Exploring the Path of a Psychedelic Integration Coach
There are so many different theories behind what it takes to become a psychedelic integration coach, and there are many psychedelic integration training programs out there, so naturally it can all feel overwhelming if you’re interested in pursuing this path. I’d like to share my personal opinion on becoming a psychedelic integration coach. In this blog post, I’ll go over what is and isn’t needed to become one.
A controversial topic I want to address before we dive into this discussion is that currently, there is no regulating body overseeing psychedelic integration coaches and their practices. It is an emerging industry and the people who have created these training programs are people just like you and me.
When it comes to psychedelic integration, I have an opinion that you don’t necessarily need to get a certification. For me, a certificate is just a certificate. This goes for any kind of coaching, whether it’s life coaching or business coaching. What you do need are the skills to help people in the ways you offer to help them.
Personal Experience as Qualifications
Someone asked me many years ago what my credentials are to be a business coach. It’s funny that after being in business for so long, only one person has asked me this question. I told them about how I started and grew three businesses and before that, I helped start and grow early-stage tech startups. Before that, I managed large cross-functional teams and ran companies in the multi-millions. So that serves as my first credential and the beginning stages of my coaching business.
For the second, I’ve invested nearly $500,000 in various forms of business training while I grew my three businesses and I continue to invest in my growth and my skills to better serve my clients and myself. Those are my credentials. But the reality is, if I don’t help my clients get results, I wouldn’t be in business. You can check out my testimonials to learn more about the clients I’ve helped.
The Importance of Personal Integration Work
When it comes to becoming a psychedelic integration coach, I would place more value on your own integration work over a certification. I have been working with psychedelics since I was 14 years old, and I’m in my mid-40s. Over the past 15-20 years, I have gone deep into psychedelics and they have been a big part of my spiritual and personal development journey.
It was about eight years ago when I started doing formal integration and when I first discovered somatic therapy. I was very blessed to have worked with a somatic therapist who also was on the sacred plant medicine path. She was a therapist that worked with ayahuasca and sacred mushrooms and also poured Ayahuasca through her church. Since then, I’ve been doing nonstop integration, I’ve worked with several psychedelics, and I’ve had very deep journeys.
Choosing a Path Aligned with Interests and Passions
As a reminder, there’s nothing wrong with doing only a few psychedelic journeys versus doing hundreds. I don’t believe there’s a magical number. However, I do believe if you’re going to help people with their psychedelic journeys, then it makes sense that you should understand the psychedelic experience.
As you’re discovering your path to becoming a psychedelic integration coach, you should always keep in mind the following questions:
- Who are you called to help the most?
- What are you most passionate about?
- Where is your deepest truth?
- What lights you up the most?
If you’re following a path that doesn’t align with your interests and passions, you’re not going to find success. For example, I’ve only worked with LSD about 15 to 20 times in my life. I’m not called to LSD because my path is more focused on plant medicines, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and the animal kingdom.
I also have no problem working with synthetics so when I chose that program, I chose it based on what worked for me, what I wanted to learn, and the intention behind the program. My purpose and path were aligned with adding to my knowledge and understanding of the medicines that interested me.
Researching and Evaluating Certification Programs
Once you have a good grasp of who you’d like to serve the most, I recommend thoroughly reviewing the programs that interest you. If a certification program isn’t really calling you, but you want to pursue it because you think the certification will be the defining factor for your success, then I highly recommend you consider all of your options.
Let’s say you want to pursue somatic therapy. Naturally, you’ll want to do some training or work with a somatic therapist or coach for a while. When you go through your own journey, it gets you to a place where you can help others, even if you don’t have a certificate, and this is where things get a little controversial.
The Role of Deep Integration in Becoming a Qualified Coach
In my opinion, the reality is that a certificate does not make you a qualified individual. A certificate achieved through a training program is nice to have, and you may learn a lot of useful things in your field of interest, but what really makes you a qualified psychedelic integration coach is going through a deep integration process yourself.
One of my clients is an incredible breathwork practitioner who has studied, trained and worked with a lot of medicines. He has done a lot of integration and has been through a lot and come out of it. He offers psychedelic integration coaching, and he doesn’t have a certificate, but he’s able to help people on this path. His journey with breathwork, embodiment training, and somatic therapies make up his unique path, and it’s worked for his integration and his business offerings.
The Imperfection of Coaches and Training Programs
I’m not here to discourage you from pursuing integration certificate programs. I do think they’re great and I could recommend most of them. Many of my clients have gone through these certification programs as well and have had great things to say about them. Of course, I’ve also heard some negative feedback about a few programs, but as with anything in life, you’re never going to be 100% happy with everything.
