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The Synthesis Institute | Presents

Psychedelic Practitioner Training

A 18-Month Professional Certification Program Apply Now

ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN FOR APRIL 2022

Accepting Applications Through Sunday, February 6th

As Psychedelics Move Into Mainstream Culture,

the Need for Thoughtful, Well-Informed Practitioners 

to Safely and Responsibly Steward This Shift 

Has Never Been Greater

 

ARE YOU READY TO DEVELOP THE SKILLS REQUIRED TO 
CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CRITICAL MOMENT?

After decades of demonization and criminalization, psychedelics are on the brink of becoming mainstream. With numerous well-respected institutions dedicating significant resources to advancing research around the potential benefits of psychedelics, and governments taking a close and careful look at antiquated drug laws, a psychedelic renaissance is upon us.  

 

With these decriminalization and research advances comes a growing anticipation about the potential health and wellness benefits of psychedelics and increased demand for access from people eager to experience their promise.

 

 

The stakes in the burgeoning psychedelic industry 
are high, and the responsibility of ensuring 
well-trained psychedelic professionals are 
adhering to safe, effective, and ethical protocols 
has never been greater. 

Which is why The Synthesis Institute created the Psychedelic Practitioner Training, a first-of-its-kind, 18-month educational journey, designed for professionals in the fields of health, wellness, and personal transformation who are seeking a science-informed, heart-centered approach to psychedelic facilitation.

 

The Synthesis institute's Psychedelic Practitioner Training


  • Includes Nine (9) modules of coursework, a five (5) day Immersion Retreat experience in the Netherlands, and a 50-hour practicum 
  • Ensures a cohesive, highly-focused educational experience by assigning all participants to a small pod of eight (8) students under the guidance of a skilled learning facilitator
  • Welcomes licensed therapists as well as health and wellness practitioners of other modalities with a minimum of five (5) years of professional experience
  • Offers experiential-based learning with an interdisciplinary approach that includes the study of scientific and wisdom traditions as well as the development of personal practices and professional skills
  • Connects you to current and future psychedelic professionals who together are shaping this emerging field

Since 2018, The Synthesis Institute has guided more than 800 people in safe, legal, group and individual psychedelic journeys. This 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, intuitive facilitator is rooted in deep personal exploration, and this spaciousness allows for you to develop an authentic, personalized, and multi-faceted approach to the work.

 

Join us for a professional training that will change you and make a positive impact in the lives of your clients while also reshaping the future of health and wellness.

Training With The Synthesis Institute
Offers More Than Just Another Credential

The personal changes you will make during
the training will allow you to relate to your
clients in a more effective way.

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 a 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.

 

You will also have the opportunity to experience the power of a group psychedelic experience using truffles containing psilocybin as part of your own transformational work. This portion of the training is delivered through Synthesis Retreats in the Netherlands.

 

In addition, our small group learning approach of eight (8) students per one 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 answers the call for an integrated, informed 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 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 

  • Be exposed to long 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 becoming familiar with the limits of your current capabilities

  • Establish a consistent personal practice and commit 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 start an ongoing commitment to developing anti-oppressive and pro-equity practices

  • Become aware of the need to create culturally sensitive containers and ceremonies, as well as understand ways to increase access to psychedelic care for traditionally underserved, oppressed, and/ or marginalized communities

  • Deepen your understanding of the ethical questions around cultural appropriation, extractivism, restorative justice, and generative reciprocity

  • Participate in two (2) truffles containing psilocybin experiences during a five (5) day Immersion Retreat in the Netherlands

  • Explore multiple avenues and ways to work within the psychedelic space—including collaborative opportunities made possible through Synthesis-facilitated partnerships


    Please be aware that earning a certificate from the Psychedelic Practitioner Training with The Synthesis Institute does not authorize you to lead or facilitate psychedelic journeys. Learn more.

