5:05pm - 5:35pm
The State and Future of Psychedelic Therapist Training
While research clearly acknowledges the therapist’s indispensable role before, during, and after psychedelic therapy sessions, the unique process of training to become a psychedelic therapist is a relatively new endeavor, barely studied and largely unaddressed in the field. This talk will be based in part on the speaker’s experience and publication on the development and evaluation of a training program for psilocybin therapists in clinical research and experience developing and running a certificate program for psychedelic integration therapists, Fluence. After providing an overview of what current training in the field looks like, what the needs and gaps are, ideas for how trainees, trainers, training institutes, and other key players might come together to ensure equitable access to high-quality training, in turn maintaining a high standard of care in psychedelic-assisted therapies will be discussed. Training practices used in other modalities of psychotherapy will be considered as potential models to draw on for comparison and inspiration. Efforts towards the development of clear standards, confusion or absence of information about training requirements, and potential misalignment of research therapist training programs in preparing therapists for community-based clinical work with psychedelics will be part of the conversation.