The Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT) has been developed primarily to meet the anticipated demand for trained therapists to provide regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted therapies for the treatment of mental ill-health in Australia. It is also expected that trained clinicians will be needed to work in research trials as they expand in Australia.
It follows the model of the world-leading course developed by the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) (Phelps, 2017) in collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), modified to suit the population and needs of an Australian and Asia-Pacific population.
The program broadly follows the main topic areas and format of these two programs, with a strong overlap in course materials, teachers/presenters and methods of teaching.
Mind Medicine Australia has devised a course based on the CIIS curriculum, as far as possible, within the Australian context (Phelps, 2017). This has incorporated teaching material that is
used in programs at the forefront of the psychedelic world – MAPS, USONA, and others.
Mind Medicine Australia appointed a Manager of Course Development, Renee Harvey to work full time in devising this course, together with the support of a Steering Committee. Renee has had a long career as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS in the UK (currently registered as a Provisional Psychologist in Australia, transition program being undertaken). Renee built her knowledge and skill in the field of psychedelic medicine and therapy through training and participating in the psychedelic research program at Imperial College, London.
The development of the MMA program has relied on significant collaboration with colleagues with considerable skill and knowledge. The teaching program incorporates live face-to-face lectures and webcasts, and direct teaching of skills and experiential workshops led by this team. For more details of members of the Steering Committee and teaching team please see below.
While incorporating the best of components from courses overseas, the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies is also offered in the spirit of respect and acknowledgement of the local context within Australia. The 2021 program is the very first course of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mind Medicine Australia has listened to feedback from people keen to participate and has developed the course length and requirements to be accessible to people who are travelling from all over Australia and beyond. We also understand the need to make the course as widely available as possible to working therapists, who have time and financial pressures shaping their capacity to meet the demands of the course.
The original courses require practical elements – participation in research programs, etc., which are not yet as widely available in Australia as overseas. Mind Medicine Australia has nonetheless been committed to maintaining the highest quality possible, and so the course presents academic, didactic and skills development components in a similar hybrid model of online, live and self-study components as the CIIS course. We expect that as the course grows and graduates establish themselves and more opportunities will arise, including the possibility of incorporating learning by placements, shadowing, etc.
We also offer a Psychological Support Service currently, part of which enables clinicians working in the field to access supervision and on-going professional development – more
We are also aware that there is a very long history of traditional use of these substances (as well as others not as well known) and practices for various healing and spiritual growth
purposes in every continent in the world. Teaching about this history is part of the course. Incorporating input from traditional practitioners from various sources is an ambition we hold
with high value for the future as reality permits.
For now, our focus is to start with training therapists primarily focussed on meeting the needs of the mental health crisis, working within research programs and a medically supported
environment, and providing integrative and other therapeutic work with the users of these substances.
The course will take place over a period of 4 months, with:
The Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies course aims to build on skills already acquired and used by professionals working in various therapeutic contexts. Applicants must have as a minimum a Bachelor level degree in a field relevant to mental health, plus at least 3 years of documented supervised practice in a mental health field.
On this basis, people with the following qualifications may apply:
Acceptance onto the course will rest on three main factors:
The focus of Mind Medicine Australia is on the clinical application of medicinal psilocybin and medicinal MDMA for certain classes of mental illness in a regulatory approved manner. At the current time, these treatments are only legally available in Australia in particular circumstances (which can differ from State to State), and then only after specific regulatory approvals have first been obtained. Given this legal position we cannot accept any person into the course if we believe, on reasonable grounds, that that person is using or intends to use, these treatments in breach of the law. We also cannot condone in any way the illegal use of these substances.
Application fee: $150 (non-refundable)
Course fee: $7500 (or $7000 upfront payment in full)
Course 1: 23 January to 22 May 2021
Pre-reading: Will be emailed on 13 December 2020
|First meeting:||23 January 2021|
|Final meeting:||22 May 2021|
|Week-long Intensive:||25 to 30 April 2021|
|Final submission of coursework:||31 May 2021|
|Supervised practice:||To be arranged*|
Course 2: 26 June to 9 October 2021
Pre-reading: Will be emailed on 21 May 2021
|First meeting:||26 June 2021|
|Final meeting:||9 October 2021|
|Week-long Intensive:||12 to 17 September 2021|
|Final submission of coursework:||16 October|
|Supervised practice:||To be arranged*|
* Subject to regulatory requirements
1 June 2020 (Applicants will be considered in order of receipt. We expect the program to be over-subscribed so please register early to avoid disappointment.)
