Psychedelic Program: Advisory Board

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Alicia DanforthAlicia Danforth, PhD, is a registered clinical psychologist and co-investigator for a current phase 2 pilot study on the effects of MDMA-assisted therapy on social anxiety in autistic adults. She began her work in clinical research with psychedelic medicines with Dr. Charles Grob at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in 2004 on a clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential anxiety related to advanced cancer. In 2013, she graduated from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) with a specialization in Transpersonal Research and Education. At ITP, she co-developed and co-taught the first graduate-level course on psychedelic theory, research, and clinical considerations for therapists and researchers in training.


NealNeal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a New York-based author, public speaker and psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development. He is author of “Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development” [Inner Traditions, 2010], as well as dozens of popular and scholarly articles.  He curates and hosts innovative workshops, salons, and conferences, and is a frequent speaker on psychotherapy and change, adult developmental psychology, psychedelics research and policy, and the integral future of society.



jeffJeffrey Guss, MD is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist , and researcher with a specializations in substance use disorders and psychoanalytic therapy. He is a Co-Principle Investigator and Director of Therapist Training for the NYU School of Medicine’s research study “Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Existential Distress Related to Cancer” and a study therapist for NYU School of Medicine’s “Psilocybin Treatment of Alcohol Dependence” study. Dr Guss is particularly interested in the integration of psychedelic therapies with contemporary models of psychodynamic therapy and exploration of the practice models for future use of psychedelic medicines in clinical practice. He is an Instructor, Mentor and on the Council of Advisors for the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research and has published on the topics of gender and sexuality in Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Dr. Guss maintains a private practice of psychiatry and psychotherapy in New York City.

julieholJulie Holland, MD cultivated a private psychiatric practice in NYC since 1995. Her book Weekends at Bellevue (Bantam, 2009) chronicles her nine years (96-05) running their psych ER. She is the editor of two non-profit books funding clinical research: Ecstasy: The Complete Guide, A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. Dr. Holland is the medical monitor for therapeutic studies investigating the utility of MDMA or cannabis in treating PTSD. She is also the medical monitor for a therapist-training program for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.  Her new book, Moody Bitches: The truth about the drugs you’re taking, the sleep you’re missing, the sex you’re not having, and what’s really making you crazy was published by Penguin Press in March, 2015 and has been translated into eleven languages.

stefanieStefanie Jones is nightlife community engagement manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, based in New York. She runs the Music Fan program, which introduces harm reduction principles and drug policy alternatives to partygoers, event producers, public health officials and city nightlife regulators across the United States.




3James Lawer is an initiate and practitioner of five medicine traditions that are mutually informing, including ayahuasca curandero (Shipibo in Peru), an indigenous medicine altar that originated in Mexico, an authorized sweat lodge leader, and an ordained minister doing pastoral counseling and hospice chaplaincy.  He continues drumming, plus using tuned and non-tuned instruments for over 50 years for healing and inducing physiological changes to take people into trance.  He is a leader and practitioner of mythopoetic drumming groups, a drummer for American Indian and pagan ceremonies, and continues to use rattles, drums and songs for healing and counseling.  He has graduate degrees in both theology and theatre, is on the Board of Directors for the Cuyamungue Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is the Provost of the Druid College, teaching advanced students direct experiences for earth-centered spirituality.

mateGabor Maté, MD, is a physician and best-selling author whose interests include mind-body unity in health, illness, and the treatment of addictions. He regularly addresses health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America and internationally. A gifted psychotherapist, he leads transformative seminars several times a year. Additionally, Gabor leads retreats with psychedelic plant medicines annually, and is a contributing author to the book, The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca. Gabor has worked in family practice, palliative care, and addictions. His most recent book, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, won the Hubert Evans Prize for literary nonfiction.


jmJulie D. Megler is a board certified nurse practitioner in psychiatry and family medicine. She received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami, Florida and post master’s certificate in psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco.  She currently practices in the San Francisco/Bay Area, focusing on mental health services and integration of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Julie is on the board of ERIE (Entheogenic Research, Integration, and Education) non-profit. She has presented on the topics of psychedelic risk reduction and therapeutic applications of ayahuasca at the Psychedelic Science Conference, The Women’s Visionary Congress, Detroit’s First Entheogenic Conference, and the Visionary Convergence. She has also co-authored chapters in the books Manifesting Minds and The Therapeutic Uses of Ayahuasca. As an experienced clinician, and activist for the psychedelic movement, Julie is dedicated to educating the community about safety and the therapeutic benefits of entheogens.

Mithoefer_05Annie Mithoefer, BSN, is a psychiatric nurse, Grof certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy.  She and her husband, Michael Mithoefer completed the first phase 2 clinical trial of  MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a similar recent MAPS-sponsored clinical trial for veterans, firefighters and police officers with treatment resistant PTSD.  They conduct training programs for other MAPS-sponsored researchers elsewhere in the US and other countries.



Dimitri Mugianis is an activist, anarchist, community organizer, artist, Bwiti N’ganga (spiritual healer), and was an IV drug user for 20 years. In 2002 he was treated with Iboga. Subsequently he has facilitated over 500 underground Ibogaine ceremonies/detoxes in the US. Dimitri was initiated into the Bwiti in Gabon and returned several times for spiritual strengthening and study. Dimitri was arrested in 2011 by the DEA in a sting operation using a paid informant. After a protracted legal battle he was convicted of greatly reduced charges. This experience was the impetus for his cofounding of the Universalist Bwiti Society. He is currently the N’ganga-in-residence at New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE a syringe exchange in East Harlem), where he is also the co-creator and co-facilitator of “We Are The Medicine,” a holistic approach to drug use and life. He also has a private practice where he works with clients in multiple modalities including: sounds, meditation, Bwiti, and white mesa. Dimitri has spoken and lectured at numerous conferences around the world.

Linnae_PurpleHeadshot8 smallLinnae Ponté is the Director of Harm Reduction at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and helped establish the Zendo Project, a community outreach program founded in 2012. She has traveled internationally to coordinate and train volunteers to offer psychological support to individuals having difficult psychedelic experiences, in order to reduce the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests. For Linnae, psychedelic harm reduction is an essential service for festivals, capable of transforming potentially traumatic experiences into opportunities for growth and showing that safe, expansive experiences are possible without the need for law enforcement-based policies. She is currently completing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at CIIS.


CharlieCharley Wininger, L.P., L.M.H.C. is a Gestalt-trained psychotherapist specializing in relationships. He’s been counseling individuals and couples in his private practice for the past 25 years. His approach is one of empathic attunement. Currently he is at work on a memoir focusing on what MDMA has taught him about life, marriage, ageing, and the practice of psychotherapy. While he does not employ psychedelics or MDMA in his practice, he looks forward to the day he can.