Psychedelics Today

A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.
RSS Feed
Psychedelics Today



All Episodes
Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 28, 2016

Natalie Ginsberg - MAPS Policy and Advocacy Manager

In this discussion, Natalie shares her insights surrounding U.S. and international policy around drugs. We talk about We understand that this episode had a bit of static/noise. We believe that it was due to technology difficulties. We have attached a transcript of the conversation below. Enjoy! Click here to download the episode transcript: Natalie Ginsberg Transcript


Natalie earned her Master's in Social Work from Columbia University in 2014, and her Bachelor's in History from Yale University in 2011. At Columbia, Natalie served as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical marijuana in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York's racist marijuana arrests. Natalie has also worked as a court-mandated therapist for individuals arrested for prostitution and drug-related offenses, and as a middle school guidance counselor at an NYC public school. Natalie's clinical work with trauma survivors spurred her interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy, which she believes can ease a wide variety of both mental and physical ailments by addressing the root cause of individuals' difficulties, rather than their symptoms. Through her work at MAPS, Natalie advocates for research to provide evidence-based alternatives to both the war on drugs and the current mental health paradigm.


Get in touch with Natalie:

Recent Posts & Episodes [pt_view id="34a4e22z59"]
Dec 19, 2016
Download In this episode, Joe and Kyle talk with Emma Bragdon, Founder/Director of Integrative Mental Health for You. The mission of IMHU is, "To facilitate improvements in mental healthcare and encourage psycho-spiritual growth in individuals around the world." During the conversation, Emma shares her experiences of working with people in spiritual emergence processes and defines what a spiritual emergency is. We also talk about the importance of integrating this language into mainstream professional fields. The topic of spiritual emergencies is very relevant to psychedelics considering psychedelics can sometimes be a catalyst for a spiritual emergence process. We are very grateful and thankful for Emma's wisdom and hope that you enjoy it as well! Topic Highlights: If you are interested in learning more about Emma's Spiritual Emergence Coaching program, there is a 5-week online webinar that runs from January 19 – February 16, 2017 (Thursdays, 5:30-7pm PST). For more informationa and details be sure to visit About Emma Bragdon, PhD, (Transpersonal Psychology)  Dr. Bragdon is an expert in the field of Spiritual Emergence and Emergency. She’s been immersed in it as a researcher, psychotherapist, teacher and published author since 1984. She is the author of seven books and co-producer of two documentary films, and the Founder/Director of Integrative Mental Health for You, Dr. Bragdon is most well known for the seminal books she originally published on Spiritual Emergency in 1987, and 1990, and recently updated. Her most recent books about Spiritism in Brazil have also gained rave reviews. She was a volunteer for the Grof’s Spiritual Emergency Network from 1984-1991 and Editor of it’s newsletter and Journal. She was licensed as a psychotherapist in 1988 and has expanded that practice by serving also as a spiritual guide. She spent 6 months of every year from 2001-2012 in Brazil researching the positive potential of Spiritist Community Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals., Other Links:
Dec 13, 2016
Download In this episode, Joe and Kyle chat with Daniel McQueen of Medicinal Mindfulness , which "is a grassroots consciousness organization supporting individuals and communities who choose to use psychedelics and cannabis with intention.  In addition, we create opportunities for legal, accessible, safe and sacred psychedelic journey experiences using breathwork practices, the skillful use of cannabis sativa and through sponsoring psychedelic events in lawful settings." We talk about:
  • Healing power of cannabis
  • Conscious Cannabis Circles
  • Spiritual effects of cannabis
  • Breathwork
  • Tranpsersonal Psychology
  • Psychedelic Shine 
  • Integration and self-care
  Be sure to check out Medicinal Mindfulness's Psychedelic Shine event featuring Dennis Mckenna. This event is all day on February 12th, 2017 at the Boulder Theater in downtown Boulder, Colorado.  Get your tickets today!     About Daniel:  Daniel earned a Masters Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa and received advanced training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy through a year internship with the MAPS Boulder MDMA for PTSD Study.  It was his experience with MAPS that inspired Daniel to explore alternative visions in psychedelic activism and entrepreneurship. Daniel bridges transpersonal paradigms with the grounded clinical and organizational skills necessary to begin addressing the significant ecological and mental health crises facing our society today.  Although Daniel no longer practices as a clinical psychotherapist, he supports his clients as a teacher, coach, ally and event facilitator, providing individual and group transformational experiences and deeply held intentional conversations.  In his practice, Daniel quickly realized that the most important intervention he could provide to his clients, who were isolated and longed for meaningful contact with others, was a sense of community.  