Rachel Yehuda, PhD

Rachel Yehuda will teach during the Wisdom and Wellbeing Weeks 2023 again at Blue Spirit about the following topic:

Psychedelics for Trauma and Intergenerational Trauma

This course will discuss topics related to trauma, PTSD, intergenerational trauma, and the potential use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for these conditions.

Many people experience traumas in the course of their lives, and the spectre of intergenerational wounds also looms large for people. PTSD is a condition that can occur following trauma exposure, but clearly does not describe the symptoms and experiences that many trauma survivors have. Indeed, only about 15-20% of trauma survivors develop PTSD, but still many feel affected by their experiences and are not sure whether conventional therapies for PTSD are warranted for them. There are currently a variety of approaches for the treatment of PTSD, but even many patients with PTSD feel these treatments do not provide a sufficient response. This course will describe some of the reasons that conventional therapies may not always lead to symptom resolution, and describe some of the neurobiological changes that occur in response to trauma and in connection with PTSD that lead to profound changes in the way the brain processes information. So too, we will discuss intergenerational wounds and how to best address these in the context of therapy.

Rachel Yehuda, PhD, is an Endowed Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Trauma. She is also Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Yehuda is a recognized leader in the field of traumatic stress studies, PTSD, and intergenerational trauma. Dr. Yehuda’s research on cortisol and epigenetic mechanisms has revolutionized our understanding of the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD. In 2019, Dr. Yehuda was elected to the National Academy of Medicine for her seminal contributions to understanding the psychological and biological impact of traumatic stress. In 2020, Dr. Yehuda established and now directs the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research.