2018 Portland Psychedelic Conference

Presented by the Portland Psychedelic Society, a project of PEERS 501c3

 Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

The inaugural Portland Psychedelic Conference 2018 featured both local and visiting psychedelic science scholars speaking on the therapeutic and medicinal uses of psychedelics.

The keynote speaker was psychedelic luminary Dennis McKenna, PhD, who talked about the international and interdisciplinary research findings in psycho-ethnopharmacology (interdisciplinary study of medicines and toxins used in indigenous societies). This conference offers continuing education credits for mental health professionals and is open to the general public as well. Read more

Our keynote speaker was Dennis McKenna!

Mental Health and Naturopathic CEs available — see below

Speaker line-up:

Post-Psychedelic Integrative Follow-Up Sessions

Peter Addy, PhD,  This presentation provided an overview of current writing on post-psychedelic integration in the context of evidenced-based clinical trials. Read more

Spirit Plus Science: Proposed Mechanisms of Psychedelic Medicine

Erica Zelfand, ND,   A primer on the medicinal and therapeutic uses of psychedelics and the importance of mystical experiences in healing and recovery. Read more

Psilocybin, Psychedelics, and the Law

Nicole Dalton, JD, Attorney Licensed in WA State,  How the state and federal laws regard psychedelics, psilocybin, legal risks, criminality, and emerging defenses and trends. Read more

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy: Current State of Affairs and the Road Ahead

Alissa Dyan Bazinet, PhD,  A look at the current MDMA-assisted therapy studies, the future, and what therapists need to know about training Read more

Trauma as Catalyst for Transformation: Entheogenic Journeys for Discovering and Celebrating theTrue Self

Jane Latimer, MA,  How psychedelics can assist trauma as a catalyst for transformation. Read more

Psilocybin in the Treatment of Mood and Substance Use Disorders

Albert Garcia-Romeu, PhD, 3:10 pm This discussion focused on contemporary clinical research with psilocybin, and present key methodological issues in working with psychedelics, as well as highlighting important clinical paradigms and considerations in studying psychedelics as a therapeutic tool. Read more

What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been: Reflections on the Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs, 1967-2017

Dennis McKenna, PhD, In 1967, the first interdisciplinary and international conference on the use of psychoactive plants in the context of indigenous and non-Western societies was held with follow up gatherings planned. However, Nixon’s war on drugs intervened until Dr. McKenna resurrected the conference in 2017 with an audience of about 400,000 when including livestream viewers. In this presentation Dr. McKenna reviewed the genesis of the project, some of the significant discoveries in ethnopharmacology in the last 50 years, and speculate on the future direction of psycho-ethnopharmacology. Read more

Lunch time entertainment: Ben Joseph Stewart

Order your catered lunch to eat at the venue and enjoy acoustic music provided by Ben Joseph Stewart. Ben  is an artist at heart.  Through filmmaking and music, he has developed a unique niche of art.  Starting out as a touring musician in the rock group Hierosonic, which shared the stage with Jane’s Addiction, Audiosoave, A Perfect Circle, Incubus and more, he swiftly began producing documentary films and scoring them.  His first three productions, Esoteric Agenda, Kymatica and Unrip all released between 2008 and 2010.  During this time, Ben spent time with indigenous people from around the world learning their traditions, music and message.  Ben just recently released a docu-series called Psychedelica on Gaia.com and hosted a show titled Limitless (launches January 2019).


8.5 Continuing Educations Credit Available

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

LCSWs and MFTs from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board for approval. Please ask your licensing board if they accept credits from APA-approved sponsors of CE.

SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Portland Psychedelic SocietyFor questions about CE, visit www.spiritualcompetency.comor contact David Lukoff, PhD at CE@spiritualcompetency.com.

Latest work from Dennis McKenna led team

While we work on finalizing the details, check out the newest contribution to the field of psychedelic research and science from Dennis McKenna and the team he led:

From the book site:

Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: 50 Years of Research (1967-2017)


A defining scholarly publication on the past and current state of research with psychotropic plant substances for medicinal, therapeutic, and spiritual uses. 

Editorial Board

  • Professor Sir Ghillean Prance, Director (emeritus) Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Dr. Dennis McKenna, Director of Ethnopharmacology, Heffter Research Institute; Symposium Chair
  • Dr. Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Benjamin De Loenen, founder and Executive Director of ICEERS

The defining scholarly publication on past and current research with psychotropic plant substances for medicinal, therapeutic, and spiritual uses.

The first international gathering of researchers held on this subject was in 1967, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and U.S. Public Health Service. It was an interdisciplinary group of specialists – from ethnobotanists to neuroscientists – gathered in one place to share their findings on a topic that was gaining widespread interest: The use of psychoactive plants in indigenous societies.

The War on Drugs which intervened slowed advances in this field.Certain plants have long been known to contain healing properties and used to treat everything from depression and addiction, to aiding in on one’s own spiritual well-being for hundreds of years. Can Western medicine find new cures for human ailments by tapping into indigenous plant wisdom? And why the particular interest in the plants with psychoactive properties? These two conference volume proceedings provide an abundance of answers.

Research, however, has continued, and in the fifty years since that first conference, new and significant discoveries have been made. A new generation of researchers, many inspired by the giants present at that first conference, has continued to investigate the outer limits of ethno-psychopharmacology.  At the same time, there has been a sea change in public and medical perceptions of psychedelics.  There is now a renaissance in research, and some of these agents are actively being investigated for their therapeutic potential. They are no longer as stigmatized as they have been in the past, although they remain controversial. There still remains much work to do in this field, and many significant discoveries remain to be made.

So, in June of 2017, once again specialists from around the world in fields of ethnopharmacology, chemistry, botany, and anthropology gathered to discuss their research and findings in a setting that encouraged the free and frank exchange of information and ideas on the last 50 years of research, and assess the current and possible futures for research in ethnopsychopharmacology. The papers given at the 2017 Symposium, organized by Dr. Dennis McKenna, in a handsome two-volume boxed collectors’ set represents perhaps the most  significant body of knowledge in this interdisciplinary field available.

About Dennis McKenna: He is an icon among psychedelic explorers, working to inspire the next generation of ethnobotanists in the search for new medicines for the benefit of humanity and the preservation of the biosphere that produces what is apparent from reading these papers – a rich pharmacopoeia of medicines.

Essential for academic libraries, pharmaceutical and ethnobotanical collections.