Ben Sessa
Consultant psychiatrist

MDMA Therapy: A Child Psychiatrist’s Perspective

As a clinical child psychiatrist I take a developmental perspective to adult mental disorder and addictions. My work with abused children, seeing them grow into damaged and addicted adults, has brought me to the door of MDMA Therapy as psychiatry’s best opportunity for a therapeutic breakthrough. I will illustrate my talk with a description of our current ongoing world's first MDMA-for-Alcoholism trial, the preliminary results of which was recently published in the British Medical Journal.

Ben trained at UCL, London, graduating in medicine in 1997. He works clinically and academically in Bristol and at Imperial College London University, with an interest in the developmental trajectory from child maltreatment to adult mental health disorders. In the last ten years Ben has been a study doctor and a test subject administering and receiving legal doses of pure LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, DMT and Ketamine. He is currently conducting, in Bristol, the world’s first clinical study using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat alcohol addiction. And in the coming year his Bristol clinical psychedelics team are planning to expand their repertoire to include psilocybin-assisted therapy, DMT-assisted therapy and a medicinal cannabis dispensary.

Ben authors peer-reviewed articles in the mainstream medical press and has published several textbooks on psychedelic medicine and a novel. An outspoken critic of the current system by which drugs are prohibited, he believes a more progressive policy of regulation would reduce the harms of drug use, increase access to services and provide more opportunities for psychedelic research. He is a co-founder of Breaking Convention.