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The Synthesis Institute | Presents

Psychedelic Practitioner CORE TRAINING

A Foundational Certification Program for Professionals Apply Now

Now Accepting Applications for October 2022

As Increased Access to Psychedelics Are Poised to Change How We Approach Debilitating Mental Health and Treatment-Resistant Conditions, the Need for Professionally Trained Practitioners Is Growing

ARE YOU READY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS BURGEONING FIELD BY BECOMING A
WELL-EDUCATED PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER?

Psychedelics are making significant progress on their path to legalization.

 

After decades of active prohibition of these substances that included legal banning and misinformation regarding their mind-altering effects—resulting in psychedelics being left out of scientific research for years—the tide is turning on government policy and public opinion. The future of psychedelics looks promising. 

 

In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration named psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy” in treatment for severe depression, a designation the agency applies to drugs that in early trials demonstrate substantial improvement over existing treatments.

 

In 2019, Imperial College London launched the Centre for Psychedelics Research and U.S. institutions Yale, UC Berkeley, and Mount Sinai Hospital have all followed suit, establishing psychedelic research divisions conducting ongoing studies and trials looking at whether psychedelics can be effective in treating depression, autism, anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, opioid addiction, severe anxiety, and more.

 

In the same year, Denver, Colorado, became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. Since then, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, along with eight other U.S. cities, have decriminalized entheogenic plants and fungi in some way. Oregon voted in November 2020 to become the first U.S. state to legalize supervised psilocybin-assisted therapy programs in controlled and professionally facilitated settings joining The Netherlands and Jamaica in legalized access.

 

With advancements in science and psychiatry prompting progressive western states to expand their destigmatization, decriminalization, and legalization efforts, awareness about the potential of psychedelics to radically improve the quality of people’s lives is leading to demand for greater access.

 

Yet psychedelics are not a panacea. Along with increased access we must ensure that people are educated about the rewards and risks associated with these substances.

 

The scientific evidence showing psychedelics are promising treatments for mental health disorders has paid particular attention to preparation, set, setting, and integration as key factors in decreasing the chances of a crisis and increasing the likelihood of lasting positive benefits. 

 

For the psychedelic renaissance to maximize its potential for positive impact, the experience must be held by highly skilled, ethical, experienced guides with deep knowledge of how to optimize the process of preparation, set, setting, and integration, and who take great care in prioritizing safety.

The demand for such well-rounded, professionally trained psychedelic facilitators is growing rapidly,

Which is why The Synthesis Institute has taken its vast experience offering legal, professionally guided, comprehensive, psychedelic-supported programs to create the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training,

A 13-month educational journey, designed for those eager to work in the psychedelic space who are seeking a research-backed, wisdom-rich, somatically-informed, heart-centered approach to facilitation

Apply Here

The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training:

  • Includes nine (9) modules of coursework, each building upon the last, to develop the essential foundational competencies required for legal, professional, and ethical psychedelic facilitation
  • Ensures a cohesive, highly focused, and personalized educational experience by assigning all participants to small group pods of approximately eight to 10 participants under the guidance of an experienced learning facilitator, allowing for the deep self-exploration and personal reflection required to embody the education, experience, and values of a psychedelic facilitator
  • Welcomes professionals from various backgrounds and industries who have a proven track record of maturity, commitment, and focus
  • Offers experiential-based learning with an interdisciplinary approach that includes the study of scientific models and wisdom traditions as well as the development of personal practices and professional skills
  • Connects you to current and future psychedelic professionals and Synthesis’ global network of psychedelic thought leaders who together are shaping this emerging field

Apply Here

Since 2018, The Synthesis Institute has guided more than 800 people in legal, professionally guided group and individual psychedelic journeys. The Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training reflects our best practices, cultivated through diligent focus and with supervision from some of the world’s most experienced psychedelic experts, and we are eager to share our unique approach with those who are ready to further this important work.

 

Our curriculum design acknowledges there is not a “one-size-fits all” method for facilitating psychedelic experiences. With that understanding, we offer you the foundational skills critical to building capacity to hold space for many ways of knowing. Your journey to becoming a knowledgeable, embodied, and intuitive practitioner is rooted in deep personal exploration, and this spaciousness allows you to develop an authentic, personalized, and multi-faceted approach to the work while ensuring adherence to highest ethical and safety standards.

 

Join us for a unique professional training experience that will challenge, inspire, educate, and ultimately change you. It will make a positive impact in the lives of your clients while also co-creating the future of health and wellness.

Training With The Synthesis Institute Offers More Than Earning A Credential

The Personal Changes You Will Make During the Training Will Allow You to Develop the Embodied Traits of a Skilled, Compassionate, Ethical Psychedelic Facilitator

At The Synthesis Institute, we believe that to have full integrity and complete confidence in the safety and effectiveness of your work as a facilitator, your commitment to your own practice and inner transformation must be an ongoing priority.

 

What will differentiate you from graduates of other psychedelic training programs is that you will understand the science and current best practices, AND you will develop personal practices and professional support networks that will help you grow into a flexible, compassionate, collaborative, effective, co-creative facilitator.

 

In addition, our small group learning approach of approximately eight to 10 participants per learning facilitator allows you to be held with the level of compassion, care, and courage that the world needs you, as a practitioner, to embody.

 

This journey is not just about professional development. It also answers the call for an integrated, comprehensive approach to working with psychedelics, one that awakens your potential so you can serve others and catalyze the greater awakening the psychedelic renaissance offers.

