MDMA Therapy Training Program, Fall 2019
Greetings from the Training Team at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC)!
Please see our updates on the status of the MDMA Therapy Training Program, training and career opportunities, and the Expanded Access protocol.
Recap of the 2019 Training Year
The MDMA Therapy Training Program launched a series of trainings to prepare therapy providers to become eligible to work on a MAPS PBC MDMA PTSD protocol.
On October 1 – 8, 2019 Michael Mithoefer, MD, and Annie Mithoefer, BSN, led a six-and-a-half-day training retreat in Asheville, North Carolina focused on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. This retreat was the last MDMA Therapy Training retreat for 2019. 49 practitioners traveled from across the US and internationally to receive training. Trainees hailed from 14 states in the US and 11 doctors and therapists traveled from China to receive training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The China contingent was able to receive training thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Evolve Foundation.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program organized five training retreats in 2019 and provided training to over 250 practitioners in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. These trainees completed the Part A online course and Part B training retreat. The training retreats took place in Israel, North Carolina, Colorado, and Kentucky. In addition to these five retreats, the MDMA Therapy Training Program offered one training for the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research 2019 cohort in Northern California and provided training to an additional 95 practitioners.
The MDMA Therapy Trainers are gathering together in November for a Trainers Retreat to reflect on the 2019 year and strategize about the year ahead and the future of the MDMA Therapy Training Program. There are no dates scheduled for 2020 trainings yet. The training team will be planning dates and tuition fees for the 2020 training year and announcing that information through the MDMA Therapy Training Newsletter in the months to come. The Expanded Access protocol and the MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for Healthy Volunteers Therapist Training protocol for the Part C experiential component of the MDMA Therapy Training Program are still under FDA review. The training team is using this time to strategize and integrate feedback from the 2019 year as we wait to learn about the timing, size, and scope of our protocols from the FDA. We are excited to continually improve and evolve the training program to offer comprehensive training to practitioners interested in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
Update from the Expanded Access Team
The MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) Expanded Access Team is currently working through questions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the proposed Expanded Access protocol for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Expanded Access protocol is still under FDA review and pending approval.
The Expanded Access Team is grateful for the overwhelming interest in Expanded Access and future opportunities to deliver MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Due to the level of interest and limited capacity dictated by FDA, not all interested sites will be able to participate. Growing this modality and making effective treatment options available is an ongoing process, and there are still significant uncertainties about timing and regulatory approvals. We are hopeful about making MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into a legal prescription treatment. Submitted applications will continue to be reviewed for site feasibility as we are able to add additional sites for Expanded Access or post-approval. All interested sites must undergo eligibility review and complete the pre-requisite MDMA Therapy Training Program in order to work on an MDMA PTSD protocol, Expanded Access or post-approval.
There are two layers of application: 1) Site Questionnaire, and 2) MDMA Therapy Practitioner Training Application. Each site must submit one Site Questionnaire. Additionally, each therapy practitioner must submit an MDMA Therapy Practitioner Training Application. Only applicants affiliated with a qualifying site can be considered for training at this time.
Each application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You can save and return to work on your application at your convenience by creating a free Formsite account (highly recommended- instructions on first page of each application). Once you have completed the application, the final page will prompt you to confirm and submit. MAPS PBC will review applications on an ongoing basis, as they are received.
Sites and therapy providers inquiring to work on an MDMA PTSD protocol should be familiar and comfortable with the Treatment Manual before submitting an application. A full course of treatment involves three 90-minute Preparatory therapy sessions, three total 8-hour MDMA therapy sessions, and nine total 90-minute Integrative therapy sessions, summing about 42 hours of therapy. All sessions are administered by a Therapy Pair, two providers for every one participant/patient, utilizing a non-directive approach and an ability to work with extreme states. More information about the therapeutic approach can be found in the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Treatment Manual and in in Cultivating Inner Growth: The Inner Healing Intelligence in MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy.
We encourage each site, in choosing location and therapy teams, to consider diversity, inclusivity, and cultural and racial competence. One of the most robust ways to provide accessible care is to train therapists and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, including people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community. If you are a therapist from a marginalized community, we encourage you to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Additional site and practitioner application procedures are posted at
https://mapspublicbenefit.com/. If you have already submitted an application for your site and therapy teams, thank you! The training team will be in touch with you. The MPBC clinical operations team is currently reviewing site questionnaires to screen for initial eligibility and the training team is reviewing therapy provider applications.
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Code of Ethics
The MDMA Therapy Training Program has established the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics is available online for your reference and review.
Therapy providers completing the MDMA Therapy Training Program will agree to practice MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy within their scope of competence and in accordance with the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Code of Ethics, and will agree to directly address concerns regarding ethical issues and use clinical judgment, supervision, and consultation when ethical dilemmas arise.
Phase 3 Trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD now enrolling!
FDA-regulated Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD are currently recruiting participants who live within an hour’s drive of 15 clinic sites across the United States, Canada, and Israel.
The Phase 3 clinical trials are assessing the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in adult participants with severe PTSD. Over a 12-week treatment period, participants will be randomized to receive either MDMA with psychotherapy or psychotherapy only. Assignment to the group will be blinded throughout the study, and all participants will have twelve preparatory and integration sessions lasting 90 minutes each along with three day-long sessions about a month apart.
