KAP Training Cohort
We are excited to announce our new cohort for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) Training. This training covers the foundations of KAP through a combination of three-hour training sessions, group discussions, and non-medicine practice. Clinicians move through training together to enhance the group learning experience and facilitate the development of a professional network. At the end of the program, clinicians will have gained more confidence and competence in offering KAP and will have developed relationships with a community of like-minded peers.
– 41 hours of live training with 9 trainers over the course of 6 months
– 3-hour sessions at 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Pacific Time Zone
– 6 hours (three 2-hour sessions) of smaller discussion groups with fellow trainees and trainers
– 41 hours of continuing education (CE) credit for licensed professionals – optional with $399 additional fee
– Certificate of Completion
This cohort will cover the material presented in Polaris Modules 1-5 and the Training and Practice Module.*
Cohort Fee: $2150 + optional $399 for 41 CE credits (more information below)
We are offering tiered pricing for international clinicians. Please see below for pricing information.
*If you have already taken Module 1 and would like to join the cohort, we still require that you attend all sessions, but you will receive a discounted rate.
33 hours of training + 8 hour Training and Practice Module + 6 hours of Discussion Groups (dates to be scheduled with group)
All sessions are from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time Zone. Discussion Groups and the Training and Practice Module will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
Session 1 (Monday September 11) – Introduction to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Session 2 (Tuesday September 26)- Continued Clinical Topics in KAP
Discussion Group (Week of October 2nd)
Session 3 (Monday October 9) – KAP Protocol
Session 4 (Tuesday October 24) –Healing Traditions and Big Picture Perspectives in Psychedelic Medicine and KAP Experiential (Non-medicine)
Session 5 (Monday November 6) – Diversity and Equity in KAP; Ethics
Session 6 (Monday November 20) – Somatic Approaches and Transpersonal Perspectives
Discussion Group (Week of November 27)
Session 7 (Thursday December 7) – Transference in Ketamine- and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapies and Integration of Spiritual Experiences
Session 8 (Tuesday December 19) – Group KAP, Online KAP, and Countertransference
Session 9 (Thursday January 4) – Issues of Attachment and Addiction in KAP
Session 10 (Thursday January 18) – KAP for the Treatment of Trauma
Discussion Group (Week of January 29)
Session 11 (Tuesday February 6) – Becoming a Psychedelic Therapist
Polaris Training and Practice Module – November 10 and additional options to be scheduled
Session 1 – Introduction to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Harvey Schwartz PhD, Eric Sienknecht PsyD, Veronika Gold LMFT, Robert Voloshin DO
In the introductory session, we 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. We explore aspects of providing ketamine administration in the context of a psychotherapeutic container, including the importance of a collaborative approach by the multidisciplinary team of therapist, prescriber, nurse, and client. We discuss medical aspects of treatment including contraindications, dosing strategies, side effects, and best, safe practices.
We present the framework and protocol of practicing KAP, including the phases of treatment and diverse dosing strategies. We help clinicians develop skills to craft intervention strategies at both the psycholytic (trance, self-reflective) and psychedelic (transformational/transpersonal) levels of experience. We also cover recent promising lines of research in the field.
- Describe the various dosing strategies and routes of administration
- Describe and summarize the three main elements of the KAP protocol and their place and value in the treatment process: preparation, experiential, and integration
Session 2 – Continued Clinical Topics in KAP
Harvey Schwartz PhD, Veronika Gold LMFT, Eric Sienknecht PsyD
Building on the framework presented in Session 1, we present the guiding principles of practicing KAP. Understanding these principles is central for embodying and effectively communicating essential preparatory information to clients, and for grounding the treatment in appropriate expectations and informed consent. We present materials that discuss the basic neurobiology of psychedelic medicines in general, and ketamine in particular helping clinicians understand the effects of ketamine and its mechanisms of action along with the potential psychological and emotional shifts that can correspond with these effects. We explore the protocol for preparing the client and the therapy space for the work and consider elements of set and setting specific to KAP. We also discuss important controversies in the field of ketamine- and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
- Describe three of the significant controversies in the field of KAP and psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.
- Describe two of the mechanisms of action of ketamine on the brain and body.