Screening and interview/finalise applicants:
Step 1: Complete the Application Form.
Step 2: Send your $150 application processing fee including your initial course fee ($7150 – discounted upfront full fee or $2650 part fee): Mind Medicine Australia via Paypal or Credit Card Payment (part of the application form).
Step 3: Applications will be screened, and if successful invited to an interview in July.
Step 4: Final decision, and invitation to join the course.
Wade Davis is a writer and photographer whose work has taken him from the Amazon to Tibet, Africa to Australia, Polynesia to the Arctic. Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013, he is currently Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.
Wade has authored 22 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.
Nigel Denning MA, MPsych., is a Counselling Psychologist, AHPRA registered supervisor and Managing Director of Integrative Psychology a Psychology/Psychiatry practice in East Melbourne. He is a former Family Violence Co-ordinator for Relationships Australia and is currently the deputy president of the In Good Faith Foundation, an organisation that supports Institutional Abuse and cult survivors. Nigel is also a registered Neuropsychotherapy supervisor with IAAN.
Nigel has been involved in Transpersonal Psychology and consciousness studies for over thirty years. He has studied extensively under Stanislav Grof, MD and worked closely with Tav Sparks and Grof Transpersonal Training to develop training approaches to Holotropic breathwork and therapy influenced by this modality. Nigel also conducted one of the few peer reviewed research studies on HB.
Nigel teaches and has presented at numerous national and international conferences on state change technology. Including medicine work. Nigel also has an established practice in Tibet Bon Dzogchen meditation under the guidance of Dr Daniel Brown of Harvard Medical School.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and empty rooms from three children who are all in college or recently graduated.
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D. is a member of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Guest Researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program. His research examines the effects of psychedelics in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He received his doctorate in Psychology in 2012 from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where he studied self-transcendence and meditation, and their relationship to mental health. His current research interests include clinical applications of psychedelics, mindfulness, and altered states of consciousness and their underlying psychological mechanisms. He additionally studies real-world drug use patterns and impacts on public health, and the role of spirituality in mental health and addiction. He is a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and the International Society for Research on Psychedelics.
As an investment banker Peter Hunt AM advised local and multi-national companies and governments in Australia for nearly 35 years. He co-founded and was Executive Chairman of one of Australia’s leading investment banking advisory firms, Caliburn Partnership (now called Greenhill Australia) and continued as Chairman of the Firm after its sale to Greenhill Inc in 2009. Peter was a member of the Advisory Panel of ASIC and chaired the Vincent Fairfax Family Office.
Peter is an active philanthropist involved in funding, developing and scaling social sector organisations which seek to create a better and fairer world. He is Chairman of Mind Medicine Australia which he established with his wife, Tania de Jong, in 2018. He founded Women’s Community Shelter in 2011 and remains on the Board. He is Chairman of So They Can, Grameen Australia and Grameen Australia Philippines. Peter is a Director of Project Rozana and an Advisory Board member of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Peter also acts as a pro bono adviser to Creativity Australia.
Peter was made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010 for services to the philanthropic sector.
LL.B (Hons), GradDipMus
Tania de Jong AM is a trail-blazing Australian soprano, award-winning social entrepreneur, creative innovation catalyst, spiritual journey woman, storyteller and global speaker. She has a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from University of Melbourne and is a graduate in opera and music theatre from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Tania is one of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs and innovators developing 5 businesses and 3 charities including Creative Universe, Creativity Australia and With One Voice, Creative Innovation Global, Mind Medicine Australia, Dimension5, MTA Entertainment & Events, Pot-Pourri and The Song Room.
She works across the public, private, creative and community sectors and is passionate about mental health, innovation, diversity and inclusion. Tania speaks and sings around the world as a soloist and with her group Pot-Pourri releasing twelve albums. She is Founder and Executive Producer of future-shaping events series, Creative Innovation Global.
She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 and was recently named one of the 100 Women of Influence and the 100 Australian Most Influential Entrepreneurs.
