Psychological Approaches to Psychedelic Therapy | Online

A 12-week reading and study group for therapists and healthcare providers. 3 sections starting in September 2020

Get TicketsTickets coming soon!

Event details

Psychological Approaches to Psychedelic Therapy

Fall 2020 Section 1

Faculty: Jeffery Guss


Mondays, 9:30-11AM Eastern Time (EDT until 10/31, EST Starting November 1)

Group meeting dates: 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30, 12/7

Fall 2020 Section 2

Faculty: Johan Eriksson


Tuesdays, 10-11:30AM Eastern Time (EDT until 10/31, EST Starting November 1)

Group meeting dates: 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1

Fall 2020 Section 3

Faculty: Andrew Rose


Fridays, 9:30-11AM Eastern Time (EDT until 10/31, EST Starting November 1)

Group meeting dates: 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18




$1,200 for 12-sessions

Optional CE certificate for $65

A limited number of diversity scholarships are available, please complete this application.

This reading and study group will meet weekly for 12 weeks, and maintain the same membership for the 12 week period. The group will have a syllabus with papers or chapters that participants are expected to read. The format will include a short review of a selected paper by the group leader, followed by discussion of the content and related matters. This group will not be a forum for case presentations or extended sharing, either personal or clinical. The group is open to all, but will assume that members are interested in studying the academic literature on psychedelics from clinical, psychological, anthropological and philosophical points of view. We are asking Reading Group members to commit to the full 12 week series upon registration.

This group is by application only, Please click here to apply.

Reading list (Note individual instructors may make minor modifications or substitutions at their discretion)

Week 1

Introductions and Welcome

Week 2

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy

Watts, R. Day, C. et al. (2017). “Patients’ Accounts of Increased “Connectedness” and “Acceptance” after Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression”; Journal of Humanistic Psychology; Vol 57(5) pp. 520-564.

Week 3

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy

Thomas Brown, et al. (2019). “Ibogaine and Subjective Experience: Transformative States and Pharmacotherapy in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 51:2, pp. 155-165

Week 4

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy

Belser, A. et al. (2017). “Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, pp. 1-35.

Swift, C (2017). “Cancer at the Dinner Table: Experiences of Psilocybin- Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Cancer-Related Distress”, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 57(5) 488-519.

Week 5

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy

Davis A., et al. (2020). Psychological flexibility mediates the relations between acute psychedelic effects and subjective decreases in depression and anxiety” Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. Volume 15, 2020, pp 29-45.

Week 6

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy:

Jay Olson et al., (2020). “Tripping on nothing: placebo psychedelics and contextual factors,” Psychopharmacology.

Hartogsohn, I. (2016). Set and setting, psychedelics and the placebo response: An extra-pharmacological perspective on psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology. Vol. 30(12)1259-1267.

Week 7

Psychological Processes in Psychedelic Therapy

Hendrix, P. (2018) Awe: a putative mechanism underlying the effects of classic psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. International Review of Psychiatry, 30 (4), 331–342

Week 8

Microdosing and Creativity

Hartogsohn, I. (2018) “The Meaning-Enhancing properties of Psychedelics and their Mediator role in Psychedelic Therapy, spirituality and Creativity”. Frontiers in Neuroscience, March 6, 2018.

Week 9

Microdosing and Creativity

Mason, N. et al. (2019). “Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking and Subjective Well-Being”. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 52:2, pp. 123-134

Week 10

Psychological Aspects of Ayahuasca Shamanism

Gearin, A. (2017). “Good Mother Nature: Ayahuasca neoshamanism as cultural critique in Australia”. Chapter 6 of The World Ayahuasca Diaspora, Taylor Francis, 2017.

Week 11

Psychological Aspects of Ayahuasca Shamanism

Crockford, S. (2011). “Entering the Crack Between the Worlds: Symbolism in Western Shamanism” The Pomegranate 13:2 pp 184-204

Week 12

Psychological Aspects of Ayahuasca Shamanism

Fotiou, E. (2019). “Purging and the body in the therapeutic use of ayahuasca” Social Science and Medicine. Vol 239, October 2019.

Feedback, Suggestions, Continuing and Goodbyes

Learning Objectives:  

At the end of the study group (RSG), the participant will be able to:

1. Describe and clinically recognize the emergence of increased interpersonal ”connectedness” as a central component of improvement from depressive disorders seen with psychedelic therapy

2.  Use the direct subjective experiences reported by participants in psychedelic therapy to establish and maintain abstinence in individuals with addictive disorders

3.  List the ways that psychedelic therapy helped individuals with cancer related anxiety regain meaning in their lives and recover from existential distress caused by their cancer diagnosis and treatment

4.  Describe the components of psychological rigidity and psychological flexibility and list the ways that psilocybin therapy facilitates improvement in anxiety and depressive disorders

5.  Explain the phenomena that occur during placebo psychedelic experiences and discuss the implications of these findings in terms of user expectation in psychedelic experiences.  

6.  Critique the concept of creativity and microdosing of psychedelic medicines and describe how these medicines may be used to enhance creativity in the future.

7.  Analyze a recent research study on psychedelic and creativity to explain the historic  anecdotal reports in enhanced creativity through use of psychedelic experiences.  

8.  Compare indigenous concepts of ayahuasca cosmology with those found in contemporary neo-shamanism, and apply this knowledge to experiences that patients report in traditional psychotherapy settings

9. Revise traditional meanings of terms used in Western psychology (light, dark, healing, change, spirit) in accordance with ones that patients learn in their work in neoshamanic ayahuasca ceremonies

10.  Prepare to understand the meaning of purging and vomiting during ayahuasca ceremonies in ways that are radically different from the meanings commonly used for those behaviors in Western psychology.  

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

LCSWs, MFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Elizabeth Nielson, For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at