Certificate Program in Psychedelic Facilitation

Compelling research with psychedelics demonstrates promising benefits for improving mental health and spiritual well-being across a variety of clinical populations as well as those seeking personal growth. The results of these studies, as well as state-by-state policy changes, have highlighted the potential use of psychedelics for healing purposes. There is a growing need for professionally trained facilitators to provide safe, legal, sensitive, and effective psychedelic care. To address this need, BCSP’s Certificate Program in Psychedelic Facilitation provides interdisciplinary training for advanced professionals, with an emphasis on spiritual care.

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Program Description

Applications for the 2023–2024 cohort are now closed. Please check back in December 2023 for information about the 2024-2025 cohort.

In September 2022, BCSP launched its Certificate Program in Psychedelic Facilitation, designed for advanced religious, spiritual-care, and healthcare professionals working in areas such as chaplaincy, ministry, medicine, nursing, mental health counseling, psychiatry, and social work. To diversify enrollment from members of historically underrepresented groups, financial assistance is available to qualified applicants.

Concurrent with this training program, BCSP’s FDA-approved research study offers opportunities for healthy volunteers to access firsthand experiences with psilocybin. Medically eligible trainees may volunteer as participants in the study, thereby increasing their personal knowledge of psilocybin and their capacity to support others accessing psychedelic care.

BCSP’s novel program offers a 9-month, 200-hour approach to professional preparation for psychedelic facilitators:

  • 160 instructional hours include weekend immersions, small-group and online learning, contemplative practice, and two offsite retreats. Most immersions take place on the UC Berkeley campus. Offsite retreats will take place in the greater Bay Area. The remaining hours are fulfilled through a 40-hour practicum.
  • Eligible trainees may also choose to participate as healthy volunteers in BCSP’s legal, FDA-approved psilocybin research studies. In future years, trainees may have the opportunity to return for direct mentorship as co-facilitators for dosing sessions in the psilocybin research.
  • BCSP’s Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program is committed to providing culturally sensitive training that prepares facilitators to adequately address the needs of people from a diverse array of faith traditions and communities of origin. We acknowledge and engage with Indigenous and other traditional communities that have long been stewards of healing practices with psychedelic substances. Throughout the curriculum, we will explore matters of positionality, ethics, systemic marginalization, and sociocultural structures of power. Professionals from Indigenous or marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.
  • This interdisciplinary certificate program integrates and applies eight core domains of knowledge:
    • Spiritual Care
    • Psychotherapeutic Methods
    • Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions
    • Clinical Science and Research
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    • Contemplative Science and Practice
    • Ethics
    • Reciprocity and Ecological Awareness
    • Somatic Awareness

Program Philosophy

Principles of inclusion, reciprocity, and respect for all beings guide the BCSP Certificate Program. We aim to craft a learning environment that is safe and supportive for everyone, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, and other underrepresented groups. Our interdisciplinary curriculum blends contemporary scientific knowledge with ancestral and communal perspectives. In gratitude for the Indigenous traditions that have inspired our learning, we seek to respond with service and community engagement.

Each cohort is intentionally capped at 25 participants. A team of core instructors will develop deeper relationships with participants through ongoing small-group meetings.

Our core instructional team and guest faculty bring expertise in chaplaincy, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and social welfare, as well as ethics and ancestral entheogenic traditions. We aim to develop a critical social consciousness on matters of power, marginalization, and inclusion in the broader field. Participants will examine how social positions shape experiences in the psychedelic-facilitation space.  

Psilocybin Focus

Our certificate program will emphasize psilocybin facilitation and its applications for spiritual and psychotherapeutic care, focusing both on traditional uses of this globally recognized medicine and current Western approaches to mental health. Our certificate is approved as a Psilocybin Facilitator Training Program through the Oregon Health Authority (ID #TP-b174a696) as well as the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. 

Parallel to our Certificate Program, BCSP’s clinical research team will be conducting basic psilocybin research in healthy volunteers. This FDA-approved study will investigate the mechanisms of action of low doses of psilocybin as well as the neurobiological, perceptual, and cognitive aspects of the psychedelic experience. Other studies will explore the enduring transformative effects of high-dose psychedelic experiences on emotion, stress regulation, and inflammation.

