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Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Training for Clinicians

Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Training for Clinicians

 
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Over 15,000 students taught
Psychedelic Support has enrolled over 15,000 students in our free and paid courses! All proceeds from our paid courses have gone into funding more education and resources for the public around safe and ethical use of psychedelics in therapy and harm reduction.
Training Description

Learn the principles and procedures of Ketamine Assisted Therapy in this six module training with the Polaris Insight Center. You will acquire the skills necessary to administer ketamine in combination with psychotherapy in a clinical setting. The curriculum is taught by an experienced and knowledgeable faculty of ketamine and MDMA protocols through live video sessions. The format is interactive between trainers and students. This training program is designed for mental health professionals - physicians, psychologists, therapists, nurses, social workers, etc.

Polaris Insight Center is dedicated to the ethical and compassionate clinical use of ketamine-assisted and psychedelic-assisted, psychotherapy. We share a deep interest in, and a broad range of experience working with, the psychotherapeutic potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness and are committed to the integration of alternative and traditional methods psychotherapy.

The founding members are all MAPS trained clinicians who have participated in both phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Polaris faculty have trained at the Ketamine Training Center and KRIYA Institute.

Training Curriculum

Module 1: Introduction to Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) has recently emerged as one of the most innovative treatments for depression, particularly treatment resistant depression (TRD), and shows promise as well in treating anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychological conditions. Integrating pharmacological, psychological, and archetypal/transpersonal elements, KAP represents a new synthesis (or hybrid model) of psychotherapy. Empirical results, particularly during the past decade, demonstrate that ketamine and KAP may be able to assist clinical populations whose symptoms and psychological issues have not been responsive to treatment by other means. At the same time, KAP holds promise for effective treatment of individuals with end of life anxiety, existential distress and less severe diagnoses. 

The practice of KAP, including diverse dosing strategies, allows clinicians to craft intervention strategies at both the psycholytic (trance, self-reflective) and psychedelic (transformational/transpersonal) levels of experience. This short introductory course will cover a wide range of topics to help clinicians understand the potential use and efficacy of KAP as well as other psychedelic medicines and will present the current state of the art clinical models for these treatments. Recent promising lines of research in the field will also be briefly covered. 

Learning Objectives for Module 1

After completing Module 1, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the various dosing strategies and routes of administration.
  • Explain the difference between infusion treatment and KAP and the pros and cons of each modality.
  • Describe three side effects of ketamine and how they are managed.
  • Describe and summarize the three main elements of the KAP protocol and their place and value in the treatment process: preparation, experiential, and integration.
  • Explain and describe the difference between psycholytic and psychedelic treatment processes.
  • Discuss the importance of the intake process and considerations for a patient wanting to start KAP treatment.

Module 2: Intermediate Workshop I on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

In this workshop, we focus on several key clinical issues and relevant themes in this treatment protocol, including: Introduction to somatic psychotherapy and KAP, implementing principles and techniques of transpersonal psychology, understanding the unique transference challenges of KAP, improving individualized treatment based on case study presentations, participating in an experiential using KAP set and setting elements, music, and breakout groups for integration work.

Learning Objectives for Module 2

After completing Module 2, participants will be able to:

  • Describe two ways in which somatic interventions can support and facilitate self-regulation of the nervous system.
  • Describe two of the major contributions of transpersonal psychology to the development of clinical protocols for KAP and psychedelic assisted psychotherapies.
  • Describe the differences between integrative and disintegrative altered state experiences that patients may express in the transference.
  • List three elements of set and setting considerations in KAP.
  • Describe one cultural dynamic that may arise in KAP.
  • Describe one transference dynamic that may arise in KAP.

Module 3: Intermediate Workshop II on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

In this workshop, we focus on several key clinical issues and relevant themes in this treatment protocol, including: ethical issues in KAP, work with countertransference in KAP, collaboration with outside providers of KAP clients, implementation of virtual KAP, implementation of group KAP, broad strokes overview of and integration of spiritual experiences. Teachings are appropriate for healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.
Learning Objectives for Module 3 

After completing Module 3, participants will be able to:

  • List three of the common countertransference polarities therapists need to be aware of in working with KAP. 
  • List two of the countransference challenges that can arise for therapists in KAP.
  • List three screening criteria for membership in KAP groups.
  • Describe two challenges to collaboration with an outside therapist.
  • Describe two reasons why a patient may not be a good candidate for virtual KAP treatment. 
  • List two challenges of integrating spiritual experiences in KAP. 

