Psychedelic Science 2020 Webinar Series

presented by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

“Today there is a true renaissance of research on the role of psychedelics on mental health.” - CNN, January 27, 2020

In this all-new online course, we’ll explore the latest advancements in psychedelic research, medicine, and policy and find out how to apply those lessons to our lives now and in the near future.

In the Psychedelic Science 2020 Webinar Series, you’ll join host Bia Labate, Ph.D., and leaders of the psychedelic renaissance for insights into the latest research into the medical and therapeutic uses of MDMA, psilocybin, ketamine, and more. We’ll also get a sneak peek at key issues affecting the wider availability of psychedelics for healing and spirituality, and explore the role of psychedelics in healing trauma.

In seven sessions from April 9 through May 21, you’ll learn directly from key players in psychedelic research, therapy, and advocacy about the hottest topics in the field. You’ll also get a chance to ask your questions and have them answered in real time.

The online sessions will include 60 minutes of presentations followed by 30 minutes of Q&A from the audience. All sessions will be live, and will take place on Thursdays from 12:00 PM PDT to 1:30 PM PDT.

Video recordings of each webinar will be provided to all registered attendees. Webinar recordings are expected to be privately sent to you after the webinar series has concluded.

All registration proceeds help expand psychedelic research and education. By participating in this webinar series, you’re helping make the dream of legal psychedelic therapy into a reality.

$35 - Individual Session
$150 - Full Series (Save $95!)

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Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

Webinar Sessions


Ketamine Therapy: Current Applications in Mental Health Treatment
Featuring Raquel Bennett, Psy.D., Veronika Gold, M.A., M.F.T., and Gita Vaid, M.D.

Thursday, April 9, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Psychedelics and the Brain
Katrin Preller, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Decriminalizing Psychedelics
Featuring Sean McAllister, Ismail Ali, J.D., and Natalie Ginsberg, M.S.W.

Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Psilocybin Mushrooms in Culture and Consciousness
Featuring Paul Stamets

Thursday, April 30, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Towards Legal Psychedelic Psychotherapy
Featuring Amy Emerson and Rick Doblin, Ph.D.

Thursday, May 7, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Psychedelic Peer Support: Models of Community Care
Featuring Kwasi Adusei, Sara Gael, M.A., and Ryan Beauregard

Thursday, May 14, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Featuring Gül Dölen, M.D., Ph.D. and Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D.

Thursday, May 21, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific



Hosted by Bia Labate, Ph.D.

Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist who immigrated to the U.S. in 2017. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, an organization that provides public education about psychedelic plant medicines. She is Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program and Integral and Transpersonal Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. She is also Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, and editor of NEIP’s website, as well as editor of the Mexican blog Drugs, Politics, and Culture. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-one books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.


Ketamine Therapy: Current Applications in Mental Health Treatment

Featuring Raquel Bennett, Psy.D., Veronika Gold, M.A., M.F.T., and Gita Vaid, M.D.

Thursday, April 9, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Ketamine is a unique and beautiful medicine. It was originally developed as a human surgical anesthetic, but in recent years, ketamine has become known for its rapid-acting antidepressant and anti-suicidal properties. In addition, ketamine is highly psychedelic under certain circumstances, producing a strange, dissociative, and expansive psycho-spiritual experience. In this presentation, three experienced ketamine clinicians will talk about the legal uses of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. First, Dr. Bennett will describe several different approaches to ketamine treatment: the medical and biochemical paradigm, the psychotherapeutic and relational paradigm, and the psychedelic and shamanic paradigm. Next, Dr. Vaid will present some of the clinical indications for ketamine treatment, including severe depression, bipolar disorder, ruminative suicidality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. She will also talk briefly about some of ketamine’s side effects, and the importance of physical and psychological safety in ketamine treatment. Finally, Veronika Gold will present on the power of combining ketamine treatment and psychotherapy. She will also speak to the importance of preparation, guided work, and psychedelic integration. The panelists will also talk about the current controversy around esketamine (a.k.a. Spravato), which is an outrageously expensive filtered ketamine product that was awarded FDA approval in 2019 for the treatment of refractory depression. This introductory level presentation will contain helpful information for clinicians, ketamine clients, and the community at large.

