By the Psychedelics Today team
“Education is not the filling of a pot, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats
The interest in psychedelics as a therapeutic tool is growing at a rapid pace, both by individuals looking for better solutions outside the current medical regime, and by practitioners looking for new and better ways to help their patients.
Even though regulatory systems lag behind, a paradigm shift in healthcare is clearly under way. The demand for safe, ethical, and effective treatment and integration is growing exponentially. Now more than ever, it is vital that educated, informed practitioners are ready and equipped to provide care when called upon.
After enrolling over 9,000 students in our eLearning platform and graduating over 500 in our eight-week, 47-hour program, Navigating Psychedelics, we’ve heard a lot about what people want and need from an in-depth training program – and also, what isn’t being offered out there. Our students have told us that training can be overly prescriptive, rigid, and clinical, with logistical hurdles and barriers to acceptance.
That’s where Vital comes in. Our new 12-month certificate program fills gaps in the current landscape of psychedelic training – both in course content and structure – and takes a holistic, experiential, and reflective approach to psychedelic practice and integration.
Here’s how Vital is different:
- A truly inclusive training program. Vital welcomes students of all backgrounds – licensed or unlicensed clinicians, medically-trained healthcare professionals, legacy operators, and integrative wellness practitioners. All previous experience, informal learning, and formal training will be considered when reviewing applications.
- A drug agnostic approach that equips practitioners with the knowledge to work with clients who use or are interested in exploring a range of psychedelics. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to psychedelic therapy, and the potential benefits are not limited to a handful of substances.
- A holistic curriculum balanced between clinical and scientific research and protocols, while also focusing on philosophical self-reflection, transpersonal psychology, Indigenous traditions, and somatic approaches to healing trauma.
- An opportunity to learn from and interact with world-renowned researchers at an economical scale.
- A modular and malleable curriculum with finance and scheduling flexibility, designed to accommodate a global student population.
- An open forum on harm reduction that encourages honest discussion on personal experiences with substances in a safe space.
Vital was created by Psychedelics Today Co-Founders Joe Moore and Kyle Buller, M.S., LAC, and a team of people dedicated to helping others master the elements of psychedelic practice and contribute to the healing of the world. The culmination of over 15 years of work in psychedelic practice, the first Vital cohort of 100 students kicks off on “Bicycle Day,” April 19th, 2022.
Course content is packaged into five core modules, covering: psychedelic history and research; clinical therapies; the art of holding space; medical frameworks; and integration theories and techniques. Each comprehensive module spans between seven to ten weeks of specialized lectures led by guest expert teachers as well as more intimate study groups facilitated by our instructors.
World-Class Teaching Team:
Over the years, Psychedelics Today has developed relationships with a humbling number of leading researchers, historians, clinicians, and bright minds working in research and application, advocacy, spiritual practice, and patient care. We’ve assembled some of the very best to work with Vital students, including:
- Rick Strassman, M.D.
Author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
- William A. Richards, PH.D.
Clinical Psychologist at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, author of Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences.
- Devon Christie, M.D.
Medical Director at Numinus Wellness, certified Relational Somatic Therapist and Registered Therapeutic Counselor.
- Ben Sessa, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer at Awakn Life Sciences, licensed MDMA and psilocybin therapist, academic writer, and psychedelic psychopharmacology researcher.
- Ayize Jama Everett, M.A., M.F.A.
Fiction writer, practicing therapist, and Master’s of Divinity who teaches a course called “The Sacred and the Substance” at the Graduate Theological Union.
- Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
Developer of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, adjunct faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
View the full list of instructors here.
A Personalized Approach
We believe that no amount of learning from clinical studies, reading textbooks, or listening to an instructor can make up for first-hand experience with holotropic states. Furthermore, we believe openness and sharing of experience validates clinical evidence, helps inform research and the approach to patient care, and helps undo stigma and misguided perceptions caused by the war on drugs.
Throughout the course, students will be challenged to deepen their personal understanding of psychedelics and reignite their transformation by attending one of six experiential retreats (in either the United States or abroad). Stay tuned for more details on dates, locations and pricing.
While the deeply experiential nature of the course supports the growth of practitioners, the course is also designed to equip participants with the knowledge they need to establish a psychedelic-informed practice from the ground up. For coaches, facilitators, mental health and complementary health practitioners, Vital provides a thriving community of specialists to support their mission.
Promoting Equal Access and Career Development:
Fair access to psychedelic medicine begins with fair access to essential education. In addition to flexible payment plans for all students, we’ve committed to provide scholarships for 20% of students from each cohort, sponsoring up to 100% of tuition to support their mission.
Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis, and are reserved for people who:
- Are in demonstrated financial need
- Identify as BIPOC
- Identify as LGBTQIA+
- Are military service members/veterans
- Serve marginalized or geographically underserved communities
At the end of the program, graduating students receive a certificate in Psychedelic Therapies and Integration. CE credits will be offered, but stay tuned for more details.
Full details on scholarships and credits are in the extended course brochure, available on the Vital website.
Program registrations are open now, and close at midnight EST on March 27th. Acceptance will be offered based on eligibility and order of submission (with priority to students receiving scholarships). Once all seats in the initial cohort are filled, subsequent approved students will be placed on a waitlist and invited to join the course when a spot becomes available. Interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Apply here.