Module 4: Intermediate Workshop III on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

In this workshop, we focus on special topics in KAP, including: attachment patterns and working with  issues in KAP, exploring the relationship of substance misuse and trauma, and working with issues of substance misuse using KAP. We will focus on understanding advanced topics in KAP integration, and the possibility of using KAP in the treatment of trauma and PTSD.

Learning Objectives for Module 4

After completing Module 4, participants will be able to:

  • Describe two ways in which avoidant attachment patterns can be addressed in KAP. 
  • Describe two ways in which trauma can emerge in a KAP session. 
  • Describe two steps that a KAP clinic can take to help mitigate the risk of ketamine addiction. 
  • Describe two primary ways in which the history of trauma changed the mental health field after 1980. 
  • Discuss two impacts of the Drug War on BIPOC, Immigrants, and Poor People.
  • Describe two problems that might arise if therapists do not spend time helping clients integrate their KAP experiences.

Module 5: Intermediate Workshop IV on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
In this workshop, we focus on special topics in KAP, including: working with diverse populations, embodying cultural humility, and weaving social justice and health equity in KAP at the personal, interpersonal, and collective levels. We will be identifying various challenging situations that can arise in KAP, exploring advanced perspectives and applications of somatic psychotherapy in KAP, and discussing self-care, consultation, and continuing education recommendations for therapists working in the field of psychedelic medicine.

Learning Objectives for Module 5
After completing Module 5, participants will be able to:

  • Define Liberation Psychology and identify ways to weave the philosophy and practice into your work.
  • Identify areas of personal and interpersonal growth toward holding safe psychedelic spaces with clients who identity as BIPOC, LGBTQI+ and other oppressed or marginalized groups. 
  • Describe two ways in which somatic interventions can support and facilitate self-regulation of the nervous system.
  • List two types of somatic energy release during KAP sessions.
  • Describe two ways in which the therapist’s anxiety can interfere with effectively helping clients to navigate challenging psychedelic experiences.
  • List two professional activities that a psychotherapist can engage in to improve their competency around working with psychedelics therapeutically.

Practice Module: Training and Practice of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

In this workshop, our focus is on helping clinicians develop clinical skills needed for KAP. Clinicians will learn how to implement principles of KAP in practice, respond to common questions and challenges that can arise during KAP, gain experience playing therapist and patient in KAP, and have opportunities to observe and discuss in dyadic/triadic work with live supervision. Teachings are appropriate for healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.

Learning Objectives for the Practice Module 

After completing the Practice Module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe two interventions that help create physical and emotional safety before, during, and after a ketamine therapy session.
  • Describe two clinical interventions for facilitating memory of a non-ordinary states of consciousness (NOSC) experience.
  • Explain a mindfulness/relaxation/breathing method that can be used to assist patients with anxiety and easing entry into NOSC
  • List two emergency interventions for KAP.
  • Describe two effective strategies or interventions to use with challenging emotional and spiritual experiences that might arise during a ketamine session.
  • List two important follow-up methods and questions to ensure effective integration is taking place following a KAP session.

Teachings are appropriate for healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.

