Psychedelics, Sex, Power, Silence

Plus Three | May 20, 2020

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Sexual abuse in psychedelic therapy (above and underground) is a long-standing, documented, and enduring reality maintained through cultures of silence, coercion, and victim blame. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has received complaints about therapists affiliated with their clinical trials and integration list. In spring 2019, MAPS published a Code of Conduct which outlines sexual boundaries, use of touch, and erotic transference, which are necessary but not sufficient. Addressing sexual misconduct requires comprehensive, evidence-based prevention education strategies and clear avenues for holding therapists to account.

In this episode, recorded in February, Lily Kay Ross joins us to discuss Olivia Goldhill’s article, “Psychedelic therapy has a sexual abuse problem.” Ross recently completed her doctorate studying social responses to sexual violence. She brings both her personal experience with sexual violence and poor community responses in psychedelic spaces and her academic insights to bear on the myriad of questions highlighted by Goldhill’s reporting.


Plus Three goes deep into the world of drugs, from local decriminalization and emerging psychedelic corporations to leftist politics and mass incarceration. Each week the team and guests attempt to make sense of the complex connections between drugs, science, capitalism, policy, and culture.

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