Canada: uOttawa launches world’s first master’s degree in psychedelics and consciousness studies

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Dr. Monnica Williams, a mental heath researcher at the University of Ottawa who will be launching the world’s first master’s degree program in the therapeutic and spiritual uses of psychedelics.


The University of Ottawa has launched a master’s program aimed at equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to harness the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

The program, which opens next September, will be housed in the university’s psychology department, but run in partnership with the department of classics and religious studies. Students will be able to take a broad range of courses from neuroscience to comparative mysticism.

Psychedelics, also known as hallucinogens, are drugs that change the user’s perception of reality. Long associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, there has been renewed interest in the use of psychedelics to treat psychiatric disorders, as well as their use for spiritual purposes .

There’s a growing move to decriminalize psychedelics across Canada, said Dr. Monnica William, the program’s co-director. In Alberta, psychedelic-assisted therapy is legal and regulated.

That’s why a program like this one is needed, said Williams, a psychology professor and t he Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa.

“I think the program will be interesting to a few specific types of…

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