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Women in Psychedelic Science [ONLINE]

March 24 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

by Drug Science


Part 1 – Clinical Research (4pm-5pm)

Prof Val Curran (Chair)

The Contradictions of Ketamine: results from a new clinical trial treating alcohol use disorder

Celia Morgan

Celia Morgan is a Professor of Psychopharmacology and Head of Psychology at the University of Exeter. She started researching ketamine at UCL for her PhD with Val Curran over twenty years ago and branched out into research with other psychedelics such as ayahuasca and MDMA. Most recently she investigated ketamine as an adjunct to psychological therapy in a Phase II clinical trial and is now working with Awakn Life Sciences to bring this MRC funded trial into the clinic.  She has two children at primary school who are currently being Covid home-schooled and lives by the sea in Cornwall.

MDMA-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder: The BIMA Study

Laurie Higbed

Laurie has worked in the field of addictions for the last 10 years and was a co-therapist on the recent Imperial sponsored study for MDMA-assisted therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder. Laurie is currently a lead therapist on a trial of psilocybin for treatment resistant depression and is the lead psychologist for Awakn Life Sciences.

MDMA for relationship counselling

Annie Mithoefer

Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., is a Registered Nurse living in Asheville, NC. She was co-investigator on two of the MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trials for individuals with PTSD and a pilot study treating couples combining MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD. She conducts MAPS Therapist Trainings with her husband, Michael, and is a supervisor for Phase 3 therapists.

Q&A Panel

Celia Morgan, Laurie Higbed, and Annie Mithoefer

Part 2 – Field Work (5pm – 6pm)

Dr Anne Schlag (Chair)

Psychedelics and Earth Codes

Dr Ros Watts

Ros was the clinical lead for the Psilocybin for depression study at Imperial College London in the Centre for Psychedelic Research. She is now the clinical director of Synthesis Institute developing an ecotherapy assisted year-long group process, including psilocybin truffle retreats, for people with depression. Her research focuses on how psychedelics can increase connectedness to self, other and world/universe.

Psycholytic dosing

Friederike Fischer

Friederike Meckel F. trained as a medical doctor in Germany and retrained as a medical psychotherapist. She trained as a Holotropic Breathwork© facilitator with Stanislav Grof from 1989-1991 and completed a psychedelic psychotherapy training in Switzerland in the early 90s. She also trained as a couple’s therapist, a family therapist and a family-constellation-worker. In the mid 1990s she introduced the use of psychedelics into her psychotherapy practice working underground with specifically chosen clients in groups. In 2009, she and her husband were betrayed, arrested and taken into custody. In her court case in July 2010, she was sentenced to a conditional prison term of 16 months with a probationary period of 2 years for “dealing” LSD. For therapy she was explicitly acquitted because she had not harmed anyone. She saw this event as an opportunity to speak publicly about her work and her book Therapy with Substance was published in 2015.

Personal healing experience with Ayahuasca

Dr Lauren McDonald

Dr Lauren Macdonald takes a holistic approach to health, combining integrative medicine, mind-body practices and plant-based therapies to help maximise the body’s innate healing capacity whilst also supporting resilience and vitality. With a background in psychology, nutrition and environmental medicine, psychiatry, yoga and mindfulness, she combines these modalities to support whole person healing. She is a stage IV cancer survivor and an advocate for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety.

Q&A Panel

Dr Ros Watts, Friederike Fischer, and Dr Lauren McDonald


March 24
9:00 am - 11:00 am
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Drug Science