International Researchers Participate in 5-Day MDMA Therapist Training

From December 6-11, 2014, MAPS held a five-day training in Buckinghamshire, UK, for researchers who will be involved in upcoming clinical studies of the therapeutic use of MDMA. The training included 30 people from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. The training was primarily organized for the Cardiff University team that will be conducting an upcoming fMRI study of the acute effects of MDMA on the brains of UK veterans with PTSD as they read a trauma script (study funded by MAPS, the Beckley Foundation, and Anton Bilton). Training participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and others. The purpose of the training was to provide researchers with the background knowledge needed to conduct future studies of MDMA-assisted therapies for PTSD, couples counseling, life-threatening illness anxiety, and hospice care; and to develop a model for training the many new therapists who will be needed for our Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The training was led by Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., at the gorgeous Tyringham Hall, the use of which was generously donated by Anton Bilton. “Beyond the important therapeutic training we’re all so passionate about, living together for five days has really created a sense of a community,” reported MAPS Research and Advocacy Coordinator Natalie Ginsberg. “Everyone here believes so deeply in the work and it’s been really special having researchers with such different backgrounds engaging in conversation.”