Meet your Training Instructors:
Veronika Gold, MFT
Instructor (modules 1-5)
Veronika Gold, MFT (she/her) a Czech Republic native, made Bay Area her home in 2003. She has been interested in the exploration of consciousness and the healing potential of psychedelics since her teenage years when she met Stanislav Grof. She has expertise in the treatment of trauma and as well works with clients on preparation for and integration of psychedelic experiences. She supports clients in personal growth supporting them to live their highest potential. She is a co-founder of Polaris Insight Center, providing Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, and is a lead trainer at Polaris Insight Center Training program. Veronika was a Sub-Investigator and Therapist on MDMA-Assisted Therapy Clinical trials sponsored by MAPS for the treatment of PTSD. Currently, she is a mentor trainer and supervisor for MDMA-AT. Veronika as well serves as a consultant and facilitator in EMDR and Organic Intelligence trainings, and is a Realization Process Teacher.
Veronika Gold, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Polaris Insight Center
Eric Sienknecht, PsyD
Instructor (modules 1-3, 5)
Eric is a licensed psychologist who specializes in treating chronic pain, mood disorders, and trauma. He has undergone training in KAP through the Ketamine Training Center and in MDMA-Assisted Therapy through the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program and is currently a Sub-Investigator and Co-therapist, and a trainer on the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy Clinical Trials for treatment-resistant PTSD. He presents at conferences regularly on topics such as set and setting, ethics, integration, working with expansive states of consciousness, and music in psychedelic therapy. Eric is a lead trainer in the Polaris Insight Training Program.
Eric Sienknecht, PsyD
Clinical Psychologist
Polaris Insight Center
Harvey Schwartz, PhD
Instructor (modules 1-5)
Harvey is a licensed psychologist who specializes in treating complex PTSD, dissociative disorders, as well as patients with spiritual and therapy-related trauma. He has undergone advanced Ketamine-Assisted Therapy training through the Ketamine Training Center and the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy Training Program and is currently a Sub-Investigator and Co-therapist, a supervisor and a trainer on the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy Clinical Trials. In his clinical work and consultation, he synthesizes relational psychodynamic, archetypal, existential, and mindfulness perspectives. He has worked on advancing the theory and practice of integration in psychedelic therapies. Harvey is the training director and a lead trainer in the Polaris Insight Training Program.
Harvey Schwartz, PhD
Psychologist
Polaris Insight Center
Chris Stauffer, MD
Instructor (module 4)
Chris is an assistant professor at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician and uses a holistic and collaborative approach informed by attachment theory. Chris has served as a therapist for clinical trials using oxytocin, MDMA, and psilocybin in combination with individual and group psychotherapy.
Chris Stauffer, MD
Assistant Professor
Oregon Health & Science University
Steve Rosonke, MD
Instructor (modules 1, 4)
After medical school and a residency in Emergency Medicine, Steve completed a Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the Shock Trauma Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. In caring for his patients, Steve has embraced not only conventional medicine but mind-body medicine, psychology, neuroscience, meditation, spirituality, personal transformation, and trauma recovery.
Steve Rosonke, MD
Physician
Rainfall Medicine
Ryan Hoffman, LMFT
Ryan has dedicated his therapeutic practice to working with anxiety, depression and relationships challenges. He has developed a passion for working with the expanded states of consciousness that arise through psychedelics. Ryan’s approach to therapy is inspired by a number of modalities including transpersonal, existential, humanistic, somatic and EMDR.
Ryan Hoffman, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Polaris Insight Center
Robert Voloshin, DO
Dr. Voloshin completed his Psychiatry Residency at The University of New Mexico where I spent an additional year of fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has served as a study physician/therapist at UNM for a clinical trial investigating the effects of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of alcohol-use disorder. He has pursued extensive psychotherapy training in various modalities including Somatic Experiencing and Hakomi. His approach to Psychiatry and Therapy includes an emphasis on family systems theory, developmental psychology, psychedelic psychotherapy, nutrition, mind-¬body approaches, and reconnection to the earth and community.
Robert Voloshin, DO
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Insight Psychiatry
Frank Ehrenfried, LMFT
Frank focuses on combining neuroscience-informed trauma modalities with psychedelics. His intention with this cross-over is to help amplify and ground the powerful healing capabilities of expansive states of consciousness. With the potential to facilitate the profound transpersonal and mystical experience. Integrating mindfulness, the body and depth psychology, EMDR therapy, he weaves together a creative and practical roadmap towards healing. He has undergone KAP training through Ketamine Training Center and MDMA-Assisted Therapy Training through MAPS. Frank is a trainer in the Polaris Insight Training Program.
Frank Ehrenfried, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Polaris Insight Center
Devon Cortright, PsyD
Devon graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He currently works at Polaris Insight Center, under the supervision of Harvey Schwartz, PhD. He offers ketamine assisted psychotherapy. In addition, he offers psychotherapy to adults, couples, families, and adolescents. He helps with the Polaris and Rainfall Certificate in Ketamine Assisted-Psychotherapy Training Program.
Devon Cortright, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Polaris Insight Center
Renee Razzano, LCSW
Renee specializes in trauma and recovery and embraces psychedelic-assisted therapies like KAP to facilitate growth and connectedness. She works with couples and individuals to enhance their ability to feel more of their aliveness, to increase resilience, and to be in an ongoing process of integration and expansion. Her approach draws from yoga philosophy, movement science, neuroscience, social work, social justice, and indigenous food and plant healing traditions and weaves together somatic and mystical facets of psychotherapy. She has trained as a touch therapist in Relational Somatic Healing, which focuses on healing developmental trauma. Renee leads integration groups in the Polaris Insight Training Program and teaches about ethics in psychedelic psychotherapy.
Renee Razzano, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Polaris Insight Center
Joseph McCowan, PsyD
Joseph is a licensed clinical psychologist, currently working in Los Angeles as a therapist and supervisor in the MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. Additionally, Joseph supports the MAPS Therapy Training Program as a training assistant, and supports efforts toward increasing the diversity of therapists and participants in the MAPS clinical studies as part of the MAPS Diversity Working Group. Joseph practices at the California Center for Psychedelic Therapy where he provides ketamine assisted psychotherapy and psychedelic integration therapy. Joseph is trained in multiple other psychedelic assisted therapy approaches including psilocybin-assisted therapy for Depression and 5-MeO-DMT therapy. Joseph is deeply passionate about furthering education and awareness of the healing benefits of psychedelics for communities of color and in working to improve mental health outcomes for historically underserved communities. Joseph received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Joseph McCowan, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
California Center for Psychedelic Therapy
Aisha Mohammed, LMFT
Aisha is a cisgender, queer, Pakistani-American woman who immigrated from Karachi to Los Angeles as a child. She has been working in harm reduction for a decade with Project SAFE, providing direct services and advocating for the human and labor rights of people who trade sex and use substances. Aisha trained as a family therapist at Drexel University and has worked primarily with low-income families of color, immigrants and people who use substances in community mental health and educational settings.
Aisha Mohammed, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Project SAFE
Jennifer Jones, PhD, LCSW
Jennifer is a multiracial Black, queer, fairly able-bodied, 52 y.o. cisgender woman with citizenship in the US. Jennifer incorporates an economics human rights perspective, a harm reduction framework, and Gestalt Therapy principles in her work. After working as a trauma therapist for 20 years, Jennifer has spent the last two years co-developing the Rising Caps Collective to address our collective trauma from legacies of colonization, genocide, slavery and capitalism by using expansive healing methods. As a parent who believes a just world is possible, Jennifer is committed to organizing for the unity of the poor to fight for all of our economic human rights.
Jennifer Jones, PhD, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Rising Caps Collective
Extra Info