 

In the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training you will:

  • Develop a foundational understanding of the fundamentals of guiding a safe and ethical psychedelic  journey—from screening to integration
  • Gain an awareness of relevant clinical research and evidence-based best practices
  • Broaden your understanding of well-established and emerging wisdom / traditional approaches
  • Become aware of your capacity to hold space for the wide range of experiences that can present themselves on a psychedelic journey, including identifying the limits  of your current capabilities and the opportunities for further personal and professional growth
  • Establish a consistent personal practice and commitment to self-care and self-reflection
  • Assemble a toolkit of professional skills that allow you to hold space for others to grow and change
  • Build a support network of peers as well as connection to The Synthesis Institute and our international professional community
  • Recognize your own internal prejudices and unconscious biases and learn to create culturally sensitive and trauma-informed containers
  • Deepen your understanding of the ethical questions around cultural appropriation, extractivism, restorative justice, and generative reciprocity

Please be aware that earning a completion certificate for the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training does not authorize you to lead or facilitate psychedelic journeys. As local regulations and legislation are developing and changing rapidly, make sure to follow the laws pertaining to your place of residence. Discover more about what a completion certificate allows for here.

The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training was created to provide you access to leading-edge research, interdisciplinary resources, and a variety of approaches to guiding clients through safe, legal, and ethical psychedelic journeys.

It Is Designed for People with Diverse Experience Who Demonstrate Maturity, Focus, Commitment, and the Desire to Work in Psychedelics


Enrollment Is By Application Only

For those interested in participating in the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training, you must complete the program application which inquires about your educational, professional, and past psychedelic experience, if applicable. *

 

We encourage applicants with varying levels of education, professional experience, and knowledge of psychedelics to apply.

 

*Important: A background check will be completed on all program participants by an authorized third-party during the 13-month training. If found to have a criminal history inclusive of a violent felony, you will be removed from the training and we will not issue you a certificate of completion.

Here Is What Leaders In the Psychedelic Space Say About Synthesis Institute:

Bennet Zelner, Ph.D.

Regenerative Economist

“Psychedelics, when used appropriately, have the potential to revolutionize mental healthcare, and the professional training offered by Synthesis promises to help realize this potential. In contrast to mainstream approaches, Synthesis’ approach recognizes the critical role that connection plays in the production of well-being. The program also includes sessions on novel economic approaches to the delivery of care, which are critical to supporting the novel clinical approaches that Synthesis is helping to pioneer.”

Robin Cahart-Harris, Ph.D.

Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at
Imperial College London

“Legal, professionally-organized retreats and trainings like (the ones) Synthesis offers can be a safe way for people to experience the transformational potential of psychedelics, and they can also be a great source of data for research centers like our own, helping to further advance the field. I'm excited to continue working alongside Synthesis to provide high-quality services and meaningful scientific research for the psychedelic community.”

The Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training Honors Many Ways of Knowing With Our Four Lens Approach

The Synthesis approach recognizes that there are many ways of knowing. Our understanding of psychedelics and the psychedelic journey considers and honors these different viewpoints. While our philosophy as a whole rests at the center of a myriad of different perspectives, our training is organized so that each month we look at a particular topic through each of four (4) primary lenses that capture the breadth and depth of the psychedelic field. 

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EMBODIED WISDOM

We each have a wellspring of wisdom inside us that we can access by committing to a path of personal growth and development. Not only is this fundamental to living a meaningful and intentional life, the capacity to access your own embodied wisdom is a prerequisite for being able to create and hold space for others. Through this lens, you will establish and/or enhance ongoing somatic, spiritual, and self-reflection practices; examine your personal ethics; articulate your personal values; and integrate your learnings from the other lenses.

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COGNITIVE WISDOM

This lens looks at the contributions of history, philosophy, and science to our modern-day understanding of psychedelics. From neuroscience to psychopharmacology to harm reduction to best practices for psychedelic facilitation, we explore what is knowable through study, observation, and thought. 

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SACRED WISDOM

This lens explores the variety of ways that people make meaning in their life, including spiritual, philosophical, nature-based, and wisdom-based approaches that cultures developed long before, and in parallel with, modern scientific thinking. It acknowledges the wisdom keepers who have helped people navigate liminal spaces for thousands of years as well as contemporary practices that help people connect to themselves, others, and the more-than-human world.

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RELATIONAL WISDOM

Life happens in relationships. We are always relating to the people, organizations, or the environment around us. This lens asks us to develop a deeper awareness of our role in the greater ecosystem of our life. We look at ways to build relational skills; examine the role we wish to play with clients and in the psychedelic community; and explore how to be deliberate and intentional as we bring this important work into the world. 

PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER

CORE TRAINING

Program Overview

Once you have completed the application process and been accepted into the program, you will be placed in a pod group of approximately eight to 10 students plus a learning facilitator. These will be your learning companions for the training and, we hope, for a lifetime. 

The Program Follows This Rhythm:

WELCOME AND ORIENTATION:

Our program begins Saturday, October 29th. The first two (2) weeks you will watch a variety of videos to orient you to the program. You will also meet with your learning facilitator and pod group to get to know each other and establish the ground rules for the journey ahead.

MONTHLY MODULES:

There are nine (9) themed coursework modules in the training, each lasting one month. The coursework modules span 13 months, with breaks in December 2022, April 2023, and August 2023 to allow for periods of rest, self-care, and integration. 

WEEKLY RECORDINGS:

Each week you will watch a 60- to 90-minute pre-recorded teaching session that corresponds to one of the four (4) lenses.

WEEKLY LIVE SESSIONS:

Throughout the orientation, nine (9) modules of coursework, and during the integration phase, you will meet weekly with your pod group for 2.5 hours each week. Under the guidance of your learning facilitator, these integration sessions may include discussion, professional supervision, skills practice, or other group exercises.

WEEKLY AND MONTHLY ASSIGNMENTS:

You will be given a variety of assignments designed to support your active and engaged integration of knowledge and practices. We estimate assignments will take an average of ten (10) to fifteen (15) hours per month.

MONTHLY, LIVE BONUS WORKSHOPS (OPTIONAL):

Enjoy talks and Q&A sessions from a rotating roster of thought leaders, wisdom elders, and visionaries.