Raquel Bennett, Psy.D., is a psychologist and ketamine specialist from Berkeley, CA. She primarily works with people who are living with severe depression, bipolar disorder, and/or suicidal ideation. She is fascinated by the antidepressant properties of ketamine, and has been studying this since 2002. She also has a long-standing interest in the psychedelic and mystical properties of ketamine, and the potential for this medicine to be used for spiritual exploration. Dr. Bennett is the founder of KRIYA Institute and the organizer of KRIYA Conference, which is an annual and international event devoted to understanding the uses of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. You can learn more about her work at kriyainstitute.com or send her an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Veronika Gold, M.A., M.F.T., Co-Founder of Polaris Insight Center, earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2000 from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and her M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco in 2009. She provides Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and has trained other therapists in this modality. She is currently a Sub-Investigator, Co-Therapist, and a Supervisor-in-Training on the MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Veronika's hope is to contribute to the shift in the way Western Society relates to healing and help facilitate wider understanding of the possibilities and challenges presented by working with non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Gita Vaid, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. She completed her residency training at NYU Medical Center and her psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Dr. Vaid is on faculty at The Ketamine Training Center, where she teaches and practices ketamine-assisted psychotherapy as well as at her practice in New York City. She is a co-founder of the Center for Natural Intelligence, a multidisciplinary initiative whose focus includes psychedelic psychotherapy, establishing theoretical frameworks, clinical implications and the development of treatment protocols.

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Psychedelics and the Brain

Featuring Katrin Preller, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


The Effects of Psychedelics on the Human Brain
Due to their unique effects on consciousness, psychedelics offer the opportunity to investigate the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying alterations in perception and cognition. Furthermore, renewed interest in the potentially beneficial clinical effects of psychedelics warrants a better understanding of their underlying neuropharmacological mechanisms. However, major knowledge gaps remain regarding the neurobiology of psychedelics in humans. This talk will elucidate how LSD and psilocybin modulate brain connectivity and subjective effects via agonistic activity on the serotonin 2A receptor in humans. In particular, psychedelic-induced alteration in brain connectivity are characterized by a synchronization of sensory functional networks and dis-integration of associative networks. Furthermore, our studies have shown that LSD changes thalamic gating to the cortex. Additionally, psychedelics have been shown to be powerful modulators of social processing and behavior. These new results provide insight into the mechanisms potentially underlying clinical efficacy of these substances and inform novel treatment approaches.

Katrin Preller, Ph.D., received her M.Sc. (Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology) from University of Konstanz, Germany. For her Ph.D., Dr. Preller joined the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University of Zurich, Switzerland, where she investigated the neurobiological and social-cognitive long-term effects of cocaine, MDMA, and heroin use. After completing her Ph.D., she joined the Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Lab at the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, investigating the effects of psychedelic substances on self-perception, social cognition, and multimodal processing using different brain imaging techniques. Dr. Preller received a SNSF PostDoc mobility fellowship and worked as a postdoc at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, U.C.L., London, U.K., and Yale University, New Haven, C.T., U.S.A. Subsequently, she was appointed as Junior Group Leader at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University of Zurich, and holds a position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Preller is a recipient of the Pfizer Research Award and the Swiss Society for Biological Psychiatry Young investigators award. Her group’s research focus is centered on the neurobiology and pharmacology of cognitive and emotional processes in heath and disease using multi-modal behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques, the development of novel treatment approaches, and the interaction between pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments.

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Decriminalizing Psychedelics

Featuring Sean McAllister, Ismail Ali, J.D., and Natalie Ginsberg, M.S.W.

Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


A Balance of Psychedelic Decriminalization Initiatives in the U.S.
The year 2019 was a watershed year for efforts to reform the laws around psilocybin mushrooms, commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms.” Since psilocybin’s categorization in the 1970s as a Schedule I drug under U.S. and international law, reform of laws related to psilocybin and other psychedelics had not been a significant focus of the drug policy reform community. However, in the spring of 2019, Denver became the first U.S. city to effectively decriminalize possession and cultivation of personal possession amounts of psilocybin. Oakland quickly followed Denver’s lead and went further by effectively decriminalizing all activities related to naturally occurring or entheogenic psychedelic substances. Also, in 2019, reform advocates in Oregon and California submitted proposed statewide ballot initiatives to allow voters to liberalize psilocybin laws through the 2020 ballot process. This presentation summarizes the various reforms enacted in Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz, along with summarizing the proposed new regulated models in Oregon and California. Sean will discuss the nuances of the various decriminalization initiatives and give a broad overview of typical provisions. Finally, as a member of the Denver Psilocybin Review Panel, Sean will discuss the ongoing issues with the implementation of the Denver Psilocybin decriminalization campaign, including the impacts on public safety and health.

