PSYCHEDELIC-ASSISTED
THERAPY TRAINING PROGRAMS

Training therapists for psychedelic therapy is a new frontier, and one which we are honoured to be able to offer with a highly respected and growing lineup of trained therapists and practitioners.

We are currently offering the Therapist Training course, and are actively developing further offerings in classroom, online and experiential training. Our next round of training will begin on November 2nd, and will run each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm MST.

Becoming a trusted psychedelic therapist sitter, guide, or coach is a sacred container in which deep understanding of both the traditional use of the medicine and the psychological realities of the client's experience need to be recognized and honoured.

Our therapist training program is designed to bring together the research, science and safety studies together with a deep understanding of how the psychedelic medicines can be effective in creating a bedrock of understanding for development of the psychedelic therapist’s work.

The CPMA Certified Therapist Training Program will begin with re-defining the psychiatric models from one of “chemical imbalance” to one more rooted in the mind-body-spiritual dynamic that psychedelic therapy can bring to the client.

The training program will include didactic material providing a basic understanding of the various psychedelic and entheogenic medicines currently in use, including Psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, Iboga, Ayahuasca, Ketamine, and other lesser known psychedelics.

Our teaching faculty for this program features a number of the leading authorities in their respective fields and areas of expertise, and our past and future faculty are chosen from the following growing list of contributing luminaries including:

DR. ANTHONY BOSSIS: Guest Lecturer

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Anthony Bossis: Guest Lecturer

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

PAUL STAMETS

MYCOLOGIST, RESEARCHER, AUTHOR AND ENTREPRENEUR

Dr. Rick Doblin

Founder and Executive Director, MAPS

DR. ERIKA DYCK

PROF. & CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR, HISTORY OF MEDICINE, U OF SASKATCHEWAN

Dr. Megan McElheran

CHIEF CLINICIAN AND CEO, WAYFOUND

Dr. Rakesh Jain

Jain Uplift

DR. SAUNDRA JAIN

ADJUNCT CLINICAL AFFILIATE, U OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF NURSING

DR. IAN MITCHELL

EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN AND ASSOCIATE CLINICAL PROFESSOR, UBC

Dr. Pamela Kryskow

Roots to Thrive

Bruce Sanguin

Psychotherapist

Françoise Bourzat

Center for Consciousness Medicine

Trevor Millar

Board Member, Canadian Psychedelic Association

DAVID HARDER

Co-Founder and Co-CEO, ATMA Journey Centers

NATALIE HARDER

PROGRAM DIRECTOR, ATMA JOURNEY CENTERS INC.

Tarzie McLean

Psychotherapist and Owner of SoulCompass

DR. RAVINDER (RAVI) BAINS

Chief Medical Officer, ATMA Journey Centers

Dr. Lyle GALLOWAY, MD

Palliative Care Medical Advisor

Jane Cooper, MA

Transpersonal Psychotherapist

Dinesh Bhayana

Emergency & Addiction Physician, Board Member, MAPS

We are working with Health Canada to provide experiential training for participants to experience the medicine journey through a clinical trial. The guided psilocybin sessions will take place in Calgary, and we will be announcing the timelines and details as soon as we receive confirmation from Health Canada.

We will dive into the various applications for which psychedelic therapy has been known to be effective, including palliative care, mental health including depression, anxiety and PTSD, and other lesser discussed applications. Time will be given to seeing how the various molecules have been most effective for which ailments, but more importantly, why we believe the therapist needs to first understand the core issues that need addressing, and then how the various psychedelics can best be used for those applications.

Research and studies from around the globe that have been published to date will be presented for review and to be assessed for current relevance to the therapist’s work. A required reading list will be given as part of the course completion requirements.

A deeper understanding of the history of plant teachers including San Pedro, Ayahuasca, Mescaline and Psilocybin mushrooms will be discussed as to the importance of honouring the traditions of the plant teachers and to how the ancient wisdom can inform the work of western psychedelic integration.

Working with post-psychedelic therapy integration models, the therapists in our training programs will then be presented with a variety of integration models and options from which to create their own unique toolbox for their ongoing therapy.

