New York’s top private graduate medical school – The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – has launched a new center for psychedelics research called the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy & Trauma Research. The facility will focus on studying MDMA, psilocybin, and other psychedelic compounds for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other stress-related conditions.
The institution, led by professor of neuroscience and psychiatry Rachel Yehuda, will first investigate MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD – a promising treatment currently in advanced stages of Phase 3 trials with FDA approval anticipated over the next 1 – 2 years. Besides MDMA, the Center will study psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with compounds like psilocybin for trauma-related disturbances.
People taking MDMA report feelings of introspection, connectedness, compassion towards self and others, empathy, and increased interpersonal trust, which are optimal conditions for engaging in the processing of difficult or traumatic material. It is important that we listen to people’s subjective experiences with these compounds and then study therapeutic possibilities through rigorous clinical trials.
Mount Sinai’s Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy & Trauma Research is among the first official research facilities worldwide dedicated to the study of psychedelic medicine. Others include Imperial College London’s Center for Psychedelics Research and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research, both facilities were established in 2019.
The Mount Sinai Center will offer more than just clinical trials and research. It will also train clinicians in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and serve as an education facility to inform the public as new treatments begin to be clinically deployed over the upcoming years.