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Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research

Certificate Program

Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies & Research

Our 2024-2025 application cycle has closed, but select cohorts are still accepting qualified applicants. Please contact Eden Nasher and Wendy Campbell at cptradmissions@ciis.edu to discuss your application individually.


Program Overview

Program Length

10 Months

Format

Hybrid or Online

Our certificate program offers hybrid cohorts in San Francisco and Boston as well as online cohorts which will be facilitated over 8 total weekends (hybrid and online). For the hybrid cohorts in Boston and San Francisco, there are three 4-day weekends and five virtual Saturday classes. For the online cohort, there are two 4-day weekends, one 2-day class meeting, and five Saturday classes. All cohorts begin in the fall with a closing weekend the following spring. This is a monthly class schedule that optimizes continuity, connection, community building, and ongoing timely classes for the duration of the program.

Download the Information Packet for the 2024-2025 Certificate Program

Apply Now

Recorded Information Session

Find out more! Listen to staff, teachers, and several graduates of the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research and learn what this professional certificate program is all about.

Hear why we designed the certificate, how you will benefit from it, and how you can be a part of the long-term vision. Learn how the certificate program can advance your progress toward your professional goals. Hear details about the choice of the Boston, San Francisco, or Online cohort as well as the Oregon Subcohort option.

To watch the recorded Information Session, click below.

You can also click here to watch Director Dr. Janis Phelps present about the program at the Awakened Futures Summit.

Program Background

Consistent with the holistic ideals of CIIS, this certificate strives to encompass all aspects of learning: intellectual/didactic, personal/experiential, and applied.  

The research and therapy training is conducted with learning processes embedded in self-reflection, community-building, embodied ways of knowing, and mentoring. Trainees learn a wide variety of necessary skills and knowledge bases, ranging from pharmacology of psychedelics to research design to psychedelic therapist competencies to the history of use of psychoactive plants across the globe to cultural competencies for working with diverse clients.  

The program thoroughly covers clinical work with MDMA and psilocybin (the two medicines furthest along in the FDA drug development process) with additional coursework on ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (FDA-approved for specific clinical syndromes). In order to accomplish such a holistic enterprise, the program values and implements the deconstruction of various perspectives and cultural viewpoints, along with didactic and experiential learning with teachers representing diverse specializations. The global wisdom traditions related to alterations of consciousness (meditation, yoga, fasting, solo wilderness retreats, healing methods, etc.) play a role in the theoretical underpinnings of the curriculum, as well as being directly enacted as part of the personal/experiential aspect of the training.

Special Program Considerations

Our scope of inquiry is the breadth and depth necessary for a graduate to have a sufficient understanding of the field’s empirical research methods and outcomes, the key clinical competencies, and ways to situate themself in the constantly evolving streams of non-profit and for-profit organizations, and decriminalization movements.  

A hallmark of the training program is that our trainees have monthly access to an expert in the psychedelic field who serves as their mentor. This unique group mentoring enables trainees to create professional connections not otherwise available among the influencers in this arena. We are committed to working toward the co-creation of a culture of belonging throughout the program. We conduct focus groups with under-represented recent graduates to assess progress regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our program. In terms of personal connections and building opportunities, trainees are welcomed into affinity and special interest groups among their peers and join an engaging, active Alumni Association even while they are a trainee.  

It is important to note that at no time does the program promote or require the use of psychedelic drugs in any manner, in accordance with the CIIS Student Handbook as well as state and federal law. Trainees taking the certificate will learn about the competencies required of psychotherapists, medical practitioners, and clergy in federally approved medical treatment and psychedelic research. Applicants offered admission will sign an Integrity Agreement and a Beloved Community Initiative Agreement. These agreements reflect our commitment to professional ethical and legal standards and a classroom environment that is safe and inclusive.

Format and Schedule

For the hybrid Boston and San Francisco cohorts, the 2024-2025 curriculum entails 150 total hours of instruction, including 120 hours of in-class learning (online and/or in-person). The Boston and San Francisco cohorts includes Holotropic Breathwork as part of the instruction hours. For the Online cohort, the 2024-2025 curriculum entails 140 total hours of instruction, including 110 hours of in-class learning online. We also have an optional Holotropic Breathwork workshop for the Online cohort for an additional cost. All cohorts receive 30 hours of individualized learning and mentor consultations. Applicants will prioritize their preferred cohorts at time of application: San Francisco, Boston, or Online. We expect approximately 130 trainees per cohort. Applicants to all cohorts will also specify if they are applying to the Oregon subcohort. All applicants commit to the timing and type of the cohort to which they are admitted.

