The APT program consists of a total of 5 on-site modules in Berlin, Germany, as well as continuous weekly online training (lectures, reading groups, mentoring sessions, and neuromeditation training) and pre-recorded content you can attend in your own time. In Year 1, you will also participate in two integration programs that the MIND Foundation is offering: Beyond Experience and Footsteps. You can also complete Beyond Experience and/or Footsteps before enrolling in APT, in which case you will be granted a corresponding discount. Learn more about teaching contents and formats in APT here.
To participate in the English-language APT program, you need to be able to speak and write English fluently (equivalent to C1 language skills).
Reading and understanding English well is also a requirement for participating in the German-language program, since most of the literature is in English and many online lectures are given by international experts of psychedelic therapy and research.
You have toYou have to attend a minimum of 80% of the program to be able to earn your certificate. If you miss one of the on-site modules, you can join the next training group to complete your attendance. If you miss online activities such as lectures or reading groups, you will have the chance to watch a recording where appropriate.
If one of the modules is canceled because of COVID-related restrictions, it will be re-scheduled later with enough time for the participants to plan ahead. If the imposed rules only allow for smaller groups or if certain activities (e.g. breathwork) cannot be scheduled due to the related potential health risks, we will adapt the program accordingly in order to guarantee safe proceedings. If experiential sessions have to be cancelled, we will try to re-schedule them separately in the future.
The tuition fee covers on-site and online learning sessions, mentoring, self-experience, and learning materials. Drinks and snacks are included during the week-long modules. You are required to take care of your own accommodation and meals.
CERTIFICATE/ JOB CHANCES FOR PSYCHEDELIC THERAPISTS
After successfully completing the two-year training you will be eligible for a certificate in augmented psychotherapy (and thus be certified as psychedelic therapist or co-therapist). This certificate includes individual breathwork, ketamine-, and psychedelic-augmented psychotherapy. However, of course, this certificate will not be a permit for anything that is not legal under the jurisdiction where you work. While psychedelic integration therapy and breathwork will be possible means of treatment for most of our graduates, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy will most likely only be possible in cooperation with a medical doctor (e.g. an anesthesiologist). Having completed a two-year course including extensive knowledge of psychedelics will make you an interesting candidate for participating in clinical trials, but the practice of psychedelic-augmented psychotherapy outside of the controlled study context is still years in the future. We hope to equip you in the best possible way to be allowed to practice psychedelic-augmented psychotherapy one day, but we cannot make any promises as to when and how this might actually become available to our graduates.
MIND/OVID is currently expanding its outreach and will be involved in several clinical trials in the years to come. Of course, we can’t provide all participants of the APT program with a professional perspective, but the close proximity to the international research field and the growing demand for well-trained psychedelic therapists with thorough knowledge concerning psychedelic states will be opening up professional opportunities in this line of work in the future.
We see augmented psychotherapy as a new and promising approach to treating mental disorders. While it is unlikely to replace conventional treatment models in psychotherapy and psychiatry, it will be filling a niche and provide a new therapeutic option for patients that cannot find adequate support in the currently available treatment models.
While offering psychedelic integration therapy is largely possible without legal worries, you should check out the current situation of the jurisdiction you live and practice in when thinking about working with ketamine and possibly other pharmacological means to altering consciousness in your patients.
Augmentation refers to adding another “tool” to psychotherapy in order to make it more effective. In our case, a broad spectrum of methods to induce altered states of consciousness is used to augment the therapeutic process. You will learn about both pharmacological and non-pharmacological tools that enable psychedelic states in the sense of manifesting the mind.
Scientific studies, as well as lengthy experience, show good effectiveness in the use of altered states of consciousness in the treatment of mental health problems. In augmented psychotherapy, altered states of consciousness are combined with specifically designed psychotherapy methods. An augmented psychotherapy process consists of preparation, therapeutic sessions in altered states of consciousness, and integration sessions. Since nobody should induce altered states of consciousness without a clear concept of how to integrate the occurring experiences, we focus on integration during the first year of the training program.
We teach a broad scope of methods to access altered states of consciousness: You can encounter non-pharmacological methods from guided imagery, trance & music journeys, and stroboscopic light induction to breathwork. We cover the theory on ketamine, the classic psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, and many more. In terms of self-experience, we offer the described non-pharmacological methods throughout the whole training and a total of three ketamine-assisted self-experience sessions per participant in the second program year. We hope to be able to offer a psilocybin self-experience session in the second program year.
Psychedelic therapy commonly refers to treatment with psychedelic substances. But Augmented Psychotherapy has a broader framework. This training emphasizes two aspects of working professionally with psychedelic/altered states of consciousness: First, the deep understanding of the psychedelic experience itself, and second, the specific challenges that come with harnessing these states as tools for psychotherapy.
Under this perspective, a psychedelic experience can be elicited through either psychedelic substances or non-pharmacologically through means like breathwork or meditation, enabling therapeutically beneficial states of mind.
Throughout the two-year of training, you will acquire knowledge and skills concerning Psychedelic Integration Therapy, non-pharmacological methods for therapy involving altered states of consciousness, and psychedelic substances as tools for therapeutic work.
