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MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy

The MDMA-assisted therapy Expanded Access Program is no longer accepting applicants.  Please subscribe to our newsletter & follow us on social media for updates on progress toward MDMA rescheduling.
What is MDMA-Assisted Therapy?

MDMA-assisted therapy is a unique therapy program that uses Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in conjunction with specific therapeutic techniques. The use of MDMA with therapy in patients with PTSD has grown out of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved research organized and funded by The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

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"The Divine  Metatron’s Cube"  Artist:  Brooke Cannon

Therapists work in paired teams, under the guidance of a medical doctor.

Therapists administer MDMA during 8-hour therapeutic sessions, separated by unmedicated integrative therapy sessions.

The teams of therapists at The Pearl Psychedelic Institute have been trained through the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program.

The Pearl MDMA Project


The Pearl MDMA Project is a special project under the auspices of The Pearl Psychedelic Institute.


The Pearl MDMA Project is working to expand access of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as an adjunct to therapy to a limited number of patients with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Pearl MDMA Project

Logo design by Dena Rutter


The Pearl Psychedelic Institute is honored to be able to bring to Western North Carolina an opportunity to increase access to the investigational treatment of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD through the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Expanded Access program.

To apply, visit here.

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents a major public health problem for which currently available treatments are modestly effective.

In a study cited here - Mitchell, J.M., Bogenschutz, M., Lilienstein, A. et al. MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Nat Med (2021) - results showed:

MDMA-assisted therapy represents a potential breakthrough treatment that merits expedited clinical evaluation.

MDMA therapy was effective in an exploratory endpoint analysis of the reduction of depression symptoms.

MDMA-Assisted Therapy

The compound 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, was first synthesized in Germany in 1912 by Merck chemist Anton Kollisch.  MDMA was virtually forgotten until 1976 when Bay Area chemist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin re-synthesized it in his home laboratory.  This began an almost 10-year period where an estimated 4,000 professionals were using MDMA legally in their practices by the time the DEA outlawed MDMA in 1985 in an unfortunate overreaction to MDMA’s increased recreational use.  During that period, however, there was much evidence that indicated MDMA, when used as part of psychotherapy treatment, could have potentially powerful healing effects on PTSD and other mental health issues related to previous traumatic experiences. 


Since 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been funding research of the use of MDMA for the treatment of PTSD.  The research studies have now concluded and the FDA will be considering the approval of MDMA as a prescription medicine for PTSD treatment and a decision is expected sometime in 2024.  The results of the research were extremely positive in that an estimated 67% of participants no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis while 88% reported significant clinical benefits.  Most of these participants had tried conventional methods of treatment (psychiatric medications, psychotherapy, etc) for years and had not been successful.  The results also indicated that MDMA can be safely used in clinically supervised settings with pre-screened participants.


MDMA-assisted therapy consists of up to three 8-hour MDMA-assisted sessions along with twelve 90-minute non-drug sessions and the treatment takes place over several months.  The non-drug sessions initially focus on building trust and safety with the participant, learning about their PTSD history, and educating them on the effects of MDMA.  The remaining non-drug sessions focus on “integration” which is helping the participant increase their understanding of their unique healing process and the powerful experiences that they may have had during the MDMA-assisted sessions.  Throughout the process, the participant is supported and guided by a treatment pair of clinicians specially trained by MAPS in their MDMA-Assisted Therapy Training program as well as a trained physician that provides close medical monitoring and supervision. 


The Pearl Psychedelic Institute is one of only a very small number of sites in the United States approved to provide MDMA-assisted therapy through the FDA’s Expanded Access program.  This program provides access to an investigational treatment before FDA approval if that treatment has proven to be safe and effective and treats a life-threatening condition, such as PTSD.


Please refer to the Blog section on this website to learn more about MDMA-assisted therapy.

Code of Ethics

The Pearl Psychedelic Institute adheres to the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy Code of Ethics.

Western North Carolina
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Western North Carolina
Western North Carolina
Western North Carolina
Pearl Psychedelic Institute, Enjoying the Nature

"Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world."

Sri Ramana Maharshi

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