Psychedelia: The History and Science of Mystical Experience & The Way of the Psychonaut
Date and Times:
October 2-3, 2021
Saturday, October 2: 9:00am–6:30pm Pacific Time
Sunday, October 3: 9:00am–3:30pm Pacific Time
Offered Online via Zoom Webinar
Co-sponsored by Chacruna Institute, Fluence, and MAPS
$125.00 Pacifica Student Rate
$175.00 Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students & Senior Rate
$225.00 General Rate
$25.00 Continuing Education Credits (6 hours – Saturday only) Live Zoom participation is required for the eligibility of CEC hours. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs
Offered online via Zoom Webinar. Conference recording will be available for paid attendees up to 30 days after the event for those who cannot attend live or the full day. All links will be sent at least 3 days prior to and after the Conference (for the recording). ForCECs: Participants must attend Saturday live (online) from 9:00 am-5:00 pm in order to receive CEC credits.
Pacifica Graduate Institute is proud to present a two-day virtual symposium centered around the screening of two films – PSYCHEDELIA: The History and Science of Mystical Experience and The Way of the Psychonaut: Stanislav Grof’s Journey of Consciousness. This unique event features a variety of panel discussions and presentations from leading figures in the field, focused on cutting-edge topics in areas of psychedelic research, including: therapeutic application and integration; issues of diversity, equity, and access; women in psychedelic and healing spaces; and psychedelics, spirituality, and the future of religion. A number of panels and discussions additionally serve as a reunion of many of the key subjects from the films as well as a diverse gathering of luminaries and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds.
PSYCHEDELIA: The History and Science of Mystical Experience is an award-winning film that takes viewers on a journey through the origins and resurgence of psychedelic research. Featuring rare archival footage, interviews with leading experts, and first-hand accounts from a psilocybin study on end-of-life anxiety, the film explores the profound, life-altering effects of these compounds in both the therapeutic setting and the world at large. This one-of-a-kind documentary is in a sense a time capsule for the story of psychedelic research and lays the historical and contextual foundation for today’s “Psychedelic Renaissance.”
The Way of the Psychonaut explores the life and work of Dr. Stanislav Grof, Czech-born psychiatrist and psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer. Stan’s quest for knowledge and insights into the healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness deeply influenced the emerging discipline of transpersonal psychology and profoundly changed many lives. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker and notable figures from the film, including a special guest appearance by Stan Grof, as well as keynote address by Richard Tarnas.
The two-day conference will expand upon the themes and topics of both films, with further discussion and exploration into the complex and rapidly expanding field of psychedelic science, medicine, and mystical experience.
Conference Learning Objectives
Describe various theoretical approaches to psychedelic medicines, including implications for diverse therapeutic outcomes.
Differentiate multiple perspectives regarding psychedelic therapies, including medical, psychiatric, and psychotherapeutic perspectives.
Assess implications for psychedelic integration as related to therapeutic practice.
DAY ONE: PSYCHEDELIA: THE HISTORY AND SCIENCE OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2021
Psychedelics and Mystical Experience Research: A New Paradigm for the Study of Meaning, Spirituality, and Therapeutics Anthony P. Bossis, PhD
This presentation will review the history and scientific findings from psychedelic and mystical experience research highlighting the treatment of psychological, existential, and spiritual distress in palliative care and at the end of life. Implications for the future of palliative and hospice care will be addressed.
Anthony P. Bossis, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine conducting FDA-approved psychedelic clinical research with the compound psilocybin since 2009. Dr. Bossis is director of palliative care research and co-principal investigator on the clinical psilocybin trial demonstrating a rapid and sustained reduction in psychological distress and improvement in existential well-being in cancer patients. He is study director and lead session guide on a psilocybin trial with religious leaders. His psilocybin research interests include the treatment of end-of-life distress, myriad mental health disorders, and to advance our understanding of consciousness, meaning, and spirituality. He maintains a consulting and psychotherapy practice in NYC.
PSYCHEDELIA: THE HISTORY AND SCIENCE OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE
PSYCHEDELIA is an hour-long documentary film about psychedelic drugs and their ability to induce mystical and religious experiences. The film chronicles their use in controlled research studies prior to the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, when LSD was regarded as a promising medical breakthrough, as well as their recent re-emergence in psychiatry.
