with Chris Germer, Judy Reiner Platt, and Ronald D. Siegel
Non-ordinary states of consciousness have played an important role in psychotherapy since its inception. For example, dreams, hypnotic trance, free association, and breath regulation, as well as meditation practices like mindfulness, have all been successfully applied in clinical settings to access and integrate challenging emotional experiences that cause psychological disorders. Recently, pharmaceutical psychedelics, such as MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine, are being used in FDA-approved trials in the US, and government-sanctioned studies abroad, to enhance psychotherapy for disorders such as PTSD, depression, and addictions, as well as to ease end-of-life transitions. These developments represent a novel application of psychopharmacology in conjunction with psychotherapy. This course will explore the history, science, neurobiology, and ethical and legal issues that arise when working with non-ordinary states of consciousness, especially psychedelics. It is intended for mental health, medical, and other professionals who want a deeper understanding of non-ordinary states and their therapeutic potential. Multiple learning formats will be used including didactic presentations, panels, case discussions, and Q&A.