We understand integration as a values-based stance towards altered states of consciousness. Instead of depicting integration solely as engaging with the content of an experience in the phase after it has occurred, integration is a generally relevant aspect of working with psychedelic experiences. Being able to professionally support integration processes is a required skill set we deem necessary before the actual facilitation of experiences in altered states of consciousness.
In short: If you are unable to facilitate the integration of experiences, you should not induce them.
The training is covering all essential aspects of Psychedelic Integration Therapy & Augmented Psychotherapy, enabling the participants to offer these therapies upon graduation. Extensive, hands-on practice and case work will be central to the training program. Self-experience is also an integral part, but not the main focal point of this program since. APT is a training program for mental health professionals, and the priority is to teach the skills needed for working with patients and clients. The theoretical frameworks provided are discussed in connection with their clinical relevance and interlinked with experiential exercises.
In APT, no specific psychotherapeutic orientation or school is emphasized over others. Instead, the program follows an cross-school approach, aiming to understand psychotherapeutic processes (whether conventional or psychedelic-augmented) from an integrative perspective.
Empirical psychotherapy research has identified several general change mechanisms which are thought to underlie the effectiveness of all psychotherapies. Following this view, the distinct techniques used in different schools of psychotherapy are thought ultimately drive the same common factors. One practically useful conceptualization of these common factors that is particularly well established empirically was proposed by the German psychotherapy researcher Klaus Grawe, who identified five general change mechanisms:
The therapeutic relationship
Clarification of meaning
In Grawe´s conceptualization, these general change mechanisms capture the essence of all effective psychotherapies, allowing for productive discussions across different psychotherapeutic schools and traditions. Furthermore, the general change mechanisms view is immensely helpful for understanding, and making use of, the therapeutic potential of altered states of consciousness. The common factors perspective is therefore strongly emphasized throughout the APT program.
APT participants come from diverse professional and academic backgrounds. Many of them have training in one or more psychotherapeutic orientations and apply these in their work as psychotherapists. The integrative cross-school approach taken in APT allows for productive communication and fruitful discussions in the group.
Having one´s own meditation practice allows for a deeper understanding of the phenomena occurring in altered states of consciousness and facilitates their therapeutic use. We encourage participants to undergo a sustained self-developmental process throughout the duration of the whole program, and consider meditation training an essential part thereof.
Supporting a group setting in breathwork involves a far higher level of training and experience. As most psychotherapists work with individual patients, our focus is on teaching how to best integrate breathwork sessions in an ongoing therapeutic process.
With the breathwork training for individual sessions, you have created optimal conditions if you want to train in group breathwork afterwards. Our breathwork team will happily assist you in finding a suitable training program in the field.
An integral part of the APT program is small-group mentoring, which includes elements of clinical supervision and is intended to create a fruitful dialogue in a group of peers with the support of an experienced psychotherapist. The mentoring groups will meet online 10 times per year, and also on-site during the intensive trainings held in Berlin. The mentors come from different therapeutic schools and walks of life, enabling lively discussions and interactions. Some of the mentors have been chosen for their expertise in the psychedelic field, while others are on board mainly because of the excellent qualification as psychotherapists.
The APT program is designed to teach therapists the practice of applying altered states of consciousness as part of their therapeutic work. We teach different techniques and strategies to achieve these states of consciousness, some completely free to be used and others legally regimented. While non-pharmacological methods should be at your disposal wherever you practice, ketamine-augmented psychotherapy should be available to you if you team up with a medical doctor or hold a medical license yourself. In most countries, the use of classical psychedelics such as psilocybin will be restricted to clinical studies and (in some counties) compassionate use in the next few years. However, with the imminent approval of several psychedelic substances, the legal situation is very likely to change substantially. We explicitly do not train underground therapists, but professionals who are willing to adhere to the given legal framework and help to advance the legalization of psychedelic therapy through participation in scientific studies and compassionate use for the time being. Let’s get ready to implement safe and legal psychedelic psychotherapy in the future together!
Augmented Psychotherapy involves a scope of possible accesses to altered states of consciousness – psychedelic substances being only one of them. During the two years of the training, you will learn to apply different methods and techniques to induce and support altered states in yourself and patients/clients. A strong interest to understand the workings of the human mind and how altered states of consciousness can be beneficial to treating mental illness is far more important than previous extensive experience with psychedelics. We will provide self-experience with ketamine and (if legally possible) psilocybin the second program year.
Both the induction and self-experience of altered states of consciousness are integral elements of the APT program. Since MIND/OVID is fully dedicated to respecting the existing legal framework, we do not provide any illegal experiential sessions but use the options that are currently available in Germany. You will experience deep meditative states, breathwork, stroboscopic light, and ketamine sessions during your training. We are currently trying to establish an option to legally provide our trainees with psilocybin experiences within the framework of studies with healthy individuals.
When training to become a psychedelic therapist, getting acquainted with the relevant methods/techniques and further developing your own personality in conjunction with these methods is a key factor and a known main mode of action of any therapy. Experiencing altered states of consciousness first hand is an integral part of your training. If you are not willing to submit to your own developmental process during the training, you are not likely to achieve your full professional potential in Augmented Psychotherapy.