The interest in psychedelics and sacred plant medicines is rapidly growing. Hence, the interest in various psychedelic integration coach certifications or facilitator training is rapidly growing – you might be one of the many people who are interested in signing up for a psychedelic coach training program.
If you’re stuck in the research phase and asking yourself what training you actually need and whether or not certifications are the best way to prepare to hold space for transformation seekers – this article was written for you to help you determine which psychedelic integration coach certification or training program is best for you (if any).
What to know before signing up for a training program
Let me begin by saying that the psychedelic facilitation and integration training program I personally took myself was an experiential “underground” program done mostly in-person over the course of 10 months. This program was rooted in learning various forms of somatic therapy, Internal Family Systems, Hakomi, depth psychology and more, first as the foundation for the psychedelic work. It was an incredible program, but it is currently on a break as the founder is focusing on giving birth, until it possibly launches again next year.
Personally, I don’t like to recommend much of anything I haven’t done myself. I have several reasons for this, but an important one to take into consideration is that (1) I haven’t taken most of the psychedelic training that I recommend, although I’ve taught at one of them (2) training programs vary greatly, and (3) no single program teaches everything nor can be the perfect fit for everyone.
I’m friends with most of the leaders and facilitators of the psychedelic training programs you’ll find online, and I’ve been helping clients who’ve gone through these training programs for many years. There are a large number of training programs out there, and if you go to this resources list on my website, you’ll see that I list out some of the psychedelic coach training programs that I would consider myself.
Before committing to a program, remember to do your research and inquire about the program with specific questions about the goals, outcomes, and deliverables so you can decide if it aligns with what you’re hoping to achieve.
You might take a program where 80% of the content is relevant and beneficial in answering questions you’ve been researching, while the other 20% of the content isn’t helpful or serves as a review of concepts you already understand. Would that make you love or hate the program?
Perhaps there’s an important subject you wanted to learn about but it either wasn’t covered or was briefly discussed. Is the program you’re interested in going to gloss over the topics that most interest you, or will they explore those topics in-depth?
There could be programs that focus more on somatic or spiritual work, and you want to learn more about the scientific approach. At the end of the day, these programs are created by regular people, and these people aren’t answering to a larger governing body that oversees and regulates the psychedelic integration coaching field.
Remember, we’re just at the birthing stage of this field and all its potential. It’s a challenging and messy process, and everyone is trying to figure out how to best navigate it. That said, it’s important to remember that there’s no standard level of training, and no grander authority notarizing the certifications.
The actual certifications themselves may be meaningless, but what you learn during the process of obtaining a certification is significantly valuable. It’s your own integration work and how you put your teachings into practice that make a more meaningful impact on how you deliver your services.
You get what you put into your training
In my own experience after business coaching for many years, and after hearing feedback from clients who’ve been through several of the psychedelic coach training programs, the reality is that the best “training” you can possibly do is to have your own lived experiences.
This applies to all modalities of practice: psychedelic integration, any kind of coaching, all forms of therapy or somatic therapy, breathwork, embodiment work, and all kinds of healing modalities. This is why therapists are required to be in therapy during their entire training (and longer). Applying what you’ve learned, whether through a program or through your own research efforts, is where you’re going to get the best experience.
I’m under the assumption that the average psychedelic integration training program suggests that you do your own integration work, but I don’t actually know if it’s a requirement. (In my humble professional opinion…it should be!!)
So I recommend this: If you really want to be great at your craft, you have to dive in and do your own internal work. Do your own psychedelic integration work, and you will become a more experienced psychedelic integration coach.
Take me for example. I’m well-qualified to be a purely psychedelic integration coach. It’s not really something I offer, although it is a huge part of the programs I do. Many of my clients work with psychedelics, so of course, there’s integration. I help them integrate psychedelics into their purpose and their businesses so that they can reach more people, create change, do work they love, and be financially supported while doing it.
I’ve had over 30 years of work with psychedelics and 10 years or more of psychedelic integration work, and what I’ve learned is this: It really is doing your own inner work that will teach you a lot of what you need to know. Having your own experiences is some of the best training you can possibly get. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with having other training. (I am personally always learning, having my own experiences, and training myself in order to improve my craft and better serve my clients and humanity).