ASSESSMENT, CLOSING & COMPLETION:

After the conclusion of the nine (9) coursework modules, you will participate in an assessment period, and then you will be eligible to receive your Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training certificate of completion and attend a final celebration to recognize your achievement.

See the training schedule here.

PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER

CORE TRAINING

Coursework Overview
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PREPARING THE SOIL: Welcome and Orientation

We begin our journey together where all transformative journeys start—by orienting ourselves to where we are now and aligning ourselves as a community in the direction we are going. Over the course of two (2) weeks, you will be introduced to the key themes of the training, meet your pod group, review shared agreements, and begin a deep dive into self-exploration that will be a primary focus throughout the training. 

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MODULE ONE: Meet The Mushroom

In this module, we are introduced to the mushroom and truffles containing psilocybin, which is the foundation of our work at Synthesis. We explore the simplicity of the mushroom’s form and the complexity of its impact. We look at what we know about the mushroom through our four lenses (embodied, cognitive, sacred, and relational wisdom), and we begin to explore how we interact with this dynamic organism and how we understand its role in our personal lives and our professional practice.

Ecology of Ethics

MODULE TWO: The Ecology of Ethics and the Role of the Shadow

To do this work with integrity, we must be aware of the ethical questions that we face as individuals and as a larger community. In this module, we explore an ecology of ethics that will support you in addressing different ethical challenges and systemic dynamics that cause harm. We also meet the Shadow and take some time to examine our own internalized biases, as well as how to work with the Shadow when engaging with our clients and with the larger psychedelic community.

Many ways of knowing

MODULE THREE: Many Ways of Knowing

The Synthesis model is built around honoring the many ways of knowing and ethical meaning-making. We recognize that no one perspective sees the whole picture, so we will practice looking at the human experience through many different lenses. In this module, we will pay particular attention to different ways of understanding health and wholeness, the nuances of cultural context, and our ways of relating to ourselves, others, and the more-than-human world.

Healing

MODULE FOUR: Healing, Trauma, and the Body

On our journey to wholeness, we are bound to encounter various forms of trauma. Understanding how trauma works and how to create the conditions in which someone can surface, process, and resolve it is critical to psychedelic work, as psychedelics can both help and hinder the healing of trauma. In this module, we explore what it means to be a trauma-informed practitioner, including how to develop the relational, emotional, and somatic skills we need to be able to hold a healing space in ourselves and for others.

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MODULE FIVE: Key Elements of Preparation

In this module, we explore various ways of preparing ourselves and our clients for a psychedelic experience, including useful somatic and cognitive practices as well as the importance of intentionality and building the therapeutic alliance. 

Screening for Readiness

MODULE SIX: Screening for Readiness and Safety

 How we gauge readiness is both an art and a science, involving both intuition and facts. In this module, we will discuss how to screen for your own competence as well as for a client’s readiness and safety. We will also explore various strategies to minimize risk before, during, and after a session or ceremony, in order to maximize our efforts at harm reduction.

Navigating

MODULE SEVEN: Navigating Uncharted Territory

There are many ways to approach a psychedelic session or ceremony, and in this module we look at various approaches and discuss the importance of working in alignment with your capacity and a client’s needs. We explore the topography of non-ordinary states of consciousness and deepen your work with practices that will help you become a compassionate, safe, abiding presence for those who wish to walk in uncharted territories.

Key Elements of integration

MODULE EIGHT: Key Elements of Integration

Whether a psychedelic experience was delightful or difficult, harnessing insights and working with what emerged during the journey depends on intentional and ongoing integration. In this module, we explore different approaches to working with a variety of experiences and how to utilize an experience for lasting transformation.

Life of service

MODULE NINE: A Life of Service

In this final module, you will reflect on your journey and synthesize what you have learned. You will also orient yourself to what is next, both as you prepare for your own psychedelic experience with Synthesis and as you think about how you wish to be of service to yourself, your community, the more-than-human world, and the emerging field of psychedelic care. 

Integration

INTEGRATION: Assessment, Closing, and Completion

After the conclusion of the nine (9) coursework modules, you will participate in an assessment period during which your peers and your learning facilitator will review your portfolio of assignments and supervise a final oral examination. To honor your learning journey, we end with a closing ceremony and final celebration where you will receive your certificate of completion. 

One-of-a-Kind, Facilitated, Small Group Study With Weekly Live Sessions

A unique component of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training is the small group learning experience. You will move through the program in groups of between eight and 10 students that we affectionately refer to as pods. Your pod will be guided by one of our experienced learning facilitators who will offer mentorship, leadership, and guidance for your journey. You will be with your pod for the orientation, nine (9) coursework modules and the integration period.

 

Current students report this is one of the most meaningful components of the program. Not only do they feel held and supported throughout the education process, but they are creating lasting connections that will continue to support their personal and professional growth beyond the training.    

 

The weekly live small group pod sessions will be held on the following days/times for the training that begins in October 2022. 

 

Pod groups will meet (except during official breaks) through November 2023. 

 

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. PT / 6:00 p.m. ET / midnight CET

Wednesdays and Thursdays* 6:00 a.m. PT / 9:00 a.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. CET

Wednesdays and Thursdays* 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m CET 

Thursdays 1:00 a.m. PT / 4:00 a.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. CET 

 

All weekly small group pod sessions are 2.5 hours in length. You will be assigned a small group pod training day/time as part of the on-boarding process once you are enrolled in the training.

 

Note: Seasonal time changes may affect the time by one (1) hour during certain parts of the year. Additional pod times may be made available pending enrollment.

 

THE 13-MONTH PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER CORE TRAINING

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR OCTOBER 2022 TRAINING

TRAINING TUITION: $9,997*

Limited-Time Discount

Enroll by Thursday, October 20th and Save $500 on Tuition

There Are Two (2) Payment Options for You to Select From

PAY IN FULL

$9.997

NOW $9.497

SAVE $500

12 PAYMENTS

$11,197

$933 per payment

Interested in the training but have questions? Click here to schedule an Discovery Session with a Synthesis Personal Advisor.

