Psychedelic Science

Innovative solutions to critical mental health needs.

Psychedelic Therapies

Dr. Monnica Williams is working to make psychedelic medicine accessible for everyone in the USA and Canada. In addition to board certification and licensure in two countries, Dr. Monnica Williams is a certified psychedelic therapist through the MAPS MDMA Training Program (part A-D). She also offers psychedelic-assisted therapy at her clinics in Connecticut and Ottawa.

Dr. Williams has used her expertise in culturally-informed clinical research to help diversify studies of MDMA and ketamine psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Online Training for Psychedelic Researchers

People of Color & Psychedelics

Igniting an International Conversation

Recently, there has been much excitement about the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to address a multitude of mental health conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, end-of-life anxiety, and other conditions. However, people of color have not been meaningfully included as research participants or researchers. With studies underway across the globe and expanding access to the benefits of these substances, space must be made for diverse voices and communities of color.

Oppression, poverty, and discrimination can all contribute to traumatic experiences at both individual and collective levels. These ongoing traumatic experiences — enhanced and compounded for people who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities — are often under-recognized and thus under-treated. There is a vast potential for psychedelics to help heal trauma and move people toward wholeness.

Visit the Racial Trauma Research Area

Psychedelic Education

MA Degree in Psychedelics & Consciousness Studies

Dr. Williams is thrilled to announce the launch of an innovative Master's program in Psychedelics & Consciousness Studies, a first-of-its-kind academic initiative designed to explore the profound potentials of psychedelic substances in mental health and spirituality. This groundbreaking program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical frameworks necessary to advance the burgeoning field of psychedelic studies and therapies.

Read the Official Press Release

How do you talk to your kids about psychedelics?

Parents are often in the best place to teach their children about psychedelics in a safe way. Watch this special segment on families and psychedelics by Plant Parenthood, featuring Dr. Monnica Williams in Tripping Together: Boundaries and Bonds in Family Psychedelic Experiences.

Psychedelics & Racial Justice

Online Learning from Dr. Monnica Williams

Psychedelics have been studied for the treatment of PTSD, depression, end-of-life anxiety, OCD, addictions, and a number of other mental health conditions. However, research studies of psychedelic psychotherapies have largely excluded people of color, leaving important questions unaddressed for these populations. In this video, Dr. Williams reviews relevant research, documenting exclusion based on the international literature. Save 29% through this affiliate link (1 CE).

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Upcoming Presentations

Beaulac, J. & Williams, M. T. (2024, June 21-23). Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: Issues of Consideration for Practicing Psychologists. Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) 2024 Convention, Ottawa, ON.

Williams, M. T. (2024, August 8-10). Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Racial Trauma. Keynote lecture. American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA.

Williams, M. T. (2024, September 13). Psychedelics & Racial Justice: Igniting an International Conversation. The Master Series at Oxford University, UK.

Williams, M. T. (October 6-9). Research and practice in psychedelic assisted therapies. The Global Exchange Conference. Orlando, FL.

All Talks & Presentations

Media Spotlight

Hynes, M. (2023, February 12). Psychedelic healing and trauma. Tapestry with Mary Hynes. CBC Radio.

Krishnan, M. (2022, December 20). ‘This Is Our Protest’: Black People Are Taking Shrooms to Heal From Racism. Vice.

Williams, A. (2022, November 28). Girls Trip: Why Some Black Women Are Using Psychedelic Mushrooms for Healing. Essence. November/December.

All Media Appearances

Published Psychedelics Papers

MDMA and PTSD

Ching, T., Williams, M., Reed, S., Kisicki, M., Wang, J., Yazar-Klosinski, B., Emerson, A., & Doblin, R. (in press). MDMA-assisted therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: A mixed-methods case study of a participant of color from an open-label trial. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Advance online.https://doi.org/10.1177/00221678221076993

Ching, T., Williams, M., Wang, J., Jerome, L., Yazar-Klosinski, B., Emerson, A., & Doblin, R. (2022). MDMA-assisted therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: A pooled analysis of ethnoracial differences in efficacy and safety from a phase 2 open-label lead-in trial and phase 3 randomized, blinded placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 36(8), 974-986. https://doi.org/10.1177/02698811221104052

Williams, M. T., Reed, S., & George, J. (2020). Culture and psychedelic psychotherapy: Ethnic and racial themes from three Black women therapists. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(3), 125-138.