Tania’s TED Talk ‘How Singing Together Changes The Brain’ has sparked international interest. Tania’s mission is to change the world, one voice at a time!
Mendel Kaelen is the founder and CEO of Wavepaths. Prior to this, he worked as a PhD and postdoctoral neuroscientist at Imperial College London for 7 years, where his research was the first to demonstrate music’s central role in psychedelic therapies. He developed methods and protocols for the use of music to enhance therapy outcomes and out of this, the vision for Wavepaths. He is a thought leader on the therapeutic use of music and publishes and speaks frequently on this topic. He has been featured in Nature News, San Francisco Chronicles, Vice Motherboard, Rolling Stone and TEDx. Mendel’s work is driven heavily by his personal work with psychedelic medicines and psychotherapies that started 15 years ago. He lives and works in London (UK), and in his spare time likes to get into nature, and to get out of his mind with his Shakuhachi and modular synthesiser.
Friederike Meckel trained as a medical doctor and a medical psychotherapist in Germany. From 1989-1991 she trained as a Holotropic Breathwork© facilitator with Prof. Stanislav Grof in the US. Friederike began to realize the additional therapeutical benefits of psychoactive substances through her own experiences. She happened to have the extraordinary good fortune to join a psychotherapeutic training group which instructed therapists in the use of psycholytic psychotherapy with MDMA and LSD in the early nineties in Switzerland. She also trained as a couple’s therapist, a family therapist and a family-constellation-worker. In 1994, she started working in her own private psychotherapeutic practice providing non-drug psychotherapy, Holotropic Breathwork©-groups and systemic-family-constellation work. Over a couple of years, she started developing her specific way of psychotherapy with the use of psychedelics, working underground, in groups, with specifically chosen clients. She speaks about her work in conferences and interviews.
David E. Nichols, PhD is an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously he held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, and the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1973, following which he did postdoctoral work in pharmacology at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine. In 2004 he was named the Irwin H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research and in 2006 he received the first Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award from Purdue University. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, most of which deal with the relationship between molecular structure and biological action.
BA, MB BChir, MRCP, MA, DM, MRC Psych, FRCPsych, FMedSci, FRCP, FSB
Renowned researcher, policy advisor and author, Professor David Nutt, is currently Head of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.
Under the leadership of Professor Nutt, the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College is one of the world’s foremost psychedelic research laboratories, publishing landmark research on psychedelic therapies and neuroimaging studies of the psychedelic state.
Professor Nutt has also held many leadership positions in both UK and European academic, scientific and clinical organisations, including presidencies of: the European Brain Council, the British Neuroscience Association, the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
He was previously Chair of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
BA, MBA, MSc, PGDipHlthPsych
Health Psychologist and Director of the University of Auckland’s Health Psychology Practitioner Programme.
Dr Lisa Reynolds is a Health Psychologist and Director of the University of Auckland’s Health Psychology Practitioner Programme. She has worked clinically as a psychologist for over a decade providing support to cancer patients and whānau. Her therapeutic approach draws on mindfulness-based practice, meaning-centred therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Her academic research focusses on the experience of cancer patients and has investigated interventions that support patients in managing treatment, prognosis and palliative care. She has studied the impact of disfigurement, body image distress and challenging emotions (such as disgust), and looked at whether compassion and mindfulness might be helpful in these contexts.
Her current research with advanced cancer patients includes trials investigating whether virtual reality nature experiences can improve quality of life and alleviate spiritual distress, and she is developing a clinical trial to investigate psychedelic microdosing-assisted psychological therapy with advanced cancer patients
William A. Richards (Bill), a psychologist in the Center for Psychedelic
and Consciousness Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been
implementing research studies with psilocybin since 1999. His graduate degrees
include M.Div. (Yale) , S.T.M. (Andover-Newton) and Ph.D. (Catholic
University). He also studied with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and
with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, where
his involvement with psilocybin research originated in 1963. From 1967 to 1977,
he implemented projects of psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA and
psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, including protocols
designed to investigate the promise of psychedelics in the treatment of alcoholism,
depression, narcotic addiction and the psychological distress associated with
terminal cancer, and also their use in the training of religious and mental-health
professionals. His book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious
Experiences has been released by Columbia University Press.
