Learning from Dying: A Conversation about Consciousness and Death

A Conversation about Consciousness and Death:

William A. Richards, STM, PhD (Johns Hopkins Bayview School of Medicineand BJ Miller, MD (Symptom Management Service, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center), with Janis Phelps, Ph.D. (California Institute of Integral Studies).


William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist in the department of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Bayview School of Medicine where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 17 years, and is also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967-1977. Columbia University Press has published his seminal new book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences in 2015.  Research results of his most recent studies into psilocybin treatment for existential anxiety in cancer patients was reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, December 2016. He has also authored a tribute to Abraham Maslow together with a report of 25 of his years of doing psychedelic therapy research for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, September 2016.  Bill is a major advisor and teacher in the newly-established program: Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).

Bruce (BJ) Miller, M.D., is assistant clinical professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at UCSF, where he is a hospice and palliative care specialist who sees patients in a palliative care outpatient clinic  --  the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.  His March 2015 TED Talk, "What really matters at the end of life," has had over 5.3 million total views. His book, How to Die: A Field Guide, will be published in spring 2018.

Janis Phelps, Ph.D., is founder and director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research and is CIIS associate professor of east-west psychology. Janis serves on the board of the Holos Institute and maintains a private practice as a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist.

This event will be the first time these healers will be together to discuss what they have learned about consciousness and the dying process (that we are all participating in).

This event is co-sponsored by UCSF Symptom Management Service, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Spiritual Care Services, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals; and by the California Institute of Integral Studies.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Cole Hall Auditorium
513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143

Event Type

Special Event, Panel Discussion


UCSF Medical Center


Students, Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, Local Community, Alumni, Patients





Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Contact Info

David Bullard, Ph.D., http://www.drbullard.com/contact/