The hybrid cohorts in Boston and San Francisco will meet both online and in-person throughout the program. The Online cohort of licensed psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses meets on the hybrid cohort schedule via video conference. Half of the classes are in-person instruction for the Boston and San Francisco cohorts, with the Online trainees attending the classes via video conference. The other half of the classes are delivered via online video conference for all cohorts. Online trainees will participate at a distance, doing the experiential learning modules via video conference breakout rooms. Once the program begins, trainees will remain with their chosen cohort.

  • October 24th, 25th, 26th, & 27thWelcome In-Person Weekend (Incl. Holotropic Breathwork) 
    November 16thSaturday Online
    December 14thSaturday Online
    January 23rd, 24th, 25th, & 26thIn-Person Weekend
    February 22ndSaturday Online
    March 22ndSaturday Online
    April 26thSaturday Online
    May 15th, 16th, 17th, & 18thClosing In-Person Weekend

    Note: The dates are set, but times of day are approximate and may be subject to change.
     

    Boston Cohort Schedule for the In-Person Weekends and Training:
    The in-person weekend sessions will meet during these times:

    • Thursdays from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET  
    • Fridays and Saturdays from @ 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET
    • Sundays from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET
       

    Schedule for the Online Weekends:

    • Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET
       
  • October 24th, 25th, 26th, & 27thWelcome In-Person Weekend
    November 16thSaturday Online
    December 14thSaturday Online
    January 23rd, 24th, 25th, & 26thIn-Person Weekend (Incl. Holotropic Breathwork)
    February 22ndSaturday Online
    March 22ndSaturday Online
    April 26thSaturday Online
    May 15th, 16th, 17th, & 18thClosing In-Person Weekend

    Note: The dates are set, but times of day are approximate and may be subject to change.
     

    San Francisco Cohort Schedule for the In-Person Weekends:
    The in-person weekend sessions will meet during these times:

    • Thursdays from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PT
    • Fridays and Saturdays from @ 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT
    • Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT
       

    Schedule for the Online Weekends:

    • Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PT
       
  • October 24th, 25th, 26th, & 27thWelcome Weekend Online
    November 16thSaturday Online
    December 14thSaturday Online
    January 23rd & 24thThursday and Friday Online
    February 22ndSaturday Online
    March 22ndSaturday Online
    April 26thSaturday Online
    May 15th, 16th, 17th, & 18thClosing Weekend Online

    Note: The dates are set, but times of day are approximate and may be subject to change.
     

    Schedule for the October Weekend:
    The Online weekend sessions will meet during these times:

    • Thursdays from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. ET
    • Fridays and Saturdays from @ 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
    • Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
       

    Schedule for the November, December, February, March, and April:

    • Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET
       

    Schedule for the January Thursday and Friday:

    • Thursday from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET.  
    • Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
       

    Schedule for the May Weekend:
    The Online weekend sessions will meet during these times:

    • Thursdays from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET
    • Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET  
    • Sundays from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET 
       

Eligibility Criteria and Residence Requirements

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. Unlicensed and non-ordained/non-commissioned applicants are not eligible for the certificate program. Some states limit eligibility for their residents for either Hybrid or Online programs, or in some cases, both types of programs. See below about state authorizations.

For professionals who meet the criteria listed below, we welcome applicants with a substantial background in psychological treatment and research with diverse populations, behavioral medicine, trauma and PTSD, palliative care, hospice, psychiatry, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, oncology, mediation and resolution, and/or pain management. Applicants with substantial experience in providing psychotherapy, counseling, pastoral care, mediation, and/or spiritual direction will also be considered strong candidates for the certificate program.

The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research especially encourages applications from eligible individuals who identify as BIPOC; identify as LGBTQIA+; are military veterans/service members; are clinical CIIS faculty, students, alumni, supervisors, adjuncts, and staff; and/or serve under-resourced and under-represented populations. We welcome applicants from outside the U.S. We review the licensing credentials from non-U.S. professional boards on a case-by-case basis. To date, we have had the pleasure of training 103 international licensed medical and mental health professionals.

Our hybrid and online programs have different eligibility requirements. Please ensure that you have the appropriate qualifications (specific advanced degree, licensure, commission, and/or ordination) and reside in a state that permits you to participate before applying. In the application, we will ask you to prioritize the Hybrid or Online cohort and indicate which of the three cohorts you would you be willing to join. We hope to give applicants offered enrollment their first or second choice.