 

Financial scholarships are not currently available. If you are in need of a scholarship in order to participate in the training, please do not start your application and instead click here to be added to our scholarship interest list.

Meet Some of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training Learning Facilitators

The learning facilitators are highly skilled practitioners who guide the small group pods for the duration of the training. They come from a variety of backgrounds and may be therapists, psychedelic therapists, executive leadership coaches, medical professionals, or transformational coaches. They undergo extensive training and ongoing supervision by our program team to ensure they can hold the container for transformational learning—witnessing and mirroring back your strengths and supporting you as you encounter your growth edges. They are invested in your learning and well-being and are a key advocate and accountability partner on your journey.

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Anja Loizaga-Velder, PH.D.

Anja Loizaga-Velder is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a humanistic and transpersonal orientation. Parallel to her psychotherapeutic practice, Anja has been collaborating with indigenous healers and investigating the therapeutic potential of the ritual use of psychedelic plants for over 25 years.

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Mina Samuels, LLB, LLM

Mina Samuels is a writer, speaker, playwright and performer, and in a previous incarnation, a litigation lawyer and human rights advocate; as well as an athlete and meditation practitioner, trained in Non-Violent Communication and Internal Family Systems. Mina offers workshops and one-on-one facilitations on the transformative power of the body-mind connection and how it nourishes our whole self. Her books include, Run Like A Girl 365 Days: A Practical, Personal, Inspirational Guide for Women Athletes and Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives and she writes regularly for Medium and Fit Is A Feminist Issue.  She has also created and performed two award-winning solo shows and an ensemble play.

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Ladybird Morgan, RN, MSW

Ladybird Morgan RN, MSW, RCST practitioner, has helped guide medical practitioners, families, caregivers, programs and institutions around the world (including with Doctors Without Borders and in California Prisons) on how to be present to difficult experiences by remembering, embodying and responding from the deepest place of truth. Her work is informed by a lifetime commitment to meditation, sacred practices and personal inquiry. Currently a private palliative care consultant with Mettlehealth and a co-facilitator for Commonweal’s Cancer Care Help Program and Healing Circles, she is also a co-investigator/study therapist with a University of Washington study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and the Co-Founder/Program Director of The Humane Prison Hospice Project.

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Nikolaj Knub, MA

Nikolaj Knub is a philosopher and jungian psychotherapist based in Copenhagen. Besides offering individual therapy he facilitates workshops and offers rituals with ceremonial cacao and the use of active imagination. Currently Nikolaj is pursuing a long standing interest in eco-psychology and experimenting with ways in which to bring therapeutic practices out of the consulting room and into the wild.

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Simone Weit, MS, LPPC

Simone Weit, LPCC/LPC is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in both somatic and psychedelic assisted therapy. Having received a master’s degree in counseling psychology with a specialization in somatic psychotherapy, Simone has served clients a variety of settings including residential treatment, juvenile detention, high school student assistance programs, community behavioral health, crisis stabilization in a hospital setting, and private practice including running a Ketamine therapy practice. 

 

Simone has also developed and taught a trauma-informed yoga program for incarcerated girls and women, provided somatic therapies to clients at the Iboga Therapy House in British Columbia, and worked as a supervisor for the Zendo project. In addition to her professional work, Simone has also completed the MDMA Assisted Therapy training through MAPS andreceived training in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy through the Polaris Insight Center. Additional experience includes 20 years of working with and learning from Maestros in Peruvian plant medicine traditions. Simone is also a recognized visionary artist and a member of the Tribe 13 artist’s collective.

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Lela Mosemghvdlishvili, Ph.D.

Dr. L. (Lela) Mosemghvdlishvili is a transformative educator working on the intersections of academia, wisdom traditions, and embodied practices. Lela has served as a board member of the Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association (APRA) since 2017. At the University of Amsterdam, they designed and have been teaching an interdisciplinary elective project Critical Issues in Psychedelic Renessainsefor the past five years.   A notable part of Lela's life is devoted to the ongoing study and practice of Maha and Ati Yoga, experiential dancing, and regular silent retreats for introspection. These modalities are vital sources of insight and understanding to them. Lela is also an authorized Feeding Your Demons® facilitator, and meditation teacher.

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Mary Bredin, RN, MA

Mary is a psychotherapist with over 30 years experience of working in a variety of UK healthcare settings as a clinical supervisor, group facilitator, researcher, and educator. She specializes in helping people face loss and change, illness, and death, and is particularly interested in how nature connection, mindfulness, self-compassion, and vision quest rites of passage can support journeys of personal growth, transformation, and healing. In her spare time, she tends an old Cornish garden, which has lots of flowers and brambles. She swims in the sea all year round and loves to walk in wild places.

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Stephanie Van Hope, DNP, RN

Dr. Stephanie Van Hope, R.N., D.N.P., is a registered nurse, certified nurse coach, and doctor of nursing practice with experience in oncology, hospice, and health coaching. She served as a study guide for New York University’s Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety project, guiding cancer patients through psychedelic journeys with psilocybin, and offers a continuing education course for nurses entitled Nursing & Sacred Medicine: Introduction to Psychedelic Therapy. Stephanie is a Reiki practitioner and a student of yoga, meditation, shamanic healing, astrology, plant medicine, music, dance, and the sacred traditions of many faiths. She currently resides with her husband, son, and many animals in an intentional community in the Catskills region of New York.