The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Training was designed to provide you access to leading-edge research, resources, and approaches to guiding clients through safe, legal, and ethical psychedelic journeys with truffles containing psilocybin.

The Training is Designed for Health, Wellness and Personal Development Professionals

Admission Is By Application Only

There is a four (4) step application process to be considered for admission into the training, and certain prerequisites are required for all participants.

The Psychedelic Practitioner Training Application Process Overview

 

Enrollment Infographic

 

Training participants must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Five (5) years of full-time professional experience (or equivalent) working with individuals or groups in one or more of the following roles:
    • Psychedelic practitioners
    • Healthcare workers
    • Mental health professionals
    • Counselors
    • Healing arts professionals
    • Spiritual care workers
    • Community leaders and/or advocates
    • Related professional experience that includes facilitating for personal transformation
    • More details here
  • Three (3) prior experiences with psychedelics and/or non-ordinary states of consciousness. More details here.
  • Clean criminal history free of any violent felonies
    • A criminal background check is required as part of Step Three of the application process. Minor “war on drug” misdemeanors will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
THE 18-MONTH PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER TRAINING IS

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS THROUGH SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6th AT MIDNIGHT PT

TRAINING TUITION: $21,500*

There Are Three (3) Payment Options for You to Select From

PAY IN FULL:

$19,350

(SAVE 10%)

6 PAYMENTS:

$22,100

$3,684 per payment

12 PAYMENTS:

$22,700

$1,892 per payment

START YOUR APPLICATION HERE

*An additional $1,000 (plus applicable VAT) will be charged for the Immersion Retreat and payable to Synthesis, B.V. prior to participation in the five (5) day Immersion Retreat portion of the training.

 

If you could benefit from the support of a financial scholarship, click here to be added to our scholarship interest list.

Here’s What Leaders in the Psychedelic Space Say About The 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.”

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris

Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London

“Legal, professionally-organized retreats and trainings like 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 centres 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 Training Curriculum Honors Many Ways of Knowing With Our Four (4) 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. 

 

many-ways-diagram-edited-01

 

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.

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. 

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.

 

RELATIONAL WISDOM

Life happens in relationship. 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. 

 

THE Psychedelic practitioner

Training

A 18-Month Journey 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 (8) students plus a learning facilitator. These will be your learning companions for the training and, we hope, for a lifetime. 

The training follows this rhythm:

  • WELCOME AND ORIENTATION: Our program begins April 18th, 2022. The first two (2) weeks you will watch a variety of videos to orient you to the program. You will also meet in person with your 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 12 months, with monthlong breaks in August 2022 and December 2022.
  • 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 nine (9) modules of coursework, and during the Immersion Retreat and assessment periods, you will meet weekly with your pod group for 2.5 hours. 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 six (6) to eight (8) hours per week.
  • MONTHLY LIVE, INTERACTIVE BONUS WORKSHOPS (OPTIONAL): Enjoy talks and Q&A sessions from a rotating roster of thought leaders, wisdom elders, and visionaries.
  • IMMERSION RETREAT: At the end of the nine (9) coursework modules, you will travel to the Netherlands to experience a five (5) day Immersion Retreat firsthand. Details (including exact dates) will be announced when they are available.
  • ASSESSMENT: After the conclusion of the nine (9) coursework modules and the Immersion Retreat, you will participate in a month-long assessment period during which your peers and your learning facilitator will review your portfolio of assignments.
  • 50-HOUR PRACTICUM: Following successful completion of the nine (9) coursework modules and the Immersion Retreat, we will support you in finding a placement where you can get hands-on experience in psychedelic work. You will have three (3) months to complete your practicum.
  • CLOSING & COMPLETION: Following the successful completion of your practicum, you will be eligible to receive your Psychedelic Practitioner Training completion certificate and attend a final celebration to recognize your achievement.

 

See the training calendar schedule here.

 

The psychedelic practitioner

training

Coursework Overview
PREPARING THE SOIL: Welcome and Orientation

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. 

