The requirements for psychedelic therapists’ training is one of the most controversially discussed topics in the field. Which level of formal training does a psychedelic therapist need to go through before she/he can offer a psychedelic-assisted treatment, and to whom? All these questions constitute controversies that need to be debated and decided. But who should have a say in the regulation of the figure of psychedelic therapist? Do future psychedelic therapists have to be medical doctors or psychiatrists (since these are usually the ones prescribing drugs in Western society)? What is the role of qualified psychological psychotherapists? And is there a place for people who are not certified in the medical system, perhaps originating from different countries?
There is tension between disciplines in the health system and also between formal therapeutic treatments and informal approaches. There are also considerable differences between the personalities practicing mainstream therapies and those who associate themselves with traditional healing systems. This is particularly true for psychedelic therapies. The fact that after the illegalization of psychedelics in 1971 a number of therapists worldwide have continued practicing “underground” has further widened the gap between mainstream psychotherapies and psychedelic healing practices.
The other main topic in this moderated discussion will be about the role of traditional healers, shamans and practitioners. How should a modern psychedelic treatment deal with the challenges arising from the self-exploration facilitated by traditional healers (or those who make others think they are)? Finally, what are strategies to tackle phenomena like guruism, esoteric credulousness, megalomania and sexual misconduct that have been reported in the context of traditional healing, underground therapies and mainstream approaches as well? Is there something special to psychedelic therapies concerning these phenomena?
This roundtable will be moderated by Henrik Jungaberle.