Educational Research and Evaluation

A central feature of the program will be ongoing research and evaluation. Faculty Director Dr. Tina Trujillo will conduct a formative and summative evaluation of the program’s design, implementation, and eventual impacts. Results from this evaluation will be used for continual program refinement and will be distributed throughout the field in support of best practices. 

In addition, Dr. Trujillo will conduct a longitudinal ethnographic study of the program to explore the sociocultural, political, and epistemological dynamics that transpire in the formation of a psychedelic facilitation program for culturally, professionally, and spiritually diverse learners.

Read more about Dr. Trujillo’s research here.


The curriculum is divided into seven modules. Each module includes our core instructors and guest faculty. Whole-group, small-group, and asynchronous online learning complement the immersive weekends. BCSP will grant certificates of completion to those who successfully complete the program.

Have a question? See our frequently asked questions below or contact us.


Photo of Tina Trujillo
Tina Trujillo

Faculty Director and Principal Investigator

Tina Trujillo is an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Education, where she has researched and taught about the politics of education; policy analysis; epistemology; and the links among education, democracy, and social justice. Her current interests focus on nature and well-being, as well as scientific, spiritual, and Indigenous ways of knowing. Tina is faculty director of the BCSP Certificate Program, where she conducts ethnographic research and an evaluation of the program. She is interested in understanding how this training can be diverse and inclusive, serve to identify best practices in the professional preparation of psychedelic facilitators, and advance the use of psychedelics as tools for mending humans’ relationships with the broader natural community.

Photo of Moana Meadow
Moana Meadow

Program Director, Spiritual Care

Moana Meadow, MA, MDiv, serves as the Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program’s staff director. She also teaches on spiritual care for expanded states of consciousness. She completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at hospitals in California and Hawaii, and has worked as a hospice chaplain and spiritual director for over ten years. She was ordained as an interfaith minister at the Chaplaincy Institute, where she served as guest faculty and academic advisor until 2018. She later served as Executive Director of a non-profit church in Sonoma County. She has studied with indigenous elders in the United States and Mexico, and holds a BS from MIT, an MA from Boston University, and an MDiv from the Pacific School of Religion.

Photo of Sylvestre (Sylver) Quevedo
Sylvestre (Sylver) Quevedo

Sylvestre Quevedo MD, MPH is an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at UCSF and a principal investigator in FDA trials of MDMA to treat PTSD. He graduated from UC Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health before serving as an assistant professor at Stanford Medical School and the founding director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the O’Connor Hospital in San José. He later joined the Global Health Sciences group at UCSF, where he was involved in medical education reform, ambulatory care redesign, international health efforts, and public-private partnerships in healthcare. Dr. Quevedo has served on national boards and committees, including the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health of Kenya.

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Joseph Zamaria

Psychotherapy, Clinical Science, and Research

Joseph Zamaria, PsyD, ABPP, is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist and an associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine. At the BCSP, he directs the psychotherapy curriculum as well as the clinical science and research curriculum. He has been a researcher of psychedelics for over fifteen years, and at UCSF, has served as a therapist and researcher in clinical trials examining the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to treat a range of conditions. Dr. Zamaria is a founding member of the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENA-PSY) and serves on the advisory board of the Fireside Project.

Photo of Susana Bustos
Susana Bustos

Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions

Susana Bustos, PhD, is a psychotherapist and music therapist trained in Chile, whose work focuses on the transformative potential of expanded states of consciousness. A Holotropic Breathwork practitioner since 1999, Susana directed the Spiritual Emergence Network in the U.S. between 2016-2020. Her 20+ years of study of entheogenic traditions from the Americas, especially their healing practices and songs, brought her to teach and mentor students in psychedelic-assisted therapy trainings in the Bay Area and abroad, and to co-found the Escuela de Psicovegetalismo. At BSCP, she leads the Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions curriculum, aiming to bridge the conversation between anthropocentric healing systems and those based on the relationship of human cultures with other sentiences in nature.

