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TNMU Teachers Completed Training in MAPS “MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Education Program”

The teachers of the Department of Psychiatry, Narcology and Medical Psychology of I. Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University participated in the MAPS educational program (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) “MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Education Program”, which took place in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Narcology and Medical Psychology, Professor Olena Venger and Assistant Professor of the department Olha Liuta were selected on a competitive basis and had a unique opportunity to study in MAPS training program “MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Education Program”. Competition for participation in this program was very tough: 6 people for one place. The requirements for candidates from Ukraine were as follows: residence in the territory of Ukraine, higher medical or psychological education, experience of practical work in psychotherapy for at least 15 years, experience of working with the military, and a level of English language proficiency of at least B2. The event took place on August 19-25, 2023 in Sarajevo.

The goal of the program is to train experts and become leaders in the training of specialists working with PTSD in the military.

More than 40 people took part in the event, including, in addition to Ukrainians, practicing psychiatrists and psychotherapists from America, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Syria, Serbia, Bosnia, Palestine, Lebanon, and Israel.

The MAPS training program “MDMA-Assistant Therapy Training Program” is aimed at providing high-quality and comprehensive training of practicing specialists in the field of overcoming psychological trauma within the framework of the protocol of psychotherapy with the help of MDMA.

During the training, the participants had the opportunity to receive special training in the method of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of patients with PTSD. They listened to a number of reports devoted to such methods of psychotherapy as prolonged exposure psychotherapy (PE), cognitive behavioural psychotherapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), psychodynamic psychotherapy, family systemic therapy (FST), voice dialogue, music therapy, sensorimotor therapy, holotropic breathing, Jungian psychology. They got their own experience of practicing various psychotherapeutic methods in practice.

The organizers of the educational program paid special attention to such a method of psychotherapy as sound therapy. Sound therapy is a form of treatment in which energy, physical and psychological blockages are identified and removed using sound vibrations.

During the training, the participants of the program underwent training in holotropic breathing. This method allows you to work with different states of consciousness (in this case, caused by breathing, music, thinking) and different mental states.

Participating in the MAPS Assisted Psychotherapy Education Program has been extremely beneficial for our team. They gained valuable, relevant knowledge and skills in the field of psychotherapy, especially in the context of working with psychological trauma.

TNMU representatives plan to implement the acquired experience in the educational process for students, interns and advanced courses attendees when studying topics related to mental disorders caused by psycho-traumatic factors. This will increase the level of competence and enable patients to receive more qualified care. The experience gained will be used to further improve the quality of providing psychotherapeutic assistance to patients with PTSD, especially military personnel and IDPs.

The participants express their appreciation to the MAPS organization and the administration of Ternopil National Medical University for this incredible opportunity to deepen the knowledge in working with psychological trauma using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. This program became a source of inspiration and a new stimulus for further professional growth.