Psychedelic Clinical Science
Life, Death, and Psychedelic Drugs:
Psychedelics are increasingly being used to treat difficult mental health issues like PTSD and for end-of-life care. Here's what the potential of these drugs in controlled treatment settings looks like, featuring Dr. Monnica Williams. Source: BEME/CNN
Igniting an International Conversation: People of Color & Psychedelics
Oppression, poverty, and discrimination can all contribute to trauma at both individual and collective levels.
There is a vast potential for psychedelics to help heal these traumas and move people toward wholeness.
Recently, there has been much excitement about the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to address a multitude of mental health conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, end-of-life anxiety, and other conditions. However, people of color have not been meaningfully included as research participants or researchers. With studies underway across the globe and expanding access to the benefits of these substances, space must be made for diverse voices and communities of color.
Oppression, poverty, and discrimination can all contribute to traumatic experiences at both individual and collective levels. These ongoing traumatic experiences — enhanced and compounded for people who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities — are often under-recognized and thus under-treated. There is a vast potential for psychedelics to help heal trauma and move people toward wholeness.
Dr. Williams is working to make psychedelic medicine accessable for everyone. In addition to board certification, an inter-jurisdictional practice certificate, and licensure in two countries, Dr. Monnica Williams is a certified psychedelic therapist through the MAPS MDMA Training Program (part A-D). She also offers psychedelic-assisted therapy at her clinic in Tolland, Connecticut.
Upcoming Psychedelic Presentations & Conferences
It's about PEOPLE. The word cloud generated from Dr. Williams' lecture at the Penn Society for Psychedelic Science in November 2019.
- Williams, M. T. (2021, January 19). Racial Trauma and New Directions in Healing. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
- Pirozek, J., Williams, M. T., & Dyck, E. (2021, January 20). Chacruna in Canada: What Does Reciprocity Look Like in the North? Community Forum Series. Chacruna Institute.
- Williams, M. T. (2021, February 10). Understanding Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapies: A New Frontier in Mental Health. NCR Chapter, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
- Bartlett, A. & Williams, M. (2020, November 11). The Cost of Omission: Dr. Valentina Wasson and Getting Our Stories Right. Chacruna Institute.
- Chen, X., Bullard, M., Duan, C., George, J. R., Ching, T., Kilpatrick, S., Sloshower, J., & Williams, M. (2020, November 6). The Cost of Exclusion in Psychedelic Research. Bill of Health, Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School.
- Williams, M. & Labate, B. (2020, July 29). New Psychedelic Online Conferences and Safe Spaces for People of Color. Chacruna Institute.
- Why Black People Should Embrace Psychedelic Healing: Reclaiming Our Cultural Birthright. Chacruna Institute.
- Introducing Ayahuasca. Psychology Today.
- People of Color Making a Difference in Psychedelic Healing. Chacruna Institute.
- How White Feminists Oppress Black Women: When Feminism Functions as White Supremacy. Chacruna Institute.
- Psychedelic Psychotherapy Is Coming: Who Will Be Included? Psychology Today.
- Williams, M. T. (recorded). Culturally-Informed Outreach & Clinical Research: MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD. TZK Seminars. (3 CEs)
Related Academic Publications
Monnica Williams in San Francisco with Drs. Bia Labate (director) and Clancy Cavnar of Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. Dr. Williams serves on the Committee for Racial Equity & Access.
- Williams, M., Davis, A., Xin, Y., Sepeda, N., Colon-Grigas, P., Sinnott, S., & Haeny, A. (in press). People of color in North America report improvements in racial trauma and mental health symptoms following psychedelic experiences. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy. doi: 10.1080/09687637.2020.1854688
- Williams, M. T., Bartlett, A., Michaels, T. I., Sevelius, J., & George, J. R. (2020). Dr. Valentina Wasson: Questioning what we think we know about the foundations of psychedelic science. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4 (3).
- Williams, M. T., Reed, S., & George, J. (2020). Culture and psychedelic psychotherapy: Ethnic and racial themes from three Black women therapists. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(3), 125-138.
- Williams, M. T., Reed, S., & Aggarwal, R. (2020). Culturally-informed research design issues in a study for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(1), 40–50. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.016
- George, J. R., Michaels, T. I., Sevelius, J., & Williams, M. T. (2020). The psychedelic renaissance and the limitations of a White-dominant medical framework: A call for indigenous and ethnic minority inclusion. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(1), 4-15. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.015
- Sloshower, J., Guss, J., Krause, R., Wallace, R., Williams, M., Reed, S., & Skinta, M. (2020). Psilocybin-assisted therapy of major depressive disorder using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a therapeutic frame. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 15, 12-19.
