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Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Naropa University’s 2023 Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies  program? Browse the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about our unique training experience, program eligibility, and more.

Steeped in mindfulness and compassion training, our Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies leverages Naropa University’s contemplative and psychotherapeutic expertise to further expand the unprecedented transformative healing potential within this emerging field. More information can also be found on the certificate’s Application Process & Policies page.

The Certificate Experience

As North America’s leading institution of contemplative education, Naropa University is uniquely positioned to offer an innovative, experiential learning approach that is community-based, mindfulness-infused, and socially engaged. Like all education at Naropa, our certificate program is grounded in integrated mindfulness and compassion practices—a contemplative training approach we believe to be essential for ethical and engaged psychedelic therapists. Certificate trainees also gain a deep grounding in principles of social justice, the historic roots of Indigenous plant medicine practices, and the powerful relationship between healing and spirituality. Naropa is one of the first fully-accredited universities to train the new vanguard of psychedelic therapists. Read the Tricycle Magazine feature on our program’s inaugural year.

The 2023 certificate will be delivered through a combination of in-person retreats, online live classes and small group meetings, as well as asynchronous online content that will take place over eight months. To view the full schedule overview, please visit this page.

The 2023 certificate requires participation in three in-person retreats:

  • Opening Retreat: May 17-21, 2023
  • One Intensive Retreat: July 14-22 or September 19-27
  • One Apprenticeship Training Retreat: fall 2023, dates TBD

The certificate begins with a 5-day opening retreat at Naropa’s main campus in Boulder, Colorado from May 17-21, 2023. This retreat is expected to begin in the evening of May 17, and conclude mid-afternoon on May 21.

A required eight-day education intensive, led by MAPS PBC MDMA-assisted therapy educators working with Naropa faculty, is a highlight of the program. In 2023, two Intensive Retreats will be held, and participants will select one to attend: July 15-22 or September 19-27. Both will be held at Drala Mountain Center (DMC) in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Participants will deepen their understanding of the therapeutic approach through role-plays, didactic training, contemplative practice, group discussions, and observing video sessions from MDMA clinical trials. 

Participants will be able to select from one of two MDMA-assisted therapy retreat options on a first-come, first-served basis through a facilitated process that will begin after program registration for the cohort is complete. Any participants who observe religious holy days in September will be offered priority registration for the July retreat.

Throughout the Fall of 2023, trainees will return to Colorado in small groups to participate in a weekend Apprenticeship Training Retreat – dates are forthcoming and participants will select one to attend. Trainees will arrive Thursday afternoon and depart Sunday morning–the retreat schedule will begin Thursday evening with dinner and opening circle. There will be several weekend options to choose from during the Fall. In this 3-day training retreat, participants will have the opportunity to practice psychedelic therapy skills under supervision utilizing ketamine or breathwork. Trainees will not be required to consume substances in order to participate. However, if appropriate, some trainees may benefit not only from deepening their clinical skills, but from experiencing psychedelic medicines in a safe container. The Apprenticeship Training Retreats will utilize a peer consultation model, where trainees receive structured feedback from peers along with written evaluation from faculty. 

To view the full schedule overview, please visit this page.

The certificate’s total duration is from May to December 2023. Live online lectures meet on the second Saturday of each month from 10am-3pm US Mountain Time (MT). 

Integration Groups will meet on the First and Third Wednesday evening of each month (either 4-6pm MT or 6-8pm MT depending on group time zone). Small group formation will include consideration of time zone.

The weekly time commitment averages about 3-5 hours per week. Additionally, there are required in-person retreats and a 10-hour non-ordinary states experiential component.

The full 2023 program cohort will be capped at 130 participants, and organized into smaller Integration Groups of 8-12 people each. These groups will be facilitated by Integration Leaders hired and supervised specifically for this task. Our Integration Leaders are typically skilled group facilitators who have also completed the MAPS education modules and/or have experience with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy or psychedelic clinical research trials. The combination of asynchronous learning, live instruction and interactive small group integration allows trainees to fully engage with the themes and objectives of each course module.

