Donna Dryer

Footage of therapists spooning and pinning down patient in B.C. trial for MDMA therapy prompts review
By Bethany Lindsay
March 29, 2022

— Excerpt

Newly released videos that show two B.C. therapists cuddling, spooning, blindfolding and pinning down a distressed PTSD patient during clinical trials using MDMA have prompted a review of their work and fresh concerns about public safety.

The 2015 footage shows psychiatrist Dr. Donna Dryer and unlicensed therapist Richard Yensen, a married couple who were then sub-investigators for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), during their second experimental session in a Health Canada-approved Phase II clinical trial with patient Meaghan Buisson in Vancouver.

The videos were released last week through New York magazine’s podcast Cover Story: Power Trip, which explores the growing field of psychedelic therapy.

Buisson, a hiking guide based on Vancouver Island, told CBC she hasn’t been able to watch the videos because even hearing her former therapists’ voices triggers her post-traumatic stress disorder.

But she has seen screen shots of the footage and has had the content described to her, including intimate physical contact and a scene where Yensen is lying on top of her and holding her down as she moans in obvious anguish…

“This is horrific. This happened in a Health Canada-approved clinical safety trial,” she said. “For that to happen in this environment, under far more scrutiny than the substance will ever again be under, is extremely troubling.” …