Press Release: Dr Ben Sessa (UK) to visit Australia in October 2023 to lead training and education for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies


Mind Medicine Australia (MMA) is delighted to bring leading psychedelic researchers Dr Ben Sessa (Bristol, UK) and Dr Lauren Macdonald (London, UK) to Australia this October and November to lead the residential training for MMA’s leading Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT) program.

Dr Sessa has been at the forefront of psychedelic and cannabis research and clinical medicine in the UK for over 15 years. He has taken part in research projects at Bristol University, Cardiff University and Imperial College London with LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ketamine and MDMA – receiving and/or administering all of these compounds in legal research settings. Dr Macdonald is a psychiatry doctor and therapy guide at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London. She has worked on trials studying psilocybin-assisted therapy for anorexia nervosa and fibromyalgia, and DMT for treatment-resistant depression.

After completing the CPAT training, Dr Sessa will be delivering a series of Public Keynote presentations and Workshops for Health Professionals in Melbourne (Mon Nov 13, Tues Nov 14), Canberra (Weds Nov 15, Thurs Nov 16) and Sydney (Thurs Nov 16, Fri Nov 17). These events will provide an opportunity for clinicians and interested members of the public to learn more about these novel therapies.

His lecture, entitled Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies: The New Frontier in Treatments for Mental Illness, will explain:

  • What psychedelic drugs are
  • Safety of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of depression, trauma, eating disorders, addictions and other conditions
  • Psychedelics and Neuroplasticity
  • How psychedelic-assisted therapies work clinically?
  • Protocols for delivering psychedelic-assisted therapy safely and effectively
  • And lots more…

His lectures will be followed by questions and answers with the audience.

His introductory workshops provide an opportunity for clinicians who are interested in getting started in the psychedelic space to begin learning the core knowledge required for safe and effective practice.

These workshops will cover:

  1. Neuropharmacology of MDMA and psilocybin and dosing protocols
  2. Preparing the therapist + facility/clinic
  3. What to expect / how to be ready
  4. Key features of the “set and setting”
  5. The “patient journey”
  6. Patient selection (inclusion and exclusion criteria, when to know that PAT might be the most appropriate next option)
  7. Obtaining consent (key concepts / risks to explain)
  8. Supportive care during drug tapering
  9. Preparation sessions
  10. Treatment sessions
  11. Appropriate behaviours
  12. Managing edge cases
  13. Key differences to standard therapy approaches
  14. Managing integration

As Australia is on the precipice of psychedelic-assisted therapy becoming a part of the healthcare system, these events provide the perfect opportunity for those interested in improving the lives of those suffering with mental illness to learn from one of the global leaders in the field.

Dr Ben Sessa commented: “I am so excited to be working in Australia, especially following the TGA’s historic decision to reschedule psilocybin and MDMA. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the public, practitioners, regulators and all who are interested in alleviating the immense suffering caused by depression, trauma, addictions and other conditions.”

MMA Founders Tania de Jong AM and Peter Hunt AM commented: “We are delighted to bring Dr Sessa to Australia. He is an outstanding psychiatrist, researcher, presenter and teacher and this visit is perfectly timed with the roll-out of clinical treatments in Australia for those who are suffering so terribly.”

Please visit our website and book your tickets to see Ben Sessa live in person. Please don’t miss out!

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