How do we train our therapists and do we require them to have personal experience with psilocybin?
Our therapist training programme has been designed by a group of some of the most experienced psychedelic therapists in the world. It is consistent with the highest patient safety standards and has been reviewed and approved by regulators including the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Psilocybin therapy requires specially trained, compassionate therapists. We have trained more than 65 therapists and assisting therapists to work in our phase IIb clinical trial for treatment-resistant depression. Our training programme incorporates five days of face-to-face training, clinical training with exposure to at least four different experiences during psilocybin research sessions, and more than 10 hours of online training. We review and refresh training with regular contact and sharing of experiences and best practice.
No psychedelic experience is ever the same. That’s why when we recruit therapists, we look for mental health care professionals who have expertise and skill in working with patients; we focus on qualities like openness, empathy and compassion. We don’t recruit therapists based on their willingness or desire to take a psychedelic substance themselves, or any previous personal psychedelic experience. Until more evidence is available, we believe that emotional maturity, coupled with compassion and clinical experience of supporting patients, are the best predictors of safety and improved clinical outcomes. We want patients to feel thoroughly supported by their therapists before, during, and after their psilocybin session, and we reflect this in our therapist recruitment and training.