MODULE ONE: Meet The Mushroom

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.

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

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.

MODULE THREE: 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.

MODULE FOUR: Healing, Trauma, and the Body

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.

MODULE FIVE: Key Elements of Preparation

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. 

MODULE SIX: Screening for Readiness and Safety

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.

MODULE SEVEN: Navigating Uncharted Territory

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.

MODULE EIGHT: 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.

Module One Image9

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. 

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

A unique component of the Psychedelic Practitioner Training is the small group learning experience. You will move through the program in groups of eight (8) 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 nine (9) coursework modules, the Immersion Retreat, and the assessment period. (Note that pods do not continue during the Practicum.)

 

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 group sessions will be held on the following days/times for the training that begins in April 2022. Pod groups will meet (except during official breaks) through May 2023.

 

Wednesdays* at 1:30 a.m. PT / 4:30 a.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. UTC / 10:30 a.m. CET  

Thursdays* at 9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. UTC / 6:30 p.m. CET 

Thursdays* at 3:00 p.m. PT / 6:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 p.m. UTC / 12:00 a.m. CET 

 

*All weekly live group sessions are 2.5 hours in length. You will be assigned a pod group and live session training day/time as part of the final enrollment process once your application is approved.

 

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 registrations.

Meet Some of the Psychedelic Practitioner Training Learning Facilitators

Karen Welch


Karen is a coach, mentor, group facilitator, shadow consultant, supervisor, and embodiment practitioner. She is a guide for learning to ‘lean’ into the field of awareness to encourage lasting transformation. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in change agent skills and strategies from Surrey University.

Anja Loizaga-Velder, PH.D.


Anja Loizaga-Velder, Ph.D., 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.

Timothy Crespi


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. 

Experience a Psychedelic Journey Firsthand
During the Immersion Retreat

To successfully guide others through journeys into liminal spaces, it is important that you walk those paths yourself, with the support of experienced, knowledgeable guides.

 

Unique to our Psychedelic Practitioner Training program is the opportunity for you to experience a five (5) day Immersion Retreat* in the Netherlands, where truffles containing psilocybin are legal.


You will:

    • Experience firsthand The Synthesis Institute’s safe, legal, multimodal, and interdisciplinary model of psychedelic retreats

    • Gain personal experience with different doses of truffles containing psilocybin in two (2) psychedelic ceremonies

    • Develop an experiential understanding of the role that self-reflection, connection with community, nature, and mystical experiences play in healing

    • Deepen personal and professional ties with the students in your cohort

    • Observe and learn from skilled practitioners as you experience one-on-one facilitation in preparation and integration as well as group facilitation on-site for the ceremony

*The five (5) day Immersion Retreat is run by Synthesis Retreat B.V. Payment for the Immersion Retreat will be made separately and is payable to Synthesis Retreat B.V. 

 

Get Hands-On Experience
With a 50-Hour Practicum

After a period of deep study and personal exploration that culminates in a group psychedelic experience at Synthesis, your journey to becoming a psychedelic practitioner is ready for the next step—practical experience.

 

Much like finding an internship while at college or university, you will be responsible for securing a safe and legal opportunity to get 50 hours of hands-on experience in the field. We encourage you to get creative and follow your heart as you think about the best way to bring the empathic abiding presence that you have cultivated throughout the year out into the world. 

 

You may wish to:

  • Assist at a psychedelic retreat center
  • Volunteer at a harm reduction center and/ or event
  • Shadow someone in private clinical practice
  • Work with an emerging psychedelic business
  • Assist with a preparation or integration group
  • Volunteer with a screening team
  • Find placement with a clinical trial
  • Participate as a sitter in a group psychedelic ceremony

We are available to support you in your search for an opportunity by making connections with our growing network of institutions and organizations, when possible. If we do not have a connection with a group you are interested in working with, we will be happy to provide a letter of introduction for you to use. All practicum placements must be pre-approved by Synthesis.

