Paths Through Psychedelic Sitters School
This section is a resource to help guide students through the Training Progression Chart and the different credentialing paths of Psychedelic Sitters School. The general concepts below briefly describe factors that will help you chart your course. We recommend reviewing the big picture and your overall intention, but to be flexible at the stages and follow the thread most alive for you in each moment to determine your next step. It may change over time as you go through each training.
The Training Progression Chart through Psychedelic Sitters School outlines the path to graduation and credentialing. While the program is designed to provide the necessary resources for a student to begin practicing professionally in as little as 6 months, the full program is designed to be completed in 3-5 years to become an advanced psychedelic professional.
Need Based & Diversity Scholarships
Our robust scholarship program and commitment to diversity and inclusion is embedded in the application process. It is both solely need based and also designed to support diversity and inclusion. The scholarship provides 10%-40% off all tuition costs and this range is listed for each stage of the training path. Once your scholarship is approved, this is your scholarship for the duration of the program unless your needs change, at which point you can reapply.
We also have a work-trade program and other opportunities to help with tuition costs. The Online Hybrid Psychedelic Guide Training option is the most affordable option. However, certain medicine trainings are only provided at retreat settings. While we strive to have lower costs room and board options for retreats, these costs are not scholarship based because they are already “at cost.” These room and board or “space use fees” are included next to tuition prices, are site specific, and should be added to the overall cost of your training.
To support accessibility, we are also now offering payment plans. The plans consist of a general deposit and equal payments thereafter for a certain number of months. These are contractual agreements and require a very small additional processing fee due to additional service costs. Cancelling the payment plan is possible in compliance with our refund policy. All trainings are designated “as is” and refunds cannot be issued for services a student has already received, but payment plans can be cancelled and refunds received when provided the necessary notice before any training intensive or retreat.
New & Experienced Practitioners
Psychedelic Sitters School is nearly unique in that we do not have specific professional prerequisites and licensing requirements. Fundamentally, we believe that although they are important aspects of this field, the clinical and medical paradigms are not the only legitimate paths to becoming a skilled and ethical psychedelic therapist and guide. All professional identities are welcome here. With that being said, licensed mental health professionals can take advantage of their previous experience by applying for “experienced practitioner status.” This designation allows for bypassing one of the practicum requirements in Psychedelic Guide Training, as well as reduces the requirements for credentialing.
Legacy Practitioners, meaning psychedelic practitioners from spiritual, indigenous, traditional settings, as well as “underground” practitioners can also apply for “experienced practitioner status” to bypass some training and credentialing requirements.
Prerequisites Through Other Training Program
Our core training is in a specific modality called Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy, therefore the foundational Psychedelic Guide Training is required for all students to participate in more advanced trainings with ketamine, psilocybin and DMT.
Some core electives, which are required for credentialing, can be bypassed if a student has experience in the area of study from other programs or experiences. These core electives are Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Psychedelic Spaces, Integration Coaching and Psychedelic Business Acumen. Psychedelic Business Acumen can be bypassed by professionals who already have an established private practice and do not need basic business support.
Psychedelic First Aid is required for credentialing in any of the advanced specialties.
To Credential or Not to Credential
PSS takes the ethical stance that credentialing is required for professional practice. Professional practice means getting paid for your guiding services. Some of our students take classes in our program for personal growth purposes or to be a good peer/volunteer harm reduction advocate. As long as other prerequisites are fulfilled, all classes are open to non-credentialing students. Credentialing for professional practice may be fulfilled outside of our program requirements. However, our credentialing is required for licensing the use of our professional titles. Students who qualify as an experienced practitioner have fewer credentialing requirements.
A Note About Psilocybin Facilitation Licensing
Please see pages 47-48 of this section for a discussion on our transition into regulated training through the Natural Medicine Health Act. We are committed to working with our students through this process. While not fully defined yet, a “Legacy Practitioner’s” pre-NMHA experience is considered when bypassing certain licensing requirements.
Due to the fact that the licensing requirements are not yet developed, we cannot provide information yet on additional requirements for credentialing through the licensing program. We believe more information will be available by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Active membership is required for credentialing and for accessing new materials provided to students through the forum. First year of membership is free.
