Complex PTSD and Psychedelics with Professor Greg Wrenn & Dr Chloe Sakal

psychedelics psychedelic therapy psychedelic research trauma psychedelic science and mental health mental health ayahuasca
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Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is the result of prolonged or repetitive exposure to traumatic events, within which individuals perceive little or no chance to escape. Though lesser known than other mood disorders, it may affect up to 8% of the global population, presenting in a cluster of debilitating symptoms.  

Psychedelic drugs have been described as “among the most promising treatments” for PTSD, but the literature on psychedelics for CPTSD is limited. How might these expanded states address the intricacies of CPTSD? What are the promises and caveats of using psychedelics to address complex traumas? And could psychedelic therapy become an accepted CPTSD treatment in the near future?

In this upcoming panel, Professor Greg Wrenn, author of the queer ayahuasca eco-memoir MOTHERSHIP, will be sharing his personal experience of CPTSD and his healing journey with plant medicines. He will discuss CPTSD as a “disorder of trust” and how his reawakening of social concern through psychedelics was pivotal in changing his life for the better. Psychiatrist Chloe Sakkal will also address the clinical potential of psychedelic therapy in CPTSD, sharing her expertise from working within the psychedelic research field.

Some of the core themes we will address in the panel include:

  • Understanding CPTSD and its distinction from PTSD
  • A personal story of healing CPTSD through ayahuasca
  • How psychedelics can address developmental wounds, and the role this can play in treating CPTSD
  • The importance of increased connectivity and social concern in CPTSD treatment and how psychedelics can help
  • The current status of psychedelics in clinical mood disorders
  • Caveats in using psychedelics for the CPTSD population and ethical concerns

The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A, giving the opportunity for ticketholders to directly ask any questions. The event will be recorded, and all ticketholders will receive a copy of the recording.

Greg Wrenn

A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Greg Wrenn is the author of Mothership: A Memoir of Wonder and Crisis, an evidence-based account of his turning to ayahuasca and endangered coral reefs to heal from complex PTSD and awaken his ecological conscience. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in HuffPost, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, The Rumpus, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.

As an associate English professor at James Madison University, he weaves climate change science into literary studies. A student of ayahuasca since 2019, he is a trained yoga teacher and a PADI Advanced Open Water diver, having explored coral reefs around the world for over 25 years. 

He lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his husband and their growing family of trees.

Chloe Sakkal

Dr Chloe Sakal is a consultant psychiatrist currently working for the NHS. She is passionate about removing stigma associated with mental  illness, and finding new and innovative ways to support patients. She was a study doctor for the UK's first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trial looking at the safety and tolerability of its use in the treatment of alcoholism. She also directed Project Twenty21, a real-world data registry on medical cannabis health outcomes for patients in the UK.


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