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MAPS Launches Annual Year-End Fundraising Campaign

Your gift will be doubled!

November 27, 2019

Dear friends and supporters,

Over 40 million people in the U.S. and 450 million people worldwide are living with a mental health condition. We need your help to continue research and find new healing modalities that can create a better future for our communities. In just seven days, 186 donors have helped MAPS raise $69,668 in tax-deductible donations. All donations are currently being doubled by the remainder of matching grants generously provided by Frank Kavanaugh ($25,000), Matt Khoury ($15,000), and the TinMan Fund ($10,000). Make a tax-deductible donation to MAPS between now and December 31 to help fund research using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for healing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and support our education and outreach programs.

We are continuing to accept applications for research volunteers for MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 clinicals trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Volunteers in this study will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works for the treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with all federal regulators, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For more information on study participation, please visit our website:

We had a wonderful time connecting, learning, and celebrating with the psychedelic community at MAPS’ Psychedelic Science Summit from November 1-3! Nearly 700 attendees joined us in Austin, Texas, for a weekend of exploring the fast-growing field of psychedelic science, medicine, policy, and spirituality. We continue to be inspired by our supporters, and we extend a special thanks to all our volunteers and partners. Be sure to check out our Flickr photo album to see more photos from the event!

Tim Ferriss speaks to Marcela Ot’alora, M.A., L.P.C., MAPS therapist trainer and Principal Investigator for MAPS Phase 3 and Healthy Volunteers clinical trials in Boulder, Colorado, about the process of becoming a psychedelic therapist at Psychedelic Science Summit in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Mycologist Paul Stamets discusses the past, present, and future of psilocybin mushroom research at Psychedelic Science Summit.

Volunteers pose for a photo at Psychedelic Science Summit in Austin, Texas

Mellody Hayes, M.D., gives a presentation on how the clinical process may alleviate the cycle of trauma.

Allison Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), gives a presentation on the role of memory reconsolidation, fear extinction, and neuroplasticity explored in studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

In this month’s edition of the MAPS Newsletter, you'll also learn:

Follow MAPS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and reddit.

We hope you will support MAPS' research by making a tax-deductible donation this holiday season.

With appreciation,

Amy Mastrine
MAPS Web and Email Marketing Associate

Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Phase 3 Trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD: Now Enrolling

We are currently seeking research volunteers for Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Volunteers will help contribute to scientific knowledge and will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works for the treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with all federal regulators, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). To learn more about our clinical trials or apply to be a study participant, visit our website:

Therapist Training Study: 83 Participants Enrolled

As of November 15, 2019, 83 total participants are enrolled in our ongoing Phase 1 study of the psychological effects of MDMA when used in a therapeutic setting by healthy volunteers. Enrollment in this multi-site study is limited by invitation only to therapists in training to work on MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The Boulder, Colorado, study site is led by Principal Investigator Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C. Zhenya Gelfand, M.D., is serving as Principal Investigator at the site in Charleston, South Carolina. • Learn More

Startle Testing with MDMA: Twenty-Third Participant Receives Experimental Treatment

On November 14, 2019, the twenty-third participant completed experimental treatment in our ongoing study of the effect of MDMA on startle testing in healthy volunteers. Led by Principal Investigator Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., this study is conducted at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you have tried MDMA, you may be eligible to enroll in this study investigating the effects of MDMA on the startle response. You will receive monetary compensation for completing the study. All involvement is confidential. This study takes place at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. • Learn More

MDMA Therapy Training Program Update: November 2019

The MDMA Therapy Training Program has launched a series of trainings to prepare therapy providers to become eligible to work on an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD protocol.

The last MDMA Therapy Training retreat for 2019 was held October 1-8, 2019. Forty-nine trainees gathered in Asheville, North Carolina, to receive training from Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., and Michael  Mithoefer, M.D. The MDMA Therapy Trainers gathered in November for a Trainers Retreat to reflect on the 2019 year and strategize about the year ahead and the future of the MDMA Therapy Training Program. There are no dates scheduled for 2020 trainings yet. The training team will be planning dates and tuition fees for the 2020 training year and announcing that information through the MDMA Therapy Training Newsletter in the months to come. Please sign up for the Training Program Newsletter to receive these updates.