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Access to a Growing Library of Bonus Workshops to Deepen Your Learning

In addition to weekly programming and monthly Live, Bonus Workshop and Q&A sessions, you will have access to a growing library of important conversations curated to enhance your learning beyond the core curriculum, including: 

History Lessons

A foundational part of understanding where we are today is understanding where we’ve come from. In this series of workshops, you will gain an overview of the history of psychedelics—from ancient to modern. You will gain a deeper understanding of the gifts and challenges of the current psychedelic renaissance that can serve to guide us towards a more global and holistic reimagining of the place of psychedelics in society today.  

  • A Brief History of Psychedelics with Jules Evans
  • From Curanderas to Clinicians: The History and Future of Psychedelic Therapy with Dr. Rosalind Watts
  • Psychedelic Lessons from Indigenous Mesoamerican Cultures with Osiris Sinuhé González Romero

The Business of Psychedelics

What will it take to make the burgeoning psychedelic industry responsible and regenerative? What is your role in this ever-expanding field? This series of workshops examines how we can maintain integrity and grow an industry in alignment with our values in the face of growing economic pressures. 

  • Leading With Integrity: Producing Well-Being through Generative Leadership & Economics with Rachel Aidan and Bennet Zelner
  • Understanding Career Opportunities in the Psychedelic Field with Myles Katz, Bennet Zelner, Tura Patterson, and Genesee Herzberg

The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling supports us in teaching, learning, and making meaning of our experiences—from the most humbling to the most inspirational. It allows us to share across time, language, and culture. In this series of workshops, you are supported to dive into the various tools to craft and tell a story, including guided exercises for embodying your experience.

  • The Power of Story with Richard Olivier
  • Sacred Technology: The Power of Ritual, Ceremony, and Storytelling with Rev. Mkali Carole Dansi, Ph.D.

The Healing Power of Nature

A core aspect of the Synthesis approach to psychedelic facilitation is a deep connection with and reverence for nature. These workshops take you from the philosophical to the practical in exploring how nature can be an integral partner in the healing process.

  • A Conversation With David Abram moderated by Martijn Schirp
  • Psyche & Nature with Dr. Rachel Lovie
  • Nature, Mysticism, and Psychedelics with Stefan Batorijs 

What Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training Participants are Saying:

“This is an exceptional program. Every single faculty has been amazing, without exception. I am so grateful for the level of care and integrity they bring.”

– Ondine Norman, Coach


“After 20 years of formal education, this was the first course that ever asked for true introspection, a broader look at my own biases and motivations, and specific ways of viewing the world. The faculty clearly care deeply and have put a great deal of thought into crafting a comprehensive and challenging program while building a safe learning environment. Also, I love my pod group and have already experienced my psychedelic social and professional circles expanding in very cool ways!” 

– Sarah Rhodes, MD


"This program really helped me connect with parts of myself that don't get enough attention—the mystical, magical, wild parts.”

– Lou Lukas, MD


Meet the Psychedelic Practitioner
Core Training
Faculty

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Faculty in the Embodied Wisdom Lens Includes:

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Camille Barton Director of the Collective Liberation Project and Somatics Educator

Camille (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and renegade researcher, working on the intersections of embodiment, drug policy, and healing justice. Camille is an advisor to MAPS as well as the head of Ecologies of Transformation (2021 - 2023), a masters programme at Sandberg Institute exploring how art making and embodiment can facilitate social change. 

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Staci Haines Somatics and Social Justice Pioneer

Staci Haines is a national leader in the field of somatics and creator of generative somatics, a resilience-based somatic approach integrating a social justice analysis. She is cofounder of two nonprofits: generative somatics, and generationFIVE, a community-based organization whose mission is to end the sexual abuse of children within five generations. She is also author of The Politics of Trauma: Somatics, Healing, and Social Justice and Healing Sex: A Mind Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma.

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Sara Reed Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Creative Executive

Sara Reed is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Creative Executive of Mind's iHealth Solutions, a mental health technology and service company that provides science-based services for those in need. As a mental health futurist and clinical researcher, Sara examines the ways culture informs how we diagnose and treat mental illness. Sara's prior research work includes participation as a study therapist in psychedelic therapy research at Yale University and the University of Connecticut's Health Center. Sara was the first Black therapist to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in a clinical trial and continues to engage in ongoing advocacy work around health equity in psychedelic medicine.

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Cognitive Icon

Faculty in the Cognitive Wisdom Lens Includes:

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Malynn Utzinger Director of Integrative Medicine and Cofounder of Usona Institute

Dr. Malynn Utzinger, is cofounder and director of integrative medicine at Usona Institute, a non-profit psychedelic medical research organization. She is also director of integrative practices for the international biotech company Promega. She combines her experience in medicine and research with contemplative and integrative approaches to mind-body health.

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Allison Feduccia Neuropharmacologist

Allison Feduccia, Ph.D., is a neuropharmacologist who has authored 28 publications on psychedelics and mental health in peer-reviewed journals. She began researching MDMA in 2004, accumulating 17 years of experience in mental health research at UT Austin, UCSF, NIH, and MAPS.

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Jasper Degenaars Hyphae Headmaster at Fungi Academy

Jasper Degenaars is the chief education officer at Fungi Academy in Guatemala. He has taught over 2,000 people how to successfully grow all kinds of mushrooms. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he believes that sacred mushrooms have the potential to deepen our connection with nature, ourselves, and our communities.

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Sacred Icon

Faculty in the Sacred Wisdom Lens Includes:

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Maestro José López Sánchez Shipibo Traditional Doctor

Maestro Jose Lopez Sanchez is a Shipibo Traditional doctor from Peru. From a young age, José was tapped by his grandfather to be a plant medicine healer. He specializes in protection, unblocking and releasing negative energies and finding the root of a situation, aligning and harmonizing the individual, whether in body, energy, or spirit. José directs his ceremonies and dietas with extreme tenderness, kindness, compassion, humility, and firmness. In addition to working in the Amazon, José travels the world sharing his wisdom.