Choosing a psychedelic training program suited to your needs
You’ve done a lot of work and research yourself, and you’ve gotten clarity on your business ideas, but you want some extra guidance and support from someone who is doing what you want to be doing. We can all use some extra support in our learning journeys, so let’s look into how to choose a program that fits your needs.
Here’s the thing. I don’t believe one program is better than another. From what I’ve heard from clients and program facilitators is that each psychedelic coach training program is different. There’s a certain range of things that they might all talk about, but when it comes to the actual experience and the integration, everyone has their own approach.
Most of these programs are labeled as “Integration Coach Training”, and not “Psychedelic Facilitation”, which are different roles. Integration doesn’t assume that you’re giving psychedelic medicines, sitting with someone, or facilitating the experience. It could just be the preparation and post-integration work that’s involved.
Of course, let’s get real here: many people wanting to help others with psychedelic healing and integration might be called to hold psychedelic space in some way. (By the way, you may want to check out my podcast episode about Why Trip Sitting Isn’t a Good Business…. Please let me know what you think!)
So you have to determine, what is your ultimate goal inside the psychedelic space? What is it you want to help people with as a psychedelic pioneer? Do you want to coach people with psychedelic journey preparation and integration? Do you want to be a psychedelic-informed or psychedelic-centered coach or healer?
Or do you imagine yourself only doing psychedelic facilitation work (a.k.a. underground psychedelic therapy)? Are you willing to take the risk to hold space when it’s not yet legal? And most importantly, are you truly ready to hold this space for others? But, as I mention on my Medicine For These Times podcast quite often, it’s important to put the wellness of others above your ego. As a leader or person in a position of power in the psychedelic space, the goal should be to create a safe container, minimize harm, be honest with yourself about your capacity to hold someone and maximize healing and growth. Only you can be honest with yourself and know your limits. This is why I recommend to all my clients to have a thorough intake process and be resourced to send people elsewhere if you can’t fully hold them. (This is why even I have a resources page here on my website).
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you choose a psychedelic training program:
1. Have a look at all the different program options
It might feel like you have a lot of options to choose from with the number of psychedelic coach training programs available to you, but when you’re clear on what you specifically want to gain from a program, you’ll be able to weed out many of the options that don’t meet your needs.
2. Identify the program’s unique approach
Does it feel like the psychedelic training program is going to focus on plant medicine or spirituality? Will there be a rigid scientific approach to healing, or will it be more somatic and trauma-informed? Do you want to focus more on helping people with addictions and recovery? Get clear on the people you want to help and use that clarity to evaluate if a training program is going to help you learn how to serve your people.
3. Evaluate the people who run and teach the psychedelic training program
Take a good, hard look at the people who have created the training programs you’re interested in. It’s super simple: do you vibe with them? Do you resonate with their work? Subscribe to their emails. Follow them on their social pages, check out their content, and watch their podcast interviews. I’ve personally interviewed many of the psychedelic integration coach training program creators myself on both my Psychedelic Entrepreneur podcast and my Psychedelics and Purpose summit. You can also listen to some of my podcast interviews on my YouTube channel here, Beth A. Weinstein | Medicine For These Times.
4. Find out how the psychedelic training will be taught
In many cases, the psychedelic coach training program creator will do a lot of the training, but sometimes the training will mostly be led by various guest teachers. For example, I was a guest teacher for three modules of the Psychedelics Today Vital Training Program (disclosure: I’m an affiliate but I know and trust Kyle and Joe, the founders of Psychedelics Today) and I taught three different modules on how to grow your psychedelic business, which is my specialty. (If you didn’t know, feel free to check out all I offer here). But if the program creator’s expertise is what’s important to you, then I encourage you to find out how much of the training will be provided by them.
5. Learn about the psychedelic training program founder’s experience and personal journey
Have a look at your educator. What was this person’s path? What is their history, and what do they stand for in the world? What’s their relationship to plant medicines or other psychedelic medicines? When I look at who joins and is attracted to my True Path Group Mastermind Program, or my private 1-1 coaching, I see that they’re often aligned with ME – who I am in the world, what my path has been, what my values are, and my teaching style. So when people come to work with me, they already understand and love my vibe. (Also, this is why I have the best soulmate clients!!)