THERAPIST TRAINING PROGRAM TOPICS

Introduction to Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

  • Introductions, setting the direction and space for the course
  • A history of Psychedelics

Ethics in Psychedelic Psychotherapy

  • Ethics in Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy

Hands-On Work and Practical Consideration

  • How to set up the space for effective therapy
  • Nuts and bolts of Psychedelic therapy: Forms, intake, screening and processes

Ketamine, LSD, and Other Psychedelic Medicines:

  • Therapy and uses
  • Dosing, methods of consumption, other considerations 

Sitters/ Guides/Therapists Roles

  • Past and current models of therapy with psychedelic medicines
  • The art of the sitter and guide

MDMA and Psilocybin Treatment

  • Applications and uses
  • Dosage, treatment and other consideration

Palliative Care with Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy

  • MDMA-assisted therapy and uses
  • Applications and considerations for therapy

Integration

  • Exploration of different models of integration

*Module order and topics subject to change.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN YOUR TRAINING

  • 16 sections in 8 modules
  • Interactive Zoom classes for those not in Calgary
  • Live classroom setting in Calgary (as COVID guidelines allow)
  • Consideration and inclusion in the experiential clinical trial program
  • Optional and per Health Canada’s approvals ongoing: Hands-on training with real-world clients for select approved therapists with clients following the training.
Program Training Investment:  $1,595.00 USD plus G.S.T.    

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This training is designed to help practicing counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and medial professionals gain a basic understanding of psychedelic therapy.  This work can support other modalities that you may already facilitate with clients (such as IFS, somatic therapy, EMDR, breathwork, etc).  It is not intended to replace what you feel already works, but to provide you with additional, science-based tools to enhance your current practice.

Coming out of this course, you will have a basic understanding of:

  • The various psychedelic medicines in use today;
  • How to best set up a session with a client in psychedelic therapy;
  • Some of the legal and ethical issues that need to be considered when using psychedelic psychotherapy; 
  • A sense of how and for which applications these medicines work; and 
  • A clear path on what is required in order for you to introduce this work to your practice when these medicines become legalized.

This is not a mandatory component of the training, but we believe that one of the most important elements of working with psychedelic-assisted therapy is to have first-hand experience with  the medicine.  We are working closely with Health Canada to find the right way to safely provide this as an option to each student enrolled in the course. This experiential understanding is, we believe, essential to being a qualified therapist to provide psychedelic therapy, to more empathetically understand what the client is experiencing.

We are currently working with Health Canada to find a pathway forward to be able to offer an experiential aspect to the training. We are hopeful that this will be resolved very soon through the Clinical Trial Application currently in the approval process, and will be updating this site and making announcements when we are able to confirm this piece. 

We are developing a course specifically for non-registered Healthcare Workers and will be working with Health Canada to educate and equip Health Care Professionals. Subscribe to our therapist training email list for continued updates.

This training course draws from a lineup of exceptionally qualified and experienced instructors in the psychedelic field.  You will meet and interact with some of the leading minds and voices in psychedelic medicine from Canada and beyond, giving you a deep insight into the historical, present and future applications of this important work. We are confident that the training will, in the limited time allowed, provide a solid understanding of each of the given areas of study.  

Yes! We have a partnership with the Psychologists Association of Alberta, and have CE  credits available for eligible professionals.

As you are likely aware, we are in a state of significant change in Canada with regard to psychedelics.  Health Canada is opening the door slowly to patients to access these medicines, but we believe it will be a matter of at least some months if not a year or two before these medicines are fully accessible for therapists to offer their clients. At ATMA, we are preparing for these medicines to become legal for therapy, and believe that those who are qualified therapists, together with an understanding of the medicines, will be at the forefront of the leading edge therapy protocols in the future.  Psychedelic medicine will have a significant impact on treatment and therapy options for mental health, PTSD, and addictions.  Now is the time to fully educate oneself as a therapist to be ready for the wave of need for therapists that is coming.

We do not offer refunds,  however, we will work with you to change to a different cohort if  you are unable to from attend the course you registered for.

Yes! All sessions are recorded and are available after the evening is complete.  If you must miss a class, you can catch up when it works best for you. You can also go back to review material that you found interesting and want to rediscover.  Videos are saved under the main header of each training session.

With the current restrictions in place with the COVID 19 Pandemic Situation, there are NO in person events. We follow all government guidelines based in Alberta, and will update this as restrictions change.

