Meet: Bill Richards

By Gabriel García February 14, 2023

William A. Richards, also known as Bill Richards, is a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bayview Medical Center, a consultant/trainer at psychedelic research centers internationally, a professor in the Psychedelic Therapy and Research Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore.

His graduate degrees include an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, an S.T.M. from Andover-Newton Theological School and a Ph.D. from Catholic University, as well as studies with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, where his involvement in psilocybin research originated in 1963.

From 1967 to 1977, he conducted psychotherapeutic research with LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, including protocols designed to investigate the promise of psychedelic substances in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, narcotic addiction and psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, and also their use in the training of religious and mental health professionals. From 1977 to 1981, he was a member of the psychology faculty at Antioch University, Maryland.

In 1999, at Johns Hopkins, he and Roland Griffiths launched the revival of psilocybin research after a 22-year period of inactivity in the United States. His publications began in 1966 with Implications of LSD and Experimental Mysticism, co-authored with Walter Pahnke. His book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, was published in English by Columbia University Press in 2015 and has since been translated into four other languages.

This psychedelic renaissance, initiated in 1999 with Roland Griffiths, culminated in our book on this scientific current, the Essential Guide to the Psychedelic Renaissance by Antón Gómez-Escolar. This book is of interest both to therapists and other mental health professionals interested in clinical applications, and to parents and educators seeking to understand the impact and safety of psychedelics and other drugs, as well as to any adult who is curious to learn about and explore this new world of the psychedelic renaissance.

If you are interested in learning how these substances can help improve your mental health, you can read more information about psychedelics in the Essential Guide to the Psychedelic Renaissance,as well. We also recommend Psychedelics and Mental Health, by Irene de Caso and Your Brain on Psychedelics, by Genís Oña, where you will learn the keys to the effects of psychedelics, capable of producing significant changes in the processes of perception, thought and consciousness. The book also includes a prologue written by one of the greatest eminences in this field, José Carlos Bouso, scientific director of ICEERS.

These books are now available on Amazon in physical and eBook format, as well as Apple Books. In addition, all titles are available in Spanish version on

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