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The synthesis institute | Presents

Psychedelic practitioner


A 12-Month Professional Certification Program Join the Interest List Here

Do You Want to Make a Profound Impact
on Others and Change the Paradigm of Mental Health?

If so, The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Training was designed for you.

Are you, like so many practitioners of health and wellbeing,
 frustrated by the minimal sustainable outcomes of conventional treatments, especially when working with clients who experience persistent challenges like addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma?

Are you excited by the research showing that psychedelics, when paired with professional guidance, offer enormous potential for deep transformation?

Perhaps you’ve considered facilitating psychedelic journeys for others, but you haven’t had access to the right training program for you. One that:

  • Is inclusive of licensed therapists as well as health and wellness practitioners of other modalities
  • Honors and explores many ways of knowing and working within the psychedelic field

  • Offers experiential-based learning with a multidisciplinary approach that includes science, academics, personal embodiment, wisdom traditions, and practical hands-on experience

  • Connects you to a larger group of people who share a commitment to moving beyond the current paradigm of mental healthcare, and toward a model of integrated psychedelic wellbeing

The Synthesis Institute invites you to The Psychedelic Practitioner Training: A 12-Month Professional Certification Program, a journey that is dedicated to honoring, exploring, and experiencing many ways of knowing and working within the psychedelic field. Our inaugural journey begins in April 2021.

Since 2018, The Synthesis Institute has guided more than 750 people in safe, legal psychedelic journeys. Our hands-on experience and successful track record speaks volumes about our methodology, which we’re excited to share with others who are ready to join us in this important work

Join us for a professional training that will change you and the paradigm of mental health care.

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Training with The Synthesis Institute Means Much More Than Just Adding Another Credential To Your Name

You, Yourself, Will Change, Allowing You To Relate To Your Clients On a Completely Different Level

At The Synthesis Institute, we know that to have full integrity in this work and complete confidence in the safety and effectiveness of your process, your own practice and inner transformation has to be a priority. 

What will differentiate you from graduates of other psychedelic training programs is that at The Synthesis Institute, you won’t just learn through a strictly cognitive and clinical approach. Your training will also be interdisciplinary and deeply experiential.

You will have the opportunity to experience the fullness of this medicine and continue your own transformational work. 

And you will be held in the level of compassion, care, and courage that the world needs you, as a practitioner, to embody.

This is a journey of not just healing but awakening to the potential every person has within themselves. 

Graduates will emerge:
  • Trained in the fundamentals of an integrative approach to guiding a client safely and ethically through their psychedelic journey, drawing on relevant clinical research and best-practices as well as long-established and emerging wisdom.

  • With a personal clarity about your capacities to hold space or assist in holding space for the wide range of experiences that can present themselves, using best practices from psychotherapy and wisdom traditions.

  • With a basic understanding of and experience in a full range of therapeutic modalities and personal self-care practices that support the preparation and integration of the psychedelic journey.

  • Deeply grounded in your own personal psychedelic or healing journey, including ongoing embodied practices that in turn support your clients.

  • Equipped with a foundational understanding of the complexity of the screening process, including how to discern when psychedelic therapy is not right for a client and how to navigate that terrain.

  • Connected to the living laboratory of The Synthesis Institute and its international community of scholars and practitioners committed to stewarding advancements in integrated psychedelic health care and wellbeing worldwide.

  • Eligible for additional training(s) and certifications offered by The Synthesis Insitute.

The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Training was designed to thoroughly orient you to the current leading-edge thinking and modalities associated with guiding clients through a safe and ethical psychedelic journey with truffles containing psilocybin in nine training modules.

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During this 12-month professional practitioner journey, you will be trained in:

  • An interdisciplinary approach to the current landscape of the psychedelic renaissance – inclusive of science, psychology, wisdom traditions, ecology, philosophy, and spiritual practice.

  • The safe, ethical and best practices for practitioners – gleaned from The Synthesis Institutes’ ongoing hands-on experience guiding hundreds of clients through ceremonies using truffles containing psilocybin.

  • An understanding of the transpersonal and the different ways of knowing—and how to practice psychedelic therapy in a way that best supports your clients on their journeys.

  • Personal self-care practices to support your client and yourself – in a sustainable and integrated healing experience.

  • The basics of what a psychedelic ceremony entails.

  • The importance and opportunity of the integration phase – and how to prepare and support a client’s integration to deepen positive outcomes and increase the lasting benefit of a psychedelic ceremony.

  • The opportunity to transform the world and the consciousness of our species – by advocating for mental health, wellness, and spiritual growth, and by supporting access for all.

