Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship


Community-based learning in service to others

We believe guiding work is very complex and nuanced and takes significant skill to do not only safely, but well, to optimize the potential for this transformational work. We believe that beyond practical skill sets, and conceptual knowledge, a guide can best serve clients when they conduct their practice from certain internalized qualities and capacities and that these should largely be in place before someone learns the practical skills of guiding to avoid the many potential harms that can occur in their absence during the dynamic and vulnerable work of psychedelic healing. Thus, we require those applying to our Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship Program to have completed our Groundwork program.

During the Psychedelic Guide Apprenticeship Program, aside from receiving theoretical and practical knowledge, each apprentice will be supported in finding their particular style of guiding within the bounds of a safe, skillful, caring and ethical practice. Each apprentice is highly supervised as they gradually transition from the role of shadowing a guide as an observer of all client touchpoints, to being in the lead guide role being observed and supported by a supervisor. Apprentices will work in small cohorts of peers and together define aspects of their cohort’s programming. The program will culminate in a comprehensive evaluation leading to the status and recognition of your skill as a Gather Well guide. This process is currently being developed and intends to help guides integrate into the developing infrastructure for professional psychedelic facilitators nationally.

Who is this program intended for?
  • Those with proven integrity, humility, developed skills and natural abilities to steward healing in oneself and others, and the capability to earn, build and inspire trust.
  • Those who are interested, and dedicated in their own way, to collective transformational healing and who plan to make psychedelic guide healing modalities a majority part of their professional efforts. 
  • Those that know that it is imperative to have trusted mentors and oversight of their healing service for the lifetime of their vocations.
  • Those that have completed our Groundwork program and meet the enrollment screening criteria, qualities and capacities for the psychedelic guide apprenticeship program. 
  • This program will not require applicants to hold specific degrees in mental health or medical professions.
This program offers
  • Education in a group oriented framework of working with psychedelics that focuses primarily on collective transformation rather than individualized therapy.
  • Education in a ceremonial framework of providing psychedelic healing services. Apprentices are encouraged and helped to strengthen or cultivate their own earth honoring ritual and practices as opposed to borrowing from cultures or practices that are not part of their lineage. 
  • Support for apprentices cultivating the creativity and personhood of the guide, and the particular ways they are moved by and resonate with spirit and being of service in their work, within the  parameters of ethical practice. 
  • 500+ hours program hour over the 18 month, the majority of which are hands-on apprenticeship style learning including: observing psychedelic sessions, leading psychedelic sessions, receiving mentorship, and personal psychedelic experience within a group format. 
  • In depth theoretical, didactic learning and materials for conceptual learning of how to provide psychedelic healing services 
  • Learning of essential emergency response skills
  • Emphasis on ethics, case based learning and role play with modules taught by professional ethicists
  • Guidance, care and support at all levels of programs, with a dedicated “care team” and ethics committee to support Gather Well program participants, apprentices, guides and organizational staff.
  • Opportunity to form meaningful connections with a small cohort of peer apprentices, and the wider network of Gather Well apprentices and guides.

Program format summary:

(Program format is subject to change)

Apprentices will enter into an 18-month program split into two parts. The full program will involve the following elements: didactic theoretical learning modules, shadowing guides and debriefing their observations of the sessions with that specific guide, practical experience of guiding sessions in small groups with supervision present, and meeting periodically for ongoing supervision, mentorship, and peer consultation. 

In Part 1: Apprentices will have to complete specified areas of study required to become a guide. Some topics or modules will be provided in-house and some outsourced, for example, didactic learning on neuroscience, and medical contraindications may be provided by partnering organizations. Comprehension and competencies will be assessed in-house with a clear assessment of competencies of knowledge and safety and foundational ethical protocols before entering Phase 2. In part 1 apprentices will shadow guides during several group sessions and all related client touch points, as well as participate in their own psychedelic work in a group format with their cohort. 

In Part 2: Apprentices will increase their involvement with clients/group over time from lightly assisting in group sessions and all client touchpoints, to being in an equal or primary role with the guide who is present for support and feedback. In part 2 Apprentices will take turns guiding a subset, small group of their cohort with supervisions present. Apprentices can self-select electives to focus on their particular areas of interest, and techniques or to begin to specialize in certain client populations.


Further details on this program will be updated later this year.