Learn the foundations to practice authentic and ethical Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (PAT) 

Drawing from the decades of research developed by the Beckley Foundation and Amanda Feilding, as well as the seminal work of Janis Phelps, Carl Jung, Stanislav Grof, Kylea Taylor, and Friederike Meckel Fischer, among others, Foundations of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy presents psychoanalytical, psychodynamic, somatic, and transpersonal perspectives of the unconscious and shadow material that emerges in non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Foundations of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

Content Overview

  • Competencies of PAT
  • Relational ethics, the diverse experience of safety, and creating a container
  • Right relationship within the therapeutic relationship and larger ecological systems
  • Complexities of power, responsibility, and empowerment within the therapeutic alliance 
  • Foundations, origins, legacy, and contemporary uses of psychedelics 
  • Culturally responsive care and practicing from a decolonizing perspective 
  • In-depth clinical psychedelic research and its limitations 
  • The significance of transference, countertransference, shadow, and enactment in the therapeutic relationship 
  • Integrating a somatic and trauma-informed approach in PAT
  • Polyvagal theory in relationship to regulation, co-regulation and creating a safe container
  • A non-directive approach to support inner experience and inner healing intelligence
  • The stages of the process of PAT (Preparation, Experience, and Integration)

Practical application

  • Build a somatic framework for self-reflection & self-regulation by practicing somatic resourcing, exploring the organization of experience, embodying belief, exploring shadow/not me parts, and embodying transformation 
  • Create a toolkit of resources to incorporate into your practice: somatic resources, intention setting, PAT music playlists, client psychoeducation, and transformation and integration techniques
  • Practice skills to help clients deepen into experience and support auto- and co-regulation in non-ordinary states of consciousness by tracking somatic experience, providing mindfulness questions and directives, practicing proximity seeking actions, and guiding the integration of transformation through all three levels of experience: cognition, emotion, and somatic 
  • Practice tools to support PAT preparation, such as COEX system mapping, visualizations, and building somatic resources 
  • Establish a supportive community of practice and personal learning plan for continued growth and development 

Feedback from our learners

“The journaling and the video/audio sections really helped connect information in my brain and body.”

“It is helpful that we are able to do this work on our own schedule. It feels like such a healthy way in which to work.”

“Understanding how important it is that we (the clinicians) are aware of ourselves, how we are the secondary nervous system for our client and how important it is to hold that sacred space without our countertransference [interfering]has been most applicable to my clinical practice.”

Who do we serve?

  • Licensed mental health professionals
  • Mental health professionals on a licensing path: e.g., enrolled in a degree program
  • Allied mental health professionals: non-clinical social workers, pastoral counselors, & Indigenous ceremonial leaders
  • Questions about your eligibility? Feel free to email us: info@beckleyacademy.com

Course Facilitators

Danielle M. Herrera


Karina Sergi


Begins October 9, 2023

Download the Fall Cohort course overview document.

Includes learning objectives, topics, and a detailed live meeting schedule.

Course Topics


  • Begin building the container
  • Explore the diverse experience of safety
  • Live session for introductions and connecting with communitas pod
  • Introduction to polyvagal theory and somatic resourcing
  • Review PAT Competencies

Module 1: Establishing an Intentional Practice

  • Right relationship & the ethics of care
  • Therapeutic relationship
  • Intention setting & community agreements
  • Communal/shared intersubjective experience 

Module 2: Origins, History, & Legacy

  • Indigenous wisdom & psychedelic traditions
  • Communitas, liminality, & oppressive systems
  • Practicing PAT with cultural responsivity
  • Music and inner healing intelligence
  • Practicing a  felt sense of connection & disconnection

Module 3: Contemporary Research and Use 

  • Current psychedelic research on psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA
  • Diagnoses  for which PAT is efficacious 
  • The affective experience of psychedelic assisted therapy as seen in clinical trials
  • Right relationship with plants (ecological ethics)
  • Historical harm and limitations of clinical psychedelic research 

Module 4: Inner Awareness and Relational, Ethical, & Power Dynamics

  • Transference, countertransference, shadow and enactment
  • Exploring the organization of experience of a shadow part
  • COEX system mapping
  • Practicing gentle  mindfulness questions and directives to help clients deepen into experience

Module 5: Preparation | Holding Space | Integration

Day 1 | Preparation | Screening, Client Education, and Preparation  

  • Orienting and preparing clients and self for therapeutic work with non-ordinary states of consciousness 
  • Aspects of set and setting that support transformative PAT experiences
  • Roleplaying scenarios for preparation and psychoeducation
  • Common transference and countertransference reactions

Day 2 | Experience Facilitation | Therapeutic Process and Holding Space for the Journey  

  • Safely guiding clients through experiences of non-ordinary consciousness 
  • Directive and non-directive approaches to guide flexibility
  • Track subtle somatic, emotional, and cognitive state changes in cacao experience

Day 3 | Transformation & Integration

  • The unfolding process that occurs after a psychedelic experience  
  • Common issues around positive, negative, and unexpected client experiences 
  • Complementary techniques and approaches to support PAT integration  
  • Guiding embodied transformation  in roleplaying experiences

Module 6: Clinical Applications & Closing the Container

  • Closing the container
  • Processing emotions in integration/at closings
  • Capstone project presentations (a clinical application of a tool/resource)
  • Creating a sustainable community of practice