  • These professionals who hold the following specific advanced degrees and licensure, commissions, or ordinations may apply to the hybrid certificate programs:

    • Acupuncturists (LAc with DACM / DSOM / DAOM)
    • Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LAADC with MA)
    • Attorneys in counseling specialties (JD)
    • Behavioral Analysts (BCBA/BCBA-D with MA/MS or PhD)
    • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM with MS)
    • Chiropractors (DC)
    • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
    • Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
    • Counseling Nutritionists (RD, RDN, CNS, or CCN with MA/MS)
    • Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
    • Naturopathic Doctors (ND)
    • Nurse Practitioners (NP with MS)
    • Occupational Therapists (OT with MA/MS)
    • Ordained Clergy and Commissioned Chaplains (with M.Div. and 4 units of CPE)
    • Pharmacists (MS or PharmD)
    • Physical Therapists (PT with MA)
    • Physician Assistants (PA)
    • Physicians and Psychiatrists (MD/DO)
    • Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC/LPC)
    • Registered Nurses (BSN or higher)
    • Speech Therapists (MS)
    • Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners (TCM with MA/MS)
       

    State Restrictions on Hybrid Programs for Residents:  
    Some states restrict residents from taking hybrid training programs out of state. In these cases, such states require institutions to be authorized or exempt in order to enroll trainees residing in the state.

    If you reside in one of these states, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply for the CIIS Hybrid certificate programs. You can learn more about this list and state authorization here.

    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Delaware
    • District of Columbia (DC)
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Minnesota
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • Rhode Island
    • Wisconsin 
       
  • Our entirely online cohort, which will be open only to licensed psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses, will allow greater accessibility to the certificate program for these clinicians both nationally and internationally.

    Only professionals who hold the following specific advanced degrees and licensure may apply to the Online certificate program:

    • Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LAADC with MA)
    • Behavioral Analyst (BCBA/BCBA-D with MA/MS or PhD)
    • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
    • Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
    • Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
    • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (NP with MS)
    • Psychiatrists (MD/DO)
    • Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC/LPC)
    • Psychiatric Registered Nurses (BSN or higher)
       

    State Restrictions on Online Programs for Residents:
    Some states restrict residents from taking Online training programs out of state. In these cases, such states require institutions to be authorized or exempt in order to enroll trainees residing in the state. You can learn more about state authorization here.

  • All applicants may consider applying to be part of the Center’s Oregon training program. Our certificate curriculum is approved as a psilocybin training program by the Oregon Health Authority (Training Program ID #TP-ce7dd84c) and authorized by the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC).  

    Regardless of which cohort applicants apply for, any applicant may participate in our Oregon training program in Portland, Oregon that will take place April 4th to 6th, 2025. See the tuition section for the additional cost of this training. Any trainees who finish the certificate curriculum, complete the specific additional Oregon training in Portland, and also pass an exam may then apply to OHA for a facilitator license to do psilocybin work at an Oregon service center. Please read further details about this here. As of January 1st, 2025, the Oregon statute 333-333-4050 will be expanded to allow people who are not residents of Oregon to be licensed as psilocybin facilitators.  

    On the application, you will be asked to decline this opportunity to be trained in Portland, Oregon or give us your level of interest to be included in that training. Depending on the numbers of enrollees interested in this opportunity as well as any rule changes from OHA before April 2025, we will make as many spaces available in the April Portland training as possible. We are very happy to be the largest and oldest training program to be approved by OHA.

  • These professionals below have specific eligibility requirements:

    Criteria for Clergy and Chaplains: Ordained clergy and commissioned/ordained chaplains are eligible if they actively serve in pastoral counseling and spiritual direction within the well-known world religious traditions. The three requirements for this group are that they must: have earned an accredited M.Div. with study in psychology and therapeutic skills; be ordained or commissioned within a supervised traditional and established curriculum with multiple teachers; and preferably have completed 4 units of CPE prior to application. There is aid available for clergy and chaplains who demonstrate financial need.

    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 counseling, estate plan counseling, family and elder law counseling, and community dispute resolution.  

Application Information

Only candidates who have submitted all application materials will be considered. When necessary for clarifications, candidates will be asked to meet with an admissions committee member.  

  • In 2-4 double-spaced pages, please describe your background and interest in this certificate. We recommend limiting your answers to the seven questions below to no more than approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of a page each. Please answer each of the seven questions in order. Please include descriptions of your training in therapy, medicine, counseling law, or spiritual direction where relevant.

