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Pure Curiosity: Natalie Ginsberg on MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy & Psychedelic Medicine

When most people hear the term “psychedelic” it tends to conjure up images of tie dye and Woodstock at best, and people winding up homeless or losing their minds at worst. The media backlash after the 60’s, and the war on drugs did a great job distorting the public’s conception of these substances. What if I told you that despite what you’ve heard, psychedelics may be the world’s most powerful tool for healing trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? That over 60% of people could be completely PTSD free after just 3 sessions?

The research being done at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is showing us just that. MDMA assisted psychotherapy is now in Phase III trials with the FDA with unprecedented success rates for PTSD. Research for other conditions and substances are currently underway, and we have reason to believe that the effectiveness of these medicines will blow traditional pharmaceuticals out of the water. Natalie Ginsberg, the director of Policy & Advocacy for MAPS joins us for an in-depth look at the research currently being done, and what we can expect to see in the future.

I’ve personally benefited from psychedelic medicine more than I can express. They can be extremely intense, especially if you’ve experienced trauma, so I DO NOT recommend doing them without supervision from someone experienced. Do your research! If you’re curious to read something I wrote during an intentional MDMA ceremony a while back (read: not at a rave), I’ve posted my journal entry below. That one session freed me from old thoughts and beliefs about myself I had been struggling with for years. After 5 hours of “treatment,” they lifted. It’s hard to argue with that.

About Our Guest:

Natalie is the Policy & Advocacy Director at MAPS, where she advocates for psychedelic research to provide evidence-based alternatives to both the war on drugs and the current mental health paradigm. Natalie earned her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University, and her Bachelor’s in History from Yale University. Before arriving at MAPS in 2014, Natalie served as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical cannabis in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s racist marijuana arrests.

Natalie has also worked as a therapist at an alternative-sentencing court with individuals arrested for prostitution and drug-related offenses, and as a guidance counselor at Bronx middle school. Natalie is passionate about psychedelic therapy because it works by addressing the root causes of trauma, rather than only targeting its symptoms. Natalie is particularly interested in psychedelics’ abilities to heal intergenerational trauma, as trauma is created and compounded by social and political marginalization. Towards this end, Natalie is codeveloping a study examining psychedelics’ potential role in community conflict resolution and restorative justice.

To learn more about MAPS go to

Read few of Natalie’s recent articles:

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