Systematic Methods of Exploring Psychedelic Experiences

Frank Echenhofer, PhD, Tara Samiy, PsyD & Matt Spalding, PsyD

Frank Echenhofer, PhD, is a Clinical Psychology professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. His research examines the role of visionary experience in the transformation of the sense of self and integrates neuroscience, clinical psychology, creativity, psychology of religion, sacred art, and spiritual approaches. He co-founded the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia and conducted the first EEG meditation research study with the Dalai Lama's guidance at his monastery in India. Since 2000 he has conducted research in Brazil and in Peru on the phenomenological, psychophysical, and spiritual changes occurring after the ingestion of ayahuasca. Frank is currently teaching a new experiential approach to facilitate healing and transformation that integrates sacred art and ritual practices, the essential core guiding principles distilled from comparative mysticism, and the application of modern understandings and methods developed in psychology, neuroscience, and other modern academic disciplines.

Matt Spalding, PsyD, is a psychologist and educator dedicated to bridging Eastern and Western approaches to mental health and general well-being. Dr. Spalding¹s psychotherapy practice is based in Mill Valley, Calif. He also teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and serves as an intern supervisor with the Community Institute for Psychotherapy (CIP) in San Rafael. He received his Doctorate of Psychology from CIIS and his Masters of Education from Harvard University.

Tara Samiy, PsyD earned her Doctorate of Psychology from the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) in 2012. She received The Kranzke Scholarship for her dissertation research investigating through qualitative methods the experience of spontaneous dance/movement when facilitated by an entheogen. Psychedelic experiences in her early teens inspired her to study the psychopharmacology and therapeutic potentials of psychoactives while obtaining a B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA. Her interests led to a coveted opportunity to work in Dr. Gaylord Ellison’s lab studying the behavioral and psychological effects of psychoactives. Beyond her undergraduate studies, Tara has also studied psychoactives in healing and religious experience. Alongside these interests, Tara's greatest passion is dancing.

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