    • Share how you learned the following topics and where you practiced these therapeutic skills and knowledge with diverse clinical populations: understanding of psychological diagnoses; skills in building the therapeutic alliance; how to conduct individual and group psychotherapy; and clinical and pastoral confidentiality.
    • Please describe your training in diversity, equity, and inclusion and how you use that knowledge and skill base to improve your clinical work or spiritual direction practice.
    • Tell us how you integrate psychology, mindfulness, or spirituality into your own practices of personal development.
    • Any training program that teaches about trauma informed care can bring up a trainee's own history of interpersonal and/or cultural trauma. Please explain your thoughts on how a training program can skillfully respond to such events while balancing the need to cover required content. Additionally, please share what you might do if this happens to you personally during your training.
    • Ethical considerations are of utmost importance in interventions when clients are in an altered state of consciousness. Please discuss your commitment to the ethical standards of your profession and how you have maintained professional and pastoral boundaries with those you have served in your practice.
    • Please share what you would tell a fellow clinician or clergy member who asks you for advice when their client asks them to use unlawful psychedelics as part of their professional practice.
    • In addition, your goals are important to us. Please share with us what you hope to do with this certificate. Make sure to consider the ways you might use this training for your current work in the world and how this training can contribute to your long-term life goals.
  • Please include a resume or CV that outlines the history of your higher education, licensure, ordainment, or commission status, practica, internships, residencies, work in service to communities, pastoral care, and fieldwork.

  • Licensed applicants should submit a copy of current license(s). Clergy/chaplains should upload their commission/ordination papers and optionally, any documentation of 1-4 units of CPE.

  • Please submit contact information for two current or past clinical supervisors, mentors, and/or professors who are willing to serve as a reference. Include their full name, email, phone number, and relationship to the applicant. We prefer contacting references rather than reading letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Scholarships

The education, experience, and connections available through our certificate program last a lifetime. We offer multiple ways to make this professional training accessible and affordable, including Need-Based Scholarships for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, military service members/veterans, clergy or chaplains, and those serving under-resourced communities.

  • Application Fee: $150 non-refundable

    Tuition Cost:

    • Hybrid Boston and San Francisco Cohorts (incl. Holotropic Breathwork): $8,900
    • Online Cohort: $8,300
       

    Optional Additional Costs:

    • Holotropic Breathwork for the Online Cohort in SF (1/31/25 to 2/2/25): $500
    • Oregon OHA Coursework in Portland (4/4/25 to 4/6/25): $650
       

    When an applicant is offered admission to the 2024-2025 program, the first tuition payment is due within three weeks of the offer of admission or by June 17, 2024, whichever comes first. See the Information Packet for both tuition payment options: one or three payments. The first payment will secure your space in the program.

  • The certificate program sponsors Need-Based Scholarships for applicants under five specific criteria.

    Applicants for scholarships must write a 1-page letter which demonstrates financial need as well as membership in one or more of these five groups:  

    • Those identified as BIPOC
    • Those identified as LGBTQIA+
    • Those who are military service members/veterans
    • Those who are clergy or chaplains
    • Those who are serving under-resourced communities

    In the 1-page letter, each scholarship applicant will report key facts about their financial situation. Applicants should describe their lived experience and membership in one or more of the above five groups. The Need-Based Scholarship statement letter is due with the application materials. Need-based scholarships will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for applicants offered enrollment. Applicants requesting a scholarship should apply early. Our goal is that applicants for aid will be notified on a rolling basis through May 15, 2024.

    Since 2016, we have dispersed over $1 million to students from training program revenue and donated scholarship funds.  

    We would like to thank all our donors who have generously funded scholarships, particularly the Certificate Alumni Association and the Boston Psychedelic Research Group for funding BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ scholarships, since 2016.   

Continuing Education

Mental health trainees and nurses may earn up to 30 approved hours of applicable Continuing Education Credits for an additional administrative fee. Please see the details below of the organizations with which the certificate program has contracted to provide Continuing Education Credits. There will be an additional charge of $50-80 per weekend for CEs. Currently, the only medical professionals who can earn continuing education credits are RNs and NPs. Up to 30 Continuing Education Credits may be earned during the training by the professionals eligible below.

  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. LCSW, LPCC, LEP, LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain this document for 4 years after the course concludes. SCA is an approved CE provider for National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (CEP Number 100196).

    For other questions about CEs, contact Spiritual Competency Academy at info@spiritualcompetencyacademy.com.

    Trainees are awarded a certificate of completion for course work after paying the continuing education fee and completing the CE program evaluation up to 30 hours. Continuing Education Certificates are emailed to trainees.

    For questions about enrolling in CE or receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Wendy Campbell at wcampbell@ciis.edu

Information Packet

Please read more about the program including program philosophy and goals; format information; benefits of attending; payment and withdrawal policies; curriculum of the certificate; and further details on above sections in the 2024-2025 Certificate Information Packet here.

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