Featuring leading experts in the field of psychedelic research, the film tells the story of medical professionals who have re-introduced these compounds into a legal and growing field of study. First-person accounts from a study on end-of-life anxiety explore the profound, life-altering insights psychedelics induce in participants and what these insights might mean for society at large.
PANEL DISCUSSION & AUDIENCE Q&A
Charles S. Grob, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He has conducted approved clinical research with various psychedelics and has published numerous articles in the professional literature and several books on the topic, including his most recent book, Handbook of Medical Hallucinogens (Guilford Press, 2021).
Pat Murphy (moderator) is a documentary filmmaker and professional film editor. He has edited programs for major outlets like PBS, Showtime, and People magazine. As a producer, his films have been shown in museums, international film festivals, and in-studio on Channel 13 in New York City. www.psychedeliadoc.com
Stephen Ross, MD, is Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Ross is a founding member of the NYU Psychedelic Research Group and is currently associate director of the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine and director of the NYU Psychedelic Medicine Research Training Program.
PSYCHEDELIC INTEGRATION THERAPY
PAIRED PRESENTER SESSION
This presentation includes a brief overview of psychedelic preparation and integration, to be followed by a role play demonstration of a psychedelic integration process, and audience Q&A.
Ingmar Gorman, PhD, is a co-founder of Fluence, a psychedelic education company training mental health providers in psychedelic therapies. He served as site co-principal investigator and therapist on trials of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD and psilocybin for depression. Dr. Gorman has published on various related topics including Psychedelic Integration.
Jeffrey Guss, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been involved with psychedelic research since 2006. He is particularly interested in the integration of psychedelic therapy with psychoanalysis, and currently is a study therapist with multiple North American research studies using psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapies. He also maintains a private practice in New York City.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND ACCESS (PANEL)
Despite renewed interest in psychedelic and plant-based medicines, issues of treatment and access among GLBTQIA and racially diverse populations have not been a primary focus of research, and only recently are receiving sustained attention. Join a panel of leading experts on topics such as equity and access, harm reduction, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy among diverse populations.
Kwasi Adusei, NPI, is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and co-founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York, out of which developed a grassroots psychedelic harm reduction program called the Sanctuary Project. Kwasi is also a trainee of the MAPS sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and was part of the first ever therapists of color cohort.
Terence H.W. Ching, PhD, earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and is currently a postdoctoral associate at the Yale OCD Research Clinic. He has research and clinical interests at the intersections of clinical anxiety, trauma and PTSD, diversity and equity, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for chronic conditions.
Kat Conour, LMFT, is a trained ketamine therapist, organizational consultant, and trainee in the MAPS MDMA for PTSD protocol. With a background in non-profits, philanthropy, and community organizing, Kat is passionate about supporting individuals and organizations in the psychedelic community to transform their values and vision into aligned action. As Founder and Principal at Auryn Project, Board Chair and Faculty at Sage Institute, and cofounder of North Star, her work currently focuses on supporting the success of leaders and organizations focused on centering safe, affordable, culturally-relevant access to care in the scaling of psychedelic medicines.
Katrina Michelle, PhD, LCSW, works with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as Director of Harm Reduction at the Zendo Project. Since 2017, Katrina has served as faculty at Columbia University School of Social Work, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and The Institute for the Development of Human Arts. Informed by her doctoral research on “spiritual emergence” and her own transcendent experiences, she supports people in exploring, embracing, and integrating the multifaceted human experience. She is currently producing a documentary film, When Lightning Strikes, with the intention to educate the mainstream about spiritual emergence, and maintains a private practice in New York City.
Amber E. Senter is founder and CEO of Breeze Distro, a licensed lifestyle and infused cannabis product and distribution company located in Oakland, CA. She is also co-founder and executive director of Supernova Women, a women of color–led organization dedicated to empowering people of color to become self-sufficient cannabis industry shareholders.