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Julian Vayne Occultist, Psychonaut, Writer

Julian Vayne is a British independent scholar and author with over three decades of experience within esoteric culture: from Druidry to Chaos Magic, from indigenous Shamanism through to Freemasonry and Witchcraft. In 2001, he published one of the first books of the modern psychedelic renaissance, Pharmakon: Drugs and the Imagination. He is also author of Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony. Julian is a co-organizer of the psychedelic conference Breaking Convention, and a Trustee of The Psychedelic Museum Project. A founding member of the post-prohibition think-tank Transform, Julian also sits on the academic board of The Journal of Psychedelic Studies.

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Norma Nakai Burton Expert in Transformational Development

Norma Nakai Burton, M.Div., is a bridge builder between the practical worlds of social justice work and the mind expanding realms of evolutionary consciousness. A shadow integration expert, she is the creator of the Journey to Completion® model, a somatic-oriented process for healing deep-seated trauma. She has extensive training in depth psychology and Jungian analysis, and more than three decades of experience as a healer.

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Relational Wisdom

Faculty in the Relational Wisdom Lens Includes:

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Kylea Taylor Marriage and Family Therapist and Creator of InnerEthics®

Kylea Taylor is a Marriage and Family Therapist, consultant, and author of The Ethics of Caring, which won the 2018 Nautilus Book Award. She has been thinking, writing, and teaching about ethics for almost three decades. Kylea developed and teaches InnerEthics®, a self-reflective, self-compassionate approach to relational ethics which she now offers in psychedelic psychotherapy trainings.

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Meghan Kennedy Therapist and International Consultant

Meghan Kennedy, LCSW, is a 25-year veteran psychotherapist and international consultant specializing in complex trauma and transcultural treatment issues.  She is certified in psychedelic-assisted therapies & research, conflict mediation, and EMDR, with additional training in cross-cultural communication and community organizing.  Meghan approaches her work with individuals, families and communities, from a strengths perspective with a humanist/holistic set of lenses. Understanding and appreciating the resilience of the human spirit, Meghan believes in an integrative approach that recognizes our bio-psycho-social-spiritual nature and its profound healing intelligence.

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Al Jeffery Integrative Psychotherapist & Founder of The Base Between

Al Jeffery is a meditation teacher, integrative psychotherapist, and group facilitator, Al has supported thousands of people around the world in restoring connection in their lives, leadership, and communities.  Al was listed in the Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 in Australia twice in a row and has since become a trusted guide to for-purpose teams and leaders. As a queer man, haiku poet, leadership virtuoso, and martial artist, Al’s love for integrating the diverse and transgressive are alive in all he touches.

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Our Faculty also includes members of The Synthesis Institute Team:

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Rachel Aidan Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Aidan, M.Arts, is a serial entrepreneur, conscious business and leadership coach, speaker, and conscious social change facilitator with nearly 20 years of experience working with clients across the U.S., Europe, and East Africa. She is currently working on a doctoral degree in integral/transpersonal psychology.

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Frederica Helmiere Program Director

Frederica is a designer and facilitator of transformational learning experiences -- in classrooms, workplaces, community groups, and in the backcountry. Fascinated by the ways that consciousness, worldviews and discourses change and expand, she has spent the past twenty years exploring the tools available to respond to civilizational crises, especially the modern west's loss of the sacred.

Frederica holds masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of the Environment, and a BA from Dartmouth College in Religion & Environmental studies. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer, taught 22 distinct university level courses at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and worked as a global interfaith peacebuilder at the United Religions Initiative. Prior to Synthesis Frederica served as Director of Education at Spiritual Directors International, designing online learning experiences for advanced spiritual professionals. An avid backpacker, triathlete and mountain enthusiast, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters.

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Rachel Lovie Assistant Program Director

Rachel Lovie, Ph.D., is an experienced teacher and guide. Her work explores the centrality of many ways of knowing in transformational experience and learning. She is a member of the Wilderness Guides Council and is cofounder of Obsidian: Paths with Heart, an organization offering psyche and nature workshops and retreats.

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Timothy Crespi Admissions, Assessments, and Credentialing Lead

Timothy Crespi is the admissions, assessments, and credentialing lead at The Synthesis Institute. He is a somatic therapist, community organizer, and educator working in the areas of psychedelic harm reduction, psychedelic therapy, and psychedelic training programs. Timothy oversees a collective of private practitioners called Somatic Center Portland in Portland, Oregon. He holds degrees in Contemplative Psychology, Environmental studies, and Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University and is a founding member of OPTA, the Oregon Psilocybin Training Alliance.

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Daan Keiman Director of Program and Product Development and Lead Facilitator, Retreats

Daan Keiman is lead facilitator and director of ethics and advocacy at the Synthesis Institute and co-founder of Guild of Guides Netherlands. He has more than a decade of experience guiding and caring for people in altered states of consciousness and maintains a private practice as a Psychedelic Chaplain.

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James Clifton Lead Facilitator, Retreats

James Clifton is the lead facilitator at the Synthesis Institute. With more than three decades of practice as an integral psychotherapist and counselor, he has extensive experience working with trauma, addiction, and non-ordinary states of consciousness, both in individuals and groups.

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Lesley Quitly Co-Lead Facilitator, Retreats

Lesley Quilty is a creative consultant, facilitator, coach, and trainer based in the Findhorn Community in Scotland. She has more than 20 years of experience in professional theater and is a senior program director at Olivier Mythodrama, a leadership consultancy that fuses arts and theater-based tools with archetypes. As a professional clown, she works with children with life-threatening illnesses and creates customized clown pieces for educational and environmental events. 

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THE 13-MONTH PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER CORE TRAINING

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR OCTOBER 2022 TRAINING

TRAINING TUITION: $9,997*

Limited-Time Discount

Enroll by Thursday, October 20th and Save $500 on Tuition

There Are Two (2) Payment Options for You to Select From

PAY IN FULL

$9.997

NOW $9,497

SAVE $500

12 PAYMENTS

$11,197

$933 per payment

Interested in the training but have questions? Click here to schedule a Discovery Session with a Synthesis Personal Advisor.

