The journey to creating an accredited certificate program in Psychedelic Assisted Integration Psychotherapy (PAIP).
I’d had some experience of psychedelic integration in the school I attended to learn how to facilitate the process. I took a lot of inspiration from this school, but I knew we were learning from an outdated template. So, back in 2019 I began searching for a recognised program to become a psychedelic-assisted psychotherapist. I also had colleagues and students who were interested in working with what I tend to call medicines. I asked for advice from the research department and received the reply that therapists would be needed when psychedelic medicines became legal and a recommendation for a particular program. My heart sank when I looked at it. It would cost me thousands to attend the training and a similar amount to travel to the US to learn, and I would also have to convince the faculty to let me on without an MSc. The worst part was that most of their curriculum was nothing new to me; I’d been teaching similar things to students for years. As an enthusiastic student, I love to learn, but there came the point where my understanding of what I needed to know became complete.
And so, I began the excruciating journey of finding a place for my programs to sit that would help my students reach people and have a profession for life.
The first task was to combine two programs I have written and delivered over the past ten years into a level five diploma in Integration Psychotherapy. I’m happy to say that the National Council for Integrative Psychotherapists (NCIP) awarded us with accreditation because I align with their ethics and feel that they are a forward-thinking bunch with whom I want to be associated. Once they recognised the program, I started to train people in this approach. Our first cohort of fifteen people has just completed the in-person aspect of the journey. We are receiving such positive feedback from their student placements with our Non-Profit organisation Integration Psychotherapy Services IPS – it’s a blessing to follow how the therapy unfolds through them.
The second task was easy in comparison to the previous one. I was to bring together a program to support plant medicine/ psychedelic facilitators, integrators, or therapists who wish to work in this field and get it approved by our accreditors. I have created a program that shares some of the knowledge I have gained from all areas of my learning and invited trusted colleagues to share their expertise. It seeks to share practical knowledge about the human system, look at how it develops according to the early environment and how it maintains early patterns by shaping the thereafter environment. We learn about how the grand construct of our minds work, explore the energy system that creates everything, and help people connect to and work with the innate wisdom in all of us to bring them to moments of being and unity. The course is structured through an Integration Psychotherapy lens; thus, movement, talking therapy and sacred techniques are integrated as one for the benefit of the client.
This being done, I have moved on to the third challenge: spreading the word among friends and colleagues who work in plant medicine. This could be the biggest challenge yet!!
However, I’ve made steps towards this.
We will share more about the course in a free webinar at 7 pm on Tuesday 31st of October. If you want to know more about the course or the webinar, please visit this page.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.”
Founder Director The Yogologist, The Pilamaya Centre and Co-Founder of Integration Psychotherapy Services (IPS)