- Michaels, T. I., Purdon, J., Collins, A. & Williams, M. T. (2018). Inclusion of people of color in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: A review of the literature. BMC Psychiatry, 18(245), 1-9. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1824-6.
- Williams, M. T., & Leins, C. (2016). Race-based trauma: The challenge and promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Bulletin, 26(1), 32-37.
Jenny Purdon (modeartor), Dr. Nick Powers, and Dr. Monnica Williams (left to right) at Yale University to discuss people of color and their lack of representation in the psychedelic medicine movement.
Prior Lectures & Presentations
Dr. Monnica Williams co-organized a workshop and training for therapists of color in August 2019 for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, sponsored by MAPS and grant funded by the Open Society Foundations.
- Williams, M. T., Davis, A. K., Davis, D. D., Marcus, O., Gorman, I., & Nielson, E. (2020, November 13). Opportunities for Psychedelic Science and Psychotherapy Training. Source Research Foundation.
- Williams, M. (2020, November 12). Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD related to experiences of racial discrimination. In D. Bernard (chair), Identifying Barriers and Mechanisms for the Treatment of Racial Trauma Among Black Communities: Implications for Bridging Science and Practice. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
- Baggott, M., Ching, T., Christie, D., & Williams, M. (2020, October 16). MDMA: Expansive Research and Applications. 2020: Vision and Visionaries, Biannual Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum, Victoria, BC.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, October 15). Psychedelics for Racial Trauma. 2020: Vision and Visionaries, Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum, Victoria, BC.
- Grof, S., Grof, B., Williams, M. T., Pirozek, J., Bourzat, F., Loizaga-Velder, A., Passie, T., & Millar, T. (2020, October 15). Vision for the Future of Psychedelic Psychotherapy. 2020: Vision and Visionaries, Biannual Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum, Victoria, BC.
- Labate, B., Belser, A., Williams, M. T., & Buchanan, N. (2020, September 25). Diversity, Equity and Access in Psychedelic Medicine. Panel discussion for Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research,Haarlem, The Netherlands.
- Davis, A. K., Williams, M. T. Sinnot, S., Gringas, P., Sepeda, N., Haeny, A. (2020, September 24). Psychedelic-occasioned decreases in trauma symptoms among people of color who have a history of racial trauma. Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, September). Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and Psychedelic Therapies. Center for Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, August 31). Psychedelics. The New Health Club Show Podcast.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, August 11). Psychedelics and Social Justice. Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance webinar series. MAPS Canada.
- Morisano, D. (2020, July 30). Race and Psychedelics with Dr. Monnica Williams. Field Trip webinar.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, July 22). Racial Trauma and Psychedelic Therapy. The Maudsley Psychedelic Society, UK.
- Williams, M. T. & Labate, B. (2020, July 8). Black Lives Matter, Psychedelics and Anti-Racism. Chacruna Institute.
- Kaiser, C. (2020, June 16). An Interview with Monnica Williams: Treating Race-Based Trauma with Psychedelics & Addressing Mental Health Disparities. Think Supersystemic.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, May, 29-31). Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy and Access: Who Will be Included. Catalyst Calgary Psychedelic Research Conference, Calgary, AL. (online)
- Williams, M. T. (2020, April 25). Psychedelic Psychotherapy is Coming: Who Will be Included? Psychedelic Liberty Summit. Chacruna Institute, San Francisco, CA. (online)
- Williams, M. T. (2020, April 9). Ayahuasca for Racial Trauma: A Professional and Personal Journey. Ottawa Psychedelic Education Network, Ottawa, ON. (online)
- Williams, M. T. (2020, April 8). Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, Access and Inclusion.
Psychedelic Liberty in Times of Crisis [Webinar]. Chacruna Institute.
- Labate, B., Williams, M. T., Conour, K. & Herzberg, G. (2020, February 25). Diversity, Equity, & Access in Psychedelic Medicine. Chacruna Institute Community Forum Series, San Francisco, CA.
- Williams, M. T. & Payer, D. (2020, February 1). Dosed Documentary. Film and Panel Discussion, Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, ON.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, January 27-28). Exploratory seminar on psychedelic-assisted therapy for seriously ill patients. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
- Williams, M. T. (2019, November 13). Can Psychedelics Heal Racial Trauma? A Profesional and Personal Journey. The Penn Society for Psychedelic Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. [invited]
- Williams, M. T. (2019, November 2). Racial Trauma and the Promise of Psychedelic Psychotherapies. Keynote lecture for Arizona Psychological Association Annual Convention, Phoenix, AZ. [invited]
- Williams, M. T. (2019, October 17-21). Culturally Informed Psychedelic Therapy. In B. Labate (Chair). Women, Diversity, and Sexual Minorities in the Psychedelic Community. Panel presentation Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA.