 

*Financial scholarships are not currently available. If you are in need of a scholarship in order to participate in the training, please do not start your application and instead click here to be added to our scholarship interest list.

PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER CORE TRAINING

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Who is this training program designed for?

The Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training is designed for individuals with diverse backgrounds, with or without direct experiences with non-ordinary states of consciousness, who demonstrate maturity, commitment, focus, and the desire to engage with the training program and members of their assigned pod groups. In addition, the curriculum is designed for those who are open-minded and curious, committed to personal connection and care, and who want to develop an understanding of (and are open to challenging) the meaning-making systems they and others hold.

Do I need to be a credentialed therapist or life coach to apply for the training?

No. The Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training is open to those with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of professional experience, regardless of profession.

Is there an age minimum?

Yes, you must be 18 years old to participate in the training.

Do I need to have had a personal experience with psychedelics and/or a non-ordinary state of consciousness to participate in the training?

No. Personal experience with psychedelics or other non-ordinary states of consciousness is not required to participate in the training, though many of our participants have had previous experience(s) with psychedelics or have had non-psychedelic induced experiences of non-ordinary states of consciousness (e.g., through meditation, childbirth, drumming or dancing rituals, etc.).

Do you make accommodations for persons who are differently-abled?

The Synthesis Institute is committed to accessibility and inclusivity. If you have a specific concern, please contact us at support@synthesisisnstitute.com so that we may make every effort to make accommodations to support you.

If I have questions about the training and whether or not it is a good fit for me, can I speak to someone who can help me assess this?

Yes. Our team of Personal Advisors can answer your questions and help you determine if this training is a good fit for your needs. You can schedule a 15-minute Exploration Session here. Once you select the date and time and confirm your session, you will receive an email confirming your appointment and details with connection instructions for this Zoom session. 

What kinds of people can I expect in my pod group? What if my pod group is not a good fit for me?

Each pod of eight to 10 participants is composed of diverse individuals representing a variety of professions, geographic locations, life experiences, and stages of professional development. Each pod is held by a Learning Facilitator who creates and holds the container so that you can develop meaningful, professional, peer relationships and so deep, integrated learning can occur. 

 

The pod groups provide an opportunity to work with a varied group of people who support you to experience and learn from different approaches to psychedelic work and different personality types. This will ultimately help you prepare your toolbox with multi-faceted skills, and enhance your ability to work with a diverse range of clients. The program team is available to support you to fully integrate into your pod, and, if need be, we have conflict resolution protocols in place if a problem arises.

If I don't enroll in the program now, when will it be available again?

As psychedelics are making significant progress on their path to legalization in the United States and other countries, psychedelic-supported services and psychedelic facilitators may soon be in high demand. Although we intend to continue offering this training multiple times a year throughout the unfolding of these regulatory processes, we cannot guarantee that the current version of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training will be available in the future. We regularly update our educational offerings based on our continued efforts to keep pace with new research studies, safety, and ethical best practices, and our program offerings may change as a result.  

How many people do you expect to enroll in the program?

This program is designed to provide a personalized and deeply introspective educational journey. You will learn in a pod group of eight to 10  participants guided by a skilled Learning Facilitator. We find this group size to be small enough for intimacy, yet large enough to ensure a well-rounded and diverse learning experience. While most of your interactions will be with your pod group, our online digital platform, Circle, gives you the opportunity to meet and network with graduates and participants from other pod groups.  

What makes Synthesis different from other psychedelic training programs?

The Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training was developed from the experience gleaned from facilitating more than 800 individual psychedelic journeys within group settings; partnerships; and research collaborations with prominent universities. We believe the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training represents a unique, interdisciplinary approach to psychedelic facilitation. Its wisdom-rich, somatically-informed, heart-centered approach to facilitation is unique in the psychedelic landscape and sets our graduates apart from conventional programs focused on psychedelic therapy. 

 

This program is uniquely focused on deep self-exploration inside the strong container of small group learning, which allows participants to consciously develop the single most important instrument for psychedelic facilitation: themselves. This highly experiential, personal, and research-backed approach to modern psychedelic facilitation distinguishes The Synthesis Institute’s educational offerings from those offered by others. 

Fees, Tuition & Scholarships

What is the tuition for the training program?

Tuition for the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training is $9,997. There are two payment options for you to select from: 

  • Pay $8,997 in full and save $1,000
  • Or, pay $11,197 in 12- installments of $933

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, we have a 12- month tuition payment plan option available which divides the tuition fee of $11,197 into 12 installments of $933.

What payment methods do you accept?

The program tuition can be paid by credit card (Visa and Mastercard) or bank transfer ($8,997 in full). If you select the 12-month payment plan, you will be charged $933 upon confirming your enrollment with the 11 remaining payments charged to the same card every 30 days. 

Do you offer scholarships?

Financial scholarships are not currently available. If you are in need of a scholarship in order to participate in the training, please do not start your application and instead click here to be added to our scholarship interest list.

Program Details

Who are the instructors for this training?

The Synthesis Institute’s approach to understanding psychedelics and relating to the psychedelic journey honors many ways of knowing. As such, we have curated a group of educators with a wide array of viewpoints, including external guest faculty and in-house faculty to support your learning. We are actively collaborating to elevate innovative and diverse voices, so you can expect to see new names added to the faculty roster throughout the training.

Here is a list of our current faculty.

Who are the Learning Facilitators for this training?

Our Learning Facilitators are highly experienced and skilled practitioners who have been selected for their depth of expertise and ability to adeptly manage a small group learning space. Each Learning Facilitator receives additional training from Synthesis in holding the container and how to transform a Zoom room into a high-connected space where learning, connection, and discovery can occur.

