Psychedelic Therapy

Training Overview 

 

We have a comprehensive 3-part Psychedelic Therapy Training & Credentialing program that provides 30 hours of pre-training online lectures and 14 full days of psychedelic therapy training. It includes over 90 hours of psychedelic experiences in a total of 26 psychedelic therapy individual and group sessions.

At this point it is an open joke in our program that we’re “just sitting with cannabis.”  Psychedelic cannabis as a training tool allows us to have far more psychedelic experiences in a short period of time than other medicines would safely allow. Cannabis is also legal to use in many places. Therefore, unlike other psychedelic therapy programs, we teach skill sets and work with a medicine that allows our students to immediately begin practicing professionally as psychedelic guides.

We’ve developed a process and designed special blends of Psychedelic Cannabis that can be used in sessions that are often indistinguishable from MDMA/psilocybin assisted psychedelic therapy sessions, as well as DMT, ayahuasca, mescaline and even 5-MeO-DMT experiences. The primary difference between psychedelic cannabis and other psychedelic medicines is the inherent sense of Agency. This alone makes psychedelic cannabis the most accessible psychedelic medicine available to help our society heal trauma and transition to a greater sense of collective wellbeing.

We understand your skepticism. We were skeptical too. Please visit our page on Psychedelic Cannabis as well as our Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy to learn more about our therapeutic orientation, our primary modalities and practices. Below is a very brief description of the three levels of training, followed by the additional requirements of our comprehensive training program.

Clinical & Non-Clinical Psychedelic Training

Psychedelics are actively used in both clinical and non-clinical settings with both clinical and non-clinical intentions. Non-clinical settings include religious, creative, and personal growth practices among generally healthy individuals. Most psychedelic medicine facilitators practicing today are not clinically trained, yet the majority of those practice as effective and ethical psychedelic guides. Psychedelic Sitters School acknowledges this by offering our program to non-therapists interested in becoming psychedelic facilitators. 

While the majority of our students are helping professionals, Psychedelic Sitters School does not have a mental health or medical professional licensing requirement for our new students. In our 2019 training season alone, 61% of our students were health and wellness professionals. About 20% were professionals from other fields, such as entrepreneurs, engineers, and computer programmers, just to name a few. The remaining 19% were in education, the arts, or retired. This is a professional training program that attracts mature, competent professionals. 

While we fully support younger students who are in college that want to train in the field of psychedelic therapy as a newer practitioner, the average age of our students in 2019 was 43.

About 41% of our students intend to work professionally as a psychedelic therapist and guide, 52% want to be an ally to friends and family, with 7% enter the training solely for personal development.

To balance the clinical and non-clinical aspects of psychedelic medicine work, the first two levels, PSS1 and PSS2, are designed as a cohesive training for the non-clinical facilitation of psychedelic medicines. PSS3 includes training in advanced practices of psychedelic therapy to address populations with clinical concerns, specifically PTSD and other related mental health disorders. Because of this, PSS3 requires an additional application process to ensure that our non-licensed practitioners have enough maturity, experience, and clinical skill to work with clients who are really struggling. 

Because PSS1 and PSS2, collectively the Psychedelic Guide Training, teach foundational psychedelic guide skills and relevant mindfulness practices, it isn’t really a replacement for  typical psychotherapy training, and therefore cannot be exempted by mental health professionals.

We believe clinical and non-clinical practitioners benefit greatly by sharing training cohorts with each other and learn a lot from each other through their experience. Special cohorts for research teams, clinical teams, and other communities can be created by PSS to be reflective of the skill level and experience of the teams being trained.

PSS1 – Foundations in Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy

PSS1 teaches how to facilitate transformational psychedelic journeys for your clients, mindfulness practices that support your experience as a facilitator and your client’s process, and all of the logistical “how-tos” of safe and ethical psychedelic journey facilitation.