The Phase 3 clinics are located:
San Francisco, CA | research institution
San Francisco, CA | private practice
Boulder, CO | private practice
Fort Collins, CO | private practice
New Orleans, LA | private practice
New York, NY | research institution
New York, NY | private practice
Charleston, SC | private practice
Madison, WI | research institution
Boston, MA | private practice
Montreal, Canada | private practice
Vancouver, Canada | research institution
Be’er Ya’akov, Israel | research institution
Tel HaShomer, Israel | research institution
If you know someone with PTSD interested in participating in a clinical trial or want to refer others, please share our new recruitment website https://mdmaptsd.org/
for more information and our Phase 3 trial application.
Open Call for Mental Health Providers:
Psychedelic Support brings together a Network of clinics, therapists, counselors, doctors, and other specialists to offer services (online and in-person) for psychedelic/plant medicine integration, transformational preparation, psychological and physical health, and personal growth. Providers are required to be licensed in a health profession or be experienced as a therapist/guide in psychedelic-assisted research trials. Visit the website psychedelic.support to search provider profiles, find integration events and professional trainings, and access free resources from the collective knowledge of the Psychedelic Support Network. For more information or to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAPS PBC Therapy Provider Connect Portal
The MAPS PBC Therapy Provider Connect Portal is a community discussion forum for therapy providers, physicians and facilities to connect with one another to develop a site or treatment staff, in order to become eligible to participate in an MDMA PTSD Expanded Access protocol, pending FDA approval. If you are looking for treatment staff, a physician, or a treatment facility, or for general information and Frequently Asked Questions, we hope that this platform will support you.
Adherence & Supervision Coordinator
MAPS PBC is seeking an enthusiastic, focused, and organized person to join our Training & Supervision Department. Reporting to the Director of Training and Supervision, the Adherence and Supervision Coordinator supports programs and staff who monitor the delivery of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in MAPS protocols. This position requires competence in program coordination, project management, remote work environments, communication, meeting facilitation, team building, scheduling, contracts, creation and management of spreadsheets. Due to the sensitive and protected nature of psychotherapy clinical trials and clinical supervision, this position requires an individual who respects and is able to uphold confidentiality. Training in HIPAA and Good Clinical Practice will be provided on the job. Preferably the person filling this position will have worked in clinical research and/or mental health settings. The ideal candidate is engaged in therapeutic and self-care practices, is familiar with the process of clinical supervision and the conduct of psychotherapy. Suitable candidates are able to work well in a fast-paced environment and excel at organizing and managing lots of information virtually.
You can find out more about the position by visiting the full job posting on our website.
Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online at: tinyurl.com/applyMPBC.
We will continue to provide updates on the MDMA Therapy Training Program and MAPS PBC protocols when they available. In the meantime, you may find some of the resources and trainings listed below helpful. Please also visit our new website https://mapspublicbenefit.com/ and the Connect Portal for additional information. If you have any questions, please considering checking the FAQ in the Connect Portal or emailing email@example.com.
We appreciate your patience and continued support as we work to bring the healing potential of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD to those in need.
From the MDMA Therapy Training Program
"The way I must enter
Leads through darkness to darkness -
O moon above the mountain's rim,
Please shine a little further
On my path"
– Izumi Shikibu
The Way of the Psychonaut
The Way of the Psychonaut: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys by Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D. (Two-Volume Book Set and eBook)
Consciousness Medicine: Indigenous Wisdom, Entheogens, and Expanded States of Consciousness for Healing and Growth by Françoise Bourzat and Kristina Hunter
The Ethics of Caring
The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with Clients by Kylea Taylor
Groups for Students
MAPS grad student listserv
This moderated Google Group is for graduate students and prospective graduate students who are conducting or interested in conducting psychedelic research to share resources and ideas.
Medical Psychedelic Interest Group
Inspired by the MAPS Grad Student Listserv, the Medical Psychedelic Interest Group is a googlegroup specifically for medical students and residents who share an interest in psychedelic research and psychedelic-assisted treatments.
SSDP Psychedelic Pipeline
Students for Sensible Drug Policy is embarking on a new project to connect members and alumni interested in a career in psychedelic-assisted therapy and research to quality mentorship, training, and career development opportunities. The pipeline will provide resources through a mentorship program for members interested in all aspects of the field, to include professional skillsets beyond therapy and research that are necessary for the field to develop and thrive. To learn more visit the SSDP blog at https://ssdp.org/blog/ssdp-receives-grant-from-threshold-foundation-for-the-just-say-know-psychedelic-pipeline/.
Training Resources and Events:
Master Series on the Clinical Application of Compassion
October 23 - November 14
Free 4-module series, Online
Psychedelic Science Summit
November 1-3, 2019
Psychedelics for Clinicians 101 & 102
November 2 - 3, 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
KRIYA Conference 2019
November 9 - 10, 2019
Entheogenic Indigenous Traditions in Times of Medicalization
November 14, 2019
Building Community Through Restorative Justice
November 15 - 16, 2019
San Francisco, CA
Encountering the Numinous: Expanded States of Consciousness, Depth Psychotherapy, Analysis and Psychedelics
November 16 - 17, 2019
San Francisco, CA
On Somatics and Social Justice
November 19, 2019
San Francisco, CA
Collective Trauma Summit
Grof Transpersonal Training Events
Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute Trainings
Hakomi Institute Trainings
Generative Somatics Courses
Internal Family Systems Trainings