Training Protocol for MDMA-Assisted Therapy

Psychological effects of MDMA administration in normal volunteers training to conduct MDMA-assisted therapy research

Clinical Investigators: Zhenya Gelfand, M.D., Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C., and Dr. George Greer, M.D.
Location: Charleston, SC, Boulder, CO, and Santa Fe, NM

This Therapist Training/ Phase 1 psychological effects protocol is a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, cross-over study that allows MAPS to administer a single MDMA-assisted therapy session to therapists as part of their training to conduct MAPS' MDMA/PTSD studies, while also conducting a series of evaluations of the psychological effects of MDMA administered to healthy volunteers in a therapeutic context.

This protocol is based in part on a precedent from the 1970s: Dr. Albert Kurland's LSD research team at Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland had FDA permission to administer LSD to help train nurses, attendants and others working with patients in clinical studies, and to mental health professionals (doctors, therapists, counselors, priests, rabbis) to help them better understand patients or congregants who had experienced LSD. Over 100 people received LSD in those training sessions. MAPS submitted letters to FDA from one of the researchers conducting that program, Johns Hopkins researcher William Richards, Ph.D., and from Daniel Helminiak, Ph.D., Ph.D., LPC, a participant in that program. Below you will find a partial list of documents that MAPS has submitted for this study. The list is not comprehensive because the IRB requested that we not include any proprietary documents and information.

On October 3, 2009, MAPS received a letter from the US FDA allowing the study to proceed. On December 21, 2009, we received IRB approval. On August 9, 2010, Dr. Mithoefer received his Schedule 1 license from the DEA to administer MDMA in this study.

Therapist Training Protocol/Phase 1 Psychological Effects: Amendment 5 Version 2
Date of protocol: 08 April, 2020

This study has been fully approved.

Study Timeline

$429,000 needed • $35,000 raised • $394,000 still needed
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