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Psychedelic Psychotherapy Returns to the Clinical Mainstream
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When: Friday, April 8, 2016
1:30 PM
Where: Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, Conference Room H
United States

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Psychedelic Psychotherapy Returns to the Clinical Mainstream

April 8, 2016, 1:30 - 4:30 PM
Mills-Peninsula Medical Center,
Conference Room H
3.0 CE credits
Register early, fee increases after April 5th

Presenter: David E. Presti, PhD

Course Description:

Psychedelics are among the most interesting and poorly understood of all the psychoactive substances. They produce a variety of complex effects on the brain and mind, including intensification of thoughts and feelings, alterations of sensory perception, and loosening of psychological defenses. Because of these complex effects, psychedelics are powerful probes of the connection between brain physiology and consciousness, one of the most deeply mysterious questions in contemporary science. In their plant and fungal forms, psychedelics have likely been used by humans for millennia for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Modern scientific research with psychedelics has taken place for more than a century and was one of the driving forces in the early days of biological psychiatry. The widespread popular use of some of these substances in the 1960s contributed to legal regulation that closed down human research. However, after 25 years of quiescence, human clinical research with psychedelics has now returned to mainstream science.

Registration & Fees:

Presenter’s Bio:
David E. Presti is Teaching Professor of Neurobiology, Psychology, and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught for 25 years. Between 1990 and 2000, he worked as a clinical psychologist in the treatment of addiction and PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. And for 10 years (1999-2010) he was a core faculty member in the California School of Professional Psychology / Alliant University graduate program in psychopharmacology. He also teaches neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this program, participants will be able to:

1) Describe the behavioral properties of psychedelic substances and the distinct differences between psychedelics and other psychoactive drugs

2) Describe the historical use of psychedelics as psychotherapetic medicines

3) Describe the specific arenas of current clinical research using psychedelic medicines in the therapeutic treatment of mood and anxiety conditions

4) Analyze and predict which kinds of future clinical research strategies might productively involve psychedelic medicines

Workshop Agenda:
• History of psychological use of psychedelic substances (30 minutes)
• Differences between psychedelics and other psychoactive drugs (30 minutes)
• Areas of current research using psychedelic medicines in the treatment of mood and anxiety (one hour)
• Possible future research strategies (30 minutes)
• Implications for theory; questions from audience (30 Minutes)

CPA is co-sponsoring with SMCPA. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 3 continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

A few recent publications

ann het Rot M, Zarate CA, Charney DS, & Mathew SJ (2012) Ketamine for depression: where do we go from here? Biological Psychiatry, 72, 537-547.

Carhart-Harris RL et al. (2012) Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies of psilocybin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109, 2138-2143.

Carhart-Harris RL et al. (2012) Implications for psychedelically-assisted psychotherapy: functional magnetic resonance imaging study with psilocybin. British Journal of Psychiatry, 200, 238-244.

Danforth AL, Struble CM, Yazar-Klosinski B, & Grob CS (2015) MDMA-assisted therapy: A new treatment model for social anxiety in autistic adults. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2015.03.011.

Gasser P, Kirchner K, & Passie T (2015) LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness: a qualitative study of acute and sustained subjective effects. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29, 57-68.

Griffiths RR & Grob CS (2010) Hallucinogens as medicine. Scientific American, 303(6), 76-79.

Griffiths RR et al. (2008) Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psiolocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22, 621-632.

CS Grob et al. (2011) Pilot study of psilocybin treatment for anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 71-78.

Hendricks PS, Thorne CB, Clark CB, Coombs DW, & Johnson MW (2015) Classical psychedelic use is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29, 280-288.

Johnson MJ, Garcia-Romeu A, Cosimano MP, & Griffiths RR (2014) Pilot study of the 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28, 983-992.

Mithoefer MC et al. (2011) The safety and efficacy of {+/-}3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistamnt posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25, 439-452.

Mithoefer MC et al. (2013) Durability of improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy: a prospective long-term follow-up study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 27, 28-39 (2013).

Nichols DE (2004) Hallucinogens. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 101, 131–181.

Pollan M (2015) The trip treatment. The New Yorker, 9 February.

Sessa B & Nutt D (2015) Making a medicine out of MDMA. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206, 4-6.

Slater L (2012) How psychedelic drugs can help patients face death. New York Times Sunday Magazine, 20 April.

Vollenweider FX & Kometer M (2010) The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11, 642-651.


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