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Mary Sanders

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mary Sanders, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and social justice advocate exploring transgenerational trauma with BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, veterans, immigrants, refugees, and foster youth. Mary has completed training at CIIS CPTR, MAPS, and the Ketamine Training Center and is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Mary works both in private practice and at the Veteran Affairs’ homeless program in San Francisco. She is a founding board member of the People of Color Psychedelic Collective. At the BCSP, Mary lectures on historical and current systems of oppression, explores collective healing through an intersectional lens, and facilitates conversations around community-oriented infrastructures that center accessibility, and culturally attuned care. She is currently completing training in Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems.

Photo of Kristina Hunter
Kristina Hunter

Program Coordinator

Kristina Hunter is a mindfulness-based somatic counselor and writer with a specialization in psychedelic integration. She has spent over fifteen years studying the transformative potential of expanded states of consciousness with Indigenous and mestizo practitioners from Central and South America. Additionally, she has been studying and practicing Buddhadharma with Tibetan and American teachers for the past two decades. Kristina’s work explores the intersection of psychology, plant medicine, and Buddhist contemplative practice. She consults with clinicians on individualized approaches to psychedelic facilitation, with an emphasis on preparation and integration, self-awareness, and harm reduction. At the BCSP, Kristina supports the Ethics curriculum, tracks legislation and policy developments, and conducts research on programmatic content areas.

Photo of Joody Marks
Joody Marks

Project Manager

Joody Marks is a project manager and operations strategist, who specializes in change-making experiential programming. She is especially interested in promoting equitable access to transformative health care and has created and supported projects that focus on mindfulness, mutual aid, health equity, artivism, rural justice, nature connection, movement, farming, and food justice. At the BCSP, she manages operations and administrative systems for the Certificate Program. She brings over a decade of experience as an event coordinator and production manager in alternative healing, arts, and social justice spaces. Her approach is largely informed by her love of guiding people into wild places, and two decades as a contemplative spiritual practitioner in Tibetan Buddhist, yoga, and embodied awareness traditions.

Guest Instructors

Photo of Kylea Taylor
Kylea Taylor

Ethics for Expanded States

Kylea Taylor, M.S., LMFT, developed and teaches InnerEthics®, a self-reflective, self-compassionate approach to ethical relationship for therapists and practitioners. She has been writing and teaching about ethics for almost three decades. Kylea started studying with Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Christina Grof in 1984 and worked with Grof as a Senior Trainer in the Grof Transpersonal Training throughout the 1990s, facilitating and observing thousands of extra-ordinary state of consciousness sessions. She is the author of The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with ClientsThe Breathwork Experience, Considering Holotropic Breathwork®, and is the editor of Exploring Holotropic Breathwork®. At the BCSP, she brings her expertise instructing learners in the nuances of ethics for psychedelic care.

photograph of Eve Ekman
Eve Ekman

Contemplative Science and Practice

Eve Ekman, Ph.D., MSW, is a teacher, writer, and contemplative social scientist. At the BCSP, Eve leads experiential sessions on the science and practice of compassion, emotional awareness, and pro-social connection as supportive tools for psychedelic participants and healthcare professionals. Eve’s qualitative research has explored burnout, emotional awareness, psilocybin-assisted therapy, and meditation. With the support of the Dalai Lama, Eve and her father collaborated on the Atlas of Emotion, an online tool for developing emotional awareness. Eve is the lead trainer for the Cultivating Emotional Balance training program, Well-Being and Mental Health Lead at Apple, Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UCB, and a Mind and Life Institute fellow.

2023–2024 Program Dates and Locations*

Module 1:

September 7 – 10, 2023, in Berkeley

Module 2:

October 20-22, 2023, in Berkeley

Module 3:

December 1-3, 2023, in Berkeley

Module 4:

January 10-14, 2024, in Berkeley

Module 5:

March 1-3, 2024, in Berkeley

Module 6:

April 12-14, 2024, in Berkeley

Module 7:

May 19-24, 2024; at a residential retreat, location TBA

*Subject to change

Eligibility and Admissions Criteria

BCSP’s Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program is designed for advanced religious, spiritual-care, and healthcare professionals working in areas such as chaplaincy, ministry, medicine, nursing, mental health counseling, psychiatry, and social work. We seek to enroll training cohorts composed of diverse backgrounds and welcome certified practitioners in relevant fields.

