One year of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy in Australia

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About: A year on from the TGA rescheduling MDMA for PTSD and Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, our panelists will give an update on where we are at with legal psychedelic therapy, the current and future trials in Australia, and discuss the possibility of whether we are overlooking the benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy or micro-dosing psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.

Facilitator: Rebecca Houghton



Rebecca Houghton is an International speaker, Mental Health & Drug Reform Advocate and Health & Wellness Coach. She has worked with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, including veterans, entrepreneurs, high net worth CEO’s, medical professionals, and celebrity A-Listers. She shares her real life experience of treating and managing both complex and combat post traumatic stress and subscribes to a unique heuristic and holistic model for mental health care, over a pharmaceutical prescription. While living in the United States, she worked in the legal Cannabis Industry, trained as a MDMA practitioner and co-facilitated over 50 sessions. As Co-founder and former Director of the ex-service organisation, Weeded Warrior, she advocated politically for Medicinal Cannabis and MDMA therapy legalisation in Australia and successfully championed the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover Medicinal Cannabis for Veterans.

James Bennett-Levy has recently taken up a research position as Professor at Southern Cross University. As a trainer, researcher, and writer, he has an international reputation, having taught in 27 countries and co-written 5 books for therapists. These books have been translated into 12 languages. He is one of the world’s most published researchers on therapist training, with groundbreaking research on his self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR) approach to training (2001-23) and key theoretical papers on personal practice for therapists (2018-19) and therapist skill development (2006-14). Recently, he has turned his attention to psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT). He is a Chief Investigator on a PAT clinical trial and is developing PAT-based research at Southern Cross University.

Symon Beck is a mushroom enthusiast with over ten years of experience foraging and eating many different species of fungi on Australia’s East Coast. He has a particular interest in Psilocybe and other psychoactive species, and helps run the PMANZ group on Facebook. He is the secretary of the Australian Psychedelic Society. He is interested in the potential benefits of psychedelics and has a passion for harm reduction and advocacy. Symon’s academic background is in medicine and psychiatry.

Micha Lerner has extensive experience in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, working for both private and public practices, as well as establishing his own clinic. Micha has a Masters of Arts (Psychology) and Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology from Bond University and a Bachelor of Arts (Behavioural Science and Communication) from The College of Management Academic Studies, Tel Aviv. Micha was head psychologist at The Sanctuary between 2015 and 2018, has worked at private drug and alcohol treatment service The Bay Retreat, and provided psychological services to the Gold Coast Drug Council. Micha has a keen interest in the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain, particularly psychedelic drugs, and has lectured in psychopharmacology at Bond University and had research on the subject published in prestigious medical journals. Originally from Israel, Micha emigrated to Australia in 2001. A yoga devotee and a former international surf champion, he enjoys catching the world-class waves at Lennox Head.

Martin Williams is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), Research Fellow in Psychology at Swinburne University and in Computational Neuroscience at the Turner Institute of Brain and Mental Health at Monash University. Martin is a founding member of Entheogenesis Australis (EGA), an educational charity focused on the historical use and societal impacts of medicinal plants and chemicals. Martin is co-lead on the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Phase 2 trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression and anxiety associated with terminal illness, and co-investigator on the upcoming Melbourne multi-institutional psilocybin trial for treatment-resistant depression and Edith Cowan University MDMA trial for PTSD. In his spare time, Martin has an avid interest as an aircraft pilot.

MardiGrass is also all about sensible law reform for ALL drugs, so this year we will partner with Entheogenesis Australis [EGA] to present a program dedicated to other medicinal plants. Don’t miss it! 10am – 10pm Saturday 4 May in the Town Hall Garden.

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