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Co-Produced with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) 
Host: Brad Burge
5 sessions. Starts May 7


Discover how to apply insights from psychedelic research to your life with leading experts in the fields of psychedelic science, medicine, art, and spirituality.


Scientists around the world are now exploring the risks and benefits of psychedelics—such as MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and many more—to recover from trauma, heal illness, enhance creativity, awaken spirituality, and transform consciousness. While psychedelics are still illegal outside of research in most countries, we can still apply what we are discovering to how we understand and live our lives. In this course, you’ll explore:
  • How can you apply lessons from modern psychedelic research to your life?
  • What can psychedelic science and spirituality teach you about how to heal from trauma, addiction, and mental illness?
  • What can you do to help people who are having difficult psychedelic experiences?
  • How can you talk openly about psychedelics with your family, friends, and coworkers?
  • How do you use insights from psychedelic science to improve your career, relationships, creative projects, and spiritual life?
In this unique course, you will gain a deeper understanding of psychedelics' potential as treatments for trauma and addiction, learn what's unique about psychedelic experiences, and discover how you can help create contexts for the safe and beneficial use of psychedelics.

Brad Burge of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has invited some of the leading experts in the field of psychedelic science and medicine to help you understand, integrate, and learn to use the most recent research from this transformative field. They include:
Rick Doblin, PhD, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
Gabor Maté, MD, addiction researcher and author of four bestselling books, including In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
Rak Razam, experiential journalist and author of Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey 
Alicia Danforth, PhD, clinical MDMA researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Linnae Ponté, harm reduction coordinator for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
Julie Megler, MSN, NP-BC, psychiatric and family practice nurse practitioner and ayahuasca researcher
Clancy Cavnar, PsyD, co-editor (with Bia Labate) of The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca 
Brian Scott Hampton and Peter Westermann, visionary artists
All of these experts also presented their work at the historic Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland, Calif., which brought together over 1,900 people from around the world to share the latest research results and celebrate the return of psychedelics to mainstream science and medicine. This course is your chance to go deeper, and find out how to directly apply the most recent insights from psychedelic science to healing, spirituality, creativity, and communication.


You will be part of the discussion, able to ask your questions on camera, just like a Skype call. If you happen to miss a live session, you can view a video recording at any time. These sessions will be filled with provocative information, honest testimonials, and practical advice from some of the thinkers, writers, and doers at the leading edge of the 21st century psychedelic renaissance.
Learn about:
  • What psychedelic research is teaching us about drug addiction and recovery
  • How traditional and therapeutic uses of ayahuasca interact with gender and sexual identity
  • How to provide compassionate support for a friend or stranger who is having (or has had) a difficult psychedelic experience 
  • How to choose effective metaphors and communicate clearly with people who are ignorant or fearful about psychedelics
  • How psychedelic experiences influence the perception and creation of art
  • What modern psychedelic science can teach you about being a political or spiritual activist
Join Brad and his guests to explore what it means to live in a world where science and education are used to reduce the risks of using psychedelics while maximizing their benefits for society. Learn from this diverse group of international experts how to transform your relationships, deepen your spiritual practice, enhance your creativity, and gain a more complete understanding of how to harness your own innate healing potential.
Over 5 weekly sessions, you will gain a deeper understanding of how you can integrate insights from psychedelic science, medicine, and spirituality more deeply into your life.
Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. Learn more at




May 7 – How Psychedelics Influenced My Life and Career

Guest: Rick Doblin, PhD

8 p.m. New York • 5 p.m. San Francisco

Our first session brings you MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin, PhD, to talk about why it's important to integrate psychedelic science and psychedelic experiences more fully into our culture. He'll talk about how his own psychedelic experiences influenced him in his life and career, and provide examples of how to get involved through education and activism. Join Rick to learn more about how the movement is growing, and how your participation makes a critical difference.
Rick Doblin 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. 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 and three children.


