Eligible Applicants

The certificate is designed for advanced professionals working in related therapeutic areas: licensed mental health clinicians, specific medical professionals and ordained/commissioned clergy and chaplains. Licensed professionals in these specializations must have an MA, MSW, RN or higher degree in behavioral health, medicine, or mental health fields. Clergy and chaplains must be trained within one or more of the major world religions and be ordained or commissioned prior to application. Under specific circumstances, specific medical and mental health professionals, who are not yet licensed, may apply if they have completed their coursework and 1,000 training hours of counseling and psychotherapy.

Only professionals who hold the following specific advanced degrees, licensure, commissions, or ordinations may apply to the certificate program:

  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Licensed Occupational Therapists (OT with an MA)
  • Registered Nurses (RN)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP)
  • Naturopathic Doctors (ND)
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
  • Physician and Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Ordained Clergy and Commissioned Chaplains
  • Licensed Attorneys (JD in counseling specialties only)
  • Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LAADC with an MA)

These are strict criteria and only people with the above degrees and credentials are eligible to apply. For these professionals, preference will be given to applicants with a substantial background in psychological treatment and spiritual direction in behavioral medicine, chronic trauma and PTSD, palliative care, hospice, psychiatry, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, oncology, mediation and resolution, and/or pain management.

The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research especially encourages applications from individuals in the above list who identity as people of color and/or LGBTQi, serve marginalized and underserved populations, and/or are military veterans.

For medical professionals, clergy, chaplains, and counseling attorneys, those applicants with substantial experience in providing psychotherapy, counseling, pastoral care, mediation, and/or spiritual direction will be considered strong candidates for the certificate program.

Criteria for Clergy and Chaplains: Ordained clergy and commissioned/ordained chaplains are considered as applicants if they serve in pastoral counseling and spiritual direction within the well-known world spiritual traditions. For ordained/commissioned clergy and chaplains, a M.Div., MA. or CPE with study in psychology and therapeutic skills is a benefit, but not required. We welcome and encourage applicants from these backgrounds. There are substantial CIIS tuition discounts available for clergy and chaplains.

Criteria for Counseling Attorneys: Only JD licensed attorneys with demonstrated supervised training and counseling work with families, couples and individuals in several specific areas are eligible to apply. These areas are limited to: divorce mediation, child custody mediation and resolution, end-of-life and estate plan counseling, family and elder law counseling, and community dispute resolution. A strong candidate will be an applicant who did this counseling work under clinical supervision in non-profits or service agencies for the benefit of marginalized populations. Counseling attorneys must have passed the bar, been licensed prior to applying, and have earned certifications in one or more of these specific areas.

Criteria for Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors and Licensed Occupational Therapists: These professionals must have an accredited Masters or Doctoral degree in mental health or behavioral health, as well as the LAADC or Occupational Therapists license. These specific credentials are required for these 2018 applications.

Eligibility for Pre-licensed Professionals: Clergy and chaplains must be ordained or commissioned at the time of application. With no exceptions, counseling attorneys, advanced alcohol and drug counselors, and occupational therapists must have received their MA or JD degrees and professional licenses prior to application.

Under certain circumstances, other eligible mental health or medical professionals may be admitted prior to the completion of licensure requirements. Eligible mental health and medical professionals who are not yet licensed will be considered on an individual basis only if they: a) have completed their degree coursework, b) have completed 1,000 or more supervised internship or residency clinical hours in which they conducted psychotherapy and counseling and c) have two or more years of work experience in mental health fields. In all cases where an applicant is not yet licensed, coursework and 1,000 supervised hours of psychotherapy or counseling experience must be completed prior to the start of the certificate program on March 23, 2018. To document the completion of the coursework, pre-licensed applicants will need to include a copy of their degree's academic requirements from the university's catalog.

Continuing Education Credits
Up to 48 Continuing Education Hours are available for MFT, LPCC, LCSW, RN, Nurse Practitioner, and Ph.D./PsyD trainees. We are in the process of applying for CME coverage for physicians

Download the Certificate Application 2018 Information Packet

Application Materials

A completed application consists of the $400 deposit and the following materials:

  • Certificate Application Form
  • Background and Goal Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Credentialing Documents (for degrees, license, ordination or commission)
  • Contact Hours & Supervision Form
  • Professional References
  • Scholarship and/or Special Discount Letter (optional)

Selected candidates will be invited to interview with a faculty committee as a requirement to apply for admission. This interview may be in person or via video conference. Only candidates who have turned in all of their application materials will be considered for the interview stage. 

Certificate Application Form: Please complete and submit the brief application form with your other documents. This form will be completed when paying your deposit. 

Background and Goal Statement: In 2-3 pages, please describe your background and interest in this certificate. Tell us anything pertinent regarding your personal development and progress through the stages of licensure, commissioning, or ordination. Include descriptions of your training in therapy or spiritual direction. Share how you learned the following topics didactically and where you practiced these skills and knowledge: the understanding of psychological diagnoses; understanding of the therapeutic alliance; how to conduct a short-term treatment; recognition of transference and countertransference; maintaining professional and pastoral boundaries; and confidentiality. Tell us how you integrate psychology and spirituality into your own practices of personal development.

In addition, your goals are important to us. Please share with us how you hope to use this certificate in your work providing spiritual direction, psychotherapy, research, and/or medical care.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae: Include a short resume or CV that outlines the history of your higher education, practica, internships, residencies, work in service to communities, spiritual direction assignments, fieldwork, as well as ordainment, commission, and/or licensure status.

Credentialing Documents: For licensed and ordained/commissioned applicants: please submit a copy of your license or your ordination/commission papers. For eligible pre-licensed applicants only: a) please upload your most recent degree transcript and b) also submit copy of your degree's coursework requirements from your university catalog.

