The world of addiction recovery is undergoing a sea change in light of emerging psychedelic addiction treatments, and the old playbook for traditional detox programs and recovery coaching is in need of a major upgrade. Traditional recovery coaching is a vital and important task, but for people who are choosing psychedelic therapy to treat their addictions, recovery coaches who are familiar with psychedelic integration practices are much better equipped to help recovering addicts put their psychedelic experience in context and apply the lessons learned during their treatment in a lasting and beneficial way. Whether you are a psychonaut who had a life-changing experience on psychedelics and want to help others get the most out of their psychedelic journeys, or you are a counselor or recovery coach who wants to broaden your expertise so that you can help people who choose psychedelic addiction recovery, there are now more options than ever to step into this kind of service.
Becoming a Certified Psychedelic Recovery Therapist
For those who are looking to step into this field in an official capacity, there are now organizations and universities offering certification programs for people who want to help others in psychedelic integration and addiction recovery. At the forefront of this wave is the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and their brand new Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program. Headed by Janice Phelps and including a staff of lauded psychedelic lecturers such as Stanislav Grof, Charles Grob, and Rick Doblin, this program is the first of its kind in academia. If you want to become one of the first people in the world to have an official certification in psychedelic therapy from an accredited university, check out CIIS’s website about the program.
In the private sector, the psychedelic integration organization Being True to You also offers their own training and certification programs for people who want to be recovery coaches. The founder of Being True to You, Denane Adamson, began working in this field with a focus on helping people after ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction, and has since expanded her scope greatly, training over 50 recovery coaches and offering a recovery coach certification program via online classes and workshops. The curriculum includes skills, ethics, entheogenic education, how to work with families, and much more. To learn more about the program, visit Being True to You’s recovery coaching page.
If you would rather put your toe into the water of psychedelic integration and recovery coaching than take the plunge and commit to the time and cost of a certification program, there are still many options available to help you explore this emerging field. Volunteer opportunities with organizations like MAPS and the Zendo Project can give you a taste for what this kind of work is like. Additionally, many transformational music festivals offer psychedelic harm reduction services that are locally organized and always looking for volunteers.
Lastly, one of the best ways to understand the nuances of the psychedelic experience is to undergo one yourself at a trusted retreat facility overseas or as part of a clinical trial within the U.S. Choosing this route requires a lot of research and a high level of discernment, as psychedelic trials within the U.S. are relatively rare and shamans and retreat centers in other countries should be scrutinized rigorously. Direct experience with the psychedelic substances that recovering addicts are using in psychedelic-assisted addiction therapy is not necessary to being a great recovery coach, but it definitely can help someone to understand the strange, beautiful, and challenging territory of the psychedelic experience and relate to others who have gone through the same thing.