 

During your practicum experience, you will receive guidance and oversight from an on-site practicum supervisor. At the completion of your practicum hours, we will send an evaluation form directly to your practicum supervisor. In addition, you will be asked to complete an assignment related to your experience.

THE PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER

training

Bonus Modules

In addition to weekly programming and monthly live, interactive bonus workshops, you will have access to a growing library of modules on themes that enhance your learning beyond the core curriculum. 

 

These include:

 

HISTORY LESSONS

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 Conversation With David Abram moderated by Martijn Schirp
  • Psyche & Nature with Dr. Rachel Lovie

What Psychedelic Practitioner 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 Training Faculty

DAVID ABRAM, PH.D. Cultural Ecologist and Philosopher

David Abram, Ph.D., the founder and creative director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics, is a cultural ecologist and philosopher who thinks deeply and writes eloquently about the causes and consequences of environmental disarray and the possibilities for a better future. David's work has helped catalyze the emergence of several new disciplines, including the field of ecopsychology. He is author of Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous.

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RACHEL AIDAN Chief Executive Officer at The Synthesis Institute

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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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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STEFAN BATORIJS Director of Ecotherapy at The Synthesis Institute

Stefan Batorijs is director of ecotherapy at The Synthesis Institute. A pioneer of ecotherapy in the UK in the early 1990s, Stefan was responsible for setting up the highly acclaimed Ecotherapy Project with Plymouth NHS. He is the founder of Nature and Therapy UK, which offers coaching, therapy, and training in Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing).

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ALEXANDER BELSER, PH.D. Chief Clinical Officer at Cybin

Dr. Alex Belser serves as the chief clinical officer at Cybin and is an investigator in psychedelic research trials at Yale University. He is also the founding President of Nautilus Sanctuary, the first nonprofit center for psychedelic medicine on the east coast.

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NORMA NAKAI BURTON, M.Div. Creator of the Journey to Completion®

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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MKALI R. CAROLE CEO and Founder of House of Sommeliers

ine) woman, holistic sommelier, and modern griot, she is an expert on African ancestral traditions, plant medicines, and non-duality. She has more than two decades of experience as retreat ceremony leader, reverend, spiritual coach, educator, Table Talk facilitator, bodyworker, energy worker, and sacred ceremony facilitator.

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JAMES CLIFTON Integral Psychotherapist and Lead Facilitator at The Synthesis Institute

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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TIMOTHY CRESPI Psychotherapist and Admissions, Assessments, and Credentialing Lead at The Synthesis Institute

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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DAVID ERRITZOE, M.D., Ph.D., MRCPsych Psychopharmacological Researcher and Clinical Senior Lecturer

David Erritzoe, M.D., Ph.D., MRSCPsych, is a clinical senior lecturer in general psychiatry in Centres for Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. He is also heading up the CNW–Imperial Psychopharmacology & Psychedelic Research (CIPPRes) Clinic, a collaborative, multidisciplinary initiative between Imperial College London and Central & North West London Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust that aims to deliver exciting new experimental psychopharmacology research that could have a major positive impact in mental health and neuroscience.

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JULES EVANS Writer, Speaker, and Practical Philosopher

Jules Evans is a writer, speaker, and practical philosopher. He is author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, The Art of Losing Control, and Holiday from the Self. He is also co-editor of Breaking Open: Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency.

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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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ADRIAN HARRIS, PH.D. Director of Ecopsychology at The Synthesis Institute

Adrian Harris, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, ecopsychologist, and embodiment theorist. He has devoted his life to facilitating nature connection, drawing on spirituality, art, activism, and academia. He is the lead editor of the European Journal of Ecopsychology and has published work on ecotherapy, mindfulness, embodied knowing, and the power of place. In his private practice, he integrates ancient spiritual traditions with the latest research in ecopsychology.