Is the retreat experience in the Netherlands included as part of the training program and tuition fee?

Retreat programs are separate from the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training and are not included in the tuition fee. Participants of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training can participate in the Expansion retreat program (pending the submission and approval of a Health Screening Questionnaire) in order to experience The Synthesis Institute’s way of facilitating psychedelic-supported group retreat programs firsthand. These programs may include other students from the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training as well as members of the general public. 

What is the attendance policy?

Undergoing a training program of this scope and duration requires a significant commitment. Participants must attend a minimum of 80% of the pod sessions in order to receive a certificate of completion. Our expectation is that you will attend every pod session; however, we understand that it may on occasion not be possible to do so. In the case(s) where you are unable to attend, we expect that you will communicate in a responsible and timely fashion with your learning facilitator and group members and that you will have watched the associated recording to stay in sync with your fellow students. Accommodations can be made for circumstances outside of the regular scheduling conflicts, e.g. vacations, illness, standing work conflicts, etc. 



How much time commitment does the program require on a weekly and monthly basis?

We anticipate you will need to dedicate five to seven hours per week, or 20 to 28 hours per month, for class time and assignments. Ideally, you will also spend one hour a day in personal practices that are meaningful to you.

Is a health screening required to participate in the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training?

No. You will not be required to pass a health screening to be accepted into the training. However, you will be required to submit a Health Screening Questionnaire and have that approved by our health team prior to participating in the Expansion retreat program, which is separate from the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training.

Will the training help participants understand what is required for starting a psychedelic business?

Because psychedelics remain illegal in most places in the world, we do not provide explicit information about starting a psychedelic business. The topic is occasionally addressed in our curriculum, typically in Live, Monthly Bonus Workshop and Q&A sessions.

Does the training cover how to facilitate psychedelic experiences with other substances besides truffles containing psilocybin?

The training is focused on psilocybin as Synthesis Institute uses truffles containing psilocybin in its retreat programs. The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training is not inclusive of modules that support specific understanding or knowledge about working with other substances. Occasional guest faculty presentations and panel discussions may include or address other substances, but we are not committed to thorough coverage of all psychedelics in our training. 

Sometimes, participants have had experiences with other psychedelic substances, and they report that the training has been supportive to them and their skill-building as facilitators even if they practice with a different substance. Also, please note that we do not use mushrooms in the Netherlands. We work with truffles containing psilocybin in our retreats in the Netherlands. You will learn the exact difference between the two in the first content module, Meet the Mushroom.

Can I speak with faculty members directly?

The core curriculum of the program includes pre-recorded presentations by the faculty. Some faculty are willing to be contacted directly and we include that information with the recording of their presentation if they have made themselves available in this capacity.

Each month we offer a Live, Monthly Bonus Workshop and Q&A session. These optional, interactive events offer you the chance to learn from and ask questions directly of the faculty. 

How do we avoid cultural appropriation when teaching or integrating wisdom traditions and practices into the program?

The Synthesis Institute’s interdisciplinary approach welcomes both contemporary and wisdom-rich perspectives and faculty. We recruit a variety of speakers from wisdom traditions to speak with their own voice and in their own language. We also have a rigorous practice of attributing and crediting the content we incorporate into the training and refraining from presenting material if it cannot be attributed properly. 

Certification and Professional Opportunities

What does Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training qualify me for professionally? 

The surge of professional pathways for psychedelic practitioners is dependent on the unfolding regulatory processes and the increase in demand for psychedelic facilitators, which is expected to multiply over the next few years. 

Those who complete the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training will have gained well-rounded relational, theoretical, and foundational skills, including how to build a strong container able to hold space for others.

Upon successful completion of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training training, you are eligible to apply and be considered for various supervised roles in the field, including, for example, Retreat Assistant at The Synthesis Institute, positions with clinical trials, or jobs in other psychedelic organizations. 

Furthermore, the experiential, introspective, and collaborative nature of this program allows anyone who currently works with clients to deepen their understanding of themselves and become a knowledgeable, embodied, and intuitive facilitator who is deeply rooted in personal exploration and reflection. This acquired spaciousness allows participants to develop a more authentic, personalized, and multi-faceted approach to the work with their clients while ensuring adherence to the highest ethical and safety standards.

Does certification authorize me to practice as a psychedelic facilitator or therapist?

The Synthesis Institute is not a licensing body and as such can not authorize you to practice as a psychedelic facilitator or therapist. We are committed to the safe and legal use of psychedelics and urge participants to follow local and national laws.

If it doesn’t prepare me to practice on my own, what does the training prepare me for?

Our training does not provide everything required to practice as a psychedelic facilitator immediately upon completion. While some of our students may have sufficient background and experience to facilitate psychedelic sessions or offer other related services (where it is legal) after completing our program, we expect most students will need additional training, apprenticeship, and mentorship. 

Does this training make me eligible to work for Synthesis?

Yes. Completing the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training makes you eligible to apply and be considered for various supervised roles in the field, including, for example, the role of Retreat Assistant at The Synthesis Institute. 

Retreat Assistants assist in the operations of the retreat experience to ensure that the retreat runs smoothly and support retreat guests and fellow team members by creating a safe, comfortable, and well-resourced experience. They do not facilitate psychedelic experiences with clients. 

If you participate in an Expansion retreat program and complete a Practicum in addition to the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training, you will be eligible to apply for the position of Retreat Facilitator at The Synthesis Institute.

Do I have to take this training to apply for a job at Synthesis?

No. This program is not a prerequisite for working with The Synthesis Institute. If you are interested in working with our Retreat Team, this program provides sufficient training for you to apply for a Retreat Assistant role. Completion of the program does not guarantee you will be hired by Synthesis.

When and how are certificates of completion awarded?

Once you have completed the requirements of the program and demonstrated consistent ethical and professional integrity, including receiving a final assessment, you will be awarded your certificate in a virtual completion ceremony.