Introductory 2-Day Workshop for Psychedelic Therapies · Mind Medicine Australia
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Introductory 2-Day Workshop for Psychedelic Therapies

With Mind Medicine Australia Summit, Mind Medicine Australia Workshop, Dr William (Bill) Richards (USA), Dr Tra-ill Dowie and Nigel Denning

Date: Wed 17 November 2021 @ 9:00am
Location: Online

The event will also feature a two-day pre-Summit Introductory Workshop Program (17-18 November) led by Nigel Denning, Dr Tra-ill Dowie with world-leading therapist trainer Dr Bill Richards (USA) from Johns Hopkins University. It is for anyone with an interest in the topic and who is considering further development of their current therapeutic skills or who are eager to gain a detailed understanding of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of mental illness.

It will cover an introductory background history to psychedelic medicines, how they work and how they are applied in research and clinical settings. There will be a significant practical component focussing on integration of experiences – how to understand and use the kinds of experience commonly encountered when using these substances for better self-understanding and how trained therapists might help someone apply them in their own lives.

While not providing a qualification of any kind, attendees can obtain non-accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates (related to your professional registration) for attending.

Medicine-assisted therapy is not yet legal in Australia, outside of a research context. However, given the impressive early clinical evidence to date, and the near-term regulatory changes predicted in the US and EU subject to forthcoming data, these workshops will contribute to preparing the Australia context for regulatory changes in the coming years.

The workshops will cover all three phases of medicine-assisted therapy: preparation, medicine session, and integration. Workshops will incorporate the theoretical (neuroscience, psychology, psychotherapy), practical (instruction in methods of service provision), and experiential elements of treatment (process learning that deepens and develops clinicians’ capacity).

Mind Medicine Australia Summit
2 day Introductory Therapist Workshop

Wednesday 17 November

9.00am (AEDT) Welcome to Country and Psychedelic video with music

  • Meditation and Introduction to Teachers, outline for the 2 days, housekeeping
  • MMA Video

9.15 Our contemporary mental healthcare system, our mental health emergency and
psychedelic-assisted therapies as an important new direction

9.45 Overview of Psychedelics

  • Pre-history
  • History
  • Practices for achieving altered states of consciousness (anthropology)

11:00 – 11.20 MORNING TEA BREAK

11.20 Overview of Psychedelics (continued)

  • The different substances and effects
  • MMA’s focus on psilocybin and MDMA assisted therapies

12.00 Small group discussions

12.45 Feedback, Questions and Reflections

1.00 – 2.00 LUNCH BREAK

2.00 – 4.00 Psychedelic-assisted therapy

  • The Potentials of PAT in contemporary mental health
  • Major trial models
  • Explore the tensions between empirical scientific research and subjective experience
  • Mind Medicine model
  • Potential risks and pitfalls


4.20 Reflection on Day – Discussion Groups and Q & A

Thursday 18 November

9.00 – 9.15 (AEDT) Meditation/Reflection

9.15 Bill Richards – Core Competencies for Psychedelic Therapists

  • Rapidly establishing trust: the being of the therapist
  • Therapeutic processes, cognitive frameworks and languages
  • Fundamental experiential knowledge & its enhancement
  • The art of facilitating rather than imposing/directing
  • Principles of “navigating in internal worlds”
  • Attunement to and definition of the varieties of psychedelic experiences
  • Ethics and self-care


11.30 Bill Richards and Tania de Jong AM – The Power of Music with Psychedelics

  • Appreciate structural components in music and their importance in ensuring safety and
    promoting efficacy.
  • Understand the potential limitations of personal musical preferences and the breadth of
    available options.
  • Comprehend music as a language and as a source of support and safe movement within

12.30 – 1.30 LUNCH BREAK

1.30 Integration And Metacognitive Skills

  • Phase one
  • Phase two
  • Phase three
  • Session video – Trip of Compassion extract
  • Demonstration

2.30 Discussion Groups on Integration – Personal experience, thoughts and reflection

3.15 Questions and discussions

4.00 – 4.20 AFTERNOON TEA

4.20 The Future – Certificate in Psychedelic Therapy Professional Development Program

  • Discussion about MMA Certificate (incl handout brochure and registration details and
    special offer)
  • Qualifications required, Accreditation certificate/CPD
  • Details about the program and time involved
  • Call to Action to register if not already done so + special offer
  • Q & A

5.00 Final Closing Comments and Meditation

The Presenters

Nigel Denning

MA, MPsych

Managing Director and co-founder of Integrative Psychology and the Mind Medicine Institute

Nigel Denning is a Counselling Psychologist with 30 years of experience in the mental health sector.  He is the Managing Director and co-founder of Integrative Psychology and the Mind Medicine Institute.