6. Evaluate the duration of the training programs
Some psychedelic coach training programs are just a few months long, and some are 12 months long. I heard of one that’s 18 months long. Last year, one of my Group Mastermind clients completed a four-month psychedelic integration coach training program. It was great for her because it fit neatly into her life. (Although she did say she didn’t learn much of anything new, as she was already very experienced on this path…hmm!)
Some people might prefer a 12-month program because they want their learning journey to be more spread out. Some people might choose to do a shorter integration coach training program due to their free time, other work, or are just eager to get a certificate and start helping people!
Ultimately you have to decide what length of time works for your life and your schedule. And remember that you can (and maybe should) always be learning, growing, and doing your own experiential psychedelic “training” and medicine integration on your own.
G.U.R.U. – Gee You Are You
I do believe we’re entering into a time of recognizing that the “guru” is dead – there is no Guru, and the only “guru” is YOU. Yes, you can have someone there to guide you along and give you a certificate but really, you are going to be your best teacher in the end.
So ask yourself, what was your path all about? What has your psychedelic experience been like? And what part of that path has helped you the most? For example, personally, I’d like to do a somatic therapy training program because somatic therapy has been very powerful for me. This is part of my path.
One of my former clients found that breathwork and bodywork have been very helpful for their psychedelic integration process. They became a psychedelic integration coach through that path. So now it’s your turn to look inward and ask yourself what has been the most helpful to you.
Even training & certification programs have their limitations
I don’t believe that just because you’ve had more psychedelic journeys, that makes you a better integration coach. (Although I personally wouldn’t want to learn about psychedelics from someone who’s had little to no experience with psychedelics or sacred plant medicines).
There may be a certain level of experience that you might be lacking if you’re very new to psychedelic experiences, so maybe it’s worth doing a deeper dive.
Take this example:
How many of you have been to a bad doctor in your life? All of us, right? Everybody’s had an experience with a bad doctor, bad therapist, or even a bad dentist. Doctors have an extensive amount of training and schooling, but there’s still stuff they need to learn about being a better doctor that their training didn’t teach them.
I don’t think the school you go to will automatically make you better at anything. I don’t think having a certificate from a specific training psychedelic coaching training program is any different from this program or that program. They’re all different, and what’s really going to matter is, when you start your business, you know how to communicate about it so that you attract the kind of people that you want to work with the most. You should be able to speak to your ability to help the kind of people you want to help.
This goes for anybody doing any type of work. You have to be aware of your limitations as well as be honest with yourself about what you do and don’t want to take on. Someone might come to you for help with their sexual trauma. Are you prepared to help them take a deep dive into this, or will you refer them to someone else instead?
If there are things that are not in my skill set or not something I even want to do, then I provide the person with the resources to seek support elsewhere. We should all have places where we can send people if we’re not able to help them.
If you don’t know how to help someone at a certain level or help them reach past a certain level, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to help others. It just means that you’re aware of your limitations and you want to act responsibly.
As a reminder, you are not there to fix anyone or change anyone. This journey of being a guide, coach, or healer is really to just hold that space for others to transform. Every human is doing the work themselves and you are not there to do the work for them. You are there as their guide.
I know I didn’t give you a list of top 10 psychedelic integration coach or facilitator training programs, but the few programs I have on my resources page are run by people that I know and trust, and people that I would personally work with myself. They are people who I’ve gotten to know over the years enough to know that they hold very high-integrity spaces.
Keep in mind, we’re all human, and everybody teaching these programs is human. Even people who’ve been in this world for 20+ years are just human, and they’re still learning as they go. The only way that we can continue to expand and learn how to make things better is by experiencing it ourselves and reflecting on the process.
What’s really going to make you stand out in your psychedelic integration coaching business is you being fully yourself and taking the path that resonates with you the most. Yes, you can get a few certificates just like everybody else, but that won’t solve all of your problems and make your goals suddenly occur. It’s really going to be your own experience and the authentic truth of your own integration path that will make you a great integration coach.
If you’re curious about the people I trust in these spaces, check out my resources page. At the end of the day, YOU are the only one that knows what’s best for yourself, and only you can choose what is best for the True Path that you are walking.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need any help making a decision about choosing a training program in the psychedelic space.