Becoming a Psychedelic Therapist: An Introduction to the Field and Practice of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

Hybrid | Fridays, Oct. 25, Nov. 8, and Nov. 15, 2024 | See below for time.

$265 | 9 CEUs

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Delivery: Hybrid (both in-person and live remote learning)

  1. Friday, Oct. 25, 2024 - Online via Zoom from 1  - 3 p.m.
  2. Friday, Nov. 8, 2024 - In-Person from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (1/2 hr. lunch break - lunch will be provided)
  3. Friday, Nov.15, 2024 - Online via Zoom from 1  - 3 p.m.

This three-part continuing education series provides a foundational understanding of the research, clinical practice, and policy landscape of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Through live and remote learning sessions, trainees will gain an introduction to the efficacy, research base, and therapeutic approach of these therapies, as well as an overview of the policy landscape and how this growing movement impacts the field of social work. Through a 5-hour, in-person session, trainees will gain an overview of the specific therapeutic skills most often employed in psychedelic therapy facilitation and learn how these skills fit into existing frameworks for clinical practice. This session will feature a particular focus on applying the skills of psychedelic facilitation through role-play exercises and a case study of a client receiving ketamine-assisted psychotherapy—the only psychedelic therapy legally accessible in Pennsylvania outside of a clinical trial context. Throughout this course, issues of diversity, inclusion, equitable access, and indigenous reciprocity are addressed as they relate to the research and practice of psychedelic medicine.

Learning Objectives: Participants of this program will learn:(1) How ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin are being studied and used clinically alongside psychotherapy in the U.S.; (2) Specific skills core to psychedelic facilitation, as well as a framework for understanding how psychedelic facilitation fits into more traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. (3) How social workers can work legally with these medicines and the role that social workers can play—both clinically and in advocacy and organizational leadership—in shaping the psychedelic renaissance.

This series is appropriate for all levels of clinical practitioners.


Courtney Hutchison, LSW, MSS, MPH is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, and psychedelic facilitator practicing in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in the treatment and research of trauma-related disorders and relationship violence, with a special focus on the intersections of these concerns with psychedelic psychotherapy. Since 2020, she has worked at SoundMind Institute, a West Philadelphia clinic and training program focusing on bringing equity to the psychedelic ecosystem, where she provides ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, co-leads trainings in psychedelic facilitation, and manages operations for one of the longest-running psychedelic facilitator training programs in the nation. She holds a master’s degree in social service from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley, a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University. She is in her final year of doctoral work at Rutgers School of Social Work. Earlier in her career, Courtney was a medical journalist and racial equity policy advocate, and a deep appreciation of the systemic forces that shape opportunities for health continue to drive her clinical and research endeavors today.

Cost | CEUs

Program Cost: $265 for the series (Partial registration is not available for this program.)

Discount Rate: Not available for this program.

CEUs: 9



This session will provide an overview of the most dominant forms of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy currently being researched in clinical trials or in clinical practices: ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. This includes an overview of the pharmacology of each medicine, the models of therapy within which they are provided, evidence to support their efficacy, and their current policy status (i.e., pathway to approval for medicinal use) of each. This session will also situate the psychedelic psychotherapy within the historical context of the indigenous and traditional healing modalities that have used psychoactive substances therapeutically for millennia.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a basic understanding of the current research evidence on the safety and efficacy of the three dominant forms of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
  • Understand the proposed therapeutic models applying the use of ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin to psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Learn the historical context of indigenous and traditional healing practices using psychedelics and how this has informed clinical practice today.

This training introduces the non-directive therapeutic approach most often used in psychedelic facilitation sessions. Given the enhanced vulnerability and suggestibility of altered states of consciousness, this approach employs empathic, supportive presence and client-led discussion, with a focus on holding a safe therapeutic container for the client to guide their own process of meaning-making. The instructor will compare and contrast this facilitation approach with traditional psychotherapeutic approaches (e.g., psychodynamic, relational, humanistic therapies), helping trainees to situate how psychedelic facilitation bridges traditional, indigenous healing practices and modern, Western clinical techniques. Following didactic instruction, trainees will engage in several role-play exercises to practice elements of this approach. The session will conclude with a case-study of a client being treated for depression with ketamine assisted psychotherapy, which will demonstrate how these skills are applied in practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the key tenets of a non-directive psychedelic facilitation approach.
  • Understand how facilitation techniques bridge traditional, indigenous healing practices and modern, Western clinical techniques.
  • Practice several techniques of psychedelic facilitation in a role-play context.

This session will provide an overview of the legal status of ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin as they relate to psychotherapeutic applications, including insight into the recent policy shifts in Oregon and Colorado that have provided legal access to psilocybin. Trainees will learn the requirements and contexts in which they can apply psychedelic therapy at this time and how the landscape is expected to develop in coming years. The session will conclude with a discussion of how social workers are especially important in championing diversity, inclusion, equitable access, and respectful use of indigenous practice within the psychedelic space. Trainees will learn how social work roles—in both macro and micro practice—are integral to this growing movement.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the current legal status and opportunities for social workers in the therapeutic application of ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin as they are used in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
  • Recognize the importance of a social work lens and the social work workforce in shaping the psychedelic medicine renaissance.