Ph. D Psychology, B. A Social Work (MHSW)
Dr Alana Roy is a psychologist, social worker and therapist and has spent the last 13 years working in mental health, suicide prevention, trauma, sexual abuse and family violence and the disability sector. She is dedicated to psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and plant medicines. She has engaged with, and provides integration therapeutic support services for communities across Australia. Alana works at several universities as a Research Fellow and supervisor of students on placement.
Alana passionately advocates for public policy, community education and legislative changes so that these treatments are regulated and supported by a strong, connected and skilled sector. Alana utilizes a range of therapies such as emotion-focused therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive-behavioural therapy, neuro linguistic programming, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness and meditation approaches. In Alana’s spare time she is kept busy by her young sons, her love of travelling the world, and connecting with the diverse and creative medicine community.
MBBS, B.SC, MRC PSYCH
Dr Ben Sessa trained at UCL, London, graduating in Medicine in 1997.
He works clinically as an adult and adolescent psychiatrist, and academically in Bristol and Imperial College London University, with an interest in the developmental trajectory from child maltreatment to adult mental health disorders.
In the last ten years Ben has been a study doctor and a test subject administering and receiving legal doses of pure LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, DMT and Ketamine.
He is currently conducting the world’s first clinical study using MDMA to treat addiction. Ben is the co-founder and past President of the UK’s premier psychedelic research conference, Breaking Convention.
He has published dozens of peer reviewed papers on psychedelics and is the Author of several textbooks, including the influential book ‘The Psychedelic Renaissance’.
As an advocate for innovative solutions for mental health, Melissa is Education and Communications Officer at Mind Medicine Australia, Secretary of Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine, co-founder of the Australian Psychedelic Society and is a member of the UK-Australian Young Leaders Forum.
After graduating in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne, Melissa travelled to leading international centres of psychedelic research, transformative technology and Buddhist meditation to forecast next-generation mental health treatments. Melissa traverses the divide between research and therapeutic practice through her lived experience in healing from PTSD with psychedelic-assisted therapy internationally.
With a background in digital art, programming and performance art, Melissa brings a creative and future-focused outlook to her pursuits. Melissa is currently a post-graduate student at The University of Melbourne on the path towards clinical psychology and is creating therapeutic virtual reality programs to support psychedelic-assisted therapy and enhanced wellbeing.
Jeremy Weate has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick. He has over 17 years strategic advisory experience, focused on minister-level guidance on the mining sector across over 50 projects in over 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the South Pacific. Jeremy also has a decade-long interest in the medicalization of ibogaine. In 2018, he helped set up Tabula Rasa Retreat in Portugal, now of the leading ibogaine treatment facilities globally. He has organised ibogaine conferences in Vienna, Porto and London. He is CEO of the Vancouver-based Universal Ibogaine, which will IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange later this year. Universal Ibogaine will take ibogaine through clinical trials in Canada, with a view to multi-country phase 3 trials in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. The company will launch holistically minded psychedelic-assisted therapy clinics in North America and subsequently globally this decade under the ClearSky Recovery brand.
MORE TEACHERS TO BE ANNOUNCED... please watch this space
Mind Medicine Australia has developed a safe and professional psychological service for those who want support regarding psychedelics, plant medicines, and their emotional health and wellbeing.
By submitting an enrolment application for the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT), you acknowledge that you have read and accepted these Terms and Conditions.
*Subject to regulatory requirements
Mind Medicine Australia is seeking to establish safe and effective psychedelic-assisted therapies for the treatment of mental illness in Australia. MMA is focused specifically on the clinical application of medicinal psilocybin and medicinal MDMA for the treatment of certain mental illnesses.
We do not advocate for recreational use of psychedelics, MDMA, or any other prohibited substances*, nor do we advocate for any changes to the law with respect to recreational use. Our focus is wholly clinical.
Mind Medicine Australia requires allied health professionals, psychotherapists and general participants wishing to participate in the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies to agree to the following Code of Conduct during the professional development program.
Participants will not:
Failure to follow these guidelines could result in losing a place in the CPAT program.
Thank you for working with us to ensure that we deliver a high quality, safe and reputable CPAT program.
* Psychedelics or psychedelic substances are described as ‘psychoactive substances’ by the Victoria State Government.