Therapeutic Touch in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: Ethical, Theoretical, and Practical Considerations
June 2, 2023 | 12:00pm-1:30pm PST
w/ Jason Luoma, PhD and Brian Pilecki, PhD
About The Workshop
The use of touch in MDMA-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (PAT) is considered an important aspect of the treatment by many providers and organizations, including the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Science (MAPS). Touch can be used in instrumental ways, such as preventing falls, or in therapeutic ways, such as offering support or facilitating connection. However, the use of touch in MDMA-AT is a complex topic, as it has the potential for both benefit and harm, as well as concerns about blurring professional boundaries that lead to ethical violations. Indeed, there have already been incidents of ethical and boundary violations in clinical trials, as well as in the underground use of psychedelics with guides or facilitators. While boundary violations are unfortunately still common in traditional psychotherapy, there may be certain qualities of psychedelic-assisted therapy that increase the risk of such boundary violations including intense emotional affect and strong bonds between therapists and clients. Given this risk and the prevalence of touch in psychedelic-assisted therapy trials, there is a need for clearer guidelines on the use of touch in MDMA-AT to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and practitioners. This workshop will describe the informed consent process, review ethical guidelines for the appropriate use of touch, and address the controversy related to obtaining consent with an individual in an altered state of consciousness.
Meet Your Instructors
Jason Luoma, PhD
Jason Luoma, Ph.D. is CEO of Portland Psychotherapy in Portland, OR. His research focuses on shame, self-stigma, connection, and the application of ACT and psychedelic assisted therapy as an intervention shame and increasing self-compassion. He is currently organizing a clinical of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder that looks like it will be the first trial of psychedelic assisted therapy in the Pacific Northwest. He also recently organized a special section on psychedelic assisted therapy and contextual behavioral science. He is also an internationally recognized trainer in ACT, former chair of the ACT training committee, and past president of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He has over 50 publications including co-authoring two books: Learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Values in Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide to Helping Clients Explore Values, Increase Psychological Flexibility, and Live a More Meaningful Life. His work on shame and compassion can be read at www.actwithcompassion.com.
Brian Pilecki, Ph.D.
Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist at Portland Psychotherapy that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Brian also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. At Portland Psychotherapy, Brian is also involved in research in the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental health problems.
The workshop is aimed at health care professionals who have an interest or are currently working in the field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.
After attending this training, participants will be able to:
- Participants will be able to describe the rationale for the use of touch in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
- Participants will understand ethical guidelines for conducting informed consent for therapeutic touch.
- Participants will be able to describe how culture and client identities can impact the therapeutic use of touch.
Registration is online. Presentations will be recorded and sent to anyone who registers for the event.
We reserve a number of partial scholarships for potential attendees who could not otherwise afford to come. We give particular priority given to those who would add diverse and under represented voices to our field. To submit an application, please click here.
Portland Psychology Clinic, Research & Training Center is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Portland Psychotherapy, Clinic, Research & Training Center maintains responsibility for all programs and content.
This workshop grants 1.5 CE credits for therapists with the purchase of Professionals with CE Certificate ticket and live attendance of the entire workshop. Credit will not be given for only watching the recording.
REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS: We charge a $15 administration fee for cancellations made by participants more than two weeks before the training event. For cancellations within two weeks of the training event, we will refund 50% of the tuition. Alternately, participants may elect to apply 100% of their tuition to a future training event. No refunds will be given after training events.
SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS: Please contact us if you need accommodations to enable you to fully participate in the workshop. We will work with you and do our best to find a way to ensure your participation.