CAPS Town Hall presents: Jae Sevelius, PhD Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Research

A Brief Trip through the Past, Present, and Future

550 16th St., 3rd Floor, Room 3700
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States

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Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy involves the ingestion of a psychedelic drug, such as LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”), or MDMA (the active ingredient in “ecstasy”) in a safe and controlled environment with trained clinicians. Investigation into the therapeutic benefit of psychedelic substances began in the 1950s and ‘60s but since this research was terminated, most psychedelic substances have been classified as “drugs of abuse” with no recognized medical value. Recently, scientists have revived this line of research through controlled clinical studies to assess the basic psychopharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics as adjuncts to existing psychotherapeutic approaches. Psychedelic-assisted therapy has shown promise as a treatment for alcohol dependence, nicotine dependence, anxiety related to a terminal illness, chronic PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and social anxiety related to autism, among other potential applications. This presentation will briefly review the history of psychedelic research, the proposed mechanisms of action, and current investigations, including studies at UCSF and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jae Sevelius, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Prevention Science. Dr. Sevelius is a licensed clinical psychologist with an extensive program of community-based research to improve sexual health and well-being among transgender people. Dr. Sevelius also holds a Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a clinician on the UCSF Psilocybin for Long-term AIDS Survivors study.