by Neal M. Goldsmith Ph.D.
Psychedelic Science for the 21st Century conference
4/16/10, San Jose, CA
Neal Goldsmith, Ph.D. - Psychedelic Therapy and Change: Research, Challenges, Implications
This talk will introduce tracks 2 and 3 for the conference, and so will be part about my research, but very much about the theme and focus of the tracks. I’ll start by describing the tracks, and the history it comes from and contributes to. I’ll then outline the research environment, focus, and results from 1947 to the present, outlining how the climate has changed over the decades, the key research areas (substance abuse, end-of-life, etc.) and findings, and the current research underway and planned. Next, I’d like to focus on key open questions (e.g., Can psychedelics provide lasting cures? Is psychedelic spirituality real; helpful? Should we take a medical, sacramental, or some other approach to this work? Is double blind effective; necessary? How will psychedelic researchers and therapists be trained? What should be done about re-scheduling psychedelics? How can we introduce psychedelics into mainstream medicine; society?) I’d then like to move to a discussion of how medicine, science, and Western culture as a whole will be changed by the re-integration of psychedelics into society. I’d like to close with a review of the Therapy/Cultural track, it’s aims and approaches, outlining the panels in the track and how they will help us address the issues raised in this talk.
Biography: Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice, specializing in psychospiritual development – seeing “neurosis” as the natural unfolding of human maturation. Dr. Goldsmith’s psychotherapy training includes Imago Relationship Therapy, Psychosynthesis, yoga psychology, regressive psychotherapies, Rogerian client-centered counseling, and other humanistic, transpersonal and eastern traditions (in addition to the lessons found in the research literature on psychedelics). He is also an applied research psychologist and strategic planner working with institutions such as Princeton University, AT&T, American Express, and Gartner to foster innovation and change.
Dr. Goldsmith has a master’s degree in counseling from New York University and a Ph.D. in public affairs psychology from Claremont Graduate University, with an orientation toward action science in the tradition of Kurt Lewin. He conducted his dissertation research, on the factors that facilitate or inhibit the successful utilization of mental health policy research, as a federally-funded doctoral research assistant at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. During this period, Dr. Goldsmith was also deputy principal investigator of a four-year, nation-wide study of the utilization of mental health policy research.
Dr. Goldsmith is a frequent speaker on spiritual emergence, resistance to change, drug policy reform and the post-modern future of society. Among Dr. Goldsmith’s publications, he is perhaps proudest of “The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered” (in the Psychedelic Medicine textbook, Praeger, 2007), his affidavit to the California Superior Court in Santa Cruz on “Rescheduling Psilocybin: A Review of the Clinical Research,” and the frequently-cited, “The Utilization of Policy Research.” He is a founder of several salon discussion groups in New York City and of quality improvement councils at American Express Company and AT&T. While still a graduate student, he was an affiliate of the Center for Policy Research at Columbia University, a founder of the Claremont Center for Applied Social Research, and an invited member of the Network of Consultants on Planned Change at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Dr. Goldsmith may be reached via his Web site, www.nealgoldsmith.com.
Other: This talk is based on my forthcoming book: “Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development" (Inner Traditions, in press).