Rick Doblin, PhD

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

FDA and EMA Drug Development of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD, and Beyond

Rick Doblin is not only head of Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which is the organization that serves as a major starting point for psychedelic studies, he is also the preeminent researcher on MDMA assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and addiction patients. He was the first to conduct a randomized controlled study in this matter. A follow up study on the subjects indicated that a majority of the subjects expressed symptomatic relief from the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, they were previously unresponsive to existing treatments. Due to this success, he pushed through with the latest study consisting of conducting MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on military veterans, firefighters, and police officers, who have experienced trauma in the field.


Rick will briefly review the history of MDMA, discuss MAPS’ MDMA research and review Phase 2 data and Phase 3 MDMA/PTSD research underway for FDA and EMA, discuss MAPS’ other MDMA current and future research projects, and propose a regulatory approach to the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.


Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and one of three children (two in college).


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