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DAAN KEIMAN Lead Facilitator and Director of Ethics and Advocacy at The Synthesis Institute

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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RACHEL LOVIE PH.D. Nature-Based Rites-of-Passage Guide and Director of Education at The Synthesis Institute

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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RYUSHIN MARCHAJ Zen Teacher

Ryushin Marchaj, MD, is a Zen teacher with nearly four decades of experience studying and teaching the Dharma. In 2014, he began a systematic study of the relationship between Buddhist teachings and ceremonial medicine use, primarily with ayahuasca and psilocybin.

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LESLEY QUILTY Creative Consultant, Executive Coach, and Clown

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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OSIRIS SINUHÉ GONZÁLEZ ROMERO, PH.D. Professor and Researcher on the Philosophy of Psychedelics and Indigenous Knowledge

Osiris Sinuhé González Romero is a founding member of Via Synapsis, an academic society focused on the organization of the University Congress of Psychoactive Substances hosted by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. His research interests include: philosophy of psychedelics, history of medicine, indigenous knowledge, decolonial theory, political philosophy, heritage studies, and aesthetics.

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LICIA SKY Co-founder and the CEO of the Trauma Research Foundation

Licia is an Embodied Awareness Facilitator, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing, and voice as tools for attunement, healing, and connection.

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MALYNN UTZINGER, M.D. 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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JULIAN VAYNE Occultist, Psychonaut, and 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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ANJA LOIZAGA-VELDER, PH.D. Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Anja Loizaga-Velder, Ph.D., 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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ROSALIND WATTS, PH.D. Clinical Advisor at The Synthesis Institute

Dr. Rosalind Watts, PhD, is clinical advisor for the Synthesis Institute and former clinical lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at Imperial College London. She is creator of the psychedelic therapy model Accept, Connect, Embody, Restore (ACER) and has a particular interest in the therapeutic role of nature and community as support for psychedelic therapy.

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BENNET ZELNER, PH.D. Psychedelic Economist

Bennet A. Zelner, Ph.D., researches, teaches, and advises on regenerative economics, community well-being production, and institutional change. He serves as Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. Bennet has published his work in top-tier academic journals and is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars. He advises organizations engaged in the development of regenerative approaches and the production of well-being, including Transformative Capital Institute, Usona Institute, The Synthesis Institute, Sage Integrative Health, Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, Nautilus Psychedelic Medicine Institute, Virgils.io, and Psychedelic.Support. Bennet received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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THE 18-MONTH PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER TRAINING IS

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS THROUGH SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6th AT MIDNIGHT PT

TRAINING TUITION: $21,500*

There Are Three (3) Payment Options for You to Select From

PAY IN FULL:

$19,350

(SAVE 10%)

6 PAYMENTS:

$22,100

$3,684 per payment

12 PAYMENTS:

$22,700

$1,892 per payment

START YOUR APPLICATION HERE

*An additional $1,000 (plus applicable VAT) will be charged for the Immersion Retreat and payable to Synthesis, B.V. prior to participation in the five (5) day Immersion Retreat portion of the training.

 

If you could benefit from the support of a financial scholarship, click here to be added to our scholarship interest list.

PSYCHEDELIC PRACTITIONER TRAINING

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Who is this course designed for?

Candidates must have a minimum (or the equivalent of) five (5) years of full-time professional experience working with individuals or groups in one or more of the following areas:

 

