Marcela Ot'alora works with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as the principal investigator for government research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. In addition to her role as principal investigator, she also worked as a co-therapist during earlier phases of MDMA psychotherapy research and currently leads the MDMA therapy training for MAPS. Ms. Ot'alora also works as a therapist using both ketamine and fine arts to treat trauma.
Ot'alora approaches her work with a humility learned from years of therapeutic experience: “My clients and the participants in our studies have taught me that their healing looks so different than anything I could have imagined. If I come in leaving that agenda, leaving that bias aside, and being present with whoever is in front of me, they will surprise me every time about how healing works for them.”
In this interview, we discuss her research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and how the use of MDMA differs from more traditional substances such as antidepressants. We will also discuss ketamine-assisted therapy, the therapeutic use of fine arts, and the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs.
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