Public Lecture in Canberra: Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies: The New Frontier in Treating Mental Illness · Mind Medicine Australia
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Public Lecture in Canberra: Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies: The New Frontier in Treating Mental Illness

With Dr Ben Sessa (UK) and Prof Paul Fitzgerald

Date: Wed 15 November 2023 @ 6:30pm
Location: ANU: Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre (The Tank), Building 23, University Avenue, Canberra ACT 2600

The Australian National University and Mind Medicine Australia are delighted to present an International Public Lecture featuring renowned psychiatrist and researcher, Dr Ben Sessa (UK), live in person.

Dr Sessa has been at the forefront of psychedelic research for over 15 years through his affiliations with Bristol University and Imperial College London, under the auspices of Professor David Nutt. He brings a wealth of knowledge to this fast developing field in Australia.

In this lecture, he will explain:

  • What psychedelic drugs are
  • Safety of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of depression, trauma, eating disorders, addictions and other conditions
  • Psychedelics and Neuroplasticity
  • How psychedelic-assisted therapies work clinically
  • Protocols for delivering psychedelic-assisted therapy safely and effectively
  • And lots more…

After Dr Sessa’s lecture, he’ll be joined onstage with Prof Paul Fitzgerald for discussion and Q&A with the audience.

Tickets are strictly limited. Please register now to secure your seat.



DATE: Wednesday 15 November 2023
TIME: 6:30pm start, finishing at 8:30pm
DURATION: 120 minutes (incl Q&A)
LOCATION: ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, Ground Floor, South Wing Law Theatre Acton, ACT 2601


The Presenters

Dr Ben Sessa (UK)


For over 15 years Dr Ben Sessa has been at the forefront of psychedelic and cannabis research and clinical medicine in the UK through his affiliations with Imperial College London. Ben qualified as a medical doctor from UCL in 1997 and went on to specialise in psychiatry. For 25 years he has worked as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist with young people and adult patients in the field of addictions and trauma-related psychiatry.

Ben started studying psychedelics as a junior doctor and has taken part in research projects at Bristol University, Cardiff University and Imperial College London with LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ketamine and MDMA – receiving and/or administering all of these compounds in legal research settings.

One of the first doctors to develop the field of contemporary psychedelic research in the UK, he was the former co-founder, former CEO, and subsequently the former Head of Psychedelic Medicine at Awakn Life Sciences, a Bio-Tech company carrying out psychedelic research into addictions. Awakn opened four clinical centres in the U.K. and Europe, providing psychedelic psychotherapy with ketamine, for a wide range of psychiatric indications, as well as an extensive R&D psychedelic research program.

Ben was one of the first Medical Cannabis psychiatric prescribers in the UK.

Ben is a trained MDMA, ketamine and psilocybin therapist. He has led research into MDMA-assisted therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder and is published widely in the academic and medical press.

Ben is the co-founder and past president of the Breaking Convention conference. He is the author of The Psychedelic Renaissance (2012/2017), the novel ‘To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic’ (2015) and Altered States (2021). Ben lives and works in Bristol, UK.


Prof Paul Fitzgerald


Paul Fitzgerald is Professor of Psychiatry at Monash University and Director of the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health based at Epworth Camberwell. He is a qualified psychiatrist, has a Masters of Psychological Medicine and research PhD. His main clinical and academic interest is in the development, evaluation and clinical translation of new therapies for mental health conditions. His research program has been mainly focussed on various forms of brain stimulation including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial alternating current stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy and deep brain stimulation.

He has conducted over twenty clinical trials in depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, autism and Alzheimer’s disease along with numerous experimental studies. He has established multiple clinical TMS services, is a founder and board member of TMS Clinics Australia, and established Australia’s first TMS clinical training program. He has had continual NHMRC grant support for almost 20 years.

Disclaimer: Mind Medicine Australia does not encourage or facilitate illegal use of psychedelics or plant medicines. MMA focus is focused on clinical and legal use only supported by the emerging science and legislative processes. Mind Medicine Australia reserves the right to record and publish webinars on various social media platforms. You agree that you will not discuss any names, locations or specific details of illegal use of psychedelics both verbally or via any written forms of communication via Mind Medicine Australia social media platforms (for example Facebook, Instagram or Zoom private and public chat forms during a webinar). Breaches of these guidelines may result in not being able to participate in the event. We thank you for support and cooperation on these matters.

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