All 2023 retreats will be held in person. In order to mitigate risk of the spread of Covid-19, Naropa University strongly encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We strongly encourage all participants to mask and take other relevant precautions during transit to each retreat, especially when traveling by air, to help ensure a safe and healthy retreat container for all.

The Opening Retreat will be held at Naropa’s historic main campus in central Boulder. Naropa and its partners have taken steps to mitigate the risk of spread of Covid-19 during residential programs but, of course, cannot guarantee zero risk regarding attendance. Some of our risk management practices include reliance on high vaccination rates amongst our community and ventilation upgrades on our campuses. 

Drala Mountain Center (DMC, our July/Sept retreat location) currently requires all participants to submit proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival. DMC’s policies are subject to change, and our program will comply with current policies at the time our retreat is held. DMC’s stated COVID policies may be found here.

Governmental, University and vendor guidelines may continue to change in response to COVID variants. All certificate program retreats will be held in person as described above unless prohibited by relevant Governmental, University or vendor restrictions. In such cases, impacted retreat(s) will be moved fully online. There is no hybrid option for retreats. Please note that attendance at the Program’s three residential retreats is mandatory. All participants must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of negative FDA-approved at-home test, rapid antigen, or PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to the start of each retreat. Participants are required to adhere to all health and safety measures as determined by Naropa University and partner retreat sites. Naropa University reserves the right to modify the delivery of or cancel retreats in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.

The certificate begins with a 5-day Opening Retreat at Naropa from March 17-21, 2023.

We are happy to consider child care needs on a case by case basis. Trainees will typically not be able to bring children into training spaces, but there may be possibilities for you to attend with small children provided they are accompanied by another adult caretaker. Naropa is not able to provide child care.

Family members are welcome to accompany you to Boulder during the retreat period, but guests will not be permitted access to the learning container during the retreat. 

Guests will be allowed to join you for optional evening events that are tentatively being planned. More information will be provided as it becomes available. 

Please contact us to make arrangements or receive further details.

The 8-day residential intensive retreat will be held at Drala Mountain Center (DMC) in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, and participants will select one to attend: July 14-22 or September 19-27. 

We are happy to consider child care needs on a case by case basis. Trainees will typically not be able to bring children into training spaces, but there may be possibilities for you to attend with small children provided they are accompanied by another adult caretaker. Neither Naropa nor Drala Mountain Center is able to provide child care.

If a family member wishes to visit for the day without staying on site or participating in meals, they are welcome to do so at no cost. 

Spouses and partners are typically welcome to be on site, stay with you during the retreat,  and participate in meals. All guests will be required to remain outside of the learning container itself, and may not be present in the room during content delivery or group work. Spouses and Partners staying in your retreat accommodations will be subject to DMC’s standard rates. All overnight guests will be expected to follow all DMC/Naropa guidelines, and will be subject to DMC’s current COVID policies, including documented vaccination status if applicable.

Please contact us to make arrangements or receive further details. (Questions sent to DMC will typically be redirected to us, so please contact psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu directly.)

Applications for the 2022 Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies cohort opened November 15th with a priority deadline of December 15th, 2021. Accepted participants included a wide variety of interdisciplinary professionals from the fields of medicine, psychiatry, psychology, counseling, social work, nursing, coaching, and more. The auspicious total of 108 participants was divided into twelve cohort integration groups who met together once monthly throughout the year. The certificate was offered from March through December 2022, and included ten asynchronous online modules, eight live online classes, two in-person retreats, and a Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness (NOSC) experiential requirement.

The Program began with an in-person Opening Retreat at Naropa’s Nalanda Campus in Boulder, Colorado that was held March 14-18, 2022. The August Intensive retreat, during which MAPS senior trainers delivered the MDMA-Assisted Therapy training, took place at Drala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado between July 31st and August 7th. Naropa offered several sponsored NOSC Experientials, including Holotropic Breathwork, PRATI’s Ketamine Training, an Ayahuasca retreat in Colombia, a BIPOC Ceremonial Ketamine retreat, as well as the ability to submit an alternate self-selected experiential. 

