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William (Bill) A. Richards is a psychologist in the Psychiatry Department of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bayview Medical Center. He is currently pursuing research with entheogens, and has a private practice in Baltimore. His graduate degrees include a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, a Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) from Andover-Newton Theological School, and a Ph.D. from Catholic University. Richards also studied with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany, where his involvement with psilocybin research originated in 1963.

From 1967 to 1977, Richards pursued psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center along with colleagues such as Walter Pahnke, Charles Savage, Stan Grof, John Rhead, and Richard Yensen. His research included protocols designed to investigate the promise of entheogens in the treatment of alcoholism, severe neuroses, narcotic addiction, and the psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, and also their use in the training of religious and mental-health professionals. He helped design and served as the primary guide in the Johns Hopkins research that demonstrated the positive correlation between psilocybin and mystical experiences