Bruce D. Poulter, M.P.H
Sub Investigator/Study Therapist/Clinical Supervisor for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Research
Bruce has been drawn to and worked most of his life with people in altered states, primarily non-medicine induced. He decided at an early age to primarily focus on learning directly from and about people by being in positions of service in lieu of traditional academic training. During the 80’s he was an ICU nurse at UCSF hospital when the AIDS pandemic first emerged and he developed a deep appreciation for the ethics of working with the critically ill as well as studying dying/living with the noted authority Elizabeth Kübler Ross.
Based on these experiences he studied health planning and policy development where he received his MPH from UC Berkeley, in the hopes of redirecting funds away from critical care units and towards programs that effectively improved the morbidity and mortality rates of the people they served. In the early 90’s he developed and ran public health programs including a nurse-midwife based, comprehensive perinatal program, serving exclusively low-income women, as well as a program designed to prevent childhood abuse and neglect by combining public health nurses with community mental health workers focusing on at risk families.
He had the good fortune to independently study Buddhist meditation and psychology with Thich Nhat Hanh along with a contemporary form of Jungian psychology with Max Shupbach of the Process Work Center based in Portland, OR. He was a founding member of the Nyland Co-Housing Community-a 42-unit development that at the time was recognized as Colorado’s most energy efficient development while offering residents a reprieve from the isolating lifestyle that often characterizes North American communities.
He has worked extensively with people in chronic pain as an educator and Rolfer and was an intimate observer of the first government approved MDMA assisted psychotherapy study in Madrid, Spain in 1999. Upon his return to Colorado, he entered the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate and fortunately for him and his family did well, but not well enough to challenge the incumbent.
What Bruce appreciates about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is its’ deeply intimate nature; driven by a profound love for self, community and other; participant centered; respectful of participants processes; it leverages a person’s native inherent wisdom; and invites/demands authenticity of all parts and parties involved in the at times mysterious, service of healing. Bruce hopes MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will help catalyze and play an important role in a much-needed paradigm shift, where people are once again recognized as the true experts of their healing.
He’s had the pleasure of participating in harm reduction services through Zendo, etc. and is currently a sub-investigator, clinical supervisor and trainer with MAPS Phase 2 and Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials.