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Center For Psychedelic Studies

The Center for Psychedelic Studies supports the development and integration of psychedelic studies at Naropa University and offers a range of public education opportunities focused on the transformative healing potential within this emerging field.

After 50 Years of intellectual prohibition, a recent resurgence in science and research has demonstrated remarkably promising results for the use of psychedelic substances in the treatment of depression, end-of-life anxiety, addiction, and other mental health conditions. As a pioneer in the integration of contemplative training with counseling psychology, chaplaincy, eco-psychology and other therapeutic disciplines, Naropa is uniquely positioned to expand the unprecedented healing potential within this emerging field. 

The work of the Center for Psychedelic Studies is supported in close collaboration with Naropa Extended Campus.

Current Public Offerings

The Naropa University Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies is an 8-month, 150-hour post-graduate training featuring a hybrid delivery of online and intensive retreat-based learning. This non-degree certificate provides advanced professionals working in relevant therapeutic areas with an in-depth education in essential aspects of psychedelic-assisted therapy, trauma-informed care and spiritual integration.

The certificate program offers additional education intended to raise awareness about the therapeutic approach and treatment modality delivered in leading clinical trials that are investigating MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. This portion of the certificate is available as an optional add-on in 2024, and details for 2025 are forthcoming.

Naropa University is excited to announce the launch of a new certificate program designed specifically to support education and training for legal psilocybin facilitation. The Psilocybin Facilitator Training certificate program (PFT) is a 6-month, virtual learning program that provides a combination of hybrid instruction and asynchronous content that students can engage at their own pace in accordance with the program timeline.

Naropa’s new PFT certificate will meet state regulatory requirements for psilocybin facilitation with the standards of excellence for which Naropa is known.

Psychedelic Alchemy is a speaker series dedicated to exploring the modern psychedelic landscape. Featuring prominent and emerging leaders in the field, these free public events investigate salient topics in the psychedelic space such as psychedelic-assisted therapy, science, social action, spirituality, healing integration and more.

Whether you’re a novice or well-researched expert, join us for this curated series of inspiring à la carte discussion panels, lectures, and interviews with galvanizing psychedelic luminaries.

Current Offerings For Naropa Students

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Introduction to Psychedelic Therapies​

CNSG-799 Special Topics: Introduction to Psychedelic Therapies provides current Naropa graduate students with a foundational understanding of psychedelic medicines and their use in healing modalities. This course centers on harm reduction, safety concerns, ethical implications, and the benefits of psychedelic use in a variety of settings, and offers an overview of current psychedelic therapies in such areas as palliative care and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Students will approach the topic of psychedelic therapies from an interdisciplinary perspective, blending teachings from counseling psychology, religious studies, chaplaincy, and ecopsychology.

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Beginning Fall 2024, Naropa University’s BA Psychedelic Studies Minor equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the emerging field of psychedelic studies, while fostering critical thinking and ethical awareness. 

At the heart of our curriculum is a humanities-focused approach, offering a comprehensive introduction to psychedelic practices. We delve into the rich tapestry of history, including an investigation of sacred natural medicine traditions. While our program does not aim to train students to conduct psychedelic-assisted therapy, it serves as a springboard for thoughtful exploration of key issues in the field.

  1. Psychology and Neuroscience: Applying knowledge from peer-reviewed research to understand the psychological and neurological aspects of psychedelics.
  2. History and Healing: Articulating an understanding of the historical and therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.
  3. Contemplative Inquiry: Exploring the impact of psychedelics on individual and collective consciousness.
  4. Literature and Art: Evaluating the interplay between psychedelics, creativity, and artistic expression.
  5. Entrepreneurial Thinking: Designing innovative projects to address challenges within the emerging field of psychedelic studies.
  6. Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Understanding and addressing issues of social justice and cultural appropriation within psychedelic practices. 

Required:

  • INTD 220/220e– Intro to Psychedelic Studies (3)

     

Choose 9 Credits from the Following Courses:

  • PSYB 209: Herbal Medicine (3) 
  • PSYB 354/354e – Transpersonal Psychology (3) 
  • PSYB 415 – Maitri: Working With Emotions (3) 
  • PSYB-415E Maitri: Working With Emotions (3) 
  • PSYB 471/471e: Theories of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (3)
  • PSYB 495e – Special Topics Advanced Research: Decolonial Psychology (3) 
  • WRI 490 – Special Topics: White Rabbit: The Poetry of Psychedelics (3) 

Highlighted Past Offerings

Affiliate Programs & Partner Offerings

The Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies was proud to be a Community Ally for the 2024 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in New York!

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The Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies was proud to be a Community Ally for the 2023 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in Oregon! 

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The 2023 reMind Psychedelic Business Forum took place at MJBizCon in Las Vegas, November 28th and 29th.

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The Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies was a proud Community Partner for the 2023 Psychedelic Science conference in Denver! 

Details and Registration

The Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies was a proud sponsor of the 2022 Emergence Psychedelic Education Festival.

Emergence invited the public into a dialogue around psychedelic reform through education and community. Attendees had the opportunity to speak with a diverse group of psychedelic advocates, ranging from legal experts to social artists.

Topics included psychedelic-assisted therapies, spiritual exploration, plant medicine and ceremony, current policy initiatives, ethics and safety, equity and access, and evolving research and advocacy efforts. Presented by the Nowak Society, this festival combined educational booths, interactive workshops, speakers, vendors, music, and more.

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Naropa is a proud sponsor of a new ethnographic project to preserve the legacy and archives of Maria Sabina and other Mazatec curanderas. The Mazatec people of Mexico shared their knowledge of the use of psilocybin mushrooms with the world.

Historias y Memorias Mazatecas is a project born from the dedication of a Mazatec family to preserve and celebrate their traditions and cultural heritage. Presented by Alma Institute and the Fungi Foundation, this new project launched this year with a special online event on Maria Sabina’s birthday, July 22.

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Sponsors and Supporters

Collaborations and Acknowledgements​

Naropa University is honored to work with many individual and institutional contributors whose expertise helps strengthen the ongoing development and integrity of our certificate program. Contributors include members of our faculty, staff and leadership teams, as well as prominent leaders in the field of psychedelic studies, who provide programmatic and advisory support that enhances the depth and efficacy of our offerings. Past collaborators include The Psychedelic Training and Research Institute (PRATI), Modern Spirit, and many more.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.