The PSI Apprentice Training
The Apprentice Training Model
We have developed a training model that is so highly experiential, individually focused 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 COURSE with 3 students, 1 PSI instructor (and potentially 1 or 2 advanced PSIP observers)
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
1.5 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
Roughly 2 to 4 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
Students will present a recorded case study to the supervision group as well as present a second case study in individual consultation with the PSI supervisor
Part D: OBSERVATION (Optional)
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 PSI Instructor during a new Part A course
PART A: 5 DAY IN-PERSON COURSE: $3,899
PART B: THEORY LECTURES & PART C: SUPERVISION: $3,899
Optional PART D: OBSERVATION: $1,500
For trainings outside of the US, there is an additional travel expense fee of $500 added to the cost of the training
Apprentice Training Outline:
Initial Preparations through e-mail (video lecture and reading materials)
Part A: 5 DAY IN-PERSON 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
Following week: Remote 1 hour integration session per student, 2 hours of observing integration
Part B: THEORY LECTURES begins 1.5 to 2 months after Part A completion
Part C: SUPERVISION begins 2 to 4 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. Our approach is to provide a comprehensive training in a somatic therapy as a foundation on which we add psychedelic skillsets. Here are some of the components of this training that we find greatly support clients in altered states of psychedelic consciousness: body orientation (autonomic nervous system & limbic processing), engagement with non-rational & frequently non-verbal experience, relational transference work (essential for complex PTSD), physical touch, attachment, and parts work.
The psychedelic state is a non-ordinary state of consciousness that requires a non-ordinary state psychotherapy to make best use of what it has to offer. The powerful revelations and memories that emerge during psychedelic states will very quickly overwhelm the cognitive, insight based
functions of ordinary consciousness. 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 relational transference that should and do arise 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. We recommend viewing the video below which is made up of clips from the cannabis combat veteran pilot study using the PSIP model conducted at Innate Path. We also strongly recommend reading the PSIP White Paper published in the Journal of Psychedelic Psychiatry.
One way in which our 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 in their non-declarative memory. 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 we already possess as mammals. Psychedelic medicines and the consciousness they engender amplify these mechanisms, they are not a replacement for them. As such, we develop the student’s eye for understanding and engaging core healing processes before adding the complication, speed and power that psychedelics bring with them.
Our approach is to fine tune the psychotherapy to operate hand-in-glove with the altered state of consciousness induced by these substances. The psychedelic specific interventions of PSIP target and amplify the self correcting psychobiological mechanisms that become more active in the psychedelic state. This focus on psychedelic compatible interventions brings out the psychedelic nature of readily accessible substances such as cannabis and ketamine, and is also very compatible with medicines that are not yet available such as psilocybin and MDMA.
After your initial training, there is a period of supervision providing support from us as you gain mastery and implement this work into your practice. The modality is significant enough that we do not expect anyone to be good at it at the end of their Part A in-person training. It is akin to learning a new language or an art form, it will take time. As such, 4 to 6 months is the length of time it took therapists in our own clinical site to become competent psychedelic therapists. This is much more then a non-directive holding of space for a client as they go in with eyeshades and headphones; you will be learning an entire non-ordinary state somatic psychotherapy model that is designed to work with these medicines, and which calls on you 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 non-rational, non-verbal process in your client that neither you nor the client is 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 reactions 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 therapy reveals previously unkown, unworked material. This is normal, we expect it with every student. It is not something that can be resolved immediately but is an ongoing project that you can engage in as part of supervision and afterwards with your training group.
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 is accredited to provide continuing education in counseling psychology through NBCC (ACEP No. 6484). You can receive continuing education credits for any live PSI training (in-person or remote).
Upcoming US Trainings
2/9/23 - 2/13/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
2/17/23 - 2/21/23 Apprentice training (Minneapolis, MN) (full)
3/1/23 - 3/5/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
3/10/23 - 3/14/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
3/18/23 - 3/22/23 Apprentice training (Minneapolis, MN)
4/1/23 - 4/5/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
4/12/23 - 4/16/23 Apprentice training (Minneapolis, MN) (last spot)
4/21/23 - 4/25/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
5/3/23 - 5/7/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
5/11/23 - 5/15/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
5/19/23 - 5/23/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
5/27/23 - 5/31/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
6/13/23 - 6/17/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
6/15/23 - 6/19/23 Apprentice training (Minneapolis, MN)
6/24/23 - 6/28/23 Apprentice training (Denver, CO) (full)
4/10/23 - 4/14/23 Apprentice training (Exeter, England) (full)
7/11/23 - 7/15/23 Apprentice training (Vancouver, Canada) (last spot)
7/25/23 - 7/29/23 Apprentice training (Vancouver, Canada)
November - Europe (dates will be released soon)
December - Australia (dates will be released soon)
Your fist step to providing legal psychedelic treatment to your clients begins here
PSI Training Testimonials
"One hit of cannabis took me where 7 g of mushrooms was not able to."