Medicinal Mindfulness is, in a very real way, a cultural intervention that provides a safe and transformational community container for healing and awakening... a program based on skill development and not dogma.  Since 2012, Daniel has been teaching a psychedelic harm prevention and intentional psychedelic use course called Mindful Journeywork.  Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado, he has been facilitating Conscious Cannabis Circles and individual cannabis journeys. In addition to his work with Medicinal Mindfulness, Daniel has a successful spirituality and life coaching practice with his wife, Alison, through their company, Aspenroots Counseling LLC.  Highly skilled in identifying and cultivating giftedness in young people and supporting significant life transitions, Daniel is inspired to support passionate and talented individuals striving to live into their calling.  A primary focus of his practice involves assessing and addressing the benefits and difficulties related to psychedelic and cannabis use and misuse. Daniel co-founded the Naropa Alliance for Psychedelic Studies and helped organize the first annual Psychedelic Symposium at Naropa University in 2012.  He is currently working with Grounding Solutions, Inc. to develop a natural rescue medicinal for users of psychedelics and cannabis. Links Medicinal Mindfulness Aspen Roots Mental Health First Aid !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,'script',''); fbq('init', '1400246380002879'); // Insert your pixel ID here. fbq('track', 'PageView'); fbq('track', 'ViewContent');
Dec 8, 2016
Download It has been a big week for psychedelic research. Psilocybin and MDMA have made national headlines. The New York Times article, "F.D.A. Agrees to New Trials for Ecstasy as Relief for PTSD Patients," highlights the recent win for MAPS in regards to their MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research. The FDA has given MAPS the green light to pursue phase 3 research for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. The New York Times also highlights the recent publications of psilocybin research in the article, "A Dose of a Hallucinogen from a 'Magic Mushroom,' and Then Lasting Peace." Psilocybin has been being researched by various institutions, including NYU and John Hopkins, for its potential therapeutic benefit to combat end-of-life anxiety due to terminal illness and cancer. The study results are fascinating:
At the 6.5-month follow-up, psilocybin was associated with enduring anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects (approximately 60–80% of participants continued with clinically significant reductions in depression or anxiety), sustained benefits in existential distress and quality of life, as well as improved attitudes towards death. The psilocybin-induced mystical experience mediated the therapeutic effect of psilocybin on anxiety and depression. (
In this episode, Joe and Kyle chat with, Gabby Agin-Liebes, a co-author of the psilocybin study quoted above and a PhD student studying clinical psychology. During the conversation, we get into topics about the recent publication:
  • Formation of the NYU study
  • Gabby’s role in the study
  • How volunteers were selected
  • Inclusion and admission criteria
  • Study results
  • Can psilocybin help those who are facing death?
  • Mystical experiences facilitating and mediating change in depression and anxiety
  • Current research that Gabby is part of and co-leading
  • How to get involved in the psychedelic field
  • Dreams and visions for the future of psychedelics and psychedelic research
  About Gabrielle Agin-Liebes:   Ms. Agin-Liebes is completing her training toward a PhD in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University. She is a member of PAU’s Early Intervention Clinic clinical research laboratory, which provides and evaluates evidence-based treatments to prevent trauma-related problems in recently traumatized individuals. As part of this research laboratory, Ms. Agin-Liebes is examining the effects of trait self-compassion on trauma-related guilt cognitions. Through a supplemental practicum, Gabrielle is training toward a teacher certification in insight oriented mindfulness meditation through the Inner Resources Center at Palo Alto University. Ms. Agin-Liebes’ other research focuses on novel and progressive psychotherapies for a variety of clinical indications, with areas of specialty in anxiety, depressive and traumatic stress disorders precipitated by life threatening illnesses. Through the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Ms. Agin-Liebes is co-leading the qualitative investigation of a pilot study examining the safety and feasibility of Psilocybin-Assisted Supportive-Expressive Group Psychotherapy for demoralization and existential distress in older individuals living with HIV.  Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Gabrielle served as Project Manager of the NYU School of Medicine (NYUSoM) Psychedelic Research Laboratory led by Stephen Ross MD in the Department of Psychiatry, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of trials exploring psilocybin as a treatment for existential distress in cancer patients, and ketamine as a rapidly-acting antidepressant in Emergency Department patients, Through the NYU School of Medicine lab, she has received funding to investigate the qualitative experiences of participants undergoing psilocybin treatment for alcohol dependence and is helping to design a qualitative trial of religious leaders receiving psilocybin at NYUSoM and Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Ms. Agin-Liebes’ other research interests include the role of self-compassion in addiction recovery and the therapeutic applications of meditation and mindfulness.