607 – MDMA and Psychotherapy

Facilitating Psychoactive Drug Treatments for Trauma
Michael Mithoefer

For millennia, cultures around the world have embraced mind-altering substances to catalyze healing. Western psychotherapy has generally resisted the healing potential of such substances, but the FDA has lately approved clinical trials using MDMA—also known as Ecstasy, or Molly—to treat PTSD. Psychotherapists have a major role to play in these treatments, by helping clients process the healing shifts in consciousness that can occur on the drug. In this workshop, you’ll explore what this potentially field-changing treatment means for therapists, including:

  • Specifics of the role therapists play in the healing process of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, including balancing a non-directive approach with interventions based on the therapist’s training and intuition
  • What typically happens in the eight-hour therapy sessions that accompany the administering of MDMA
  • The history of MDMA and how its pharmacologic profile makes it effective against treatment-resistant PTSD


Michael Mithoefer, MD, is a psychiatrist who specializes in experiential methods of psychotherapy to treat PTSD. Now focused on MDMA clinical research, he’s completed studies with treatment-resistant PTSD, and with veterans, firefighters, and police officers with PTSD. He’s training therapists for a nonprofit, phase-3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Michael Mithoefer receives a salary and grants from MAPS Public Benefit Corp and is a clinical assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Non-financial: Michael Mithoefer is a member of the non-profit MAPS.

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