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MDMA as Profound Change Agent: Insights from MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research
Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C. and Bruce Poulter, R.N., M.P.H.
Saturday, April 22, 2017 • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM • East Hall
Continuing Education (CE)

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy facilitates profound change. However, what really happens? How do you know you are on the right path given this process is so often somatic and non-linear? Who is changing and how durable is it? What do art, music and love have to do with it anyway? We will explore these questions and more as we share the results from MAPS Phase 2 MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for chronic treatment resistant PTSD study in Boulder, Colorado where 78% of participants ("Intent to Treat") with a baseline CAPS of 92, no longer met PTSD criteria 12 months after treatment. This presentation will combine research methodology and results with clinical observations from both the PTSD study and the MAPS Healthy Volunteer Study in Boulder, CO. We hope you will join us for this clinician-centered presentation.


Marcela Ot'alora

Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C., is a psychotherapist and an artist working in Boulder, Colorado. In her private practice she works in partnership with clients to nourish awareness and connection to innate essence. Her interest and focus on trauma has led her to understand the healing process as an intimate re-connection to self through integrity, acceptance, and honoring of one’s own human spirit. In addition to working with trauma and PTSD, she has dedicated her professional life to teaching, and research. She uses art as a vehicle for deepening the relationship to self and other through autobiographical storytelling. Marcela worked as a co-therapist in MAPS’ first government approved MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study in Madrid, Spain, served as the Principal Investigator for MAPS’ Phase II MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study in Boulder, Colorado, and currently in the MDMA Healthy Volunteer study. Additionally, she is a trainer for therapists working on MAPS upcoming Phase III studies for MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy.


Bruce Poulter

Bruce Poulter, R.N., M.P.H., has been interested and worked much of his career with people in altered states. He was an ICU nurse at UC San Francisco Moffitt Hospital when the AIDS pandemic first emerged and began devastating our communities. Later he received a MPH from UC Berkeley in health planning and policy. He went on to develop and run public health programs including one of the first certified nurse-midwife based perinatal programs serving low income women, and a program that identified families at risk for abuse and neglect of their children and then providing appropriate services. He has worked extensively with people in chronic pain and was an intimate observer of the first government approved MDMA for PTSD MAPS study in Spain in 1999. He has offered harm reduction services thru Zendo, etc., was an investigator in the MAPS Boulder MDMA/PTSD trial and is currently an investigator in the MAPS MDMA Healthy Volunteers Study. He ran for the US Senate in 2002.

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