Becoming a Psychedelic-Informed Therapist: Toward Developing Your Own Practice [ONLINE]
June 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
by Portland Psychotherapy
with Nathan Gates, M.A., LCPC
Psychedelic medicine seems poised at the cusp of a major boom, potentially evoking major changes in the way psychological suffering is treated. Established and developing professionals alike may find themselves wondering how psychedelic-assisted therapy might affect their practice, and how they could get involved. There are a number of ways in which psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy differs significantly from most models of practice that clinicians have been trained in over the last few decades. These differences may force our field to revisit numerous habits and patterns of behavior that have both consciously and unconsciously shaped the current practice of therapy. At the moment, while best practices are still very much in question, there remain far more questions than answers. For those eager to integrate psychedelic medicines into their work, becoming a psychedelic-assisted psychotherapist may still seem more aspirational than realistic. In this seminar, we will discuss some of the ways in which psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy may overlap with skills and stances we already hold. Additionally, psychedelic practice may require us to adjust our skill sets, clarify our ideas about our role in facilitating therapeutic change, and perhaps even adapt our worldview. Allowing psychedelic experiencing to inform our approach as therapists is a reasonable first step towards integrating them into our practices. In this way, becoming a psychedelic-informed therapist may be a crucial first step towards becoming a psychedelic-assisted psychotherapist.
Nathan W. Gates MA, LCPC is educated, trained, and credentialed as a professional counselor, which is how he earns his living as a private practitioner in rural West-Central Illinois. His career and training have been inspired by insights from psychedelic medicine for more than 20 years. From earning his MA from Naropa University to finding his theoretical home beneath the umbrella of contextual behavioral science, he has consistently pursued an integrative understanding of the human condition. He believes that a central promise and challenge of psychedelic medicine is to create a fully integrated life. We are all called to make sense of our brief time on this planet and purposely serve that which we love. To that end, Nathan strives to weave his roles as psychotherapist, husband, homeschooling parent, ecological citizen, freelance psychedelic integration specialist, entrepreneur, permaculturist, and cattle farmer into a sensible and coherent whole. His success in this endeavor is ultimately an open question, but it puts him in a position to learn a great deal from a very wide variety of human beings. This often leads to great conversations. He is also a founder of the psychedelic special interest group with the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, which has been a tremendous wellspring for creative and ultimately fruitful psychedelic collaborations for people around the world. Additionally, he has spoken at regional and international conferences on the usefulness of utilizing contextual behavioral perspectives to make sense of and integrate insights from psychedelic experiences.