This 14-week course is a diverse and challenging set of readings aimed toward deepening each student’s understanding of psychedelic processes and their application in psychedelic integration therapy. The papers and chapters have been chosen to engage with multiple discourses relevant to this goal--academic, anthropological, indigenous/shamanic, mindfulness-based, psychoanalytic and existential--to deepen our capacity to facilitate growth and well being in the individuals who come to us for help. The course is committed to the inclusion of a diversity of perspectives on psychedelic healing; it seeks to include academic research, psychotherapy approaches with mindfulness and indigenous wisdom traditions.
The first and last weeks are devoted to hellos and goodbyes. Of the remaining twelve weeks, several classes focus on integrative visions with a grand scope: How do psychedelics really work? What are the prominent theories currently offered for understanding psychedelic action/experience/healing? Several papers engage questions of ego, self and self or ego dissolution; these are illuminated through the discourse of mindfulness by several well-known writers in that field. Other papers bring us the voices of participant-observer anthropologists in writing about shamanic and neoshamanic ayahuasca ceremonies (among other research methods). A week focuses exclusively on survey research on micro-dosing and another focuses on a review of harm reduction theory and clinical practice. and there is one week dedicated to creativity. Several papers address current trends in the integration of psychedelic therapy with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),with a special focus on psychological flexibility. We inquire into how psychedelic experiences may facilitate ACT processes, and vice versa.
It is our expectation that students will be able to commit a few quiet hours per week devoting time to read these often-dense papers, and then participate in a lively discussion. There will never be more than 30 pages/week, and often less than that. We will offer an “Assigned” paper/s, which we ask you to read first, and the occasional“Supplemental” paper for those intrigued to read further. All papers will be accessed through our online learning platform. We welcome feedback on the papers offered, as our way of refining our teaching platform to better help our students.