Find answers to our
most frequently asked questions
How did Gather Well Psychedelics come to be? What was the intent?
Gather Well developed out of what was previously known as “The Center for Consciousness Medicine,” or “CCM.” It emerged through a year-long pause in which time the existing team felt a desire to redesign the program offerings to better reflect the pivots the organization had made and were making. See more here.
What is different about the organization than before?
Much has changed with the exception of a few core members that have stayed on through the process:
- New leadership team
- The program offerings and educational structure are different
- The Executive Director will be a shared position between two individuals
- The majority of the Board of Directors are new
- There is a new Vision Council
- Gather Well is engaged ongoing with a team of ethicists
- The development of an Ethics Casebook
- A new website and name
How is the educational and training different?
- An apprenticeship-based model for preparing guides to work with psychedelics.
- A focus on group format psychedelic sessions
- Moving away from the psychological lens, more so respecting indigenous frameworks of psychedelic healing modalities.
- A focus on community health and healing and a collective social/cultural lens
- The addition of a personal transformation program that will serve as a stand-alone exploration for those seeking a transformational experience and provide the first step to those interested in becoming a guide through our psychedelic guide apprenticeship program.
- A more rigorous admissions process
What has stayed the same?
- Some of the core team members
- A commitment to providing a high quality education in psychedelic guide training
- A commitment to being of service to well-being
- A commitment to participating in the birthing of a new paradigm
- The organizational infrastructure, like our IRS designation and mission.
What is the main objective of the new org?
- To offer rigorous and thorough training for those who want to be psychedelic guides.
- To offer rigorous and thorough growth and transformational development programs.
- To be of service to humanity through the wise and respectful use of psychedelics.
What is Psychedelic-assisted therapy and is that what Gather Well does?
Psychedelic-assisted therapy, or PAT, is a widely used term to describe psychedelics used in a therapeutic framework. It is an approach to healing that combines traditional therapeutic modalities with the use of psychedelic substances. Psychedelics alter our brain chemistry in such a way that they help reveal, amplify, or deconstruct unconscious perceptions, patterns, and behaviors and reveal one’s inherent goodness or essential self, ultimately providing a sense of belonging and wholeness. At Gather Well we prefer the term psychedelic healing modalities (rather than Psychedelic- assisted therapy) as it is more inclusive of practices with psychedelics that do not ascribe to a psychotherapeutic framework or psychologized lens of self, other and the collective. Here at Gather Well we synthesize trauma informed counseling frameworks and ceremonial practices, approaching these practices with reverence and a goal toward healing, balance, and wholeness. For further explanation read HERE.
Gather Well Psychedelics provides education for those seeing to be psychedelic guides/practitioners. For more details about training go to our Program page.
What lineage informs the practices and methodologies at Gather Well?
- Trauma informed practices of counseling and therapy
- Somatic counseling and bodywork practices
- Mindfulness-based practices
- The traditional practices of the ceremonial use of psilocybin containing mushrooms by the Mazatec from Huatutla de Jimenez, Mexico. In particular, the Casimiro Estrada family.
Are the practices Gather Well teaches safe?
While no one can guarantee absolute safety with any modality of healing, psychedelic therapies, when used skillfully, are relatively safe. This, of course, depends on adequate training of the practitioner and a thorough mental and physical health assessment of the client.
Safety in these practices is paramount to what we teach at Gather Well. We emphasize screening and informed consent practices. We also engage ongoing with a team of ethicists to ensure our practices and program development are looked at through an objective lens.
What substances does Gather Well teach about in its programs?
Psilocybin containing mushrooms, in jurisdictions where it is legal to do so. We anticipate including MDMA in time.
Gather Well Psychedelics (a 501(c)(3) fully owns a taxable subsidiary (C-corp) . The C-corp will provide therapeutic treatment and administer psychotropic substances only in accordance with the laws of the jurisdictions in which it is operating. Gather Well Psychedelics is a nonprofit organization whose activities will include education, research, and other charitable purposes.
How does Gather Well intend to foster inclusivity and accessibility?
- By considering who has influence over the organization’s direction, infrastructure and decisions. By valuing a diversity of perspectives born of varied life experiences, cultural contexts and professional backgrounds.
- By embedding anti-racist and anti-discriminatory learning and policies at both the organizational and educational levels and celebrating diversity and liberatory practices.
- Program tuition will be based in an income responsive tuition model to allow tuition to be proportional to one’s means. This will help to address inclusivity in relation to socioeconomic position. Some of our programming has cohorts that will be in affinity groups of particular identities for periods of time for intentional growth work on identity.
See our commitments page for further nuance on our commitments to liberation, inclusivity and belonging.
What is Gather Well’s leadership model?
Gather Well has decided on a shared approach to the Executive Director position. We feel this aligns with our values of decentralized leadership and harnessing the opportunity for learning when a diversity of perspectives are present. We made a conscious choice with this hiring for the co-executive director model in bringing on people who are each interested in shifting culture around patriarchy and white supremacy, who will remain cognizant and committed to working with how those systems can be present within organizations.
What are Gather Well ’s code of ethics?
Read more about our Code of Ethics HERE.
What do I do if I have a grievance, concern or want to give feedback about someone at Gather Well?
HERE is a link to our procedure for reporting a concern.
Is Gather Well a nonprofit organization?
Yes. Gather Well is a registered 5019(c)(3). HERE is a link to more on our ownership model.
Who is eligible to join your psychedelic guide apprenticeship program?
People who have taken our Groundwork program will be eligible to apply to our Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship Program. Some exceptions may apply.
See our programs page for more about who the programs are designed and intended for.
When will programs start?
Programs are anticipated to begin in early 2024. See HERE for more information.
Are your programs legal?
Psychedelic-assisted therapies are currently legal in the United States with the use of Ketamine by prescription. MDMA, Psilocybin, and other substances may be approved by the FDA to treat or manage various diagnoses in the coming years. Our training does not engage in any illegal activity. All activities engaging in the use of psychedelic substances are conducted by Gather Wells fully owned for profit C-corp and all activities are conducted in jurisdictions where it is legal, and following those jurisdictions’ policies.
What kind of certification or credential will I get if I complete a program?
Our Groundwork program does not result in a certification. The Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship Program will have a comprehensive process to evaluate your learning progress throughout the program, and indicate where you may benefit from further support of skill development.
Our aim is for our trained guides to meet all requirements to integrate smoothly into the developing field. For example our Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship Program has been designed to satisfy the regulations laid out by the state of Oregon, and we will align our practices as closely as possible with future established certification boards or professional associations.