WOMEN’S VOICES IN PSYCHEDELIC HEALING SPACES (PANEL)
Women have historically served as gatekeepers and sacred stewards at the intersection of numerous rites of passage: birth, sickness, trauma, grief, joy, death and rebirth. Through these various interfaces, a group of women have joined together around shared passion and investigation of psychedelic facilitation of mystical experiences and non-ordinary state of consciousness. In this panel discussion, we will share our lived experiences in circumventing patriarchal norms in the contemporary “psychedelic renaissance” and dream new ways to relate to the burgeoning psychedelic movement.
Katherine MacLean, PhD (Moderator), is a psychedelic scientist, mother, writer, and adventure-seeker. As a researcher and head guide in the Johns Hopkins trials, she discovered that high-dose psilocybin can promote increases in openness, among other psychological benefits. She is currently writing a memoir that positions women and caregivers at the center of a home-based model for psychedelic healing, from birth through death.
Angela Beers, PsyD, is a mother, wife, and psychologist of Indigenous-Mexican and European ancestry. A former intern at the American Indian Health and Family Services in Detroit, MI. Her background includes the Michigan Department of Corrections, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival-Movement, and an expanded access MAPS-Naropa MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Trainee. She co-owns Crescent Roots Psychological Services and is adjunct faculty at Naropa University.
Eileen Hall is a creative director, artist, and explorer, born in Ecuador and based in London. She is the Co-director of Tayos (www.tayos.org), a multidisciplinary and multicultural collective of artists and scientists looking to reconnect people to nature through art, music, and immersive experiences with the aim to protect endangered habitats of her home country of Ecuador. As a healer, meditation teacher, and psychedelic guide she has worked with individuals, groups, and companies worldwide combining creativity and contemplation practices for wellbeing and health. www.eileen-hall.com
Carmen Jackman, MA, is a Washington, D.C. area-based designer, researcher, and organizer. Carmen joined Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) in 2019 while pursuing her Masters in User Experience Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She is currently the Development Associate, and staff liaison for the Intersectionality Committee at SSDP.
Serena Malkani, MA, is an internationally recognized Sound Practitioner, Ayurvedic Counselor, and Intuitive Coach. Serena integrates her psychology expertise with the medicinal qualities of Sound, Ayurveda, and Yoga to develop long-term preventative health care rituals. In addition to her private practice, Serena is currently partnered with Polaris Insight Center, a Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy clinic, offering integrative sound and ayurvedic services to psychedelic therapy clients. www.sereneritual.com
Oriana Mayorga is a cis-femme, first generation, anti-oppression organizer and harm reductionist from New York. She is a board director for SSDP and SPORE. Oriana is dedicated to dismantling structural oppression, promoting racial justice, ending the war on drugs, and centering the needs of people of color in psychedelia.
Omolewa is a loving Mother, Holistic Massage Therapist, Doula, Midwives Assistant, Childbirth Educator and Sacred Psilocybin Therapist. As a Holistic Health Practitioner, she has shared her gifts of healing touch and Earth Medicine with individuals and families in her community and abroad.
The Psychedelic Renaissance: Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD and the Path to Commercialization
SPECIAL GUEST SESSION WITH DR. RICK DOBLIN (MAPS FOUNDER) (PRE-RECORDED)
Please join Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS Founder, for a discussion of the renaissance in psychedelic research, including Phase 3 results of MDMA-assisted therapy, the remaining steps toward approval and commercialization, other therapeutic approaches, and globalization.
Rick Doblin, PhD, is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston.
DAY TWO: THE WAY OF THE PSYCHONAUT
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2021
Psychedelic Therapy in Postmodern Culture and the Contribution of Stanislav Grof
Richard Tarnas, PhD
The twentieth century’s discovery of LSD and the subsequent use of psychedelics in both psychotherapeutic practice and, more widely, contemporary popular culture represents a profound transformational event in modern civilization. It has carried the power of a collective initiatory rite of passage, yet often without an adequately containing ritual structure, wisdom tradition, or clinical knowledge to mediate that transformation. For many therapists and researchers as well as countless lay explorers, the work of Stanislav Grof has played a major role in guiding this great journey.