  • Psychedelics: Professional experience leading others on journeys into non-ordinary states of consciousness, including providing preparation and integration care. Underground work is acceptable. 
  • Healthcare: Professional experience as a healthcare worker with accreditation, including M.D., D.O., C.N.A., R.N.A., L.N.P., P.T., R.D., N.D., B.S.N., Pharm.D., etc. 
  • Mental Health: Professional licensed/ accredited mental health professional with oversight by an accredited body, inclusive of social workers. Must have a minimum designation of masters’ degree. 
  • Counseling: Professional certification as a counselor, including A.A.D.C., L.P.C.C./L.P.C., L.A.A.D.C. with M.A., L.M.F.T., J.D., etc.
  • Healing Arts: Professional experience as a healer in accredited fields with certification, including practices like traditional chinese medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, and somatic or body-based therapies. Or experienced in indigenous/ traditional healing practices, e.g., curanderas. 
  • Spirituality/ Religion: Professional experience as a clergy, chaplain, pastoral care worker, or as a hospice/ end-of-life care worker. 
  • Community Leadership & Advocacy: Local-based leaders working actively with their community, including YMCA leaders, nonprofit leaders, and community organizers working on issues like trauma, grief, racial and social justice, etc.
  • Related Professional Experience: We recognize additional professional experiences, including, but not limited to: doulas, professional or life coaches, non-psychedelic teachers/ facilitators (e.g., meditation, yoga, breathwork, tantra, fasting, men’s/women’s work, vision quest, etc.), and other roles with experience leading/ facilitating individuals or groups through personal transformation or crises.

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

No. Our training is designed for both licensed and non-licensed practitioners. Our application process is open to and inclusive of all backgrounds and experiences.

Is there an age minimum?

Yes, you must be 18 years old to enroll.

What types of psychedelics meet the prior experience criteria?

  • LSD and similar “designer molecules,” such as LSZ, ALD-52, ALAD, 1p-LSD, etc.
  • Psilocybin-containing mushrooms, truffles, or mycelium
  • Psilocybin and similar “designer molecules,” such as 4-ACO-DMT
  • Ayahuasca
  • DMT
  • Bufo alvarius toad secretion
  • 5-MeO-DMT and similar “designer molecules” 
  • Mescaline-containing cacti
  • Mescaline and similar “designer molecules”
  • 2c-b and similar “designer molecules”
  • Iboga
  • Ibogaine

 

What types of non-ordinary states of consciousness meet the prior experience criteria?

  • An intentional vision quest of at least three days 
  • An intentional fast of at least three days
  • A 10-day silent vipassana retreat
  • A five (5) day sesshin or comparable silent contemplative retreat
  • A three (3) day darkness retreat
  • One breathwork retreat of at least three (3) days
  • A spontaneously occurring mystical experience
  • A traditional dieta with a plant lasting at least two (2) weeks
  • Participation in a multi-day, intentional, ritualistic suffering ceremony
  • Participation in a multi-day traditional or modern (indigenous) ceremonial or ritual activity, such as but not limited to:
    • Sun Dance
    • Sweat Lodge
    • Rapeh (also known as rapé, rapèh)
    • Trance Drumming
    • Sacred Dance
    • An intentional, community-based grief ritual (with or without sacrements)
    • Experience with one of the following substances:
    • Ketamine and Methoxetamine (intentional/ritualistic high dose use)
    • Cannabis (intentional/ ritualistic and high dose use)
    • MDMA (intentional/ therapeutic use)
    • Any other experience that you feel has very strong similarities to a psychedelic experience

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

Audio and written transcripts are available for persons with sight or hearing disabilities. The Synthesis Institute is committed to accessibility and inclusivity. If you have a specific concern, please contact us at support@synthesissnstitute.com so that we may make every effort to make accommodations to support you.

I have some questions I need answered before I make a decision about applying for the training. Is there someone I can speak to?

Yes. You can book a 15-minutes Exploration Session (bold title of call) with a Synthesis Personal Guide who can answer your specific questions before beginning the application process. Please click Here to schedule that session.

Fees, Tuition & Scholarships

Why do you charge a $97 non-refundable application fee?

This fee is assessed to account for a portion of the costs associated with screening Psychedelic Practitioner Training applications, including criminal background and professional reference checks, digital application infrastructure, and the development and training of the Synthesis Personal Advisors who are here to support you at every step of the application process.

What is the tuition for the training program?

Tuition for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training, exclusive of the five (5) day Immersion Retreat, is $21,500.