Sites in the U.S. and U.S. territories interested in being considered to participate in an Expanded Access MDMA/PTSD protocol may now apply with MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) to assess eligibility and obtain the prerequisite training to administer MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.  The basic requirements of a qualified site are 1) treatment facility conducive to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, 2) therapy team, qualified and able to complete MDMA Therapy Training Program, and 3) prescribing physician who can obtain a DEA Schedule I license for MDMA.

Additional site and practitioner requirements are posted on the MAPS PBC website. Each site must submit one site questionnaire and all applicants interested in training need to complete a therapy training application for providers. Only applicants affiliated with a qualifying site can be considered for training at this time. MAPS PBC will review applications on an ongoing basis, as they are received. The MAPS PBC Therapy Provider Connect Portal is a community discussion forum for therapy providers, physicians and facilities to connect with one another to develop a site or treatment staff, in order to become eligible to participate in a MAPS PBC Expanded Access MDMA/PTSD protocol.

Sign up and stay tuned to the Training Program Newsletter to receive updates on upcoming trainings. • Learn More

Zendo Project at Psychedelic Science Summit in Austin, Texas

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, Sara Gael, M.A., Zendo Project Director of Harm Reduction, presented a talk at Psychedelic Science Summit in Austin, Texas, about safety and support for people having psychedelic and emotional challenges and the harm reduction principles used to reduce the risks associated with substance use.

On January 18, 2019, the Zendo Project will speak at the Intermountain Psychedelic Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah, a conference for those who are interested in the science and therapy of psychedelic medicines.

Sign up to receive the Zendo Project Email Newsletter (ZEN) at to learn about more events and updates.

Support MAPS

October Giving Report: MAPS raises $172,841, Hosts Annual NYC Benefit Dinner

In October 2019, MAPS raised $172,841 in new donations and pledges from 906 supporters. Of that amount, $95,251 was for general support and $15,839 for the Zendo Project, $51,551 for MDMA research and $200 for ibogaine research. Additional funds were raised for fiscal sponsorships ($33,946) and by MAPS Canada ($15,600).

We hosted our annual NYC Benefit Dinner at the New York Academy of Medicine on October 12. It was a beautiful night of connection and celebration with our NYC community of researchers, therapists, and supporters. Our generous community collectively raised $35,301 in donations and pledges to support the expansion of psychedelic medicine!

Currently, MAPS estimates $10 million is needed for European Medicines Agency (EMA) Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD trials to supplement the data gathered for the FDA. In May 2019, MAPS reached our initial goal of $2 million raised for this program, facilitating the continuation of critical start up activities for the planned trials in multiple European countries. We still need an estimated $8 million to support the completion of the European Phase 3 program and make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD available to people across Europe.

We extend a special thanks to those who so generously supported MAPS last month:

General Support:

  • Franklin Fund ($50,000)
  • Threshold Foundation ($37,275)
  • Aubrey Marcus ($10,000)
  • Nancy Keen Palmer-Gift ($10,000)
  • Mack Fuhrer ($2,500)
  • Peter Taubkin ($2,000)
  • Cody L. Stone ($1,800)
  • Cartograph LLC ($1,250)
  • Brian J. Smith Giving Fund ($1,000)
  • Michael Cazayoux ($1,000)
  • Tom Lee ($1,000)
  • Jackee Stang ($1,000)
  • Kent Tomaselli ($1,000)
  • Keith Ubben ($1,000)
  • Billie-Grace Ward ($1,000)

Harm Redution:

  • Yvonne Read ($2,500)
  • Green Canoe Foundation ($1,000)
  • Benjamin Halper ($1,000)
  • James Lamberg ($1,000)
  • Anonymous ($1,000)
  • Anonymous ($1,000)

Fiscal Sponsorships:

  • Open Society Foundations (OSF) ($20,000) — From Shock to Awe
  • Simon Scott ($4,282) — Aniwa
  • William H. Donner Foundation ($1,000) — Chacruna

MAPS Canada

  • Sunshine Coast Health Centre Ltd. ($10,000)
  • 1-R32 Foundation ($5,000)

MAPS relies on the generosity of individual donors to achieve its mission. Psychedelic science is again being conducted under federal guidelines, but no funding for psychedelic psychotherapy research is yet available from governments or major foundations.

