Intersectional insights from an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training trial: An open letter to racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities

The road to the current psychedelic renaissance in research on ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – the active ingredient of the drug Ecstasy – for addressing treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder has been fraught with political and academic bias, as well as cultural stigma among underserved populations, all of which serve as barriers to minority inclusion and participation. In this open letter to ethnic/racial and sexual/gender minorities, the author details intersectional insights from his own experience being administered MDMA legally as part of a therapist training trial for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, in hopes of radically destigmatizing this treatment approach for marginalized populations. Themes covered include: set and setting; cultural pride; LGBTQIA+ pride; acceptance of intersectionality; and patience, perspective, and strength in retrospection. This letter concludes by tasking current investigators of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to emphasize issues of intersecting identities (e.g., in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity) in their research agenda, attempt to improve minority participation in a culturally attuned manner, as well as increase minority stakeholdership in this field.

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