  • The multiple avenues and ways to work within the psychedelic space – including collaborative opportunities made possible through Synthesis-facilitated strategic partnerships.

Here’s What Leaders in the Psychedelic Space Tell Us About Partnering with The Synthesis Institute

Dr. Rosalind Watts

Dr. Rosalind Watts Quote

PhD, Clinical Director, The Synthesis Institute

"Building a psychedelic therapy training program is about more than just teaching. We are building a community, a family, to midwife this new paradigm into being, together. At the heart of the Psychedelic Practitioner Training is a commitment to self-practice and apprenticeship; it includes an intensive immersive experience where we will dive into our deepest places in ceremony together. This work requires us to bring all of ourselves forward: our purpose, dedication, authenticity and vulnerability. We can only do that work properly when we feel safely held by a structure that honours our values. The Synthesis Institute is a family with integrity and it's very exciting that it's about to get so much bigger. I can't wait to meet the next generation.”

Bennet Zelner

Bennet Zelner Quote

Psychedelic Economist

"Psychedelic therapy has 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’s 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

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris Quote

Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London

“Scientific investigation into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is vital for combating the mental health crisis. Legal, professionally-organised 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.”

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Psychedelic practitioner


A 12-Month Professional Certification Program
A 12-Month Training Overview

The Synthesis approach to understanding psychedelics and relating to the psychedelic journey consists of standing at the intersection of many ways of knowing. As such, our training is organized so that each monthly module consists of four tracks that reflect the four lenses or perspectives we are committed to training you within.

ManyWaysDiagram copyPerspective One: Scientific/Clinical. Through this perspective, you will explore and learn about the most up-to-date scientific research in the field of psychedelics and gain a thorough understanding of what is known about how psychedelics impact neurobiology and catalyze therapeutic outcomes. 

Perspective Two: Wisdom. Through this perspective, you will journey into the lineage of wisdom traditions to honor traditions and the practices, and gain initiation into the many ways of knowing regarding psychedelics that are embedded in a more-than-human landscape and learn how to synthesize these time tested traditions into a modern therapeutic context. 

Perspective Three: Personal. Through this perspective you will come to understand that the professional journey is also a guide to embodied transformation of your personal inner landscape that will best support you in sustaining your ongoing professional work with others.

Perspective Four: Professional. Through this perspective, you will become oriented to the best practices informed by both scientific and sacred approaches to holding space for a client’s journey. Through case study examples and experiential practices, you will shape your own unique professional mission statement synthesized from your exposure to the different frames and learn pragmatic tools and models to launch or grow your own psychedelic practice.  


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What You’ll Receive:
During this 12-month inaugural professional training, you’ll receive one content module of each perspective each month consisting of:
Weekly 75-Minute Teaching Sessions, each week corresponding to a fundamental perspective
Weekly 75-Minute Small Group Facilitated Integration Sessions, including small-group reflection, professional supervision, breathwork sessions and other group-facilitated practices to support integration
Monthly 60-Minute Live Interactive guest faculty bonus workshops plus Q&A featuring industry thought leaders and researchers on the leading edge of all aspects of the field
Weekly assignments and reading materials designed to support your active and engaged integration of knowledge and practices
Online small group peer support circles

Unique to The Synthesis Institute’s
Training: In Module Five, you will be
invited to participate in our inaugural
10-day immersive experience

July 15th - July 24th, 2021
The Netherlands
Specific Venue Location Details Forthcoming

During this 10-day immersive experience, hosted by our sister organization in the Netherlands, you will experience firsthand as a client the best practices associated with a Synthesis-facilitated ceremony as well as have the opportunity to serve as an assistant in support of the ceremonies of your peers.

You’ll receive:

  • 100 hours of hands-on and experiential training

  • An immersive, first-hand experience of The Synthesis Institute’s best practices for psychedelic healing inside a safe, multimodal, multidisciplinary model

  • Personal experience with different doses of truffles containing psilocybin in two psychedelic ceremonies

  • Practical experience facilitating psychedelic ceremonies, under the careful supervision of professionals

  • An experiential understanding of the role that mystical experiences, connection to self, connection to others, and connection to nature plays in healing

Participation in the psychedelic ceremonies portion of the training is contingent on passing our required medical screening process. Alternative modalities are provided otherwise.

NOTE: The experiential part of this program will be run by Synthesis Institute B.V., our Netherlands sister company. Payment for the immersive experience part of this program will be made separately and is payable to Synthesis Institute B.V.

