• APPA Leadership

Statement on Harm and Accountability – An Open Letter

Content Warning: reference to reports of emotional, psychological, and sexual boundary violation and abuse in a psychedelic-assisted therapy setting. Resources for support are listed below the statement.


Dear Beloved Community,

In recent months, reports of abuse have surfaced surrounding Francoise Bourzat and Aharon Grossbard, the founders of The Center for Consciousness Medicine (CCM) training program. Allegations and confirmed cases of harm via healers and healthcare providers are neither new nor isolated to psychedelic-assisted therapies. However, the nature and vulnerability within these treatments necessitates a thorough development of and accountability to Standards of Care and Ethical Guidelines.

The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) exists to bring together the diverse community of psychedelic practitioners and to be part of the regulatory bodies required for the integration of psychedelic therapy into the U.S. healthcare system. Setting Standards of Care, Standards of Accreditation, Ethical Guidelines, Equity and Access Guidelines, and accountability structures from a trauma-informed, culturally-attuned lens are all necessary roles of this professional association. As inspiring as it can be to focus solely on the transformative potentials of these treatments and on the advancements of the field that will come from building an inclusive community, it is our responsibility to prevent and address potential and existing harm and uphold the values of integrity, accountability, and safe access that is the impetus for this letter.

We commit to holding practitioners within sanctioned therapeutic practices accountable. APPA has active working groups developing the Standards of Care and Ethical Guidelines for psychedelic practitioners working within the U.S. healthcare system. Such standards are necessary prerequisites to building the accountability safeguards and processes for clients, practitioners, clinics, and training programs. The processes APPA are developing will include transparent systems for reporting harm, supporting and centering survivors, engaging practitioners in restoration and accountability when appropriate, and public education about ethical standards towards the empowerment of clients. Restorative Justice and Transformative Justice experts are assisting in developing the accountability process and training the APPA team who will be responsible for its ongoing facilitation. We invite in the wisdom of our community as we explore what additional accountability processes are needed.

Though much of this work is in process, what we can convey at this time is that Francoise Bourzat was nominated to be on our Board of Directors and is not being considered. As we develop Standards of Care, Ethical Guidelines, and Standards of Accreditation, The Center for Consciousness Medicine’s role as potential stakeholders will be dependent on their commitment to and integration of the necessary changes to their protocols and training.

We believe in and hope for shared healing and justice. We believe that psychedelic-assisted therapies can be safe, effective, accessible, and transformative for all who could benefit.

We stand in solidarity with survivors of abuse, named and unnamed.

In psychedelic service,

The American Psychedelic Practitioners Association

Emma Knighton, MA, LMHC, Interim Chair of the Board
Alex Cardenas, MD, MA, Interim Executive Director
Monnica Williams, PhD, MA, Interim Board of Directors
Solana Booth, BASc, Traditional Medicine Practitioner, Interim Board of Directors
Hannah McLane, MD, MA, MPH, Steering Committee
Dan Gross, NP, CNS, Steering Committee
Sonya Faber, PhD, MA, Steering Committee

Candace Ogelsby, MA, LCPC, Co-Chair of Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Victor Cabral, LSW, Co-Chair of Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Rajan Grewal, DO, Co-Chair of Ethics Working Group
Megan Frost, MD, MPH, Co-Chair of Ethics Working Group
Rick Barnett, PhD, Chair of Standards of Care Working Group
Keeno Ahmed-Jones, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Ivy Alvarez, MA, MFT, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Terence Ching, PhD, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Rebecca Martínez, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Clare McBee, LICSW, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Tim Michaels, PhD, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Jenn Nguyen-So, LSWAIC, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Aaron Orsini, Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group
Alix Andreaco, PharmD, Ethics Working Group
Marcy Shaarda, LCSW, Ethics Working Group
Micah Haskell, Hoehl, BA, Standards of Care Working Group
Jeffrey Guss, MD Medicine Midwives
Jeremy Dalnes, Ally, Medicine Midwives
Robert Jesse, Medicine Midwives

Signed in solidarity (in Alphabetical order by last name),
Updated 11/15/21
Kate Becker, LCSW, RYT-500
Mia Black, PsyD
Susana Bustos, PhD.
Genesee Herzberg, PsyD, Sage Institute
Julie Holland, MD
Shannon Hughes, PhD, Board Member, The Nowak Society, Colorado
Robert Krause, DNP, APRN-BC
Paul C. McGinnis, LMFT
Nancy Morgan, MS, PhD
Sherry Rais, MSc
Danielle Wise, PhD
Willa Hall, Ph.D., Nautilus Sanctuary

If you would like to add your name to the list of solidarity signatures, please email info@thepsychedelicassociation.org with your name, title, and optional organization representation.
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