Center For Psychedelic Studies

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 Center for Psychedelic Studies was established to support the development and integration of psychedelic studies at Naropa University and to offer a range of public education opportunities focused on the unprecedented transformative healing potential within this emerging field.

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

Subscribe to News and Updates to receive the latest on upcoming programs, events and other psychedelic studies opportunities at Naropa.

Current Programs

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Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Certificate

The Naropa University Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies is a ten-month, 200-hour contemplative-based professional training program featuring a hybrid delivery of online and intensive retreat-based learning. This non-degree Certificate will provide post-graduate level training for advanced professionals working in relevant therapeutic areas, including mental health counseling, psychiatry, chaplaincy and social work.

Over the course of this dynamic 200-hour program, trainees will receive an in-depth education in essential aspects of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, trauma-informed care and spiritual integration. In collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), we offer specialized training in the clinical use of MDMA in approved settings. Trainees will also gain foundational competencies in additional psychedelic therapy modalities, including ketamine and psilocybin therapies.

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Psychedelic Alchemy Speaker Series

Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies presents: Psychedelic Alchemy, a speaker series dedicated to exploring the modern psychedelic landscape. 

Featuring prominent and emerging leaders in the field, these public events will 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.

Upcoming Events

Offerings For Current Naropa Students

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Introduction to Psychedelic Therapies

The Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies is pleased to announce a 1-credit Spring 2022 course offering open to all current graduate students. This course will be offered synchronously over Zoom. 

CNSG-799 Special Topics: Introduction to Psychedelic Therapies provides beginning coursework in understanding the history and foundations of psychedelic medicines used as healing modalities. This course centers on a harm reduction approach, considering the risks, safety concerns, ethical implications and benefits of psychedelic use in a variety of settings including recreational, clinical, and ceremonial/spiritual uses. It also offers a survey of current psychedelic therapies in such areas as palliative care and end of life, clinical trials, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. This course is interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together perspectives in counseling psychology, religious studies, chaplaincy, and ecopsychology.

Please be in touch with your Academic Advisor for further information about registration.

Past Offerings

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What is the Role of “Therapy” in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy?

As psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy becomes more mainstream with the legislative changes and clinical trials taking place, understanding the structure of these healing practices becomes essential and timely. There has been a huge hype and a lot of enthusiasm about the therapeutic potentials of psychedelic-assisted therapies, however very little conversation about the “therapy” dimension. What does this “therapy” consist of? Who is qualified to conduct this therapy? What kinds of training are in place? How is this different from traditional therapy? Is a non-directive approach preferable? The speakers in this forum will strive to answer these questions and more, covering topics such as psychological approaches and frameworks, mindfulness, trauma-specific skills, trauma healing, and neurobiological aspects. They will also discuss training and certification programs that are available, attempts to scale these therapies, the sticky points of trying to insert these therapies into an investment performance model, as well as ethical considerations. Please join us in this important discussion with Dr. Bia Labate, Dr. Dominique Morisano, Dr. Jamie Beachy, Dr. Alissa Bazinet and Dr. Devon Christie.

This community forum is a joint collaboration between the Chacruna Institute and the Naropa University’s Center for Psychedelic Studies.

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Course in MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy

Naropa University was pleased to offer a course in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 2020. This training included the MDMA-​assisted ​psychotherapy curriculum developed by MAPS PBC (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Public Benefit Corporation), together with training in contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa faculty in the Graduate School of Counseling Psychology.

The Naropa cohort of trainees brought together 50 therapists from diverse backgrounds across the United States, Canada, Chile and Somalia. Due to Covid, Part B of this training, which usually happens in a retreat setting, was held online. This allowed trainees from all over the world to join the cohort and we look forward to bringing this group through the full protocol. The FDA has suggested that MDMA will be approved by 2023.

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Center For Psychedelic Studies in the Media

MAPS Bulletin Article

"Tending the Sacred: The Emerging Practice of Professional
Chaplaincy in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies" is an article published on page 34 of the MAPS bulletin authored by Naropa's very own Jamie Beachy, Co-Director of The Center for Psychedelic Studies.

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Chacruna Religion & Psychedelics Forum

Jamie Beachy will be a presenter at Chacruna's Religion & Psychedelics Forum taking place April 22-24 2022.

Jamie Beachy on Mindful U Podcast

Listen to program Co-Director Jamie Beachy talk about Psychedelic Chaplaincy on Naropa's in-house podcast.

How to Survive a Spiritual Crisis

Listen to Program Co-Director Sara Lewis on "This Podcast is a Ritual" discuss her paper, "Ayahuasca and Spiritual Crisis," and the difficult side of psychedelic experiences.

A Buddhist school for psychedelic therapy?!

Sara Lewis interviewed on the Rave New World Blog about Buddhism and MDMA Psychotherapy.

Queering Therapy & Psychedelics

Listen to Sara Lewis on the Queer Chaos podcast talk about queering psychedelic-assisted therapy.

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Sara Lewis on MindfulU Podcast

Listen to program Co-Director Sara Lewis talk about Psychedelic Assisted Therapy on Naropa's in-house podcast.

Stanislav Grof

Designation

"A radical inner transformation and rise to a new level of consciousness might be the only real hope we have in the current global crisis brought on by the dominance of the Western mechanistic paradigm." —Stanislav Grof 

Terrence McKenna

Designation

“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.” —Terrence McKenna

Rick Doblin

Designation

"Psychedelics are not a substitute for faith. They are a door to authentic faith, born of encountering directly the sacred dimension of everyday experience." —Rick Doblin

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For more information on NCPS, please email us at psychedelicstudies@naropa.edu