Session 3 – KAP Protocol
Harvey Schwartz PsyD, Veronika Gold LMFT
In this session, we will focus on a comprehensive understanding of the KAP protocol from start to finish and will present the process in 3 phases. First, participants will learn how to assess potential patients, conduct intake, and prepare clients for treatment. We will cover various dosing strategies and how to effectively customize a treatment plan for each client. The often under-appreciated treatment phases of preparation and integration will be articulated and highlighted. An in depth view of the potential benefits and challenges of integration phase will be discussed, including strategies for facilitating integration and an appreciation for the many ways obstacles can contain therapeutic “gold” when effectively stewarded by therapists’ in depth understanding of the complexities and nuances of the ongoing integration phase of KAP.
- Explain and describe the difference between psycholytic and psychedelic treatment processes.
- List three goals of psychedelic integration.
Session 4 – Healing Traditions and Big Picture Perspectives in Psychedelic Medicine and KAP Experiential (Non-medicine)
Veronika Gold LMFT, Harvey Schwatz PhD, Eric Sienknecht PsyD
In Session 4, we combine a wide angle lens examination of a variety of major themes and issues related to healing in non-ordinary states of consciousness with an experiential practice of what has been presented thus far in the training in terms of how to conduct a KAP session. In the first part, we focus on significant themes in the field including perspectives on various healing traditions that have employed psychedelic medicines, along with varied customs, practices, and world views that share mystical and non-dual ground that informs our approach to KAP.
We then invite clinicians to participate in a practice experiential session demonstrating the use of various set and setting elements, aspects of the preparation process, use of music, inner directed healing, followed by an opportunity for integration work in breakout groups. We then shift the focus from the “micro” to the “macro,” inclusively zooming in on both pragmatic and theoretical/philosophic issues central to an in depth understanding of KAP and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in general.
- List two philosophical influences of indigenous spiritual traditions on KAP protocol.
- List three elements of set and setting considerations in KAP.
Session 5 – Diversity and Equity in KAP; Ethics
Joseph McCowan, PsyD, Frank Ehrenfried, LMFT, and Renee Razzano, LCSW
In this session, we cover 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 identify 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. We emphasize the importance of ontological and epistemological neutrality and humility in providing ethical and culturally-sensitive care. We discuss the pitfalls and controversies around spirituality and mental health as well as risks and dangers for misunderstanding and potentially re-traumatizing patients.
- Explain 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
Session 6 – Somatic Approaches and Transpersonal Perspectives
Veronika Gold LMFT, Eric Sienknecht PsyD
In this session, we advance our discussion of important elements in the KAP protocol and background philosophy by a comprehensive overview of somatic and transpersonal elements of this innovative treatment. We introduce somatic approaches in KAP, informed consent to touch, and the three types of touch that can be used in KAP. We examine in greater depth at the dynamics of nervous system arousal and explore how an increased window of tolerance can facilitate greater emotional regulation and psychological processing. We review the significance of transpersonal psychology including methods of implementing the related principles and clinical orientation. We present essential case material in both sections of this session.
- 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.
Session 7 – Transference in Ketamine- and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapies and Integration of Spiritual Experiences
Eric Sienknecht PsyD, Harvey Schwartz PhD
We focus on several key clinical issues and relevant themes in this treatment protocol, including: working with countertransference in KAP and considerations in the integration of spiritual experiences. In addition, we review issues related to spiritual emergence, spiritual emergency and spiritual and religious trauma as these themes often emerge during treatment. We explore the pressures and potentials of working in non-ordinary states as well as in the integration processes that accompany the treatment process from beginning to end.
We present “countertransference awareness” and learn about the ways ketamine and other psychedelic medicines affect the therapy relationship as well as how to work with, understand and value their own subjective experiences that take place working with non-ordinary states of consciousness. We guide participants in taking a wide-angle lens view of the ways in which the therapist contributes to and can inadvertently interfere with the therapy process, as well understand the centrality of rupture and repair and the balance of power in the therapeutic relationship.
- Name two potential integrative and disintegrative experiences in NOSC and KAP.
- List two challenges of integrating spiritual experiences in KAP.
Session 8 – Group KAP, Online KAP, and Countertransference
Veronika Gold LMFT, Eric Sienknecht PsyD, Harvey Schwartz PhD
We focus on three major themes in KAP: Working with group KAP, conducting virtual KAP, and understanding the complexity of countertransference issues unique to working with KAP and non-ordinary states of consciousness. We discuss protocols for Group KAP, screening and preparation for groups, types of group sessions, as well as various types of group integration.
