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 Richards, 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

Director of Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT)

Nigel Denning MA, MPsych is a Counselling Psychologist, AHPRA registered supervisor and Managing Director of Integrative Psychology a Psychology/Psychiatry practice in East Melbourne.  He is a former Family Violence Co-ordinator for Relationships Australia and is currently the Former Deputy President of the In Good Faith Foundation, an organisation that supports Institutional Abuse and cult survivors. Nigel is also a registered Neuro-psychotherapy supervisor with IAAN.

Nigel has been involved in Transpersonal Psychology and consciousness studies for over thirty years.  He has studied extensively under Stanislav Grof MD and worked closely with Tav Sparks and Grof Transpersonal Training to develop training approaches to Holotropic breathwork and therapy influenced by this modality. Nigel also conducted one of the few peer reviewed research studies on HB.

Nigel teaches and has presented at numerous national and international conferences on state change technology, including medicine work. Nigel also has an established practice in Tibet Bon Dzogchen meditation under the guidance of Dr Daniel Brown of Harvard Medical School.

Dr Tra-ill Dowie


Psychotherapist and Head of the Faculty of Psychotherapy at Ikon Institute Australia

Dr Tra-ill Dowie is the Head of the Faculty of Psychotherapy at Ikon Institute Australia. Dr Dowie is the Chair of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) Panel for Trauma Standards & Practice. Dr Dowie is a practising psychotherapist, supervisor and public speaker. Dr Dowie’s academic life and public lectures cover a broad range of interdisciplinary topics that relate to the human condition: psychiatry, psychotherapy, trauma, continental philosophy, philosophy of mind, anthropology, health and wellbeing, and human optimisation. He holds dual PhDs, receiving a PhD in Psychiatry from Monash University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne.

Dr William Richards


William A. Richards (Bill),  a psychologist in the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been implementing research studies with psilocybin since 1999. His graduate degrees include M.Div. (Yale) , S.T.M.  (Andover-Newton) and  Ph.D. (Catholic University). He also studied with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, where his involvement with psilocybin research originated in 1963. From 1967 to 1977, he implemented projects of psychotherapy research with  LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, including protocols designed to investigate the promise of psychedelics in the treatment of alcoholism, depression,  narcotic addiction and the psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, and also their use in the training of religious and mental-health professionals. His book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences has been released by Columbia University Press.

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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