Jane Cooper has decades of experiences supporting people to wake up to the truth of who they are. All of Jane’s work is informed by her beliefs in the innate capacity of each person to heal and move towards wholeness. She is also a practitioner who believes in the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness especially when combined with the teachings of Internal Family Systems therapy and Stan Grof (one of the founders of Transpersonal Psychology and Holotropic Breathwork and one of the original psychonauts). Jane started her training with him in 1993 and continues to learn from him and his teachings daily.

As a professional Counsellor and Psychotherapist, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reiki Practitioner, and Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, Jane brings a fresh blend of professional skills to all of her work. She is committed to being of service to humanity and does so in a clear, direct, honest, authentic, and compassionate way, while not supporting ongoing denial or deflection.

Bruce Sanguin has been a Clinical Fellow with the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists for 25 years. He currently lives in Victoria, BC where he practices as a psychotherapist. He is the author of seven books, the latest of which, Dismantled: How Love and Psychedelics Broke a Clergyman Apart and Put Him Back Together, describes his own healing journey using psychedelics in the context of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. As well as practicing psychotherapy, Bruce is a keynote speaker at psychedelic conferences, with an active interest in the integration of spirituality and psychology.
Dr. Christie is a clinical instructor with the UBC Department of Medicine and a family physician with a focused practice in Multidisciplinary Pain Management. She is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor emphasizing Relational Somatic Therapy for trauma resolution and is trained to deliver both MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD (MAPS USA) and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, in a research setting. She is a recognized speaker and expert on the potential for incorporating psychedelic assisted therapies in an improved health care model for the future.
Dr. Anthony Bossis is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He is Director of Palliative Care Research, Co-Principal Investigator, and a session guide for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Project, a FDA-approved clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon existential and psycho-spiritual distress in persons with cancer.

Mike is an addiction and trauma therapist with 15 years of experience working in residential and outpatient treatment programs with both individuals and groups. His therapeutic ethos focuses on offering the development of evidence-based skills as well as support to integrate these skills so that his clients may realize a more fulfilling life. He practices a blend of approaches including motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and existential therapy. Mike believes in the transformative power of psychedelic medicines to connect people with their inner healing intelligence and the embodied wisdom accessible to all. He recognizes the importance of a safe container being created (including preparation and integration), and values how this supports the development of psychological flexibility, potentially leading to profound and lasting improvements in the person’s quality of life via behavioural change.

Mike has been working with first responders for the past 2 years facilitating PTSD healing groups. His recent efforts have been focused on the development of Resilient Living Recovery (RLR), a 10 week online addiction treatment program for people with mild to moderate substance use problems. Since 2018, Mike has presented at the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference and has been training as a study therapist for clinical research led by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on a clinical trial that will see the MAPS MDMA protocol for trauma applied to eating disorders. He has also been approved as a research therapist on a clinical trial with Numinous that will investigate the use of psilocybin for substance use disorders via motivational enhancement therapy. Mike has attended several psychedelic integration workshops and is a consultant for PsyGen Labs focusing on the therapeutic aspects pertaining to the development of psychedelic medicine clinical trials.

Trevor Millar is a social-entrepreneur who has played a key role in advancing the psychedelic movement for nearly a decade. He has the unique perspective of having operated a business where he legally administered psychedelics to over 200 people within Canada, mostly for substance use disorder. Since May 2018 he has been on the board of directors for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada, where he acted as Chair of the Board for over two years. MAPS is a non-profit organization and a leader in supporting scientific research into psychedelics. He is also currently a board member and co-founder of the Canadian Psychedelic Association.

From 2012 to 2017, Trevor was active as the founder and President of Liberty Root Therapy Inc., a business dedicated to healing and transformation by legally providing the plant medicine ibogaine to people mostly with opiate use disorder. Trevor was featured in the award-winning documentary about using magic mushrooms and Iboga to treat addiction, anxiety and depression called DOSED, which was released in 2019. He is currently the Chief Psychedelic Officer of NeonMind Biosciences Inc., a corporation dedicated to developing and commercializing products that contain legal medicinal mushrooms and those that may contain psychedelic compounds. Trevor is also on the Advisory Board of Nature Spirit Labs Inc.

