Evolving Earth Podcast: Rick Doblin on The Frontiers of Culture and The Future Of The Psychedelic Renaissance

Summary: “Once people learn they don’t have to suppress these difficult emotions, they can keep getting better on their own,” explains MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., in an interview on the Evolving Earth Podcast about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and the evolution of psychedelic research.

Originally appearing here.

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This week on the podcast I speak with one of my heroes: Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Rick has spent the last 30 years on a crusade of the heart to deliver the healing potential of psychedelic medicines to our culture. After transformational experiences with psychedelics in his 20’s, and amid the political environment of the Vietnam war, Rick dedicated his life to help our culture heal its collective trauma. Finally this year (2019) thanks to Rick’s work, the first legally sanctioned MDMA clinics will open in America to treat people with treatment-resistant PTSD. 

Rick’s story is an inspiring example of the power of unwavering vision, heart and commitment to change our culture and ultimately the world. This episode is filled with illuminating anecdotes on the history of psychedelic prohibition, as well as a fascinating exploration of the future of the psychedelic renaissance. Rick paints a picture of where he thinks our culture will be in 2025, 2035 and beyond. 

We talk about coming trends like mass access to psychedelic mental health clinics and services, treating trauma in hospital emergency rooms, psychedelic assisted family therapy, and ultimately the licensed legalization model that will open the doorway to generalized responsible use of psychedelics. 

I went to Boston to interview Rick because this is the highest leverage work I can find anywhere on the planet so far. If you know of something that is higher leverage please let me know! 

More about Rick: 

He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. 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 with his wife, two dogs, and empty rooms from three children, one of whom is in college and two have graduated.