Certificate program tuition was $10,000. With the exception of Holotropic Breathwork and the BIPOC Ketamine & Sacred Ceremony retreat, the additional cost of participant-selected NOSC Experientials was not included in program tuition, nor were lodging costs for all retreats.

Program Eligibility & Costs

In order to be eligible to apply for this certificate, applicants must hold an active license or registration in a counseling/psychotherapy field; a nursing or medical degree; or chaplaincy certification; OR applicants must be in a post-doctorate, post-graduate internship, residency program, or have completed four units of ACPE-Certified Clinical Pastoral Education. Applicants currently enrolled in a graduate degree program may be considered if they can demonstrate a minimum of 1000 direct clinical hours. 

Eligible licenses or certifications include: LSW/LCSW, LPC/LPCC, PhD Psychologists, LMFT, MD, DO, ND, PA, RN, PsyD, BCCI, and others.

This certificate is designed for advanced professionals working in relevant therapeutic areas. We cannot offer in-depth application reviews outside of the formal process, and applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria may not be considered. However, we do recognize the emerging and novel nature of this work, as well as the anticipated explosion in the need for competent and ethical practitioners of all kinds. If you feel that significant prior experience qualifies you, please submit an application for formal review. Naropa does not charge an application fee for the PAT Certificate.

Tuition for the 2023 certificate is $11,500. Program costs for Apprenticeship Training Retreats are included. 

In addition to program tuition, certificate participants will be responsible for travel costs and accommodation for three retreats. For the May Opening Retreat, Naropa will provide on-site continental breakfast, catered lunch and refreshments. Basic travel information and accommodation resources will also be provided.

For the Intensive Retreat, participants will be responsible for booking their preferred retreat room and board directly with DMC via a dedicated registration gateway. Pricing ranges from $85 – $217 per night depending on the lodging option, which is offered at cost and reflects Naropa’s special discounted rate for the program. 

For Apprenticeship Training Retreats, participants will be responsible for travel costs and accommodation. Retreat center accommodation is estimated at $150 per night for three nights. (Accommodation costs are funded for program-supported Ketamine & Sacred Ceremony retreats for BIPOC participants).

While some books will be required for the certificate, Naropa avoids costly conventional textbooks whenever possible, and participants will be free to choose how to purchase or otherwise access required readings. 

Yes. After an initial deposit of $2000 due on April 5, 2023, the remaining $9,500 tuition – less any scholarships or other awarded aid – can be paid in six monthly payments (May – October).

This year the tuition deposit due date of April 5, 2023 has been adjusted from March 31, due to the large volume of high-quality applications and our commitment to an equitable review and scholarship awards process, with decisions expected to go out in mid- to late-March.

With generous support from donors, partner organizations, and related charitable initiatives, we offer various types of financial assistance, including Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Scholarships, as well as support for specific program aspects, such as select Apprenticeship Training Retreats, in an effort to support program access for a diverse and dynamic cohort.

As part of Naropa’s commitment to help promote diversity, equity, and access in the emerging field of psychedelic studies, the Certificate program awards JEDI Scholarships for trainees from historically-underrepresented groups. Historically-underrepresented groups include but are not limited to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, military service members and veterans, persons with disabilities, and those experiencing economic marginalization with demonstrated financial need.

Please visit the Application Process & Policies page for full details.

Because Extended Campus programming is structured differently than the University’s regular academic offerings, Extended Campus programming is generally not eligible for employee tuition remission benefits; this includes continuing education courses and certificates. However, Naropa recognizes the importance of including its employees in its organizational mission and values, and therefore does provide standard staff and faculty discounts for most Extended Campus programming. 

