Psychedelic medicines and healing the trauma of racism - with Camille Barton


In recent years researchers such as Rae Johnson, Bessel Van Der Kolk and Rema Menakem, in a variety of fields from somatics, neuroscience and traumatology, are finding evidence to suggest that trauma is embodied and oppression, such as racism, is a form of embodied trauma. The trauma of racism is experienced by those marginalised by it, as well as those that perpetuate it.

Psychedelic medicines show promising results in research studies to treat various forms of trauma on an individual basis including PSTD, anxiety and depression. However, what are the implications for treating forms of collective trauma such as racism? MDMA assisted Psychotherapy is likely to be legal in Europe within 5 years. How do we ensure that collective trauma is prioritised as well as individualised healing models?

Camille Barton will explore these questions citing their own research on the somatics of racism and experience working within the field of drug policy reform. They will problematise the common conception that Psychedelics in and of themselves, cause users to become more open-minded and progressive. Finally, Camille will explore some of the current challenges and breakthroughs faced by MAPS and other psychedelic groups aiming to address racial trauma in the field. Camille will talk, offer some reflection exercises for participants and then there will be time for questions and some discussion.

Camille is an artist, diversity consultant, researcher of somatic social justice and a drug policy reform consultant. They have written for the MAPS Bulletin and currently work as an advisory board member for the MAPS public benefit corporation to ensure that MDMA assisted Psychotherapy will be accessible to marginalised communities. In late 2018, Camille co-produced RE :GENERATE an arts festival on the intersections of drug policy, racial justice and liberation.

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