Frank C. Sacco, Ph.D.
Dr. Sacco has had an unusual beginning to his career. In 1970, UMass was experiencing a culture revolution with the emergence of psychedelics as part of the anti-war and early “hippy” movements. Students were having psychedelic emergencies or “bad trips” and few medical professionals had an intervention other than tranquilizing and hospitalization. UMass began a drug drop-in center, Room to Move, that received federal grants to develop a response to cope with students’ psychedelic emergencies. At that time, psychedelic therapy was ongoing in the US and Europe. Studies were underway for the use of psychedelics in treating a variety of serious psychiatric cases.
Experts were retained through the federal grant and trained the Room to Move staff on how to manage altered states of consciousness (ASoC). For two years Dr. Sacco worked at Room to Move and helped hundreds of students navigate psychedelic emergencies using a variety of techniques such as hypnosis, guided imagery, and meditation. Dr. Sacco went onto the Humanistic Psychology Institute in San Francisco to continue training in managing altered states for therapeutic purposes under Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
Dr. Sacco has spent most of his career in community mental health (www.communityserv.com.) He is an international lecturer specializing in violence reduction, victimization, and trauma who has worked in Jamaica, Australia, and New Zealand publishing 2 recent books on bullying and school violence as well as over 40 published papers on bullying, threat assessment, and violence. He has consulted with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit on school shootings, domestic violence, and internet child pornography and has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Northern Territories Aboriginal Congress.
Dr. Sacco is offering 2 courses to help with the implementation of medical cannabis treatment. The demonization of cannabis has killed the study of altered states as therapeutic aides. Most of the medical benefits studied involve the chemicals of cannaboids. The evidence is clear that there are physiological benefits from cannabis. The use of the altered state in healing has not been emphasized due its proximity to the “high” sensation associated with more lethal drugs.
Dr. Sacco’s approach uses ASoC along with other supports such as movement, psychotherapy, yoga, tai-chi, physical therapy, water aerobics, meditation, and self-hypnosis.