Religious professionals may hold board chaplaincy certification (BCCI) or may have completed one or more units of CPE, or they can demonstrate considerable experience providing spiritual care in their faith community. Those trained in traditional plant medicine lineages, who carry the support of their community, are also welcome to apply.

Healthcare professionals should have a professional degree and hold an active license or registration in their respective fields of clinical care. Health-care professionals with a bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of clinical experience will also be considered. Licensed midwives with significant experience will also be considered.

In general, trainees should be certified or licensed in their fields and demonstrate a minimum of five years of direct spiritual, mental, or behavioral healthcare experience.

BCSP encourages practitioners from historically underrepresented groups to apply and offers financial assistance to help promote diversity, equity, and access in the emerging field of psychedelic facilitation.

We will notify applicants no later than June 1, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the learning environment be like at BCSP?

We will create an intimate learning environment with at most 25 trainees. One of our program goals is to develop and study best practices for the field of training programs. The limited enrollment will allow us to research and evaluate our program model and to disseminate the knowledge generated to scholarly and practitioner communities.

Will the training take place online or in person?

Five non-residential immersions will be delivered in Berkeley, California. Two residential retreats will take place in the greater Bay Area. Regular asynchronous and online, small group learning will complement this in-person instruction.

What is the cost of your training?

Standard enrollment fees for the training program are $12,000, which includes all instruction and retreat costs. Applicants who cannot afford to pay this amount may apply to be considered for financial aid. We offer Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Scholarships and need-based assistance, subject to donor support. Applying for aid is not a guarantee of an award. Monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual installments can also be arranged.

If I am admitted and pay the enrollment fee, then change my mind and decide not to enroll, can I receive a refund?

No, the enrollment fee is nonrefundable. 

What is the application fee?

Our application includes a $150 submission fee. A waiver option is available for those who cannot afford the application fee.

Who are good candidates for admission?

We prioritize applicants with advanced degrees in relevant fields and/or those with significant professional experience. We recognize that the nature of safe, effective psychedelic facilitation requires a depth of professional judgment and self-awareness that grows deeper with time and relevant experience. Those in supervisory or teaching positions are also well-positioned to disseminate the empirical knowledge base about psychedelic facilitation.

At the same time, some professions (e.g., nursing, occupational therapy) require only a bachelor’s degree to provide a large portion of their direct patient care. International credentialing programs often differ from those in the United States. Traditional healers and practitioners with longstanding, rigorous training in other contexts may not have completed a formal degree but may possess deep experiential knowledge. We value a range of work experience and wisdom. Our admissions team will evaluate each application on its unique merit.

What are the dates and times of the in-person meetings?

The in-person meetings will take place on the dates listed in the program description. These immersions will include Friday and Saturday gatherings from 9:00am-5pm, and a Sunday gathering from 9:00am-3:30pm. Two offsite retreats will include extended days and hours. Admitted students will receive detailed information about programming before they commit to enrolling.

What will I be prepared to do in my work following this training?

Following completion of the certificate program, trainees will possess specialized knowledge about the field of psychedelic facilitation. Healthcare providers may be able to support psychedelic care or research, where regulations permit, in their licensed roles. Religious professionals may be able to offer psychedelic preparation and integration support to members of their communities of faith who undergo psychedelic care, where regulations permit, in a healthcare or research setting.  

Participants will also gain experience in a series of meditations and positive psychology-based practices drawn from contemporary contemplative science and social psychology. These practices support self-care for the health professional as well as providing evidence-based mind and body benefits to their clients. 

Trainees who complete the program will not be licensed, certified, or otherwise sanctioned to provide psychedelic care in settings where regulations do not permit this work.

What is the time commitment to complete the program?

In addition to our 160 instructional hours, an additional 40 practicum hours are required for the completion of our certificate. About 300 hours of reading, writing, and other assignments will be required. The commitment is about eight hours of homework per week throughout the nine months of training.

