Understanding the Role of a Psilocybin Facilitator Before, During, and After a Psilocybin SessionMay 09, 2023
Are you among the thousands of Oregonians interested in becoming a licensed psilocybin facilitator?
In November 2020, the state of Oregon passed Measure 109, legalizing the use of psilocybin by anyone 21 years or older –– so long as they are at a licensed service center and in the presence of a trained, licensed facilitator.
Since then, the interest in psilocybin services has skyrocketed.
However, this brave new world of regulated psychedelics that Oregon is exploring likely leaves you with more questions than answers.
As one of the first psilocybin training facilities in the country, we’re here to help you understand the role of a psilocybin facilitator before, during, and after a psilocybin session.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Difference Between a Psilocybin Facilitator, a Psychedelic Therapist, and a Trip Sitter?
- What Happens During a Psilocybin Session?
- What Does a Psilocybin Facilitator Do?
- What Do Psilocybin Facilitators Not Do?
- How To Find a Psilocybin Facilitator You Can Trust
- Become a Trusted Psilocybin Facilitator With Clinical Cognitive Training
What Is the Difference Between a Psilocybin Facilitator, a Psychedelic Therapist, and a Trip Sitter?
While no prescription or referral from a medical or clinical provider is necessary, a new profession of trained support practitioners has emerged.
The most common roles for people that provide psilocybin services include:
- Psilocybin facilitator
- Psychedelic therapist; and
- Trip sitter
It’s important to understand that these terms are not interchangeable. Each term offers a different level of support.
While some roles might be combined, there are distinct requirements for each role that can help you appreciate how they play a different part in a person’s journey with psilocybin.
A psilocybin facilitator is a licensed professional who:
- Determines if a person is an appropriate candidate for psilocybin
- Completes the state-required paperwork
- Prepares the person before the journey
- Provides support and safety during the journey; and
- Recommends resources to help process the information afterward
The requirements to become a psilocybin facilitator may vary by state law.
Many who hold professional mental health and medical licenses may be interested in becoming licensed facilitators, but in Oregon, it is not required.
In Oregon, to become a psilocybin facilitator you must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Be an Oregon resident for two or more years (this requirement expires in 2025).
- Pay the application fee.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete a psilocybin facilitator training program with a curriculum approved by Oregon Psilocybin Services before applying.
- Pass an exam administered by Oregon Psilocybin Services.
- Pay the annual license fee.
The amount of directive participation a psilocybin facilitator can impart during a client’s journey can also vary based on state law.
Oregon law requires a non-directive approach, which means facilitators may support clients through psilocybin services but may not direct the client experience.
Similar to a psilocybin facilitator, a psychedelic therapist can:
- Determine patient suitability
- Administer the controlled use of psychedelic mushrooms; and
- Be present during the peak of the experience to help the patient process the information that arises and offer support
Requirements can vary based on the city, state, or country you live in.
In addition to education in psychedelic plant medication, psilocybin or psychedelic therapists require the same education required to be a licensed mental health or medical professional.
That means you must already be a licensed therapist, physician, nurse, or mental healthcare professional to receive psychedelic-assisted therapy training.
Consequently, therapists also work with the patient afterward to process the information learned during the experience.
Psilocybin facilitators and psychedelic therapists often work hand-in-hand with a patient, which offers a great way to maximize the experience.
A trip sitter, also commonly referred to as a “sober sitter” or “psychedelic carer,” also remains with the person taking psilocybin to offer support during their trip.
A trip sitter can be any person who remains sober and doesn’t require any type of licensing or training.
Born in the days when the recreational use of hallucinogens was taboo and illegal, a trip sitter became an underground way to ensure safety due to the psychedelic effects of feeling detached from reality.
A trip sitter can provide …
- Emotional support; and
- A safe space
… for the person who ingests psilocybin.
In case of an emergency, they are often the person to determine the best course of action.
What Happens During a Psilocybin Session?
A psilocybin session is deeply individual and will vary based on the client’s wishes and focus in the session.
Setting intentions and ultimately trusting the mushrooms to provide the intended experience is key to having the best possible journey.
Having a psilocybin facilitator present provides guidance and safety.
At Clinical Cognitive Training, our facilitators learn to set up a safe space to experience the psilocybin journey and offer compassionate support.
Our facilitators are also taught how to ensure clients feel prepared, grounded, and comfortable every step of the way.
Contact us today to learn more.
What Does a Psilocybin Facilitator Do?
Preparing for the Session
A facilitator will conduct an orientation session to determine if the client is an appropriate candidate for psilocybin.
Facilitators also help the client complete the informed consent forms and prepare all the necessary paperwork according to the legal requirements.
In the preparation session, the facilitator can help the client prepare for the experience by making suggestions to ensure the best possible journey.
Facilitators will have in-depth conversations with clients about what to expect, what they’d like to accomplish, and what type of support will work best for them during their journey.
Psilocybin is a psychoactive plant and remains a federal Schedule 1 illegal drug, so the facilitator will ensure that all requirements are being followed based on state law. They also responsibly set up the session in a space to safely experience the psychoactive effects.
During the Session
Each psilocybin session is different from person to person.
One client may consent in the preparation session and again during their session to supportive touch.
Highly regulated and ethically practiced, supportive touch may limit where and in what manner a client is touched. While touch might be completely okay to one person, it might be unwelcome by another.
That’s why each session is respected as a unique experience, and facilitators are present to provide comfort and guidance based on the individual.
The deep emotional work begins in the days immediately following the session.
During the session, the client may have experienced revelations. The integration process allows the client to take those revelations and create meaning.
This is where the true healing lies.
Integration sessions can be done in groups or individually.
The client has the opportunity to unpack their experience, and facilitators can help interpret the impact, meaning, and context of the experience and mold it into actionable steps toward a healing journey.
What Do Psilocybin Facilitators Not Do?
Psilocybin facilitators do not take mushrooms with clients.
A facilitator’s job is to remain sober and provide:
- Safety; and
Gentle guidance can be provided, but Oregon law prohibits facilitators from directing the client experience.
It’s also important to note that psilocybin facilitators do not allow or participate in sexual touching of any kind.
Supportive touch is allowed if the client consents.
For example, if a client is experiencing deep sorrow or despair, the Oregon Health Authority dictates facilitators may only touch a client’s hands, feet, or shoulders to offer emotional support.
How To Find a Psilocybin Facilitator You Can Trust
All psilocybin facilitators are required by Oregon state law to be certified and licensed.
Anyone offering psilocybin facilitation services that do not follow state-mandated guidelines and licensures is not trustworthy.
If you’re interested in becoming a psilocybin facilitator, a legitimate training center is simply the bare minimum.
Why not train to be a psilocybin facilitator at a center that is respectful and compassionate too?
Become a Trusted Psilocybin Facilitator With Clinical Cognitive Training
It takes more than passing the exam and basic training to become a trusted psilocybin facilitator.
At Clinical Cognitive Training, we work with clients from all walks of life who want to take psilocybin for a variety of reasons.
Whether clients are seeking …
- Spiritual exploration
- Healing from trauma
- Relief from depression and anxiety; or
- Increased creativity
… our facilitators employ the foremost psychological methods while supporting them on their journey.
Clinical Cognitive Training is among the first psilocybin facilitator training facilities in the country.
Our psilocybin facilitators are:
- Compassionate; and
- Respectful of ancient cultures and traditions
Help people heal themselves.
Contact us for more information.
The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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