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Psychedelic Systems: Reflections on Policy Strategies

Ismail and Natalie will share ways to think about the current status of psychedelic policy change by identifying themes that unify and differentiate the movements to decriminalize, legalize, and medicalize psychedelic substances. How can we craft systems that can recognize the strengths and honor the differences between clinics and ceremonies, or pharmaceuticals and plant medicine? Why are harm reduction, education, and justice essential to the blueprint for a post-prohibition world? How can these emerging and ongoing movements progress in solidarity with indigenous people and people who have been impacted by the war on drugs?

Sean McAllister is one of nation’s leading drug policy reform lawyers. In 2004, after working for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for several years, Sean opened a solo law practice focused on criminal defense and represented hundreds of people charged with state and federal drug crimes. That same year, he founded the drug policy reform non-profit Sensible Colorado. Sean served as the chair of the Board of Directors of Sensible Colorado while the organization co-chaired the Colorado recreational marijuana legalization campaign that voters passed in 2012. Sean has also worked on broader drug policy reform issues as a member of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Today, Sean’s law firm, McAllister Garfield, P.C., has 15 lawyers in four states working primarily on cannabis business law and licensing matters. As part of his work, Sean’s firm has sued regulators numerous times under the administrative procedures act, petitioned the DEA to reconsider a harmful CBD rule, and represented Native America Tribes attempting to participate in the cannabis and hemp industries. In addition to cannabis, Sean is the General Counsel to the Decriminalize Denver campaign and an appointed member of the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel, which is the first ballot initiative in the U.S. designed to remove criminal penalties for the possession of psilocybin. Sean also acted as a legal advisor to the Decriminalize California campaign, which is seeking to decriminalize and regulate psilocybin mushrooms by ballot initiative in California in 2020. Sean is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants and Chacruna’s Co-General Counsel.

Ismail Lourido Ali, J.D., is Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where he supports the development and implementation of strategies to create legal access to psychedelic substances in medical, sacramental, and personal contexts. Ismail presently sits on the Advisory Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund and has previously served as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Board of Directors, and has worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, as well as for the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he received his J.D.

Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, M.S.W., is the Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where she works to disentangle science from political partisanship, and to create safe, equitable and regulated access to psychedelics, and all criminalized substances. She is also partnering with Israeli and Palestinian colleagues to develop a psychedelic peace-building study. Natalie is particularly inspired by psychedelics’ potential to assist in healing intergenerational trauma, for building empathy and community, and for inspiring creative and innovative solutions. Before joining MAPS in 2014, Natalie worked as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical cannabis in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s race-based marijuana arrests. Natalie received her B.A. in history from Yale, and her master’s of social work (M.S.W.) from Columbia.

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Psilocybin Mushrooms in Culture and Consciousness

Featuring Paul Stamets

Thursday, April 30, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher, and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi: habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen the understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep taken on this path of life. His presentations cover a range of mushroom species and research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet. His central premise is that habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two. Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement.

Paul’s philosophy is that “MycoDiversity is BioSecurity.” He sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. A dedicated hiker and explorer, his passion is to preserve and protect as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from these pristine woodlands. His research is considered breakthrough by thought leaders for creating a paradigm shift for helping ecosystems worldwide.

Paul is the author of six books (including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World) and has discovered and named numerous new species of psilocybin mushrooms.

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Towards Legal Psychedelic Psychotherapy

Featuring Amy Emerson and Rick Doblin, Ph.D.

Thursday, May 7, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


This presentation will address MAPS’ strategy of focusing research efforts on MDMA, and why on PTSD. In this very special session, MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) Executive Director Amy Emerson will explore their therapeutic method and training program for therapists, and discuss the challenge of double-blind in Phase 3 clinical trials, how they are addressing that issue, and how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be regulated post-FDA approval. They’ll also shed some light on other studies MAPS is supporting in combining MDMA with other non-drug psychotherapies as well as group psychotherapy, and efforts to create safe, legal global access. Rick and Amy will also cover Phase 2 clinical trial results and the design of Phase 3 FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) trials, and how they are conducting and monitoring research right now.