We explore “countertransference awareness” and learn about the ways ketamine and other psychedelic medicines affect the therapy relationship as well as how to work with, understand and value their own subjective experiences that take place working with non-ordinary states of consciousness. We guide participants in taking a wide-angle lens view of the ways in which the therapist contributes to and can inadvertently interfere with the therapy process, as well understanding the centrality of rupture and repair and the balance of power in the therapeutic relationship.
We emphasize the importance of ontological and epistemological neutrality and humility in providing ethical and culturally-sensitive care. We discuss the pitfalls and controversies around spirituality and mental health, as well as risks and dangers for misunderstanding and potentially re-traumatizing patients. In addition, we consider issues related to spiritual emergence, spiritual emergency and spiritual and religious trauma.
- List three screening criteria for membership in KAP groups.
- List three of the common countertransference polarities therapists need to be aware of in working with KAP.
Session 9 – Issues of Attachment and Addiction in KAP
Veronika Gold LMFT, Steve Rosonke MD, Chris Stauffer MD
In this session we focus on two important, special topics in KAP: attachment and addiction. We review the general issues and dynamics of attachment as well as their intersection with ketamine and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. We explore the use of KAP for substance misuse disorders and the intersection of chemical dependency, trauma, and healing in non-ordinary states of consciousness. We review both practical and theoretical/philosophical elements of addiction and KAP with ample case material.
- Describe two ways in which avoidant attachment patterns can be addressed in KAP.
- Describe two steps that a KAP clinic can take to help mitigate the risk of ketamine addiction.
Session 10 – KAP for the Treatment of Trauma
Veronika Gold, LMFT, Harvey Schwartz PhD
We explore the possibility of using KAP in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. We bring a wider lens on trauma therapy and discuss considerations of treating trauma with KAP. We discuss how trauma can show up in KAP sessions and review the often misunderstood topic of dissociation and its relationship to the healing process. We present practical and theoretical perspectives and discuss the ways in which healing in non-ordinary states of consciousness offer opportunities not available in other treatment modalities. We present the centrality of the therapy relationship as container and the interface with the medicine, the set and setting, including the role of non-ordinary states of consciousness.
- Describe two ways in which trauma can emerge in a KAP session.
- Describe two primary ways in which the history of trauma changed the mental health field after 1980.
Session 11 – Becoming a Psychedelic Therapist
Veronika Gold LMFT, Harvey Schwartz PhD, Eric Sienknecht PsyD
In this final session, we review the process of becoming a psychedelic therapist, including discussion of the the eight pillars of becoming a ketamine-assisted therapist and various teachings and tenets of being a competent and effective practitioner. In addition, we focus on how to collaborate with outside providers and the challenges associated with that.
We synthesize, review and integrate all that has been presented with an additional articulation of the developmental process of becoming an effective, creative, compassionate, self-caring, and integrity-based KAP therapist. We discuss suggestions for future development and end with a general question and answer session reflecting on the entire course.
Participants will be able to:
- Describe two challenges in collaborating with an outside therapist.
- List two professional activities that a psychotherapist can engage in to improve their competency around working with psychedelics therapeutically
Polaris Practice Module
Participants may attend the stand-alone 8-hour training on November 10th or can attend a separate date scheduled with cohort members only. Registration details will be provided in September.
Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals
– If participants miss a session, they will not receive CE credits for that date (3 CE credits per session). The $399 CE credit fee is a flat fee and cannot be partially refunded.
– CE credits for psychologists are provided by Polaris Insight Center which is sponsoring this program. 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 enrolling in CEs for psychologists, LCSWs, LPCCs, LEPs, and LMFT or any other CE questions, contact us at CE@POLARISINSIGHT.COM.
– Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA), a co-sponsor of this program, is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. RNs must retain their certificate of attendance for 4 years after the course concludes.
– Other questions about training can be emailed to our Training Coordinator at TRAINING@POLARISINSIGHT.COM
Registration Tiers are based on your country of residence.
- Tier 1: $2150
- Tier 2: $1505
- Tier 3: $1075
- Tier 4: $430
- British Virgin Islands
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cayman Islands
- Channel Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong SAR, China
- Isle of Man
- Korea, Rep.
- Macao SAR, China
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Northern Mariana Islands
- San Marino
- St. Martin
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Kingdom
- Virgin Islands (U.S.)
- American Samoa
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Marshall Islands
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- Venezuela, RB
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Dem. Rep.
- Congo, Rep.
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Egypt, Arab Rep.
- El Salvador
- Iran, Islamic Rep.
- Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.
- Kyrgyz Republic
- Lao PDR
- Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- West Bank and Gaza
- Yemen, Rep.