This online or in-person 5 day experiential retreat includes over 10 hours of pre-retreat online lectures to prepare students in necessary mindfulness, self-care and psychedelic facilitation skill sets to be competent psychedelic therapists. With multiple psychedelic therapy sessions and experientials each day, students will participate in over 38 hours of psychedelic journey experiences. You’ll learn how to make your own psychedelic cannabis blends, set up your therapy space, use music and prompts to safely hold space as a psychedelic sitter. The skill sets taught are similar to facilitating Ketamine and N,N-DMT psychedelic experiences. This class includes multiple group psychedelic journey experiences for all participants.

PSS2 – Psychedelic Guide Training

PSS2 teaches how to safely deepen a client’s psychedelic experience through guided mindfulness practices, and teaches how to collaboratively navigate the inner-space as an imaginal landscape, how to engage the many aspects of self, how to transform and transmute tension and trauma, and to navigate safely in transpersonal terrains.

This online or in-person training is a full, 4-day professional training program with 10 hours of pre-training online lectures and 22 hours of psychedelic therapy experientials. Level 2 is designed to teach students everything they need to know to facilitate MDMA/Psilocybin style individual psychedelic cannabis therapy/journey sessions in a professional setting, and how to deepen and broaden their clients process of healing and transformational discovery. Additional skill sets taught include facilitating small group experiences and online psychedelic cannabis experiences. This class includes multiple group psychedelic journey experiences for all participants.

PSS3 – Advanced Practices in Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy

PSS3 teaches specific therapeutic techniques and how to address significant clinical concerns with your clients, specifically trauma and PTSD, and the clinical concerns that are commonly associated with trauma. In addition, this course also teaches how to support clients in extreme growth edge processes. Assessment, Preparation and Integration are discussed at length. Specific modalities taught are Cannabis-Assisted Breathwork, Cannabis-Assisted Psychedelic Therapy, and Cannabis-Assisted Somatic Psychotherapy, as well as how to induce and facilitate extreme psychedelic states similar to N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT using Psychedelic Cannabis. This 5 day training included 10 hours of pre-training online lectures and 30 hours of psychedelic therapy experientials. This class includes multiple group psychedelic journey experiences for all participants.

Integrating Cannabis-Assisted modalities into already established professional practices should increase your rate by about 20% as a specialized service.

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New Training Protocol

Additional information on the content of these training levels are found on their program pages. The overall structure of each training level (1-3) in the new structure includes:

Online Lecture Series – A very robust how-to” program for each level (psychedelic sitter, guide, therapist) that provides the necessary information and skill set development to become a competent guide, with reading and homework assignments for those seeking credentialing.

Small Group Cohorts – Organized to discuss information provided in lectures, and to facilitate experientials, mindfulness practices, and other skill set that support the resiliencies required as guides (online and in person options).

Journey Practicums – facilitated group psychedelic journey experiences for personal development and discovery (online and in person options).

Facilitation Practicums – practicing being a guide for others in a safe and supervised setting, with an emphasis on different techniques each level (online and in person options).

Intensives

Due to the coronavirus, we are shifting our in-person training retreats/workshops to small group online intensives (with about 12 students each). These intensives will meet on a monthly basis through the Summer of 2021. 

Intensives are 4-5 days and combine Small Groups discussions with Journey and Facilitation Practicums.

Core Professional Competencies

In addition discussing important concepts about each of these topics in our PSS1-3 training, for those who want to further advance by practicing professionally, additional classes are offered in Core Professional Competencies. 

For those seeking advanced certification, core classes include:

  • Psychedelic and Transpersonal Theory (The Guiding Presence)
  • Psychedelic First Aid and Crisis Intervention
  • Psychedelic Ethics and Multicultural Competency
  • EcoPsychedelics and Council
  • Psychedelics and Cannabis Education 

Descriptions of a few Core Competencies: 

Psychedelic First Aid®/CPR Certification – This 4-day training teaches students how to identify, assess and competently respond to all of the mental and spiritual health crises, medical emergencies such as overdoses, and other worst case scenarios not uncommon in psychedelic experiences. Includes a 3-year CPR/First Aid Certification and a Conscious Cannabis Circle.