Together, we can legalize psychedelic medicine.
Donate now at Learn how to include MAPS in your will or estate plans.

We're Hiring!

MAPS, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), and MAPS Europe are hiring and accepting applications for new career opportunities.



MAPS Europe:

You can support psychedelic science by referring qualified applicants to these open positions.


Featured Media: October 2019

MAPS Store

Zendo Project Hoodie

zendo project hoodie

Support the Zendo Project while staying warm and cozy with these Eco-Fleece hoodies! Each hoodie is made with recycled and organic materials and low-impact dyes by Alternative Apparel, who's facilities are WRAP certified and adhere to Fair Labor Association guidelines. Proceeds support the Zendo Project's mission to provide psychedelic peer support for difficult psychedelic experiences at multiple large-scale events every year. Screen printed in Santa Cruz, California, by The Print Gallery. • Buy Now

From Shock to Awe (DVD and Blu-ray)

from shock to awe

From Shock to Awe is a feature-length documentary about how MDMA, cannabis, and ayahuasca are being used as alternative treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among some military veterans. The documentary centers on veterans Matt Kahl and Mike Cooley, and their challenging post-war lives, lives shattered by the trauma of war. The veterans personally struggle with anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and an overall inability to find an equilibrium in society and with their families. In order to deal with their erratic emotions and haunted state-of-mind, doctors prescribe intense pharmaceuticals with various side effects that bring them face-to-face with death. In response to the negative impact of traditional Western medicine, both veterans begin to use cannabis as an alternative. Although beneficial on many levels, our heroes yearn for deeper healing. • Buy Now


Browse our Event Calendar page for more opportunities.

Fantastic Fungi Film Screenings, Now - January 2020, International

insight 2019

Fantastic Fungi, a new documentary directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is an important scientific exploration of the little-known realm of fungi, featuring interviews with well-known figures like Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan, and Andrew Weil, M.D. Special film screenings of Fantastic Fungi are taking place around the world from now through January 2020. • Learn More

Head Talks with Shane Mauss Tour, December 2019, United States

maps soap 2019

Shane Mauss is an award-winning stand-up comedian, science podcaster and a psychedelic advocate. Head Talks is his new tour where he is joined by a psychedelic researcher in each city for a show combining all three of his worlds into one two-hour show. You’ll get psychedelic comedy, a science talk, a Q&A, and a community meet & greet in one event. • Learn More

International Congress in Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry December 1-4, 2019, Jerusalem, Israel


Spirituality and religion is relevant to most human beings. Eighty-four percent of the world's population reports a religious affiliation. Systematic reviews of the academic literature have identified literally thousands of empirical studies showing the relationship (usually positive but also negative) between spirituality and religion and health. However, there has been a huge gap between the knowledge available about the impact of spirituality/religion to health and the translation of this knowledge to the actual clinical practice and public health policies. Given this, the WPA recently published a Position Statement on spirituality and religion in psychiatry, emphasizing the importance of integrating spirituality and religion in clinical practice, research, and education in psychiatry. This Congress will focus on practical implications, on how to sensibly and effectively integrate spirituality/religion in mental health care and public policies. • Learn More

The Arizona Plant Medicine Conference, Tucson, Arizona, December 6-8, 2019

az psychedelics conf

The purpose of The AZ Plant Medicine Conference is to educate the public on the benefits and options available in plant medicines. We’ll elucidate the latest research, and discuss how these medicines can help improve lives as well as the risks and contraindications. The event will educate the general public on the clinical use of these medicines as well as share the latest developments in research and use in clinical settings. This event will be an overview and education on how people who use these medicines can avoid or replace pharmaceuticals, alleviate pain or suffering where other methods have failed and ultimately get well physically, mentally, and spiritually. • Learn More