Your training will be focused on psilocybin. Will it also prepare me for work with other medicines?

We are an approved Psilocybin Facilitator Training Program (ID #TP-b174a696) through the Oregon Health Authority, and are currently in the process of pursuing HECC approval, with an anticipated provisional approval in 2023. The BCSP research team is also beginning an FDA-approved study of psilocybin in healthy volunteers. Therefore, our training will be focused on psilocybin. However, some research and case studies related to other psychedelic substances will be included. Many of the skills required for effective work with psilocybin will transfer to work in other legal settings.

Do you have any affiliation with the MAPS MDMA training?

BCSP has no formal affiliation with MAPS. However, many of our students and staff have completed the MAPS training or worked for MAPS in other contexts.

How does the BCSP Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program attend to the indigenous spiritual traditions that have evolved in relationship to psychedelic medicines?

Though there is no way for an academic program to fully encapsulate the indigenous spiritual traditions surrounding psychedelic medicines, we do share a value within our program of honoring the indigenous traditions that have held healing practices with plant and fungus sacraments for thousands of years. One of our core team members, Susana Bustos, teaches about Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions in each module. Another core curricular area, Reciprocity and Ecological Awareness, includes perspectives from various traditional lineages. Our Spiritual Care curriculum also addresses various orientations to spiritual faith and practice, including indigenous perspectives. Lastly, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum addresses the lived experience of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups in relation to psychedelic medicines.

How does the BCSP Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program ensure diversity in its graduates?

Our students join our program as advanced professionals of varying ages and backgrounds. In 2022-2023, 40% of our student cohort members identify as BIPOC, as do half of our core instructional team members. Approximately 1/3 of our student cohort members identify as LGBTQ+, as do about 40% of our core instructional team members. We are fortunate to be able to provide significant scholarship support to marginalized groups, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized identities. In 2022-2023, 100% of students requesting aid were awarded scholarships at the level they requested. We also offer a fully funded mentorship program to students from these groups. The mentorship program pairs historically marginalized students with professionals in the psychedelic field from similar backgrounds to support their growth and development. Our DEI-specific curriculum receives approximately the same time and attention as other areas. It includes examinations of many different forms of marginalization, including race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. We aspire to weave DEI considerations into all areas of our program and represent voices that contribute to more culturally sensitive learning for marginalized communities. 

Does the BCSP Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program require learners to participate in psychedelic experiences?

We cannot require direct psilocybin experience in a state or country that does not legally permit them. Many people don’t have access to plant medicines or fear legal consequences that disproportionately impact communities of color. However, we underscore the importance of first-hand experiences for our students and are doing our best to provide access, primarily through an FDA-approved study taking place on the UC Berkeley campus. While we acknowledge a scientific study in no way replicates a spiritual medicine ceremony, we trust that this unique form of access will support those who do not arrive with their own profound experiences. Secondarily, we are planning an immersion to Oaxaca, Mexico this summer so that students can meet and learn from traditional healers in that region. Lastly, as an OHA-approved training site, we look forward to providing practicum experiences for our students in the state of Oregon.

Does the BCSP Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program include practitioners who relate to these medicines from a spiritual rather than a scientific perspective?

Many of our applicants do arrive with deep relationships with psychedelic medicines, and they are invited to share about that relationship in their application and interview. We take that depth of experience into account when determining admission and have provided an opportunity for unlicensed, traditionally trained facilitators of psychedelic medicines to apply as well.

How does the BCSP Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program engender humility in its graduates?

Our core team members bring years of experience and assess each applicant for essential attributes such as humility, self-awareness, and commitment to social justice. All promising candidates are interviewed prior to admission and assessed for compatibility as a facilitator of psychedelic experiences. We hope students admitted to our program will leave deeply humbled by all they don’t know and committed to deep reciprocity in their future work. We intentionally recruit a racially diverse group of learners so that they may learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives and build alliances that support the psychedelic field going forward. We ask all our learners to examine their individual standpoints and worldview in service to cultivation of cultural humility.

Do you have a question that is not answered here? Contact us.