For some offerings, particularly application-based programs of length (including the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Certificate), Naropa employee discounts, if any, will be determined on a case-by-case and space-available basis. Employees are still required to complete the application process and meet all eligibility requirements for the desired program, and admission is not guaranteed. Supervisor approval may be required as well. Unlike tuition remission benefits, employee discounts for Extended Campus programming will generally apply to the employee only, and not their family members. Interested employees are encouraged to first apply for the desired program and then contact Extended Campus regarding possible employee discounts.

Because the MAPS PBC MDMA-assisted therapy curriculum comprises an important part of Naropa’s Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Certificate program, prospective participants who’ve already completed MAPS PBC MDMA-assisted therapy educational content are asked to consider other Naropa training opportunities to further their psychedelic education.

We endeavor to provide a high-quality educational experience. Prospective participants who still wish to apply for Naropa’s certificate program despite this recommendation are welcome to contact us with any specific circumstances or questions by emailing us at psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu. Please note that tuition discounts are generally not available for MAPS Retreat exemption.

Because our certificate is a non-credit program, there is no opportunity to audit the course in full or part. If interested and eligible, you are welcome to submit an application for consideration in the next cohort when the application period opens.

The Education

This non-degree certificate is designed to prepare practitioners to work in collaboration with prescribers, clinics and interdisciplinary health care teams if and when regulatory approval is achieved. In many instances, this certificate will serve as a prerequisite for more advanced training, because the future trajectory and guidelines for practicing Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies are yet to be determined by regulatory bodies, and will vary by region, regulatory agency, and protocol. 

To learn more about how this certificate can support your understanding and practice in the emerging field of psychedelic-assisted therapies, please visit this page and see the section on How This Certificate Prepares Practitioners.

The 2022 Summer Intensive Retreat portion of Naropa’s PAT Certificate was approved to offer 40 hours of CE credits to certain credentials through the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA). Every effort will be made to offer the same to the 2023 cohort. CE credits for eligible credentials are included in the cost of program tuition.

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals: 

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.  LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.  SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain their Certificate of Attendance for 4 years after the course concludes. 

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu. For questions about CE, contact Spiritual Competency Academy at info@spiritualcompetencyacademy.com.

No academic credit is available for this non-degree certificate program.

Naropa is actively pursuing Approved Training Program eligibility in fulfillment of Oregon’s newly-released requirements for psilocybin therapy, per Measure 109, and any updates will be included here. As a university, we will also require additional approval from Oregon’s Higher Education commission, which expects to publish their finalized guidelines in February 2023. For licensure eligibility under OPS, Naropa trainees will need to complete an additional 40 hour practicum and meet all eligibility requirements.

Naropa’s PAT Certificate program offers foundational training in MDMA, ketamine and psilocybin modalities. In many instances, the certificate will serve as a prerequisite for more advanced training, and this is particularly true regarding regulations that require practicum training, which is not part of Naropa’s program at present. At this time we cannot confirm the equivalency or preparation of our program for full licensure as a Psilocybin Facilitator in Oregon, and updates will be provided as and when they become available. 

Application Process

Applications for the 2023 certificate program will be accepted through an online form beginning February 6, 2023. See this page for complete details.

The priority deadline for applications is March 3, 2023. The application page will remain open for submission beyond this date, but those who applied prior to the deadline will have their applications reviewed first. Program admission will continue on a rolling, space-available basis until full.

The application review process will begin immediately, and applicants who meet the priority deadline can expect to hear back regarding a decision in early March 2023. Program admission will continue on a rolling, space-available basis until full.

Update: This year the tuition deposit due date of April 5, 2023 has been adjusted from March 31, due to the large volume of high-quality applications and our commitment to an equitable review and scholarship awards process, with decisions now expected to go out in mid- to late-March.

Absolutely, simply email psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu with the full name used on your application and any previously excluded documents or info that you would like us to have.

The Psychedelic Assisted Therapies Certificate is a non-degree program. Because of this, Naropa does not issue I-20 Visas. International students would have to apply for a B-2 tourist visa, which allows them to attend a short recreational course of study. More information can be found on this site.

Still have Questions? Visit the Certificate Page, Eligibility Page, or email us at psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu

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