May 14 - Psychedelics in Addiction Treatment and Spirituality

Guests: Gabor Maté, MD, and Rak Razam

8 p.m. New York • 5 p.m. San Francisco


In our second session, we’ll discuss and explore the connections between ayahuasca, spirituality, and addiction treatment. First, Dr. Gabor Maté will talk about his own research and experience leading ayahuasca retreats to help people overcome drug addiction. Gabor will explain what research teaches us about the healing of addiction and physical illness, and about the transformation from ego to deeper self. Then experiential journalist Rak Razam will talk about the last decade's explosion of international interest in ayahuasca. Rak will discuss the spiritual uses of ayahuasca by both ancient cultures and modern seekers, and how he and many others are working to develop safe and sustainable uses for ayahuasca worldwide.
A renowned speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV. As an author, Dr. Maté has written several books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.

Rak Razam is a leading "experiential" journalist, writing about and helping shape the emergence of a new cultural paradigm in the 21st century. Author of the critically acclaimed book Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey (, he is a frequent lecturer on ayahuasca and the shamanic revival. He wrote, produced and co-directed the new visionary documentary Aya: Awakenings ( that toured 10 U.S. cities in early 2014.


May 21 - Mind, Body, Sex, and Spirit

Guests: Julie Megler, MSN, NP-BC, and Clancy Cavnar, PsyD

8 p.m. New York • 5 p.m. San Francisco

For our third session, we'll explore the challenges of drawing a clear distinction between mind and body by drawing from clinical psychedelic research and observational case studies. Clinical psychologist Clancy Cavnar, PsyD, will discuss her research into the effects of ayahuasca on gender and sexual identity, offering insight into how we perceive and construct our sexual selves. Then, psychiatric nurse practitioner Julie Megler, MSN, NP-BC, will talk about how psychedelic research is helping us reformulate our concepts of mind and body, and what that means for the treatment of mental health. 
Clancy Cavnar is completing her postdoctoral hours in clinical psychology at the Marin Treatment Center, a methadone clinic in San Rafael, California. In 2011, she received a doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California, with a dissertation on gay and lesbian people's experiences with ayahuasca. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Master of Fine Art in painting in 1985. In 1997 she graduated with a master's in counseling from San Francisco State University. In that same year, she got in touch with the Santo Daime, and has traveled several times to Brazil since then. She is also co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of three books: The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca (Springer, 2014); Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond (Oxford University Press, in press); and Prohibition, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights: Regulating Traditional Drug Use (Springer, in press).
Julie D. Megler is a board certified nurse practitioner in psychiatry and family medicine. She received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami, Florida, and maintains licenses in family medicine and psychiatry, in an effort to close the gap between medical and psychiatric care. She is now in private practice at an integrative psychiatry clinic, and also treats low income and homeless individuals at an urgent care clinic in San Francisco, CA. In addition to her clinical work, Julie has presented at the Psychedelic Science conference and The Women’s Visionary Congress on the topics of psychedelic drug harm reduction and potential therapeutic applications of ayahuasca for PTSD. She has also co-authored articles in the MAPS Bulletin and the book The Therapeutic Uses of Ayahuasca. As an experienced clinician, and activist for the psychedelic movement, Julie is dedicated to educating the community about safety and the therapeutic benefits of these substances.


