Ayahuasca as True Other: A primer on how AEDP therapists can support clients who participate in ceremonial ayahuasca contexts 

An AEDP™ SEMINAR LIVE ONLINE 2023 presented by:

Meris Williams, PhD, RPsych and Guest Presenters: Kosu Boudreau RP, MSW, RSW, Ronin Mai, Ayahuasca Ceremony Leader, and Kari Gleiser, PhD

Textiles by Luis Esteban Ochovano and Felacio Munoz

This seminar is intended for Psychologists, Psychoanalysts, Social Workers, Counselors/Marriage
and Family Therapists, Creative Arts Therapists. Course Content Level: Beginner + Intermediate

​A Note from Meris Williams:

​My aim is for this seminar to be in keeping with the Institute’s emergent plan​s ​”to nurture an extension of AEDP where interested and trained clinicians can unleash the potential of psychedelics to contribute to longstanding AEDP therapeutic aims including: bypassing defenses, facilitating trauma processing and deepening transformational potential.​”​

I believe that these healing possibilities are bi-directional, such that therapists can harness the potential of AEDP to maximally support psychedelic journey preparation, accompaniment, and integration in relational and transformational ways that surpass other modalities. 


Ayahuasca is a psychedelic, plant-based decoction that has been used for spiritual, medicinal, artistic, and practical purposes in the Amazon for generations. Preliminary research suggests its utility in the treatment of various mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, suicidality, eating disorders, and substance misuse. Ceremonial ayahuasca use is spreading rapidly worldwide, and AEDP therapists are likely to encounter clients who are drinking ayahuasca or thinking about doing so.

In this 7.5-hour webinar, participants will learn about the psychedelic plant medicine ayahuasca, its origins, the worldviews from which it has emerged, and its use within Western ceremonial contexts. Synergies will be identified between AEDP therapeutic processes and ayahuasca experiences. The concept of “integration” and how it applies to ceremonial ayahuasca use will be explored. AEDP’s theoretical and practical goodness-of-fit with ceremonial ayahuasca use will also be discussed. Personal accounts of ceremonial ayahuasca use will be interwoven into the webinar to illustrate the types of experiences that may emerge while under the effects of ayahuasca. Research indicates that preparation for, and integration of, psychedelic experiences is key for maximizing positive outcomes, and participants attending this webinar will be able to recognize in their existing AEDP toolbox the skills they already possess that can support clients who are engaged in ceremonial ayahuasca use.

In this workshop presenters will offer an experiential demo to demonstrate hallmark techniques.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe ayahuasca, its origins, the communities and world views from which it has emerged, and its use within Western ceremonial contexts
  • Describe synergies between AEDP and ayahuasca experiences
  • Explain the concept of “integration” and how it applies to ceremonial ayahuasca use
  • Describe AEDP’s theoretical and practical goodness-of-fit with ceremonial ayahuasca use
  • Recognize and utilize existing AEDP skill set available to support clients who are engaged in ceremonial ayahuasca use


Meet the Presenter:

Meris Williams, PhD, RPsych

Hello! I am a Canadian counseling psychologist who has worked in institutional and private practice settings for the past 20 years, with a focus on eating disorders and trauma. In the latter 15 years of my practice, I used AEDP™ as my central modality, having taken Immersion, Essential Skills, and Core Training. I am a published researcher, including recent qualitative studies investigating the therapeutic potential of ceremonial ayahuasca use. I have personally experienced drinking ayahuasca in jurisdictions where it is legal to do so. My past research interests have included eating disorders and professional ethics. I locate myself further as a white, Western, well-resourced, able-bodied, cis-het woman with English-Irish ancestry, who lives and works on the traditional, unceded, ancestral homelands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Meet the Guest Presenters:

Kosu Boudreau, RP, MSW, RSW

Kosu Boudreau, RP, MSW, RSW, is mixed-race, black-identified psychotherapist/ social worker from Toronto, Canada with over 18 years’ experience working with trauma, addictions and end-of-life care. Kosu currently is in private practice with a focus on trauma treatment using psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. She uses an integrated, somatically-grounded, experiential approach, which includes: AEDP™, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP).

All of these therapies emphasize integration of mind/body/spirit and give primacy to the importance of relationship. Kosu is  also an experienced group facilitator, yoga teacher and long-time meditation practitioner.

Ronin Mai, Ayahuasca Ceremony Leader

Ronin Mai has been learning and practicing under the Shipibo-Conibo traditions for over 12 years. He holds great respect and gratitude for plant medicine and for the indigenous people from whom he continues to learn. Ronin is known for his humility, strong drive, compassion, and enthusiasm, and he brings a deep desire to help people of all walks of life. He is also a Certified Permaculture Design Consultant and has been studying and advocating for Permaculture over the past four years. He is now working to merge the two modalities by bringing the teachings of the plants into stewardship of the land. Ronin spends most of his time at his homestead in Canada with his partner, twin boys and another baby on the way!

Kari Gleiser, PhD

Kari Gleiser, PhD, completed her doctoral work at Boston University and her internship through Dartmouth Medical School with a focus on trauma and PTSD. In her practice, she specializes in applying AEDP to the treatment of complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Dr. Gleiser is the co-founder/co-director of the Center for Integrative Health in Hanover, NH, a trauma center dedicated to multi-modal healing of mind, body and spirit. Dr. Gleiser has co-developed an “intra-relational” model of therapy that imports AEDP’s relational and experiential interventions to patients’ internal systems of dissociated self-states. Dr. Gleiser has written several clinical papers and book chapters and has presented at international conferences. She also explores the intersection of psychotherapy and spirituality, as well as the emerging field of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Dates, Times, Location

Saturday, October 28, 2023

11:00 AM – 6:30 pm Eastern Time USA + Canada
Please double check the meeting times for your local time zone if not Eastern Time USA

Location: Live, Online

Fees, and Registration:

CE: 6.25

  • Seminar Fee: $209 USD
  • Member Fee: $195 USD

Scholarships are available. To learn more and apply, please go here.

ADA Accommodations | Attendance | Refund Policy | Questions

ADA Accommodations
All AEDP Institute Trainings are offered Live Online.
Should you need any modification or accommodation to allow you to effectively
participate, please contact Marilia Rodriguez, admin@aedpinstitute.org or call
813-5553-1294 thirty days or more before the event so we can be sure to accommodate

Attendance and Makeup Policy & Refunds:

Course and all customer service related questions:
Please contact Customer Service Administrator
Marilia Rodriguez
Office Hours: 9:00 – 5:00 PM Eastern Time USA

Continuing Education – To be determined