Amy Emerson is the Executive Director and Head of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Executive Director, Amy has lead the growth and development of this new subsidiary and is responsible for overall global regulatory strategy and implementation of research programs with a focus on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy program within MAPS PBC. Amy started as a pro bono consultant at MAPS in 2003, and since then has built MAPS’ clinical department while managing the MDMA Clinical Development Program with a focus on the PTSD indication. In 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation was incorporated to focus on psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and future sales of prescription psychedelics prioritizing public benefit above profit. Amy brings decades of pharmaceutical development and research experience in Phase 1 through Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trials including supporting three successful regulatory approvals for new biologics. Her professional experience at Novartis, Chiron and other pharmaceutical companies (1993-2009) spans various fields including immunology, oncology and vaccines. Pursuing her love of science and nature cultivated while growing up in the woods of Alaska she earned her B.S. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992 to prepare for a career in research. Amy is passionate about being a mother and the work of bringing the potential of psychedelics for healing further into the consciousness of the world, leaving a better world for the following generations. She has a lifelong love of travel, living abroad with her husband, exploring in nature and cooking with her family.

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). 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.

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Psychedelic Peer Support: Models of Community Care

Featuring Kwasi Adusei, Sara Gael, M.A., and Ryan Beauregard

Thursday, May 14, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


As psychedelics grow in popularity, it becomes increasingly necessary for harm reduction to grow with them. Difficult psychedelic experiences can be frightening. What can you do to help someone having a difficult psychedelic or emotional experience? What techniques are available for helping transform a potentially traumatic situation into a positive one? What does it mean to create a safe container for someone on psychedelics? What role have peer support organizations played at festivals and events, and what lessons can we share with others interested in psychedelic peer support? Learn about four principles of psychedelic harm reduction that outline a framework for holding difficult psychedelic experiences. Not only can the application of these principles enhance the safety of our peers, they can become a model for how we can take better care of ourselves. Learn how these principles may be applied in our communities and how they can assist in the process of ongoing psychedelic integration.

In preparation for our upcoming webinar and in the spirit of community peer support, we would like to learn more about how individuals are practicing harm reduction and peer support in their communities. All around the world, individuals and communities have developed unique ways to enhance the safety of psychedelic experiences. The principles and practices of psychedelic harm reduction are applied uniquely across communities. How have you applied them to your own? How are you developing your own harm reduction initiatives in your community? We would love to hear from you! Please consider participating in this optional survey before our webinar takes place on May 14 at 12:00 PM (PDT).

Take the Survey

Kwasi Adusei is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York, out of which he developed a local psychedelic harm reduction organization that has served 7 festivals over the last two years, coordinating up to 40 volunteers to provide around the clock service. One of the festivals has allowed a permanent space for the Sanctuary space to grow as the festival grows. He has begun developing a grassroots harm reduction resource to support groups in creating these services in their local communities. In the global space, Kwasi launched a project to create a comprehensive guide on starting psychedelic societies. Additionally, he has led events that engage psychedelic societies across continents to synchronize around service events that have included the Global Psychedelic Month of Service and the Global Psychedelic Earth Day Cleanup.

Sara Gael, M.A., received her master’s degree in transpersonal counseling psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. She began working as the Director of Harm Reduction in 2017. Sara is a therapist for the MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, integration, and non-ordinary states of consciousness. She worked for two years at a Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet.

Ryan Beauregard received his B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and spent 10 years mentoring at-risk teens and families through wilderness survival skills and nature connection. His passion for community connection, the environment, and intrapersonal healing continued with his involvement in permaculture, natural building, and ancestral grief rituals. As a volunteer with the Zendo Project since 2013, Ryan has had the opportunity to connect and expand the scope of psychedelic harm reduction in communities and festivals all over the globe. As the Zendo Project Manager, he integrates his skills in psychology, design, and community engagement. When he isn’t on the road with the Zendo Project, Ryan can be found at his home in Boulder, CO, enjoying the great outdoors, experimenting with sustainable technology, and designing websites, logos and sacred geometry art.