Williams, M. T., Reed, S., & Aggarwal, R. (2020). Culturally-informed research design issues in a study for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(1), 40–50. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.016

Williams, M. T., & Leins, C. (2016). Race-based trauma: The challenge and promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Bulletin, 26(1), 32-37.

Abuse & Exploitation

Strauss, D., de la Salle, S., Sloshower, J., & Williams, M. T. (2022). Research abuses against people of colour and other vulnerable groups in early psychedelic research. Journal of Medical Ethics, 48(10), 728-737. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107262

Strauss, D., Williams, M. T., Osman, M., & Gallo, J. (2022). Myths about race and racism on university campuses. In J. Faintuch & S. Faintuch (Eds.), Integrity of Scientific Research: Fraud, Misconduct and Fake News in the Academic, Medical and Social Environment (pp. 151–161). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99680-2_16

Therapeutic Approach

Halstead, M., Reed, S., Krause, R., & Williams, M. T. (2021). Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD related to experiences of racial discrimination. Clinical Case Studies, 20(4), 310-330. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534650121990894

Sloshower, J., Guss, J., Krause, R., Wallace, R., Williams, M., Reed, S., & Skinta, M. (2020). Psilocybin-assisted therapy of major depressive disorder using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a therapeutic frame. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 15, 12-19.

Infrastructure & Training

Bartlett, A., Vallely, A., Williams, M. T., Nepton, A., & Feng, R. (in press). Building psychedelic studies as an interdisciplinary academic field: Its urgency and its challenges. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (IJPR). https://doi.org/10.1080/10508619.2023.2216628

Rochester, J., Vallely, A., Grof, P., Williams, M., Chang, H., & Caldwell, K. (2022). Entheogens and psychedelics in Canada: Proposal for a new paradigm. Canadian Psychology, 63(3), 413–430. https://doi.org/10.1037/cap0000285

Equity & Inclusion

Michaels, T. I., Lester, L., de la Salle, S., & Williams, M. T. (2022). Ethnoracial inclusion in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of ketamine in the treatment of mood disorders. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 83(4), 596–607. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2022.83.596.

Bartlett, A. & Williams, M. (2022). Valentina Pavlovna. El costo de la omisión y la importancia de corregir la historia. In E. Dyck, P. Farrell, B. C. Labate, C. Cavnar, I. Gabriell & G. L. De Assis (Eds.), Mujeres y psicodélicos: Descubriendo las voces invisibles (pp. 119-123). Lunaria Ediciones.

Fogg, C., Michaels, T. I., de la Salle, S., Jahn, Z. W., & Williams, M. T. (2021). Ethnoracial health disparities and the ethnopsychopharmacology of psychedelic medicine. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 29(5), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000490

Williams, M. T. (2021). Why Black people should embrace psychedelic healing. In B. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds.), Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture (pp. 3-7). Synergetic Press. ISBN: 978-0907791-85-0.

Williams, M. T. (2021). When feminism functions as White supremacy: How White feminists oppress Black women. In B. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds.), Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture (pp. 21-27). Synergetic Press. ISBN: 978-0907791-85-0.

Campbell, M. & Williams, M. T. (2021). The ethic of access: An AIDS activist won public access to experimental therapies, and this must now extend to psychedelics for mental illness. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12(680626), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.680626

Williams, M. T., Bartlett, A., Michaels, T. I., Sevelius, J., & George, J. R. (2020). Dr. Valentina Wasson: Questioning what we think we know about the foundations of psychedelic science. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(3), 146-148. https://doi.org/10.1556/2054.2020.00140

George, J. R., Michaels, T. I., Sevelius, J., & Williams, M. T. (2020). The psychedelic renaissance and the limitations of a White-dominant medical framework: A call for indigenous and ethnic minority inclusion. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(1), 4-15. doi: 10.1556/2054.2019.015

Williams, M. T. & Labate, B. (2020). Introduction to Special Issue: Diversity, equity, and access in psychedelic medicine. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4(1), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1556/2054.2019.032

Michaels, T. I., Purdon, J., Collins, A. & Williams, M. T. (2018). Inclusion of people of color in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: A review of the literature. BMC Psychiatry, 18(245), 1-9. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1824-6.