THE WAY OF THE PSYCHONAUT: STANISLAV GROF’S JOURNEY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The Way of the Psychonaut explores the life and work of Stanislav Grof, Czech-born psychiatrist and psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer. Stan’s quest for knowledge and insights into the healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness deeply influenced the emerging discipline of transpersonal psychology and profoundly changed many lives. Filmmaker Susan Hess Logeais and Stan begin with a series of interviews that reveal his journey from material scientist to a spiritually aware explorer of the deep psyche. Interviews combined with re-enactments of Stan’s most remarkable therapeutic sessions bring to life the development of his theories. Additionally, a multi-layered visual story provides a framework of meaning to Susan’s personal exploration of Stan’s techniques and discoveries. The result is a powerful glimpse of what is possible for us all.
THE LEGACY OF DR. STANISLAV GROF AND PSYCHEDELIC RESEARCH (PANEL) with a special appearance by Dr. Stanislav Grof
Richard Tarnas, PhD, is the founding director of the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and frequently lectures on depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He was formerly the director of programs at Esalen Institute and is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche.
Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist with more than sixty years of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness. In the past, he was Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Currently, he is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. His life‘s work encyclopedia The Way of the Psychonaut was published in 2019. www.stanislavgrof.com
Brigitte Grof is a psychologist, licensed psychotherapist, and artist with 35 years of experience in Holotropic Breathwork; certified in the first training groups in the USA and Switzerland. She has led workshops and taught training modules in Holotropic Breathwork in USA and in Germany. Currently she holds a private practice in Wiesbaden, Germany. Happily married in 2016, Stan and Brigitte live in Germany and California, and conduct seminars, trainings, and Holotropic Breathwork workshops worldwide. In May 2020 they launched the International Grof® Legacy Training, a new approach in working with holotropic states of consciousness. www.grof-legacy-training.comwww.brigittegrof.com
Jay Dufrechou, J.D., PhD, is Co-Director for Grof Legacy Project USA and assists Stan and Brigitte Grof in developing Grof® Legacy training programs worldwide. He holds a doctoral degree in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University, and is the co-author of The Psychedelics Integration Handbook.
Susan Hess Logeais, MA, brings the knowledge and understanding earned from over 30 years of spiritual exploration to create thought provoking and inspiring films. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Transformational Entertainment and Human Consciousness, and an MA in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness.
PSYCHEDELICS, SPIRITUALITY, AND RELIGION (PANEL)
While clinical and pharmaceutical studies have received the lion’s share of attention, the religious and spiritual implications of the psychedelic renaissance may be even more significant in the long run. This panel will address the transformation of indigenous traditions of sacred medicine, the psychedelicizing of religious chaplaincy, as well as the emergence, not only of a myriad of psychedelic spiritualities, but of new visionary and collective religions as well.
Erik Davis, PhD(moderator), is an author, award-winning journalist, and scholar based in San Francisco. He is the author of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies (2019), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (2006), and the celebrated cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998). He currently writes the Substack publication Burning Shore (www.burningshore.com). www.techgnosis.com
Belinda Eriacho, MPH, is of Dine’ (Navajo) and A:shiwi (Pueblo of Zuni) descent, residing in Arizona. She is the wisdom carrier, healer, and founder of Kaalogii LLC. Belinda holds degrees in Health Sciences, Technology, and Public Health. In addition, Belinda has participated in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, MDMA People of Color Therapy Training Program. She is an international speaker on issues that impact Native Americans in the United States. www.kaalogii.com
Christian Greer, PhD, earned his doctorate in Western esotericism from the University of Amsterdam, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, where he is co-coordinating the popular “Psychedelics and the Future of Religion” lecture series. His research focuses on hip culture, occultism, psychedelia, and Western esotericism in general.
Rachael Petersen is a visiting fellow at Harvard Divinity School and the Psychedelics and Religion Director for the Riverstyx Foundation. Rachael pivoted to psychedelic investigation after a decade-long career in the climate change fight. Her writing explores themes of transcendence and transformation, and the unspoken theologies at play in “medicalized” psychedelic mysticism.
Bob Otis Stanley, MDiv, earned his Master’s in Divinity from the University of Chicago and is a Pastor for Sacred Garden Community (Oakland, CA). He was founding Chairperson for Decriminalize Nature Oakland and is a co-founder of Chacruna’s Sacred Plant Alliance. Over 35 years of engagement with family, traditional and Western teachers guide Bob’s work with entheogenic Sacraments.
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