- Williams, M. T. (2019, August 10-17). MDMA Conference for Therapists and Communities of Color. Workshop Keynote lecture. Louisville, KY.
- Williams, M. T. (2018, November 28). MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and PTSD in Communities of Color. Inclusion of People of Color and Intersectional Feminism in Psychedelic Science. MAPS Psychedelic Science Webinar Series. [invited]
- Williams, M. T., Wetterneck, C. T., Reed, S., Siu, W., Ching, T. & George, J. (2018, November 8-10). Psychedelic Therapy for PTSD in People of Color. Panel presentation for 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Washington, DC.
- Williams, M. T. (2018, October 6). Race-Based Trauma: The Challenge and Promise of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy. Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics, New York City, NY. [invited]
- Pollan, M., Doblin, R., Williams, M. T., & Niño, R. (2018, October 5). Breakthrough for Psychedelic Medicine: An Intimate Dinner to Heal Trauma Through MDMA Therapy. Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, The Assemblage, New York City, NY. [invited]
- Williams, M. T. (2018, July 14). Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics (SOAP). Lecture for Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. Pittsburgh, PA. [invited]
- Williams, M. T. (2018, May 4). Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and the Psychedelic Healing Movement. Lecture, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA. [invited]
- Williams, M. T., Siu, W & Powers, N. (2018, April 27). Psychedelics, Therapy, and Race: A Panel Discussion. Panel Discussion, New School, New York City, NY. [invited]
- Williams, M. T. & Powers, N. (2017, November 11). Minority Inclusion in the Psychedelic Movement. Panel, Northern Regional Mini Conference, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Yale University, New Haven, CT. [invited]
- Williams, M. T., Sevelius, J., Kahn, P. G., Red Bear, L. M., & Ali, I. (2017, April). Injustice, Intersectional Trauma, and Psychedelics. Psychedelic Science Conference, Oakland, CA.
Student Poster Presentations
- Michaels, T. I., Lester, L. F., Purdon, J., & Williams, M. (2018, November). Inclusion of People of Color in Ketamine Randomized Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Depression. Poster session at the 52nd Annual Convention of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington, DC.
- Ching, T. H. W., Williams, M. T., Kisicki, M., Reed, S. J., & George, J. (2017, November). MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment-Resistant PTSD: MAPS-Sponsored Phase 2 Findings & Cultural Considerations for Phase 3 Trials. Poster session at the 51st Annual Convention of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, San Diego, CA.
Selected Media Appearances
- Caldwell, E. (2020, December 28). One psychedelic experience may lessen trauma of racial injustice. Ohio State University News.
- Gregoire, C. (2020, October 29). Inside the Movement to Decolonize Psychedelic Pharma. NeoLife.
- Yin, S. (2020, January 10). How researchers and advocates of color are forging their own paths in psychedelic-assisted therapy. The Pulse. NPR/PBS.
- White, W. (2019, December 2). Race, Trauma and Psychedelic Therapy. The 730 . [Podcast]
- Janikian, M. (2019, December 2). Five Women in Psychedelics You Should Know About: Badass women making waves in the psychedelic movement, from research to drug policy reform. Double Blind.
- Mocerino, M. (2019, November 22). Racial Disparities: Trippy Talk with Dr. Monnica Williams. Reality Sandwich.
- Janikian, M. (2019, September 2). MDMA for Racial Trauma. Double Blind.
- Lekhtman, A. (2019, August 23). The First-Ever MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color Was Vital. Filter.
- More media appearances »
Monnica Williams and Jade Ullmann in the MAPS Study Treatment room research space at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Grants & Awards
- 2020 - MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Expanded Access Pilot Project for Racial Trauma in People of Color, Psychedelic Research Funders Collective
- 2019 - MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color, Open Society Foundations for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
- 2018 - Cosmic Sisters Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance Grant
- 2018 - Ullmann Family Foundation
- 2017 - An Open-Label, Multi-Site Phase 2 Study of the Safety and Effect of Manualized MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (MP-16), MAPS
- Conference Planning Team, Global Summit on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Medicines: From Research to Reality, Scheduled for 2021, Toronto, ON