Scott Shannon decided that he wanted to make the study of consciousness his life work while in high school. Fascinated by the depths of the mind, he embarked on an honor’s thesis focused on this topic guided by his mentor, Andrew Weil, MD at the University of Arizona in the 1970s. This initial spark would ignite a lifelong pursuit of exploring the power of the mind and transformative care in mental health.
After his academic pursuits, Dr. Scott ventured into the realm of medicine, where he seamlessly merged consciousness exploration with psychotherapy. He embraced MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a facet of his practice before the medicine was scheduled in 1985. His quest for knowledge led him to pursue a psychiatry residency at a Columbia program in New York. He then immersed himself in cross-cultural psychiatry and completed a child/adolescent psychiatry fellowship
at the University of New Mexico.
A prolific writer and educator, Dr. Scott authored four groundbreaking books on holistic and integrative mental health. Among these works, he crafted the first-ever textbook for the field in 2001, setting the stage for a transformative paradigm in mental health care. In 2010 Dr. Scott founded the Wholeness Center, a sanctuary of collaborative care. Rooted in individualized care and innovation, this integrative mental health center flourished under his guidance, becoming the largest of its kind in the US.
Dr. Scott’s influence extended far beyond his center’s walls, as he assumed leadership roles in three different national medical organizations. Driven by a desire to expand the horizons of mental health treatment, Dr. Scott took on a pioneering role as a site Principal Investigator and therapist in Phase III trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He has also investigated LSD and cannabidiol (CBD) in clinically relevant research.
A true catalyst for progress, Dr. Scott is a founding member of the Psychedelic Research and Training Institute (PRATI). This visionary institute provides a platform to train professionals in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and provide a deeper connection to self and nature. In 2021, Dr. Scott played a pivotal role in initiating the Board of Psychedelic Medicine and Therapies. His dedication to expanding access to psychedelic medicine inspired others to join the cause, and he served as the founding CEO for this non-profit public benefit corporation.
As a passionate advocate for transformative care Dr. Scott has traversed the globe delivering lectures to professional groups. His paradigm-shifting perspective resonated deeply, opening minds and hearts to new possibilities in mental health. Dr. Scott’s journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of tools for deeper healing that can catalyze real change in our mental health care system. This inspiration continues to drive his wide-ranging efforts.