In recent times, the therapeutic use of psilocybin has garnered significant attention. However, with this attention comes a myriad of concerns and fears, especially regarding the facilitation process.
We aim to address these concerns and provide clarity on the subject of the psilocybin facilitation process.
The following answers are derived from an interview with 3 licensed facilitators from Inner Guidance Services Inc. in Albany, Oregon.
This chart shows the steep rise in searches for psilocybin therapy
Please be aware that no Oregon service center or facilitator can promote psilocybin with claims of therapy or define themselves as a psilocybin clinic. We encourage additional talk therapy with a licensed mental health provider to assist you on your life’s journey.
The Certification Process: More Than Just a Title
One of the primary concerns many have is understanding what the certification process entails. How does one become a licensed facilitator, and what does this training equip them with?
Amy, a licensed facilitator, shared that many in her training program already had advanced credentials, including master’s or doctorate degrees, though they operate solely under the psilocybin license in Oregon. People are often drawn to facilitation because they see the value it can provide. Becoming a facilitator is a major decision, as licensure can cost thousands of dollars and take many, many months to complete.
Ensuring Client Safety: The Core of the Training
At the heart of the training is client care. The Oregon Health Authority has outlined essential questions to ensure client safety, from understanding potential drug interactions to recognizing emergencies. Patrick emphasized the importance of distinguishing between emergencies and non-emergencies, such as panic attacks, and how to handle them. Facilitators are trained to understand vital signs like blood pressure, which is monitored, and the impact of psilocybin on serotonin levels in the brain so that client health remains at the forefront.
Building Trust: The Relationship
A significant part of the training revolves around building supportive relationships with clients. From the outset, facilitators are trained to identify clients they can assist and those who might benefit more from traditional therapy services or even a different facilitator. This ensures that clients receive the best care tailored to their needs.
Upholding Ethical Standards
Ethics plays a pivotal role in psilocybin facilitation. Given the vulnerable state clients can be in during sessions, facilitators are held to a high ethical standard. This adherence to ethics and privacy provides comfort to potential clients, knowing that licensed providers operate under strict rules and standards. Read the Ethical Principles / Code of Conduct for Psilocybin Facilitators here.
Comprehensive Training Programs
Training programs must adhere to standards set by the OHA and are approved by both the OHA and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). These programs are intensive, structured, and highly vetted, ensuring that facilitators are well-prepared.
Addressing the Fear
It’s essential to understand that facilitators are trained, vetted, licensed, and accountable. The Oregon model ensures that they can handle any situation while respecting client privacy. The licensing process is rigorous and costly, ensuring accountability. Any malpractice could result in a facilitator losing their license.
Furthermore, there’s a misconception about accessing psilocybin. Unlike cannabis, where one might visit a dispensary, clients pay for a facilitated experience in a safe environment. This ensures that clients are always in good hands, with facilitators ensuring their safety and well-being.
Layers of Licensure: Ensuring Client Safety
There are three layers of licensure in Oregon:
- The service center, like Inner Guidance Services Inc.
- The facilitator.
- The grower of the mushrooms.
Each layer has its regulations, ensuring the safety and well-being of the client. Service centers, such as Inner Guidance Services, Inc, are held to a strict standard with prohibitive regulations to ensure the best possible experience for clients. Growers must test every batch of mushrooms so that exact psychoactive content is measured, on top of other measures regarding cleanliness and business practices.
The psilocybin facilitation process in Oregon is rigorous, ensuring that clients are in safe and capable hands. As one facilitator aptly put it, when asked if they would send their mother to a service center, the answer was a resounding “Yes, absolutely!” This litmus test says it all.
About the Interviewees:
Molly Gage: A licensed psilocybin facilitator with over a decade of experience in hospice and palliative care. Molly is awed by the healing power of psilocybin and feels honored to work in partnership with it.
Amy Koehlinger: An educator with over 25 years of experience. Amy became interested in the therapeutic use of psilocybin through teaching about the neurology of religion.
Patrick Winczewski: Passionate about all types of mushrooms, Patrick has a science degree from OSU and has worked in laboratories and Quality Assurance in the Food Manufacturing industry.