What We Can Do About Abuse in the Psychedelic Therapy Community 

Hosted by: David Prescott
Guest Speakers: Lily Kay Ross, PhD and David Nickles

Recorded on: Friday, November 18, 2022


The recent explosion of interest in the use of psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other conditions has moved faster than the field’s ability to consider and monitor the potential risks involved. Despite the good intentions of many, some professionals have used their authority and the influence of these drugs to abuse, control, manipulate, and steal from clients. While many advocates claim to have implemented safeguards, these have not often been nearly sufficient enough to prevent ongoing harm. Lily Kay Ross and Dave Nickles have done more than anyone to bring these harms into public awareness. This webinar will focus on what they’ve learned and what we can do to prevent further abuse. 


Lily Kay Ross, PhD
Feminism and Ethics Research Fellow, Psymposia

Lily Kay Ross, PhD is Feminism and Ethics Research Fellow at Psymposia and creator and producer of New York magazine’s Cover Story: Power Trip. She’s been taking a feminist approach to theorizing ethics in psychedelic spaces since 2009, specifically sexual misconduct, abuses of power, charlatans, and the dominance of traditional gender norms. Her PhD research looks at how neoliberal discourses burden victim/survivors of sexual violence with the directive to individually overcome social problems, and the trouble with posttraumatic growth.


David Nickles
Managing Editor, Psymposia

David Nickles is Managing Editor of Psymposia, creator and producer of New York magazine’s Cover Story: Power Trip, underground researcher, and harm reduction advocate. David’s work focuses on the social and cultural implications of psychoactive substances, utilizing critical theory and structural analysis to examine the intersections of drugs and society. He is a vocal opponent of the mainstreaming and commodification of psychedelic compounds and rituals, believing that such approaches inherently obscure the liberatory potential of psychedelic experiences.

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