Psychedelic Clinical Science
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.
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.
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. (2020, August 11). Psychedelics and Social Justice. Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance webinar series. MAPS Canada.
- Williams, M. T. (2020, October). 2020: Vision and Visionaries, Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum, Victoria, BC.
- Davis, A. K. [presenter], Williams, M. T. Sinnot, S., Gringas, P., Sepeda, N., Haeny, A. (2020, September 24-36). 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, 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)
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 board of directors of the Institute and on the Committee for Racial Equity & Access.
- 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. 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. 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.
Prior Lectures & Conference 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. (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.
Monnica Williams and Jade Ullmann in the MAPS Study Treatment room research space at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Grants & Awards
- Submitted - Santo Daime in Canada: A Humanistic Investigation of Psychedelic Healing (SSHRC)
- 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, May 2021, Toronto, ON
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.
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
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