Nigel’s expertise covers developmental trauma, institutional abuse, family violence, attachment disorder, relationship therapy and advanced concentration meditation.  He works with individuals, couples, families, groups and organisations.  Nigel has been involved in therapy and court reporting on several hundred cases from the Royal Commission into Childhood Institutional Sexual Abuse.  Nigel is a former Family Violence Coordinator for Relationships Australia. He has conducted research at the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, under the supervision of Professor Kelsey Hegarty on male perpetrator typologies. For over 10 years Nigel facilitated group psychotherapy for male perpetrators of family violence.  Nigel is an expert in trauma.

Nigel has extensive experience with psychedelic work internationally.  He began working with altered states of consciousness 35 years ago when he was introduced to Holotropic Breathwork through the guidance of Alf and Muriel Foote.  Twenty-five years ago, Nigel began to work with Dr Stanislav Grof, one of the leading pioneers in the clinical application of psychedelics.  Nigel co-founded the world’s first Spiritual Emergency Centre based on Grof’s work, in partnership with Tav Sparks, Director of Grof Transpersonal Training in North Carolina.  He was also lucky to meet Dr Albert Hoffman at a workshop organised by Grof at HR Geiger’s Museum/Gallery in Gruyere Switzerland. Nigel has also trained with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and successfully completed their clinician qualification. Nigel is passionate about educating clinicians into the potential of non-ordinary state work when done ethically and skillfully.

Dr Tra-ill Dowie


Psychotherapist, Head of the Faculty of Psychotherapy at Ikon Institute Australia and Director of the Mind Medicine Institute

Dr Traill Dowie is a polymath philosopher, academic, psychotherapist, minister of religion and martial artist. He holds dual PhDs in Philosophy and Psychiatry. Traill is a co-founder of the Mind Medicine Institute, the head of school at Ikon Institute, a research fellow at La Trobe University in Philosophy, sub-editor of the Philosophy International Journal (Medwin Press) and has also trained with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and completed their clinician qualification.

Traill is a lifelong martial artist, holding black belts in multiple disciplines. He has worked professionally as both an athletic and performance coach for high level athletes, including world champions, at a national and international level.

Growing up in the Northern Territory, Traill spent a lot of time on country where he developed an interest in ethnomedicine and traditional healing practices. This interest led Traill to Dr Raphael Locke, an anthropologist, psychoanalyst, consciousness researcher and initiated Iroquois shaman. Traill apprenticed with Dr Locke in shamanic practice for 20 years and has explored ethno-medicine and traditional practices across Australia, Asia, Central America and North America. This interest in healing and state-based technologies has been coupled with his interest in psychotherapy and psychology.

Traill has 25 years of experience working as a clinician in a variety of settings including in private practice and organisations. He began his career working in eco-psychotherapy and wilderness therapy working with complex presentations. Traill has worked in both in-patient and outpatient settings focusing on the treatment of complex trauma. Traill was the co-founder of Integrative Psychology where he co-authored a paper with his colleagues Nigel Denning and Linda Tilgner, which was tabled at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He worked with Nigel Denning to develop a protocol for individual and group psychotherapy for victims of cult abuse. Traill also chaired the Australian Counselling Association’s Trauma Standards Panel.

Dr William (Bill) Richards (USA)


Dr William A. Richards (Bill), author of Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, is Director of Therapy at Sunstone Therapies in Rockville, Maryland (USA), currently focused on the implementation of psychedelic-assisted therapy in palliative care.

Bill also is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research in Baltimore, where he and his colleagues have been pursuing research with psilocybin since 1999, and teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies and for MMA’s Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies. Bill’s graduate degrees encompass the psychology of religion, theology, comparative religion and clinical psychology.

Bill’s involvement with psychedelic research originated in Germany at the University of Göttingen in 1963.  From 1967 to 1977, he pursued research with LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.

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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