Describe current psychedelic decriminalization efforts in the US and their relationship to existing drug and religious use policies as well as its impact on indigenous communities.
Kelly Sykes, PhD is a child forensic psychologist and maintains a private practice in Brooklyn, New York. She works primarily with court referred families as a custody evaluator, parenting or family coordinator, or therapeutic supervisor. She also provides expert consultation and testimony in matters that concern parent-child contact problems, child sexual abuse evaluations, trauma & parenting, and adoption & termination of parental rights. Her work is heavily influenced by psychoanalysis and attachment theory. Kelly’s interest in psychedelic integration therapy evolved from years of working with court-referred parents with histories of complex trauma, persistent mood disorders, and substance abuse problems. Noting that for some, talk therapies helped with insight but failed to inhibit endangering behavior or led to meaningful change such that they could parent their children. This sparked her interest in learning more about the role the brain plays in the chronicity of certain psychological conditions and the research on psychedelic treatments.
Dr. Alex Camargo is a psychologist based in New York City and maintains a private practice in Manhattan. His work is heavily influenced by psychoanalytic and attachment theories where he works with clients to address anxiety, depression, life transitions and spiritual crises. In addition, he provides psychedelic harm reduction and integration, helping clients prepare for psychedelic experiences, incorporate insights or cope with challenges post-experience. He has also been employed to be a study therapist on a clinical trial investigating the impact of psilocybin on the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder at New York Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Camargo’s clinical training focused on providing mental health services in low-fee clinics and hospitals to traditionally underserved communities the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Nassau County.
Dr. Elizabeth Nielson is a co-founder of Fluence and a psychologist with a focus on developing psychedelic medicines as empirically supported treatments for PTSD, substance use problems, and mood disorders. Dr. Nielson is a therapist on FDA approved clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder, MDMA-assisted treatment PTSD, and psilocybin-assisted treatment of treatment resistant depression. Through Fluence, she provides continuing education and training programs for therapists who wish to engage in integration of psychedelic experiences in clinical settings. Her program of research includes qualitative and mixed-methods projects designed to further understand the phenomenology and mechanisms of change in psychedelic-assisted therapy, including the experiences of trial participants and of the therapists themselves. Having completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, she has published and presented on topics of psychedelic therapist training, therapists’ personal experience with psychedelics, and including psychedelic integration in group and individual psychotherapy.
Cristie Strongman is a graduate of Columbia University’s Counseling Psychology, bilingual track. Before embarking on clinical study, she dedicated her studies at Columbia to better understand the phenomena of urban shamanism. Cristie is the former Director of Racial and Equity Access Committee for Chacruna’s Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicine, a non-profit dedicated to providing public education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines where she advocated for gender and racial diversity in the field of psychedelics. Cristie is a trainee of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with a passion for helping historically underserved communities of color. She is a classically trained opera singer who enjoys performing new music in such spaces as Carnegie Hall. Cristie is originally from Colón, Panamá, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NYC.