Steps Through PSS
Step 1. Application & Interview
So you want to be a psychedelic guide? Apply and complete the interview process. You’re not just applying to the first intensive, but the overall program, regardless of how far you take it. You can also apply for a scholarship or to be considered an experienced practitioner at this time.
We recruit for two primary cohorts for Psychedelic Guide Training each year, for the Spring and Fall semesters.
Step 2. Year One – Psychedelic Guide Training & 1st Speciality
Psychedelic Guide Training is the primary course for all students seeking to be a psychedelic guide. The Spring and Fall cohorts meet for 4 online classes over a two month period to begin the training and review all prerequisite webinars. This is followed by a training intensive, post session classes and training practicums. We’ll outline the two intensive options below.
The Two Intensive Options for Psychedelic Guide Training
Students can choose one of two 5-Day Training Intensives as the core experiential program, the Cannabis-Intensive Super Hybrid and the Psilocybin and Cannabis Retreat. This is your first choice point.
The Cannabis Intensive Super-Hybrid is a 5-day intensive either at our studio in Boulder, Colorado, Online, or at one of our regional training hubs. This is our most accessible option and included guiding experientials as well as three psychedelic cannabis experientials. Due to the larger size, we are able to reduce the tuition cost to make it as accessible as possible. Students can save further by joining a local or regional pod, or by completing the online option.
The Psilocybin and Cannabis Retreat is the same program as the Super-Hybrid, but with an additional psilocybin group journey. This retreat does not have an online option, and because of the retreat environment, smaller student numbers, room and board, travel, etc, it is more expensive.
Psilocybin mushroom experiences are great, and we highly recommend them, but we want to promote accessibility over exclusivity so we primarily recommend the mushroom retreat option to advanced practitioners and those with previous mushroom experience.
After completing the intensive, the cohorts come back together for your initial practicums. Each practicum gives students an opportunity to practice guiding by trading with other students in a supervised online platform. Psychedelic Cannabis is the primary training tool in this context.
Qualified experienced practitioners (legacy or licensed practitioners) can bypass one of the two practicum requirements. We find that new practitioners need the extra supervised support to feel the most confident in their practice of guiding, however, experienced practitioners can quickly implement the guiding protocols that we teach.
Students also complete the remaining online webinars and courses for Psychedelic Guide Training at this time.
Step 3. Begin Initial Credentialing and Start Psychedelic Therapy Training
This is your next choice point. Students can begin their credentialing path as a “Credentialed Psychedelic Support & Integration Coach.” Credentialing requirements are listed on pages 57 and allow for the professional practice of guiding in non-clinical settings with psychedelic cannabis, both individual and groups (in compliance with our credentialing agreement) and general harm reduction and integration support.
The Psychedelic Integration Coaching Elective and the Cultural Competency & Ethics Elective are required for this credential.
This credential can be completed in a few months. Advanced practitioners skip this step and receive this credentialing as part of the guide credentialing process below.
If you want further training in one of three specialities, you’re invited to join that speciality before beginning your credentialing process, however, credentialing can begin at any time as the different professional titles stack in their requirements.
Step 4. Choose your first psychedelic specialty
Students who complete Psychedelic Guide Training can begin the webinars and online classes for their first advanced medicine speciality in 1. Psychedelic Therapy & Clinical Cannabis, 2. Ketamine-Assisted Psychedelic Therapy Specialty, or 3. Psilocybin Support Speciality.
The titles describe the services. Specific clinical trauma informed somatic therapy practices, clinical protocols and cannabis-assisted breathwork are taught in the 1st speciality and this program is required for the Psychedelic Therapy Credentialing. The ketamine and psilocybin specialities address guiding with these specific medicines. See descriptions online and in the Student Handbook for additional information.
Each speciality includes medicine specific webinars, 3-4 preparation classes, 2 integration class, and a 5 day training intensive. Cannabis and Ketamine trainings are at our studio in Boulder, Colorado, and the Psilocybin training has additional costs as it is in a retreat environment. The cannabis speciality also has an online only option.
Step 5. Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Guide Credential
This optional step of credentialing allows the graduate to promote themselves professionally as a “Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Guide” and charge for services specific to their speciality. Credentialing requirements include practice sessions, supervision classes, mentorship sessions, and others. More information is provided in the credentialing section on pages 57-58 of this section. Advanced practitioners have reduced credentialing requirements.