Dr. Erika Dyck is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine. She is the author of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus (Johns Hopkins, 2008; University of Manitoba Press, 2011), Managing Madness: The Weyburn Mental Hospital and Transformations of Psychiatric Care in Canada (2017) and the co-editor of Culture’s Catalyst: Encounters with Peyote and the Native American Church in Canada (2016) and Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (2018).
Dr. Saundra Jain is an Adjunct Clinical Affiliate, School of Nursing, at The University of Texas at Austin, and a psychotherapist in private practice. Dr. Jain is a co-creator of the WILD 5 Wellness Program and co-author of a well-received workbook written for those interested in improving their mental wellness – KickStart30: A Proven 30-Day Mental Wellness Program. She is co-creator of the Psychedelics and Wellness Survey (PAWS) exploring the intersect between psychedelics and wellness. She serves as a member of the Psych Congress Steering Committee providing direction regarding educational gaps/needs for mental health practitioners, and Sana Symposium providing psychedelics education for mental health and addiction professionals.
Dr. Megan McElheran is the CEO and Chief Clinical Psychologist of Wayfound Mental Health Group. Dr. McElheran completed graduate training at the PAU-Stanford University Clinical Psychology Consortium, during which she obtained specialized training in the treatment of PTSD through the National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, CA. Dr. McElheran has been in practice in Calgary since 2008. She continues to focus on work with first responders, and her clinical practice involves work with active-duty members of the Canadian Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of the Calgary Firefighter Department, medical personnel, and others who are directly or vicariously impacted by traumatic events. She routinely engages in teaching and supervisory activity to ensure the sound dissemination of empirically-grounded interventions for trauma. Dr. McElheran is regularly engaged in speaking events, both locally and internationally. She completed a TEDx speech in 2011 related to Trauma, Change, and Resilience and most recently completed a discussion for the Healing Project on trauma and PTSD.

Tarzie McLean is a therapist with a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. She has been working in counselling/mental health, community development and systems transformation for about 20 years, including individual, couples and family support, group facilitation and training, program development, project management, and provincial health system work. She has always been very curious about what motivates us and what makes us who we are. She has been interested in helping and psychology and the human condition ever since she can remember. Even when she was a kid, she was very inquisitive about figuring out people and the different circumstances that wind together to create our realities.

Through her work, Tarzie is honoured to walk beside clients on their journeys to greater understanding and creating meaningful change. She finds great meaning in helping people make sense of factors that affect their ability to live a life that is desired. She is strongly committed to helping shape and improve clients’ understanding of their issues so they are better equipped to bring forth transformational shifts.

Tarzie’s educational background also includes training as a death doula / end-of-life care facilitator, as well as completion of an intensive clinical psychedelic psychotherapist training in 2016.

Natalie has a deep passion for creating spaces for people to feel safe and open for personal transformation. Her experiences as an on-air radio personality, years as an on-air television journalist producing and directing a weekly show as well as contributing to a daily live program for a national television station, allowed her to witness literally hundreds of peoples individual stories. In addition to these public roles, she managed multiple television station locations, designed and oversaw studio expansions, managed a program for artists and musicians with an international humanitarian organization, after which she started and ran her own successful company focused on personal health and wellness for 6 years.

David has worked full-time for the past 5 years in researching, advocating and moving the work of non-ordinary state therapy and psychedelic medicine forward in Canada. He co-founded and led Catalyst Presents, a Psychedelic Research Conference, and ATMA Journey Centers, a Canadian non-profit dedicated to bringing psychedelic-assisted therapy to Canadians which was successful in achieving one of Canada’s first modern legal exemptions to undertake psychedelic-assisted work. With a Master’s degree in religious studies and having been both a college professor and international humanitarian relief worker, David has always dedicated himself to the service of others. He brings a deep experience and reverence for psychedelic medicine and believes that it will play a key role in bringing healing to humanity.

Mark Haden is an Adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health.

As the past Executive Director of MAPS Canada (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), he has published on the issue of drug control policy and psychedelics in the following Journals: Canadian Journal of Public Health, International Journal of Drug Policy, Encyclopaedia of Public Health, Harm Reduction Journal, Open Medicine, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, and the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Mark teaches in the UBC school of medicine (Population and Public Health), obtained an MSW from UBC and worked for the Addiction Services for 28 years in counselling and supervisory roles. He has provided public education on drugs and drug policy for over 30 years and works with the Health Officers Council of British Columbia on their position papers on the issue of a regulated market for all currently illegal drugs.

He has presented in conferences and training events in many countries and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for drug policy reform work in 2013.