EcoPsychedelics and Council – Sustainability and Psychedelics Retreat – The retreat includes shared psychedelic cannabis experiences, small group experiences facilitated by ecopsychology professionals, including outdoor experiences, and one-on-one transformational support. Topics include: Theory and Practices from Joanna Macys The Work That Reconnects, a Foundational Framework to connect Sustainability and Psychedelics, some expanded Journeys which will embrace the more-than-human world by taking our journeys outside, and additional support and skill building through the use of Council.

 

Electives 

Continuing Education Credits for mental health and medical professionals, electives of interest and specialities, including advanced music facilitation, yoga, art, end of life care, DMTx, ketamine and other international training retreats, sustainable business practices, as well as personal development for individuals and couples related to psychedelics and cannabis. Some of these electives will be open to the public, others will require advanced practices as prerequisites.

 

Leadership Training

For those interested in starting local psychedelic communities and helping facilitate the training program, participating in the small groups, journey and facilitation practicums, online and in intensive training retreats will provide the necessary experience to start your own local groups. 

 

Certification and Credentialing

Includes an interview process and review of competencies, skill sets, and client feedback on practice sessions, and a commitment to a community code of ethics for professionals, to work as a professional psychedelic practitioner. Visit the Credentialing Page for additional information on our credentialing program.

 

Community Membership

Opportunity to participate in an international community of amazing individuals through collaborative projects, committees for our non-profit, social media and safe online forums, and opportunities for volunteering and peer accountability.

 

New Online Training Option

The new online training platform is now up and running. Our program has always been a hybrid of online and in person training, but with our new platform well be able to offer an incredible amount more, with additional content, new teachers and electives. 

For those who cant travel, or are not yet ready to travel, we now have an online only training option available that will include all of the necessary experientials. Weve figured out the technical issues of facilitating psychedelic cannabis sessions and groups online and they are amazing experiences. 

 

Training Location and Small Cohorts

We manage a beautiful, cannabis-friendly, and very large yoga studio 8 minutes from downtown Boulder. The location will be given to approved applicants for planning purposes. The space is large enough to social distance, with vaulted ceilings and plenty of fresh air. We will also meet outside in the very large yard. Cohorts will be small groups of around 10-12, and we will be following Colorado safety guidelines for Covid-19. 

 

New Small Group Regional Options

Our program always intended to offer more local options for training, and now that we have a good sized group of advanced practitioners, we are expediting local options to support people who cant travel to Colorado just yet. The survey will give you the option to choose a PSS1 training cohort in Los Angeles and Berkeley, CA. East coast options will come online in 2021. We dont know the dates yet for these but we want to see how much interest there is first. If you are one of our advanced students interested in hosting a local PSS1 training, please email me.

 

Cannabis Consumption

Consuming cannabis is pretty much the point of these trainings, as it provides the required experiential component to be trained as a competent psychedelic guide. Cannabis will always be taken with intention. During the intensives, taking a break from cannabis is fully supported if needed. This isn’t a contest. Some of our students only take a puff, and others take several pipes. Everyone’s bodies are different. Since we can’t take group trips to the dispensary during the coronavirus, I’m bringing the dispensary to us. Our allies in the industry will make sure we are well supplied for our adventure together. Each cohort will make a shared community cannabis blend” to be used in all of the group and individual experientials, and there will be individual strain selections to modify your medicine however you like. Consuming cannabis during this training is recommended for training purposes, but not required. We have a number of safety protocols in place to ensure that everyone enjoys their experience, and we are trained experts in taking care of people in breakthrough spaces. Due to the experiential nature of these training events, a safety assessment is part of your application process. 

 

1st Annual All Community Retreat and Training Experience Scheduled for Fall of 2021

We plan to host our first annual full community celebration/retreat/training experience in the fall of 2021 at our main retreat location south of Denver, located on 500 acres of beautiful Colorado land. Imagine a community of a hundred people gathering coming together for almost a week to learn, to connect, to share sacred psychedelic healing experiences. 

This experience will be a combination of large psychedelic cannabis circles, practice sessions, and small group training experiences in a variety of modalities from music facilitation, authentic movement, art, ecology and social justice activism. There will also be a lot of time for social events, outside hikes and transformational healing. 

Many electives and special training experientials will be hosted at this event. More information to be announced.