What is Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy?

Psilocybin has demonstrated potential to benefit patients with a variety of conditions when administered with professional guidance and in safe, secure surroundings. Fluence is founded on and teaches principles of Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration™ (PHRI™), a model applicable to working with people who take psychedelics in any setting and for any reason. The PHRI model combines principles of harm reduction, mindfulness-based therapies, relational analytic therapy, and best practices of psychedelic-assisted therapy research. The Psilocybin Facilitator’s role set forth in regulations of Oregon’s Measure 109 takes a harm reduction approach and is aligned with many psilocybin-assisted therapy research protocols in requiring Facilitators to adopt a neutral, supportive, and non-directive approach during psilocybin sessions. The Facilitator’s role is therefore aligned with the PHRI model, and the later is the guiding theme of the Fluence Certificate in Psilocybin-assisted Therapy.

General Principles

Psilocybin-assisted Therapy:

  • is grounded in the therapist’s existing clinical training, experience, and practice; 
  • assumes all the clinical, ethical, legal covenants that are attendant to the therapist’s scope of practice;  
  • sees the patient in a comprehensive way, including the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and social conditions in which the psilocybin work is situated;  
  • is patient-centered, respecting the patient’s autonomy, rights, and personal liberty with regards to their decisions regarding psilocybin treatment;   
  • is respectful of wisdom traditions and other care modalities that may lie outside the therapist’s experience or practice;
  • is collaborative with medical and mental health providers, somatic health practitioners, alternative healing practitioners, and spiritually oriented healers;
  • is offered in alignment with the provider’s professional ethics and in a spirit of inclusion, non-violence, affordability, non-discrimination, and transparency;
  • is fully compliant with Oregon’s Psilocybin Facilitator’s Code of Conduct.

Certificate Program Graduate Expectations:

Students in Fluence’s Certificate in Psilocybin-assisted Therapy program will be trained in the following competencies through a series of courses, with specific lessons and exercises covering each point. The program curriculum is approved by Oregon Health Authority – Office of Psilocybin Services (OHA-OPS) and is licensed by Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The following are expectations of our Certificate in Psilocybin-assisted Therapy:

Knowledge, Competencies, Experience:

1. Knowledge:

The graduate will:

  • Know how to evaluate and conceptualize a patient’s relationship to psilocybin and the relationship between the patient’s experience with psilocybin and their presenting problem or concerns;
  • Know how to embed preparation for psilocybin experiences and integration of psilocybin experiences into the existing course of psychotherapy or treatment plan;
  • Be highly informed regarding psilocybin’s effects, risks, and the extremely varied ways it can be used in treatment;
  • Know (in their own therapeutic orientation) how to understand (make meaning of) and work with experiences that may be neutral, positive, challenging, traumatic, and ranging from under- to overwhelming intensity that can occur with psilocybin;
  • Identify and respect a range of motivations patients bring to their psilocybin experiences while screening and identifying appropriate patients for psilocybin administration;
  • Recognize common signs clinical danger that may be related to psilocybin treatment, and be prepared to consult with other professionals and provide crisis intervention;
  • Have knowledge of transference reactions, both those commonly seen in non-psychedelic-assisted treatment, and also those unique to psychedelic work;
  • Know how to recognize countertransference reactions, how to use them creatively when possible, and seek consultation when difficulties arise;
  • Have working knowledge of the legal aspects of psilocybin administration in the US and all local laws and regulations.
2. Competencies:

The graduate will:

  • Be competent to establish and maintain a therapeutic alliance as well as skillfully manage termination and referral process for psilocybin-assisted therapy (PAT) patients;
  • Have competency at recognizing both verbal and non-verbal communication as they relate to PAT;
  • Be competent to maintain boundaries and confidentiality, as required by their licensing board as these relate to PAT;
  • Be competent in understanding and integrating a broad range of treatment modalities as these relate the patient’s care;
  • Be competent in identifying and understanding the range of psychological reactions to psychedelic experiences as these relate to the patient’s care;
  • Be competent to provide psychoeducation regarding psilocybin;
  • Demonstrate respect for wisdom traditions (indigenous and alternative treatments) that may be part of the patient’s experience.
  • Possess an ability to access higher meanings, values, and abiding purposes, and to integrate these in living richer and more creative lives, with respect to themselves and their patients.
  • Have competence in maintaining self-care and identifying need for expanded work in self-care domains, with respect to themselves and their patients.
  • Be competent in self-monitoring clinical work at all times.
  • Accurately represent themselves and their professional services, including PAT, to the public in ways that are aligned with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Provide professional services, including PAT, to the public in ways that are aligned with all applicable laws and regulations.
3. Experience:

The graduate will:

  • Integrate program lessons into plans to conduct their own psilocybin facilitation services.
  • Apply program lessons to NOSC work with peers and/or clients
  • Demonstrate applied understanding of the relationship between their own NOSC work in any form, setting, and origin—including non-drug NOSC work as part of the Program—to future work as psilocybin facilitator.

Please see the Certificate in Psilocybin-assisted Therapy Program Overview page for program details and to apply.