Contact Hours & Supervision Form: This form documents your psychotherapy, counseling, mental health assessment, pastoral counseling and spiritual direction contact hours and supervision during and since your training.

Professional References: Please submit the names and contact information of one or two current or past clinical supervisors, spiritual guidance mentors, and/or professors who are willing to be a reference for you. Your application can be strengthened if you submit one or two letters of recommendation, but such letters are optional.

Scholarships and Special Discounts: With gratitude to our generous donors, we have received substantial funding for 2018 scholarships for students from underrepresented communities enrolling in the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research. The Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund generously awarded CIIS $15,000 to establish the Ricci Coddington Diversity Scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded to CPTR certificate students from underrepresented populations in order to increase the diversity of practitioners certified in psychedelic-assisted therapies. CIIS Trustee Betsy Gordon and donor Robert Barnhart have each made a gift of $7,500 to provide scholarships to underrepresented CPTR trainees who are identified as people of color and/or as LGBTQi. These scholarship gifts help ensure equity in this emerging field and access to these healing medicines for all communities. We also have special discounts for those enrollees who are: clergy members and chaplains, persons in financial need, or CIIS clinical members of the faculty, students, alumni, supervisors, adjuncts, and staff.

To apply, please write a 1-page letter describing your membership in any of the four groups below. It will help your application if you also tell us key facts about your financial situation. Applicants may receive only one type of special discount or scholarship.  The Scholarship and Special Discount statement letter is due Thursday, February 15, 2018. Funds will be disbursed on a first come, first served basis, so apply early. Applicants for aid will be notified on a rolling basis and no later than Thursday, March 8, 2018.

  • People of color: Up to 50% off tuition
  • LGBTQi-identified people: Up to 50% off tuition
  • Those in financial need (Clergy and Chaplains are encouraged to apply): Up to 50% off tuition
  • Clinical CIIS faculty, students, alumni, supervisors, adjuncts, and staff: Up to $2,500 off tuition

Application Dates for 2018 Class

Applications will open November 1, 2017 and close February 15, 2018. 

Applications will be received and processed on a rolling basis. See below for Early Application Discounts. The earlier you apply, the earlier you may be invited to an interview for a place in the 2018 class. We will close admissions and scholarship applications when we have filled the class for 2018. If you are interested in this certificate training program for 2018, we recommend that you apply early.

Applicants with completed paperwork will be notified shortly about whether or not they will be invited to an interview. Admissions results will be shared with applicants within two to three weeks of the interview. All invitations for admission and scholarship awards will be made before or by March 8, 2018.

For questions regarding online application submissions, please contact CPTR Program Manager Rachel Valenzuela-Ours at rvalenzuela-ours@ciis.edu.

*Applications will not be considered without payment of the registration deposit.

Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Registration Deposit: $400

Tuition Cost: $7,800     

Tuition Inclusive Coverage: The tuition cost covers all the training during CIIS weekends and the room and board of both the 7-day June Retreat and 3-Day September Retreat.

Completed Applications Due: February 15, 2018

Early Application Discounts:
$500 off tuition for completed applications received before December 1, 2017
$250 off tuition for completed applications received before January 1, 2018

Scholarship and Special Discount Application Letters Due: February 15, 2018

Payment and Cancellation Policies
A deposit of $400 is due at the time of application. If you are not accepted, this fee will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee. After payment of the initial deposit of $400, the payment of the remaining balance of $7,400 (minus any scholarship or special discount) must be received by Thursday, March 15, 2018, to secure your space in the program.

An installment payment schedule is available for those who show financial need.

If a student withdraws before Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 25% of the full fee ($1,950) will be due. If a student withdraws before Friday, June 1, 2018, 50% of the full fee ($3,900) will be due. The full fee of $7,800 (minus any scholarships or special discounts given) is due if a student withdraws on or after Friday, June 1, 2018.

Refund Petition Process

Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances warranting a credit, refund, or adjustment of the program cost may present a petition to Dr. Janis Phelps, CPTR Director. The petition must include an explanation of this circumstance along with supporting documentation, which will become the property of CIIS and will not be returned. The petition must be submitted within 90 calendar days of the last day of the program.

Policy for Missed Classes

Please note that students must complete the entire curriculum in order to receive the certificate. We will meet at predetermined times for 8 months with a summer break. Should a student miss 1 or 2 classes of an instructor, he or she will have the option of attending a 1-unit course at CIIS or a presentation on this topic offered by the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. (The presentations options can be taken at a 15-25% discount; the 1-unit classes will be at full additional cost). Or a student may be able to opt to do a special project at additional cost with their mentor-supervisor. In certain cases, the student may find a class elsewhere to fulfill the requirement. All make-up classes must be approved by Janis Phelps and the student's mentor.

It is not possible to earn the certificate completely online because the program is part residential, part online. Students will do 125 hours in classrooms at CIIS and at the two retreats. The remaining 55 hours in this semi-hybrid program are a combination of online learning and volunteer work. We will do everything we can to create solutions for unavoidable schedule conflicts. If any student needs to make-up more than 25 hours of the 180-hour certificate, they will be asked to take a portion of the certificate hours with the 2019 cohort of students. In this special case, the certificate will then be conferred sometime in 2019, rather than in 2018. If you live outside the Bay Area, please contact Rachel Valenzuela-Ours at rvalenzuela-ours@ciis.edu with any questions you have about the details of your particular situation.

Need to Contact Us?

CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Rachel Valenzuela-Ours
CPTR Program Manager
Email: rvalenzuela-ours@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

Dr. Janis Phelps
CPTR Director
Email: jphelps@ciis.edu
Phone: (415) 575-6243

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