Dr. Nielson is a psychologist and credentialed substance abuse counselor with over 4 years of professional involvement in psilocybin research at NYU School of Medicine. Prior to becoming involved in psychedelic research, Dr. Nielson studied art, psychology, and evidence-based interventions for drug and alcohol use, including harm reduction, motivational interviewing, community reinforcement, and mindfulness-based therapy. Before joining the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Center for Optimal Living, she held post-doctoral fellowships in psychodynamic therapy at Adelphi and in addiction research at NDRI and NYU School of Nursing. Dr. Nielson is presently a therapist on the phase 2 trials of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder and of MDMA-assisted treatment of PTSD at NYU. Dr. Nielson’s own program of research includes qualitative studies of patient experiences in psychedelic-assisted therapy, interview studies of psychedelic therapists, and research on the historical use of LSD in psychotherapist training.
How I work with clients
I offer psychedelic harm reduction and integration psychotherapy in a private practice setting. The harm reduction aspect involves providing an open, safe, and supportive environment in which to discuss plans, intentions, and expectations for psychedelic use in any setting: ceremonial, festivals, alone, or in other groups. Together we can talk about your unique motivations and how you might minimize the potential harms of psychedelic use while maximizing the potential for a safe experience. Integration work is about how psychedelic experiences relate to your relationships, career, spiritual practice, physical and mental health, values, etc. I draw on principles of psychedelic-assisted therapy and conventional psychotherapy approaches to support clients in translating psychedelic experiences into lasting, meaningful insights and growth. I offer individual sessions and run an ongoing Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Exploration group at the Center.