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Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Featuring Gül Dölen, M.D., Ph.D. and Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D.

Thursday, May 21, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific


MDMA targets an evolutionarily ancient mechanisms and unlocks a critical period for social behavior
Although an octopus brain has neither a nucleus accumbens, nor a dorsal raphe, nor a cerebral cortex, recently we have shown that the acute prosocial effects of MDMA are recapitulated in Octopus bimaculoides, likely through conserved molecular mechanisms (Edsinger and Dölen, Current Biology, 2018). This finding suggests that 5-HT has served to mediate sociality since before the divergence of vertebrate and invertebrate lineages 540 million years ago and that MDMA targets these ancient mechanisms. This finding suggests that despite the substantial differences in brain anatomy, deep homology enables conservation of brain functions triggered by psychedelics. A critical period is a developmental epoch during which the nervous system is expressly sensitive to specific environmental stimuli that are required for proper circuit organization and learning. In disease states, closure of critical periods limits the ability of the brain to adapt even when optimal conditions are restored. In this context, our discovery that the psychedelic drug, MDMA, but not the psychostimulant cocaine, is able to reopen the social reward learning critical period (Nardou et al., Nature, 2019) constitutes a breakthrough for translational neuroscience. Interestingly, these studies also demonstrate that MDMA-induced reopening of the critical period for social reward learning shares a number of features with the therapeutic effects of MDMA, including: rapid onset, durability beyond the acute effects of the drug, and dependence on social setting. Taken together, these observations provide support for the provocative idea that we may have discovered the long sought-after “master key” for unlocking critical periods across the brain.

The Potential of Psychedelics for PTSD Treatment; Focus on MDMA
PTSD is a disorder that is quite prevalent in our society and difficult to treat. Most of the currently used psychotherapies for the treatment of PTSD are exposure-based therapies, which rely on imaginal visualization of the traumatic events and exposure to trauma-related cues that trigger fear responses. The role of the therapists is to instruct the patient to relive the trauma and to provide a cognitive framework for change. For some patients this is difficult, leading to non-response or treatment dropout. Engagement in psychotrauma focused therapy may be difficult for some patients, especially in cases of extreme affect dysregulation, shame or guilt associated with the recall of traumatic memories. There is a need for new treatments for PTSD for this group of patients. The use of psychedelics, in particular the entactogen MDMA may offer opportunities to support critical aspects of the psychotherapeutic process. In this webinar elements of PTSD, its neuroscience, history and exploration of the landscape towards MDMA and other psychedelics will be discussed.

Gül Dölen, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Brain Science Institute, Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities, Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute, the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Dr. Dölen earned her M.D., Ph.D. at Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she carried out seminal work on the pathogenesis of autism. Dr. Dölen completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where she did paradigm-shifting work on the neural circuits underlying social reward learning. In 2014, Dr. Dölen began her faculty position in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Her laboratory studies the neurotransmitters, brain circuits, developmental programs, and evolution of social behaviors, with a focus on diseases of the social brain (including autism, schizophrenia, PTSD, and addiction). Recently, her lab has become interested in uncovering how in (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) induces prosocial behaviors across species (including humans, mice, and octopuses), as well as shedding light on the mechanisms underlying MDMA’s profound therapeutic effects. Continuing her long-standing interest in understanding the mind from philosophical, spiritual, linguistic, and artistic perspectives, Dr. Dölen currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the International Arts and Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, she serves on the editorial board for two journals: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (CEMN) and Social Neuroscience. Dr. Dölen is the recipient of several prestigious awards including: the Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award, the Conquer Fragile X Rising Star Award, the Angus MacDonald Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Society for Social Neuroscience Early Career Award, the Searle Scholars Award, and the Johns Hopkins University President’s Frontier Award. Visit Dr. Dölen’s webpage at: www.dolenlab.org

Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D. (1961), is a professor of psychiatry at Leiden University Medical Center. He is a clinical psychiatrist and strategic advisor (COL) of research at the Military Mental Health Service with the Dutch Ministry of Defense, and also affiliated with ARQ Psychotrauma Research Group. He also has an Adjunct Professorship at the Department Psychiatry of New York UMC. He is trained in the Netherlands as well as in the USA (Stanford, Yale and Emory) in psychiatry and neuroscience. He has clinical as well as a research positions with a focus on medical/biological as well as psychiatric aspects of complex psychotrauma in military and civilian populations. He is well published (>200 papers) and edited several books on this topic. His last book is on World War I and Health: ‘Rethinking Resilience’. His research is in the field of stress, trauma, complex PTSD and neuroscience. He is interested in the history of war and has special focus on combining biological-based interventions in psychotraumatology with novel technology and novel drug developments. He is PI of a new research initiative on the roadmap for medication-assisted psychotherapy in Netherlands and Europe, including use of a variety of psychedelics. Prof Vermetten is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals and granting agencies. He has lectured on the topic of PTSD, resilience, military and veterans issues as well as novel approaches to therapy across the globe.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I attend the webinars?

First, register online. You can register for the series pass (best value), or for just one or two, or as many as you'd like. Your webinar access link will be emailed to you after you register—you may need to wait up to 10 minutes to receive it, and be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see it. You'll also receive instructions for joining your webinar session(s) before each session. You will be required to provide the name and email address you registered with before entering the webinar. Please be sure to use the email address that you provided with your registration.

When are the webinars?

From April 9 - May 21, 2020, all webinar sessions take place from 12:00 PM PT – 1:30 PM PT on Thursdays, though some sessions may last longer (up to 20 minutes extra) depending on speaker availability and audience engagement.

What is the format?

The online sessions will include 60 minutes of presentations followed by 30 minutes of Q&A from the audience. All sessions will be live, and will take place on Thursdays from 12:00 PM PDT to 1:30 PM PDT.

How much do webinars cost?

Registration for an individual session is $35. You can also register to gain access to the entire series for $150 (save $95). All webinar proceeds support psychedelic research and education. We also invite you to make an additional gift to MAPS at checkout to help make sure the psychedelic research renaissance continues.

Are any discounts available?

A discount is being offered for the full series only, not for individual sessions. If you are a senior (65+), student, military, veteran, or low income, you can pay $100 for the entire series — the option may be selected at check-out. MAPS is a non-profit with no government funding for psychedelic research and all proceeds from this support psychedelic research and education.

When does registration close?

Registration for individual webinars is open until 15 minutes before they start. Series passes can be purchased until registration closes for the last webinar on May 21, 2020, at 11:45 AM PT. You will be able to register for individual webinars up to 15 minutes before they start. You can join the webinar at any time while it's in session.

I purchased a webinar ticket. How do I join?

You will receive a ticket purchase confirmation with a link to the webinar after successful payment. You will need to provide your name and email address to join. You must use the email that you used to register for the webinar in order to gain access and each email can only be used once.

How do I ask a question during the webinar?

Anyone may ask a question during the webinar using the chat box, and the moderator will direct questions to speakers when appropriate. You're encouraged to think about your questions in advance—remember to look at the supplemental materials that you received in your registration email!

Can I cancel my webinar registration?

If you need to cancel your attendance, we will offer refunds until 24 hours before each webinar. All refunds require a 3% processing fee. Please allow 5-10 business days to process your refund. To request a refund, send your email registration receipt to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with your name, email address you used to register, and the reason for your refund request.

Can I transfer my registration to a friend?

You can give your friend permission to use your name and email to log in, but each email can only be used once and it must be the same email used to register.

Will the webinars be recorded?

Yes! In case you're not able to attend the live session, video recordings of each webinar will be provided to all registered attendees. Webinar recordings are expected to be privately sent to you via email within approximately two weeks following the webinar session. Even if you register for the whole series after the webinars have started, you'll still get access to the recordings of all sessions.

Will there be transcriptions of the webinars?

Webinar transcriptions will be available when the video recordings are sent to webinar attendees in the weeks following the live sessions. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide live webinar transcriptions.

Are Continuing Education (CE) credits available for this webinar series?

No, but we hope to offer professional education credits for our webinars in the future.

What are you going to do with my email after the webinar?

Your email address will only be used to support your webinar attendance. If you wish to receive regular email updates and news from MAPS, please visit maps.org/updates

What if I have more questions?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Please note that in the hour before a webinar begins we may not be able to respond quickly, so send your questions as soon as you have them.