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Your Program Faculty

Rosalind Watts Ph.D. Clinical Director of the Synthesis Institute and Former Clinical Lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at Imperial College London

Rosalind Watts, PhD, is clinical director of 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.

Alexander Belser Ph.D. Psychedelic Researcher and Licensed Psychologist at Yale University

Alex Belser, PhD, is a psychedelic researcher and licensed psychologist at Yale University. He is the founding president of Nautilus Sanctuary, a non-profit center for psychedelic medicine in New York City. His research has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and VICE.

Malynn Utzinger M.D. Director of Integrative Medicine and Co-Founder of Usona Institute

Malynn Utzinger, MD, 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.

Robin Carhart-Harris Ph.D. Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London

Robin Carhart-Harris, PhD, is founding director of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. He has designed and implemented studies with LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT, including some of the first brain imaging studies and multiple clinical trials of psilocybin for treatment resistant depression.

Ryushin Zen Teacher and Priest

Ryushin Marchaj, MD, a Zen teacher and priest, has 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.

Camille Barton Director of the Collective Liberation Project and Somatics Educator

Camille Barton is an artist, writer, and cultural somatics educator working at the intersection of wellness, drug policy, and transformative justice. They are the director of the Collective Liberation Project, an advisor for MAPS, and the creator of a trauma informed approach to diversity and decolonization work that centres the body and lived experience.

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.

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.

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.

Bennet Zelner Ph.D. Psychedelic Economist

Bennet Zelner, Ph.D., is associate professor of business and public policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and cofounder of the Transformative Capital Institute. He is a member of the board of advisors for The Synthesis Institute and also advises the Usona Institute, MAPS, and several other psychedelic research organizations.

Natasja Pelgrom Wellness Retreat Director at The Synthesis Institute

Natasja Pelgrom is the wellness retreat director at The Synthesis Institute. A highly intuitive and empathetic guide, she is trained in a number of modalities, including Reiki, ThetaHealing®, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She has assisted with and facilitated more than 500 psychedelic ceremonies.imentum.

Sven Kimenai Co-Lead Facilitator & Breathwork Coach at The Synthesis Institute

Sven Kimenai is co-lead facilitator and breathwork coach at the Synthesis Institute. A highly intuitive, nature-centered adventurist with a background in psychobiology and supplement development, he is particularly interested in using techniques like breathwork and the Wim Hof Method as supports for psychedelic-based transformational healing.

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Usona Institute Partners With Synthesis
The Synthesis Institute is excited to announce our collaboration with Usona. Through our mutual commitment to meet the growing demand for trained and licensed professionals, Synthesis and Usona are working together to develop training and education programs to serve a diverse population of future facilitators.

Usona Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization dedicated to supporting research to further the understanding of the therapeutic effects of psilocybin and other consciousness-expanding medicines.
Professional Training Materials and Resources
  • Lifetime access to all training materials which include audio and video recordings of all training sessions, downloadable handouts per module, transcripts, assignments and other resources

  • An exclusive invitation to join the Practitioner Training Professional Community on our private and secure Practitioner Training Inner Circle inside the Synthesis Global Online Community

  • Access to small group supervision with our team members, such as Dr. Rosalind Watts and other members of The Synthesis Institute staff and faculty

  • The Complete Psychedelic Practitioner Training Manual

  • Experience with The Synthesis Institute’s state of the art screening process, both as a client and facilitator

  • An invitation to the professional certification ceremony upon successful completion of the entire program including professional assessment

  • Training on and access to our gold-standard prep and integration processes

Our commitment is to offer C.E.s to participants in their field of expertise. As that is varied and broad, we are actively engaged in gaining accreditation and anticipate offering C.E.s on this, our inaugural course launch.

Frequently asked questions

Who is this course designed for?

The Synthesis Institute is committed to making this training accessible to and inclusive of both licensed medical professionals and therapists and also practitioners of health and wellness in other modalities.

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.

Who are the instructors of this training program?

The Synthesis approach to understanding psychedelics and relating to the psychedelic journey honors many ways of knowing. As such, we’ve curated a full array of viewpoints, including outside guest faculty and our in-house team to support your comprehensive learning experience. Current faculty are:

Rosalind Watts, Ph.D.
Clinical Director of the Synthesis Institute and Former Clinical Lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at Imperial College London

Alex Belser, Ph.D.
Psychedelic Researcher and Licensed Psychologist at Yale University

Malynn Utzinger, M.D.
Director of Integrative Medicine and Co-Founder of Usona Institute

Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D.
Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London

Bennet Zelner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Maryland

Ryushin Marchaj
Zen Teacher and Priest

Camille Barton
Director of the Collective Liberation Project and Somatics Educator