Psychedelic Integration in Psychotherapy: A Retreat for Clinicians, January 17-20, 2020, Phoenicia, New York

psychedelic liberty summit

This 3-day retreat offered by psychologists and psychedelic therapy researchers Ingmar Gorman and Elizabeth Nielson is designed for clinicians and healthcare providers who want to learn more about current psychedelic research and clinical practice, including how to work with patients who have a history of psychedelic use or have expressed an interest in using psychedelics. This interactive training includes experiential learning, demonstrations, self-reflection, and role-play exercises. The themes of spirituality and ethics and critical discussion will be woven throughout the program with opportunities for connection, collaboration, and building community. • Learn More

The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research, April 24-26, 2020, Haarlem, The Netherlands

az psychedelics conf

This is the fourth edition of the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. ICPR 2020 takes place from Friday, April 24 to Sunday, April 26, 2020, in the beautiful city of Haarlem, The Netherlands. ICPR 2020 is an academic conference focused on high quality scientific and scholarly research into psychedelics. Many academic disciplines have important contributions to make within the field of psychedelic studies. ICPR aims to bridge and connect these disciplines, and to facilitate a dialogue between the diverse academic fields and researchers involved in the study of psychedelics. • Learn More

Psychedelic Liberty Summit, April 25-26, 2020, San Francisco, California

psychedelic liberty summit

This summit will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the legal, cultural, and political issues around the emerging psychedelic renaissance. The topics addressed will include: the process of applying for religious exemptions with the DEA; psilocybin decriminalization initiatives; the right to ameliorate pain and suffering; cognitive liberty; drug use and human rights; ibogaine bills; the upcoming FDA regulation of MDMA and psilocybin; psychedelic harm reduction; licensed health care providers and psychedelic-assisted therapy; the paradoxes of cannabis regulation and NIDA monopoly for research cannabis; conservation of endangered species; human’s relationship to sacred plants and nature; the continuities and discontinuities between recreational, therapeutic and religious use of drugs; the future legal markets; and the commercialization of psychedelics. • Learn More

Participate in Psychedelic Research

MDMA Studies Sponsored by MAPS

MAPS sponsors clinical trials around the world that offer volunteers the opportunity to participate in our research studies. Our studies have strict enrollment criteria based on the goal of the study and the condition the study is investigating.

Phase 3 trial participant enrollment is now open. Please bookmark our Participate in Research page and check it frequently for updates.

Ayahuasca Ceremony and Retreat Participant Survey

This is an anonymous survey gathering preliminary data about the safety and ethics of ayahuasca ceremonies in various settings. The data collection is a part of the doctoral dissertation work of the principal investigator, Jessica Brown, M.A., L.M.F.T. • Learn More

Psychedelics and Wellness Study (PAWS)

​Following a four-decade moratorium, the therapeutic use of psychedelics has once more captured the collective attention of the medical community and the public at large. Now, at the forefront of a renaissance in psychedelic research, this study is investigating the interrelationship of psychedelics and mental wellness – a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

To participate in this study, one must be 18 years of age or older and have taken a psychedelic at least once. The study's anonymous survey requires responses to a series of questions and questionnaires related to one's overall wellness, mood, and anxiety. This survey only takes about 8 minutes to complete. The results of the study will ultimately be published in a major medical journal. • Learn More

More News

Journeys to the Edge of Consciousness

“Journeys to the Edge of Consciousness” is a part-animated feature-length documentary film by producer / director Rob Harper. Take an animated trip into the depths of the human mind with three brave pioneers of the 1950’s/60’s Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary and Alan Watts. The film presents three psychedelic trips by these three world-famous authors that together changed them, and Western culture, forever. Combining stylish, minimalist animation with a rich, immersive soundscape, Journeys creates a unique cinematic spectacle, inviting you to relive the highs - and the lows - of the psychedelic experience from the edge of your seat." • Learn More

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