Prevalence

Davis, A. K., Arterberry, B. J., Xina, Y., Agin-Liebese, G., Schwarting, C., & Williams, M. T. (2022). Race, ethnic, and sex differences in prevalence of and trends in hallucinogen consumption among lifetime users in the United States between 2015-2019. Frontiers in Epidemiology, 2, 876706. https://doi.org/10.3389/fepid.2022.876706

Jahn, Z. W., Lopez, J., de la Salle, S., Faber, S., & Williams, M. T. (2021). Racial/Ethnic differences in prevalence for hallucinogen use by age cohort: Findings from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 5(2), 69-82. https://doi.org/10.1556/2054.2021.00166

Chacruna lecture in SF 2023 Davos 2022 Dr. Monnica Williams in Amsterdam with Paul Stamets and Pamela Kryskow Ecuador 2022 Dr. Monnica Williams at Psychedelic Science 2017 Davos 2022
Karaoke at R2R April 2022

Racial Trauma

Haeny, A. H., Lopez, J., Grigas, P. C., Crouch, M., Davis, A. K., & Williams, M. (2023). Investigating the associations of acute psychedelic experiences and changes in racial trauma symptoms, psychological flexibility, and substance use among People with Racial and Ethnic Minoritized Identities in the United States and Canada. Journal of Substance Use and Addiction Treatment, 149, 209035. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.josat.2023.209035

Ching, T., Davis, A. K., Xin, Y., & Williams, M. T. (2023). Effects of psychedelic use on racial trauma symptoms and ethnic identity among Asians in North America. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 55(1), 19-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2022.2025960

De la Salle, S., Davis, D. D., Gran-Ruaz, S., Davis, A. K., & Williams, M. T. (2022). Acute and enduring effects of psychedelic use among Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. Canadian Psychology, 63(4), 589–607. https://doi.org/10.1037/cap0000338

Davis, A. K., Xin, Y., Sepeda, N. D., Garcia-Romeu, A., & Williams, M. T. (2021). Increases in psychological flexibility mediate the relationship between acute psychedelic effects and decreases in racial trauma symptoms among people of color. Chronic Stress, 5, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1177/24705470211035607

Williams, M., Davis, A., Xin, Y., Sepeda, N., Colon-Grigas, P., Sinnott, S., & Haeny, A. (2021). People of color in North America report improvements in racial trauma and mental health symptoms following psychedelic experiences. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 28(3), 215-226. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2020.1854688

End of Life

Beaussant, Y., Tulsky, J., Guérin, B., Schwarz-Plaschg, C., Sanders, J., & the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Working Group on Psychedelic Research in Serious Illness. (2021). Mapping an agenda for psychedelic-assisted therapy research in patients with serious illness. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 24 (11), 1657-1666. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2020.0764

Rosa, W. E., Sager, Z., Miller, M., Bernstein, I., Rinaldi, A. D., Addicott, K., Ljuslin, M., Adrian, C., Back, A. L., Beachy, J., Bossis, A. P., Breitbart, W. S., Cosimano, M. P., Fischer, S. M., Guss, J., Knighton, E., Phelps, J., Richards, B. D., Richards, W. A., Tulsky, J. A., Williams, M. T., & Beaussant, Y. (2022). Top ten tips palliative care clinicians should know about psychedelic-assisted therapy in the context of serious illness. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 25(8), 1273-1281. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2022.0036

All Publications

McGill Palliative Care Congress 2022
Karaoke at R2R April 2022

Conference Planning

  • Conference Planning Committee, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies: Contrasting Visions, Harvard University, February 2024, Boston, MA
  • Conference Planning Commmittee, Psychedelic Medicine Conference, Dec 9-13, 2023, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Conference Planning Committee, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies: Promise and Perils, Harvard University, February 2023, Boston, MA
  • Conference Planning Leadership Team, Global Summit on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Medicines: From Research to Reality, May 2022, Toronto, ON

Popular Books and Videos by Dr. Monnica Williams

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Managing Microaggressions

Addressing Everyday Racism in Therapeutic Spaces

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Psychedelic Justice

Equitable and Diverse Psychedelic Culture

book - Psychedelic Therapy

Psychedelic Therapy

American Psychedelic Association Deliberate Practice Series

video

Equity and Access to Care

Psychedelics & Racial Justice