The entire program, including credentialing in Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Guiding can be completed in about 12 months before practicing professionally.
Psychedelic Guide Training plus the Psilocybin Support Specialty would be the equivalent to what we know the Colorado Natural Medicine Health Act Psilocybin Facilitator License would entail. There will probably be additional regulatory requirements for compliance that is yet to be determined.
This credentialing allows for practice non-clinical and clinical settings (when following the proper protocol).
Elective Requirements – The Integration Coaching elective, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Psychedelic Spaces Elective are required for MBPG credentialing. Psychedelic Business Acumen is required for new practitioners.
Step 6. Continue to Year 2 & Psychedelic Mystery School – Becoming a Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapist
If you’re only interested in learning how to guide with cannabis and maybe one other medicine like Ketamine or Psilocybin Mushrooms, maybe your time with the program is complete. However, if you wish to step into additional specialities or step into the deeper mystery of psychedelics, consider another expedition into the realms of consciousness.
In year 2, there is a primary choice point between completing your training in the two other specialties or joining the Psychedelic Mystery School.
Path of two more specialities – This path completes your training in the advanced medicine specialties in year 1. If you took clinical cannabis, you could take ketamine and psilocybin etc. This is a good path for those more clinically, and less spiritually inclined.
Advanced credentialing looks a little different at this level so check out the requirements for new and experienced practitioners.
Psychedelic Mystery School – Psychedelic Mystery School is an advanced training retreat that includes working with cannabis teas, working in ceremonial settings, energy work, divination and prayer. In 2024 we are adding an additional group psilocybin ceremony, making this our longest training.
Graduates of Psychedelic Mystery School can add an additional speciality, DMT Guiding, to their available specialities.
Step 7. Credentialing in Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy
This optional step allows for additional supervision, mentorship and practice session support to become a credentialed “Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapist” and to work in clinical settings with psychedelic medicines. This credential requires the Psychedelic Therapy & Clinical Cannabis Specialty.
This level of credentialing requires the elective Psychedelic First Aid.
Step 8. Additional Specialities in Year 3 & Credentialing as a “Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Specialist” or Senior Psychedelic Guide.
Year 3 is a continuation of Year 2. Students can complete 2 additional specialties or finish Psychedelic Mystery School and their last speciality.
Optional Credentialing gives graduates our highest credential as a “Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Specialist” who is competent in working with three or more medicines: psychedelic cannabis, ketamine, psilocybin and DMT, in clinical and non-clinical settings, and in individual, couples and group settings.
Step 9. Working Professionally
After credentialing in any of the stages in years 1 through 3, guides can begin practicing professionally, meaning ethically charge for their services, and can qualify for positions in our clinic, our training program, and in other clinics and retreat centers.
There are apprenticeship and job education vocational training opportunities throughout the program, as well as additional supplementary trainings through Continuing Education, Electives, and advanced trainers trainings, also known as the Dragon Training.
While the full program is designed to be completed in 3 years, some students only complete the levels and specialities they are most drawn to, and others could take more time, gain experience working as a guide, and complete the full training in 5 years. We’ve found each student knows the best path they are called to take, and the program is intentionally flexible enough to support the diverse needs of our students.
PSS teaches simple formulas to determine the appropriate service fees for different services. The hourly rate of practitioners will depend on experience, training level, other professional licenses and comparable rates in your location.
Graduates of our program who are licensed professionals can consider this an advanced speciality, and could increase their private practice rate by 20% to 50% for psychedelic services based on their experience and the context of their practice.
Group rates can increase significantly from individual rates overall.
Generally speaking, a new practitioner with no other professional licenses and experience, who has completed year one with a speciality could work in our clinic as a psilocybin assistant guide as an employee of our non-profit at a little over $25/hr. This same practitioner could possibly charge $50/hr in a private practice (note: expenses come out of that higher rate).
Credentialed practitioners with a masters degree and clinical experience could make $60-$100/hr in a group setting or double that in a private practice setting.
Advanced specialists could charge as much as $200-$300/hr in private practice settings, lead retreats, and other advanced group practices.
It is important to note that there are added self-care costs associated with being a psychedelic guide, and being a psychedelic guide requires a more flexible work schedule than the typical 40 hours a week of full time practice.