May 28 - Enhancing Benefits, Reducing Risks

Guests: Alicia Danforth, PhD, and Linnae Ponté

8 p.m. New York • 5 p.m. San Francisco


In our fourth session, we'll talk about some of the different reasons that people use psychedelics, and learn how you can help when somebody you know is having a difficult experience. First, we'll hear how MAPS and other organizations are providing effective, community-based harm reduction services at festivals and events around the world. Linnae Ponté will share the core principles of psychedelic harm reduction and give some tips for how to help turn difficult experiences into productive ones. Then, Alicia Danforth, PhD, will share findings from her research into the use of MDMA and/or Ecstasy by adults on the autism spectrum, and talk about ongoing research into whether MDMA can help reduce some of the social anxiety experienced by autistic adults living in a predominantly "neurotypical" society. We'll also talk about how harm reduction and clinical research inform and influence each other.
Linnae Ponté earned her BA in Biological Psychology from New College of Florida where she defended her thesis, which investigated the impact of sleep disturbance in the pathogenesis of depression in a sample of 360 students. Linnae started working in harm reduction as an undergraduate, and has since traveled internationally to coordinate and train volunteers to offer skilled and compassionate care to individuals having difficult psychedelic experiences. For Linnae, psychedelic harm reduction is an essential service for festivals, capable of transforming potentially traumatic experiences into opportunities for growth and showing that safe, expansive experiences are possible without the need for law enforcement-based policies.
Alicia Danforth is a psychedelic medicines researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Her work as a study coordinator and co-facilitator on Dr. Charles Grob's clinical trial with psilocybin for existential anxiety related to advanced cancer inspired her to become a clinical psychologist, and she currently is accruing postdoctoral hours toward licensure in a private psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles. Since 2004, she has volunteered as a Black Rock Ranger and Care Service peer counselor at Burning Man,BOOM, and other similar festivals and events. Her area of focus is supporting individuals who are experiencing challenging altered states of consciousness.


June 11 – Transforming Medicine, Transforming Culture

Brad Burge and visionary artists Brian Scott Hampton and Peter Westermann

8 p.m. New York • 5 p.m. San Francisco

For our fifth and final session, we'll explore some of the cultural waves sent out by the 21st century psychedelic science revival. Brad Burge will review the latest news coverage about psychedelics, and offer tips for how to communicate about psychedelics with fearful or skeptical friends, family, and coworkers. Then, we’ll talk with up-and-coming visionary artists, Brian Hampton and Peter Westermann, about how psychedelic experiences can help inspire creativity, and how the new psychedelic culture is transforming global culture and consciousness.
Brad Burge is the Director of Communications and Marketing at MAPS. Brad earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. His graduate work focused on the political, scientific, and cultural changes required to make illicit drugs into legitimate medicines. He has also interned for the Drug Policy Alliance and has a longstanding interest in drug policy reform and activism. In addition to his work with MAPS, Brad is a freelance writer and editor of projects pertaining to psychopharmacology, drug policy, and psychedelic therapy. He believes in the importance of communication for sharing knowledge and building community, and is committed to helping people develop honest and responsible relationships with themselves, each other, and their pharmacological tools.

Brian Hampton was born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Owasso, Oklahoma. Brian been artistic all his life but it wasn’t until his twenties that he woke up to his calling. Since 2008, learning to paint, traveling, and collaborating with other artists have all opened his mind. The journey has been long and winding, but one full of eye opening and ego dissolving realizations. After 2010, the archetypal role of “artist” was no longer the highest priority. He learned if he contributes his most genuine visions, he is achieving a creator’s goal, no matter how it fits into the time period he lives in. The idea of a right or wrong way to be an artist has all but gone from his head and this has changed his path drastically. His work became a reflection of the world of energy we exist in.

Peter Westermann is a visual artist and the founder of Threyda Art & Apparel, an internationally established collective focused on developing financial support for artists and promoting creativity to the general public. After experiencing a mostly homeschooled education and pursuing several jobs in the graphics arts Peter launched the artwork initiative in 2009.  Threyda is now one of the most prominent and well-recognized names around the world in the emerging conscious art movement. After growing the initial group in his home state of Wisconsin, Peter moved the operation to the current location in Denver Colorado in 2013 to begin a rapid expansion in the growing art scene. 


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By participating in this online course, you will receive:
  • Five 60-minute live video seminars with Brad Burge and his guests on Wednesdays May 7, 14, 21, 28 and June 11.
  • 30 minutes of question and answer time following each seminar
  • Unlimited online access to recordings of all sessions


Take part in this unique opportunity to explore the implications that the latest psychedelic medical research has on your life!


A portion of the proceeds help support MAPS' psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education projects.



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