Daan Keiman
Lead Facilitator and Director of Ethics and Advocacy at The Synthesis Institute

James Clifton
Integral Psychotherapist and Lead Facilitator at The Synthesis Institute

Rachel Aidan, PhD
CEO at The Synthesis Institute

Natasja Pelgrom
Wellness Retreat Director at The Synthesis Institute

Sven Kimenai 
Co-Lead Facilitator & Breathwork Coach at The Synthesis Institute

In addition, we’re actively collaborating with the most diverse and 

impactful voices in the psychedelic space to round out the experience 

on our team. So on or before December 15th, you will see more 

guest faculty added to the list we’ve already shared.

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/40-48 hours a month for class time and assignments. We also expect an additional 1-hour a day on average to be spent on personal practices that are meaningful to you. Some examples include meditation, prayer, journaling, sweat lodges, etc.

When and how are course completion certificates awarded?

Once you’ve completed the requirements of the program and demonstrate consistent ethical and professional integrity, including a final assessment, you will be awarded your certificate in a virtual completion ceremony circle.

How much will the program cost?

Tuition for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training with the 10-Day immersive is $18,000.

Tuition for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training without the 10-Day immersive is $9,000.

Where can I find all the details about the 10-day immersive experience?

The residential location is nestled in nature in the heart of the Netherlands where we’ll spend 10 days immersed in practices, preparation, group sessions, and integration circles. We will build on the best Synthesis Wellness and Therapy practices to guide you through a transformational journey in the context of becoming a facilitator.

Vegetarian meals tailored to your personal dietary requirements will be prepared by our in-house chefs.

Day-by-Day Overview:

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Ceremony
Day 3: Integration
Day 4: Ceremony
Day 5: Integration
Day 6: Ceremony
Day 7: Integration
Day 8: Ceremony
Day 9: Integration
Day 10: Closing

Sample Daily Schedule:

Morning Practice
Workshop 1: 9-10:30 a.m.
Body Break: 10:30 a.m. - 10:45
Workshop 1: 10:45 a.m. - Noon
Lunch: Noon - 1 p.m.
Free Time: 1 - 2 p.m.
Workshop 2: 3:30 
Body Break: 3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Workshop 3: 3:45 - 5 p.m.
Free Time: 5 - 6 p.m.
Dinner: 6 p.m.
Evening Workshop/Lectures
Evening Sauna

We will announce the full program by December 15th.

Is a health screening required to participate in the 10-day immersive experience?

Yes. Within 30 days of the start of the program, you will begin our comprehensive health screening process. Synthesis is committed to providing the proper conditions for everyone to participate in the truffles ceremonies.

What happens if I don’t pass the health screening. Can I still participate in the 10-day immersive experience?

Yes. Your participation in the 10-day immersive experience is still strongly encouraged in this rich learning environment. In the rare event that pre-existing conditions preclude you from passing the health screening, we will provide additional ceremonial guidance training instead. Alternatively, a refund can be requested for the immersive experience fee, minus administration and health screening fees by emailing support@synthesisinstitute.com.

How do I pay for the immersive experience portion of this training separately from the digital education?

Your credit card can only be used to pay for the digital education component of this training. ($9,000 payable to Synthesis Digital, LLC.) If you decide to come to the immersive portion of this training in the Netherlands, a separate payment (of $9,000) will need to be made to Synthesis Institute B.V. 

During your Psychedelic Practitioner Training Assessment, your Education Coordinator will be able to answer any additional questions you have about this payment process.

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, payment plans are available. Please complete your application in full as the first step. A Synthesis Education Coordinator will provide an overview of the payment plan options available during your Psychedelic Practitioner Training Assessment that will be scheduled after you submit your application

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, scholarships are available based on financial need. Please complete your application and where indicated on the form, denote your need for scholarship support. We'll review scholarship requests as part of the application screening process and a Synthesis Education Coordinator will gather additional details relating to your scholarship request during your Psychedelic Practitioner Training Assessment that will be scheduled after you submit your application.

Does this training qualify for Continuing Education credits?

Our commitment is to offer C.E.s to participants in their field of expertise. As that is varied and broad, we are actively engaged in gaining accreditation and anticipate offering C.E.s on this, our inaugural course launch.

Do you make accommodations for persons with 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@SynthesisInstitute.com so that we may make very effort to make accommodations to support you.

Will I be able to practice independently with this certification?

Our training is not intended to give you everything you need to practice independently. Instead, it offers a foundational training to prepare you for a place in the emerging field of psychedelic care.