Webinar March 6th, 2024: Alex Belser – EMBARK Psychedelic Therapy: a New Open-Source Model

The conventional history of psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) research has been criticized for things such as missing critical histories of harm and the stories of marginalized groups, and a lack of focus on key therapeutic elements such as therapist–participant relationship, attentiveness to the body, counseling for spiritual experiences, and ethical considerations. On Wednesday March 6th 2024 at 6PM (UTC+2), psychologist and clinical scientist Alex Belser will introduce the EMBARK model that represents a novel model in psychedelic therapy, designed to address the limitations of previous models by offering a comprehensive, ethical, and inclusive framework. 

In addition to the missing elements mentioned above, previous PAT models have suffered from underdeveloped therapeutic frames and a reliance on pre-existent evidence-based (non-psychedelic) approaches. The EMBARK model addresses these shortcomings by offering a transdiagnostic and trans-drug approach adaptable to various indications and psychedelic medicines. It is built upon four Cornerstones of Care: Trauma-Informed Care, Culturally Competent Care, Ethically Rigorous Care, and Collective Care, reflecting a foundational belief that efficacious treatment is ethical treatment. 

The EMBARK acronym points to six Clinical Domains that commonly emerge in psychedelic experiences: Existential-Spiritual, Mindfulness, Body Aware, Affective-Cognitive, Relational, and Keeping Momentum. For the treatment of depression, twelve mechanisms of therapeutic change are outlined.

The EMBARK approach has a growing evidence-base: in a recent psychedelic clinical trial, 79% of participants achieved full remission from depression three weeks after treatment.  EMBARK psychedelic therapy is intended to be open-sourced to the clinical community for development and adaptation to other psychedelic medicines (e.g., DMT, LSD, MDMA, ketamine) other contexts (e.g. group therapy, conjoint/couples therapy), diverse populations (e.g., LGBTQIA+ participants) and to inform the development of psychedelic practitioner training.

The event contains a Q&A section. The total length is 2 hours. Tickets are available from our web store. The event is free for charge for members who’ve paid their membership fee for 2024. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership products on the main page of our web store. Members who have paid the membership fee will be sent a free registration link via email.

Alex Belser, PhD is a psychologist and clinical scientist exploring psychedelic therapies to alleviate human suffering. At Yale University, he’s a Co-Investigator for a study of psilocybin treatment for OCD.  His book, EMBARK Psychedelic Therapy for Depression: A New Approach for the Whole Person (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Dr. Bill Brennan, offers a clinical guide to working with psychedelic medicines. He enjoys training clinicians and has taught in ten psychedelic training programs about psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, and DMT therapies. Dr. Belser co-founded a number of early psychedelic organizations including the university team at NYU in 2006 and Nautilus Sanctuary, a non-profit psychedelic center.  He served as the Chief Clinical Officer of Adelia Therapeutics and Cybin, leading clinical teams in the US and Europe. His last book is Queering Psychedelics: From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine. His work has been featured in the media, with coverage in the New York Times, the Atlantic, The Guardian, Forbes, Rolling Stone, NPR, and in Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind. Dr. Belser is a teacher of hatha and kundalini yoga. He studied at Georgetown, Cambridge, Columbia, NYU, and Yale. More information is available at http://alexbelser.com and https://www.centerforbreakthroughs.com

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