There will always be things you like and dislike about the programs you invest in. If you go through a training program and you love 75% of the content, but 25% of it doesn’t resonate with you and what you’re all about, that’s okay. You can still take what you need from it and apply it to your path and goals.
Be intentional about researching the programs and program trainers you’re interested in. If you’re looking to help people integrate ayahuasca, but the person you’re working with is teaching mostly about MDMA and ketamine, then is this really the right training for you?
One of my past clients got a lot of benefits out of micro-dosing, purpose coaching, and sensuality and embodiment coaching for women. She dove deep into these spaces. She worked with women’s coaches, embodiment coaches, and somatic therapists, and she did all of her own work. Then, she was able to bring her program out there after deep diving into her path.
I believe that anybody working in the transformational realm as a coach, healer, psychedelic facilitator, or anything in this realm, should always be working on their own healing and growth to best serve others.
Your healing journey should never end. There are always more layers to discover. When you truly embody what you’re here to learn and give back to the world, you’ll be more aligned with your life’s path.
Balancing Limitations and Referring Clients to Specialists
I do, however, try and dissuade people from jumping into something as intense as psychedelic integration or psychedelic facilitation if they haven’t done a deep amount of work themselves. You have to be honest with yourself about these things.
Maybe you’re qualified to help people get from point A to point B as it doesn’t deal with heavy issues. But you have to ask yourself and be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re truly qualified to help people go from point A to point B when they have much deeper issues and traumas to overcome.
I have told clients that I would never coach or help someone with something that I’m not capable of helping them with. You can help people now as long as you’re honest with yourself about what you’re qualified to help people with and how far you can take them. This happens to me every once in a while in my business coaching containers.
Let’s say some really deep trauma comes up with a client. I’m not trained to go that deep with people. I’m trained in certain modalities, but I have my limitations. So when I encounter deeper traumas that I’m not equipped to help with, I’m transparent with my clients and I inform them of what point I’m able to help them get to, but that I’m not qualified to help them with anything beyond that.
This is when I refer them to my pool of resources and guide them to other people who can help them beyond my qualifications, and that’s what you should be doing with your clients as well. I have a list of resources that include somatic therapists and psychedelic integration coaches who I know and trust and who I’ve worked with myself.
Starting Your Journey: Building a Business and Helping Others
It can be a tough line to balance the depths of your truth of what you’re capable of doing, while also having your imposter syndrome in check. There’s a delicate balance between being aware of what it is that you feel ready and capable of handling and also pushing your limits a bit while having a very truthful talk with yourself about what you can and can’t help people with. In these situations, it’s better to be as transparent as you can be.
This is a very important topic of discussion in the psychedelic space, and it has been discussed on numerous other podcasts episodes, including one of my favorites, a recent episode with my friend Natasja called Psychedelic Facilitation & Women Awakening the Medicine Within, where we talk about what is necessary to become a high integrity psychedelic facilitator.
In the end, there are many amazing training programs out there and there are always more popping up every day. I have a list of a few that are run by friends of mine who I personally trust. You can find them on my resources page.
So in recap, ask yourself if you’ve really done your own deep integration work yourself and to what level you’re capable of helping people. If you’re feeling called to a training program and certification, go for it.
But in my opinion, the best thing you can do right now is to start building your business and start working with people that you can help with your current abilities. Keep growing from there, while also investing in the training, certificates, or programs you need to help deepen your craft and your work to serve your future clients on a higher level.
That is what I do. I’m continuously training, learning, and growing while I continue to help people. Yes, you can help people now where you’re at, and you can continue to grow while you invest in developing yourself even further.
There is no perfect coach out there, and there’s no perfect training program either. All there is is your dedication to learning, growing, and developing on your path. It’s not about waiting until you’re ready because when will you truly ever be ready? This feeling of readiness comes from being in touch with your worthiness and doing enough of your own integration work.
The best thing you can do is do your due diligence, research, listen to your heart, and ask yourself what it is you want to be learning and growing in the most so that you can better serve and make a difference in the lives of those who need you.
If you’re still unsure about which certification program is right for you, feel free to reach out. I can help with your questions about some of the integration training programs out there and I can guide you to ones that might be a good fit. You can also browse my resources page. If you’re interested to learn how you can start a psychedelic coaching or healing business without having to get a certification or do tons of additional training, check out my free Psychedelic Business Training.