MDMA/PTSD Phase 3 Therapy Training Program: Part D Training Begins

From March 18-23, 2017, 42 trainees from 7 U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, Israel, and the Netherlands participated in MAPS’ MDMA/PTSD Phase 3 Therapy Training (Part D) in Stony Point, New York. From April 1-7, another 42 Phase 3 therapists from the US, Canada, and Israel were trained at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado. These were the first times MAPS offered a Part D training, which consists of five and a half days of experiential learning in non-directive therapy, working with a co-therapist, bodywork, art, and non-ordinary states of consciousness. One day at each training consisted of Holotropic Breathwork™, facilitated by Diane Haug, Stacia Butterfield, Sharanya Naik (at Stony Point), and Colleen (at YMCA of the Rockies). Trainees got to experience non-ordinary states induced by breathing, alternating with the experience of sitting for another person. As is the case with MAPS’ Therapist Training Study, it is important for therapists to understand non-ordinary states of consciousness before treating subjects with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Holotropic Breathwork™ provides an accessible avenue for more trainees to gain this kind of hands-on training. Experiential work continued with role plays of situations that take place during MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., shared case studies highlighting the non-directive approach as well as some of the unique challenges Phase 3 therapy teams might face, such as transference/countertransference and working with transpersonal experiences. Marcela Ot’alora, M.A., L.P.C., led a dialogue on team development.

MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) Executive Director Amy Emerson and MPBC Clinical Data Specialist Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., joined the training staff to provide important information about screening, study design, and protocol. MPBC Training Program Coordinator Shannon Clare Petitt oriented trainees on the therapeutic use of music in psychedelic psychotherapy. MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., joined each group for the first several days of the training. Learn more…