Psilocybin for Alcohol Use Disorder Research | Elizabeth Nielson, PhD
This course delves into the intriguing realm of psychedelic therapy for alcohol use, exploring its historical development, current research, and potential implications. Students will learn about the early models of psychedelic treatment, including LSD-induced Delirium Tremens (DTs) and the Affective Contra-Attribution model with ketamine. The lecture highlights the link between ayahuasca and reduced alcohol problems, leading to an in-depth examination of psilocybin as a promising treatment option. The course covers the NYU study on psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder, discussing its outcomes, therapeutic approaches, and safety considerations. Throughout the course, students will gain an understanding of how psilocybin has been used in alcohol treatment, enabling them to critically evaluate the role of psychedelics in alcohol treatment and make informed decisions based on current research. This course offers 0.25 hours of CE credit.
2. Intoxication and Dissociation in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy | Jeffrey Guss, MD
Solid clinical research is key to psychedelic therapy earning its place as a safe and effective mainstream treatment. However, even as that data is presently being produced, many clinicians express uneasiness about a treatment that evokes intoxication, dissociation, or both, as a central part of a potentially deeply therapeutic process. This talk will examine and question the presumption that intoxication and dissociation are likely to be detrimental to mental health, and are unlikely to be part of a safe and enduring process of growth and positive change. These beliefs stand in the way of understanding psychedelic therapy and integrating it meaningfully into traditional clinical work. We will look at both intoxication and dissociation from a number of perspectives, in an attempt to expand our understanding of how psychedelic therapy works and help it find its place in mainstream psychiatric and psychological discourse. This course offers 2 hours of CE credit.
3. The Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin | Kelan Thomas, PharmD, MS, BCPP
This course introduces clinicians to psilocybin pharmacology, neuroscience, and clinical research that supports what we know about how psilocybin works in the human brain. Participants will become familiar with the concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics as they relate to psilocybin, and be able to explain the processes through which psilocybin causes alterations in perception and the individual sense of self from the perspective of neuroscience. This course gives clinicians the necessary background in psilocybin pharmacology, neuroscience, and clinical research to build a nuanced understanding of how these processes relate to subjective experiences and fundamental changes in human experience that psilocybin can engender. This course offers 1.5 hours of CE credit.
4. Psilocybin Research for Depression | Xiaojue Hu, MD
This course delves into the global issue of depression, its impact on individuals worldwide, and the limitations of conventional treatments–in the context of the opportunities associated with psilocybin treatment. Participants will explore the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression, the recurrent nature of the condition, and the need for innovative approaches. Participants will learn about the history of clinical research with psilocybin, with particular focus on its use and efficacy in treating depression. Physiological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of psilocybin’s effects, along with the significance of therapy in optimizing outcomes, are discussed. This course covers the latest research findings, the science behind psilocybin’s mechanisms of action, and the nuances of conducting clinical studies. The course concludes with a discussion of the potential implications for patients and practitioners of psilocybin-assisted therapy’s dissemination to a wider population. This course offers 1 hour of CE credit.
5. Ethics & Equity in Psilocybin Services | Candace Oglesby, LCPC
This course presents the ways in which BIPOC and other marginalized groups have historically been excluded from and harmed by the US medical establishment and in the context of medical research with psychedelic substances. Through the lens of anti-oppressive practice, it proposes a number of steps that practitioners can take and/or advocate for in an effort to expand access and inclusion to psychedelic-assisted therapy services for these populations, and help ensure the equitable evolution of the field as a whole. This course includes a video lecture and a demonstration session illustrating the key concepts in practice. This course offers 0.75 hours of CE credit.
- Name one early model of psychedelic-assisted therapy that informs modern clinical research with psilocybin
- Identify the two kinds of therapy that were provided in the recent study of psilocybin treatment for alcohol use disorder.
- Explain the state of intoxication as a part of psilocybin assisted therapy models
- Describe how dissociative states during psychedelic states may be therapeutic
- Compare and contrast dissociative states to psychedelic states
- Discuss the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of psilocybin
- Describe how psilocybin interacts with the human brain
- Discuss the relationship between psilocybin’s pharmacological and subjective effects
- Identify key clinical research trials from psilocybin research in the treatment of depression
- Describe the outcomes of clinical trials involving psilocybin-assisted treatments for depression
- Explain the therapeutic rationale for using psilocybin-assisted therapy to treat depression
- Describe the proposed key mechanisms of action associated with psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression
- Discuss the possible risks and benefits of psilocybin-assisted therapy for patients with depression to those of currently available treatments
- Describe one way in which BIPOC have historically been excluded from US medical research and psychedelic-assisted therapy research
- Describe one way in which BIPOC have been historically harmed by their exclusion from and participation in US medical research and psychedelics-assisted therapy research
- Explain the concept of anti-oppressive practice
- Describe 2 specific steps that practitioners can take to scale and apply anti-oppressive practices in the context of psychedelic-assisted therapy/treatment
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Course Outline & Assignments
- Psilocybin for Alcohol Use Disorder Research
- Intoxication and Dissociation in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
- The Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin
- Psilocybin Research for Depression
- Ethics & Equity in Psilocybin Services
* The recorded videos within the “Intoxication and Dissociation in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy”, “The Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin”, and “Psilocybin Research for Depression” sections of the course account for the 4.5 ACE CE credit hours. All other modules are not included in the number of awarded ACE CE credits. The recorded videos in all sections of the course account for the 5.5 APA and NYSED CE hours.
Format & Length: Recorded video-based asynchronous distance learning (self-study). Total run time 5.5 hours.
Topic Area & Instructional level: Clinical practice. Introductory.
Who Should Attend? Psychologists, counselors, masters or doctoral level clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and other medical professionals.
Completion Requirements: To receive a certificate of completion with CE information included students must complete all course sessions and modules, and obtain a score of 75% or higher on course completion quizzes. Upon completion of the course, students must also complete an evaluation form. For on-demand courses (recorded asynchronous distance learning), students will be able to access/download their certificate after marking all modules “complete.” For live/online courses (live synchronous distance learning), students will receive an attendance verification code from an administrator after their full attendance has been verified; Once they complete the “Attendance Verification” module, students will be able to access/download their certificate.
* For participants completing the course for APA credit only: if you would like to complete the course without submitting a response to the satisfaction survey, please contact us.
Course Publication & Review Dates: June 2, 2023 | Reviewed July 20, 2023
System Requirements: Students will need access to a computer and internet connection to complete this course.
Financial Support & Conflict of Interest Statements: Fluence pays course trainers for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course. There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.
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Fluence is a wonderful platform for self-paced psycho-education on a variety of useful topics for therapeutic professionals. I highly recommend these classes and will return to this platform, thank you Fluence.
I enjoyed the learning experience because it truly added to my self growth and my understanding of the human aspect of healing.
The course allowed me to structure and order past and current models for working with psychedelics. It also allowed me to learn about other treatment protocols, as well as associate certain psychedelics to the treatment of certain pathologies.