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.