What is the fee for the five (5) day Immersion Retreat?

The immersion portion of this training (held in the Netherlands), requires a separate payment of $1,000 (plus applicable VAT) and will need to be made to Synthesis Retreat B.V. Participation in, and payment for, the five (5) day Immersion Retreat is required for all training participants.

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, we have a six (6) and 12-month tuition payment plan option available.  A Synthesis Personal Advisor will provide an overview of the payment plan details during your Psychedelic Practitioner Training Pre-Enrollment Session that will be scheduled after you complete step one of the application process here.

Do you offer scholarships?

We are currently in the process of securing funding and building a fair and equitable process for reviewing and approving scholarship applications for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training


If you are interested in participating in this training and could benefit from the support of our scholarship program, please complete the form here, and you will be added to our scholarship interest list.

Program Details

Who are the instructors for this training?

The Synthesis approach to understanding psychedelics and relating to the psychedelic journey honors many ways of knowing. As such, we have curated a full array of viewpoints, including outside guest faculty and in-house staff to support your comprehensive education experience. We are actively collaborating to elevate innovative and diverse voices, so you may expect to see new names added to the roster throughout the training. Here is a list of our current faculty.

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

We anticipate you will need to dedicate 10-12 hours a week, or 40-48 hours a month, for class time and assignments. Ideally, you will also spend one (1) hour a day in personal practices that are meaningful to you.

Are there more details about the five (5) day Immersion Retreat?

The Immersion Retreat is planned for April 2023. Exact dates and venue details will be provided as soon as they are available. All Synthesis retreats are held in beautiful locations where we can enjoy delicious food and nature’s healing beauty. The retreat includes the opportunity to participate in two (2) ceremonies using truffles containing psilocybin. You will also experience and participate in Synthesis’ preparation and integration phases before and after the retreat. 

Is a health screening required to participate in the Psychedelic Practitioner Training five (5) day Immersion Retreat?

Yes. You will be required to pass a health screening to be accepted into the training and participate in the psychedelic ceremonies.

If I don’t pass the health screening can I still participate in the Psychedelic Practitioner Training?

No. Since the Immersion Retreat is such an integral part of the training, if you do not pass the health screener, we are unable to accept you into the training at this time.

Certification

When and how are course completion certificates 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.

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 students 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 is not intended to provide everything you need to practice as a psychedelic facilitator immediately upon graduation. While some of our students may have sufficient background and experience to facilitate psychedelic sessions or offer other related services after completing our program, we expect most students will need additional training, apprenticeship, and mentorship. 


The Psychedelic Practitioner Training offers a foundational education that prepares you to apply and be considered for various supervised roles in the field, including the role of a Co-Lead Facilitator at Synthesis and other roles on clinical trial teams and in other psychedelic organizations. Completion of the Psychedelic Practitioner Training also qualifies you to participate in advanced trainings with The Synthesis Institute.

Can my certificate be revoked at any point?

Students are expected to follow all of the guidelines set forth in the Psychedelic Practitioner Training training services agreement. Failure to do so could result in revocation of your certificate. This agreement will be shared with you upon completion of the application process.

Practicum

Will you provide me with a practicum placement?

You are responsible for finding your own practicum placement. We have relationships with a growing number of organizations that we may be able to connect you with. If you choose to do your practicum with an organization that we do not have a prior relationship with, we will provide you with a letter of introduction you can send to them.

Do you need to approve my practicum choice?

Yes. Synthesis must approve your practicum choice if you wish to have it count towards your certification.

Is there any support available during the practicum?

Yes. Your pod group will continue to meet and offer peer support (intervision) during your practicum. You will also have an on-site supervisor at your practicum.

What happens if I cannot find or finish my practicum placement within three (3) months after the training is complete?

We will approach each situation on a case-by-case basis. If you are unable to complete your practicum on time, please let us know in writing as soon as possible.