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PSI Training Sites:

Los Angeles  |  Vancouver | Denver | Victoria | Hawaii       Sydney (AUS)  |  Minneapolis | Puerto Rico

The PSI Apprentice Training





 

ABOUT OPC

The Apprentice Training Model

 

Psychedelic therapy is an art form as much as it is a science, and as such, it can't be taught over a zoom call to a 300 person class. We have developed a training model that is so highly experiential, personalized and reliant on the therapist getting their own work done as part of their training that it is more appropriately an apprenticeship. The PSI Apprentice training is the gold standard for psychedelic education. Based on our experience running psychotherapy trainings since 2008, we have found that the single most important factor for learning PSIP (and psychedelic therapy in general) is to understand the work from the inside out by receiving it. The somatic (autonomic) and relational processing that becomes active in the psychedelic state, and which is at the heart of PSIP, needs to be experienced to be truly understood. Having a cognitive grasp of the material through lecture and watching video sessions is important, but knowing the process viscerally through your own personal experience develops depth, nuance, confidence and mastery with the work.

  Apprentice Training Summary: 

PART A: ​5 DAY IN-PERSON EXPERIENTIAL with 3 students, 1 PSI instructor (and potentially 1 or 2 advanced PSIP students)

  • Each student receives roughly 10 hours of psychedelic sessions spread over 5 days, with another 2 hours of integration sessions

  • Each student also benefits from roughly 24 hours of observation of other student's live sessions, post session debriefs, and integration work 

 

PART B: THEORY LECTURES (REMOTE, ONLINE & LIVE)

  • 1 to 2 months after completing Part A, students begin 7 weeks of online, live, classroom learning (composed of seven 2.5 hour weekly meetings) 

PART C: SUPERVISION (REMOTE, ONLINE & LIVE)

  • Roughly 1 to 2 weeks after Part B, students begin 4 months of group supervision 

  • Designed to support students in their implementation of PSIP in their practice, students are expected to receive and provide sessions with other cohort members and are supported in providing sessions to non-cohort members (clients or volunteers)

  • The first month of supervision is composed of four 2 hour weekly meetings, the next 3 months have 6 biweekly meetings (also 2 hours each)

  • Each supervision is composed of a student presenting a recorded case study which is followed by an open Q&A discussion 

Part D: OPTIONAL OBSERVATION

  • After completing Parts A through C and working with the modality for a period of time, students may choose to gain further mastery by returning to observe a Part A. This type of observation is how we train our instructors and find it very useful to greatly increase the student's skill level.  

  Pricing (payment plans are available):

 

  • PART A: 5 DAY IN-PERSON EXPERIENTIAL: 3,899 USD*

  • PART B: THEORY LECTURES & PART C: SUPERVISION: 3,899 USD

  • Optional PART D: OBSERVATION: 1,100 USD

* We do not provide accommodations for Part A in-person courses. We recommend that students arrange to stay at the same location in order to deepen their experience of community and support.

 

  Apprentice Training Outline:

  • Initial theory and logistical preparation through video and reading materials

  • Preliminary Zoom meeting introductions to the training team and cohort

  • Part A: 5 Day in-person experiential course begins

  • Day 1: Each student receives 2 to 3 hours of non-medicine and medicine assisted PSIP sessions (typically cannabis), and 4 to 5 hours of observation time

  • Day 2: 2 hours of medicine assisted (typically cannabis) PSIP session per student, and 4 hours of observation

  • Day 3: 2 hour medicine assisted (cannabis or ketamine) PSIP session per student, and 4 hours of observation

  • Day 4: 1 hour of non-medicine integration per student, 2 hours of observing integration sessions

  • Day 5: 2 hours of medicine assisted (ketamine or cannabis) PSIP session per student, and 4 hours of observation

  • Part B: 17.5 hours of Theory Lectures (remote, online, live), 2.5 hours once a week for 7 weeks. Begins 1 to 2 months after Part A completion 

  • Part C: 20 hours of Group Supervision (remote, online, live), 2 hours once week for the first 4 weeks, and 2 hours once every other week for the remaining 6 weeks, for a total of 10 weeks. Begins 1 to 2 weeks after Part B completion

We train mental and medical health professionals with at least two years of clinical experience (private practice is acceptable) and those with a significant background in the healing arts (also with at least two years of experience working with clients in a mental health context).