UPCOMING 2024 DATES

All modules are held online at 9 am – 5 pm PT (Pacific Time zone). Select the CE option for 48 hrs credit.

Series C:

  • July 13, 2024 (module 1)
  • August 13, 2024 (module 2)
  • Sept 17, 2024 (module 3)
  • October 15, 2024 (module 4)
  • October 30, 2024 (module 5)
  • November 11, 2024 (Training & Practice module)

Series D:

  • September 30, 2024 (module 1)
  • November 1, 2024 (module 2)
  • December 17, 2024 (module 3)
  • October 15, 2024 (module 4)
  • October 30, 2024 (module 5)
  • Date Options TBD (Training & Practice module)

Note: Module dates are out of order but the content flows fine in this sequence. 

PREVIOUS 2024 DATES

Series B:

  • April 1, 2024 (module 1)
  • April 23, 2024 (module 2)
  • May 13, 2024 (module 3)
  • June 24, 2024 (module 4)
  • July 17, 2024 (module 5)
  • August 2, 2024 (Training & Practice module)

Series A:

  • December 14, 2023 (module 1)
  • January 16, 2024 (module 2)
  • February 5, 2024 (module 3)
  • February 27, 2024  (module 4)
  • March 20, 2024 (module 5)
  • March 25, 2024 (Training & Practice module)

Cancellation Policy

Participants need to cancel up to 2 weeks in advance to receive a 100% refund (minus a $25 admin fee and payment processing fee). If cancelled after the 2-weeks-in-advance period they can use the credit for a future training or receive 50% refund (minus a $25 admin fee and payment processing fee).

Certificate Information

Interested in the different certificate options for our courses? Read on to learn more:

Learn more about Completion Certificate
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Once you complete the course you will receive a Polaris Insight Center Certificate of Completion. Choose this option if you are not a licensed health provider and do not need continuing education credit for your professional degree.

Learn more about CE Credit Certificate
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Once you complete the course you will receive a Psychedelic Support CE Certificate. Choose this option if you are a licensed health provider who would like continuing education credit for your professional degree.

  • Be sure to select the CE credit option when purchasing the course.
  • Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance for your credits.
  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by Polaris Insight Center, an APA-approved CE sponsor.
  • Polaris Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Polaris Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, to request special accommodations, or report a grievance contact Psychedelic Support info@psychedelic.support.