 

Psychedelic Somatic Interactional Psychotherapy

 

The skill sets required for psychedelic trauma therapy are quite different from the skills most of us learned in graduate school. This is because traditional talk therapy is designed to work with and stabilize clients by strengthening what neuroscientist Robin Carhartt-Harris refers to as secondary consciousness. This type of consciousness is how your everyday, adult rational mind tends to operate with features such as meta cognition (abstract thinking), self awareness, goal orientation, and temporal awareness. Psychedelic substances, on the other hand, move the brain and cognition in the complete opposite direction towards primary consciousness which is a more primitive, animalistic, visceral, present moment, direct experience based consciousness that we share with other animals. It is derived from the more primitive areas of the brain that we share in common with other animals. Consider the irrational, timeless, magical thinking manner in which a child's mind operates. Interventions that are ideal for secondary consciousness such as meaning making, cognitive restructuring, insight, and reality testing are incongruent with the dream state that is primary consciousness. There is no objective reality to even reality test in primary consciousness. Instead, there is a highly experiential, subjective reality. 

 

The interventions of PSIP are specifically designed to operate inside of primary consciousness. PSIP interventions target and amplify the homeostatic healing mechanisms that become far more accessible and far more effective during primary consciousness. This is an entirely different pathway the psychedelic takes through a person's system. Instead of a mind pathway, this would be a felt sense, embodied, direct experience pathway.  

 

The powerful revelations and memories that emerge during psychedelic states will very quickly overwhelm the cognitive, insight based 

functions of the secondary consciousness mind. The body, with its unique homeostatic self correction and felt sense pathway, is far more equipped to process the fear, panic, depression, traumatic overwhelm and charged relational transference that arises in psychedelic therapy. This innate somatic processing pathway can be quickly found within clients even if they have been engaged in talk therapy for many years. This pathway is preferentially taken by the psychedelic process due to its more robust capacity to process charge.

 

One way in which the PSIP Apprentice training will differ from non-directive sitter trainings is that we posit a more active role for the clinician. Our approach is based on the idea that human relational wounding requires human relational healing, and this cannot simply be left to a mystical, transcendent interaction between the substance and the client's psyche. Attachment and the capacity for relationship, for example, is a human developmental phenomenon and requires a person actively engaged to provide corrective experiences and help process all the failures of attachment that clients hold. We have found in our clinical experience that an over-reliance on medicines promotes a passivity in the clinician and frequently, very significant therapeutic opportunities will be missed. Psychedelics are fundamentally catalyzers of innate healing intelligence and homeostatic biological tendencies that live in primary consciousness. Psychedelic medicines and the consciousness they engender amplify these mechanisms, they are not a replacement for them.

     

Part C: Supervision

 

After your initial training, there is a focus on understanding the theory behind the experiences you've had (Part B), and then a period of supervision providing support as you implement this work into your practice (Part C). PSIP is a comprehensive psychedelic trauma therapy model that involves a degree of intuition, artfulness and strategic intellect. It is a fairly advanced trading and we do not expect anyone to be good at it at the end of their Part A. It is akin to learning a new language or an art form, it will take time.

 

This is much more then a non-directive holding of space for a client as they go in with eyeshades and headphones; the model calls on the therapist to serve as an active, engaged, relational presence in the client's process. Most of our students face two challenges in this training and in their development as psychedelic therapists. First, the theory involved in PSIP is very different from what most of us learn in grad school: the homeostatic, psychobiological resolution that is a part of primary consciousness is very different from the symptom management processes of secondary consciousness. You will learn to see, trust and support a very different primary consciousness process in your client that neither you nor the client are controlling.

 

Secondly, the most significant challenge you will face in becoming a psychedelic therapist is your own personal unworked stress, trauma, attachment, dissociation, and developmental wounding. Any unworked material from your history will make itself known in your practice. This will manifest as powerful counter-transference or other reactivity as you begin to do the work with clients. Even therapists who have been in the field for 30 years and are well processed from a cognitive, top down perspective will frequently find that engaging in their own psychedelic PSIP sessions will bring forth unresolved material that was well compartmentalized or dissociated. This is normal, we expect it with every student during the course.

 

Our goal is to support you with your technique, your implementation of the work with clients, and your personal work. Your supervision group will be assigned a PSI faculty member to follow you throughout this period. You will also have access to annotated session videos, educational and practice support materials, explainer videos for clients that you can place on your website, and the PSI community forum that is an active community discussion area.​

 

                         

PSI Training Testimonials

Testimonials
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Nicki

EMDR Trained Psychotherapist

"One hit of cannabis took me where

7 g of mushrooms was not able to."

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Jeff

Addiction Psychiatrist

"It's exponential the ground I've taken since encountering your work."

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Matt
Cannabis Pilot Study Participant

"These directed, guided, medicine sessions in conjunction with medicine blows medicine by itself out of the water."

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Dustin
Physician  (healer.com)

Want to know more about the PSI model & if its right for you?
View this hour long training excerpt from one of our courses 

Read Saj Razvi's article published in the MAPS quarterly journal on how the PSI model can work with MDMA

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