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Getting into MAPS MDMA program Options
 
Loveall
#1 Posted : 10/7/2021 7:40:02 PM

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I have a great friend with tremendous amount of raw talent helping and connecting with others. She is considering jumping into the mental health field and trying to eventually get into MAPS's program after a few years of schooling/practice in the mental health service field.

Question for the community: what would be the best steps for someone starting with a high school degree and eyeing entering the field (start with a bachelor's in counseling)? Is there a possible different path for someone with psychedelic experience and raw talent (based on people's experiences). Trying to understand options. PM's are also welcome.

Thanks!
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roninsina
#2 Posted : 10/7/2021 9:29:43 PM

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I don’t know if it would be a path that would be suitable to her preferences, but the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Pharmacy offers a masters in psychoactive pharmaceuticals. They have an extensive list of employment opportunities (all of which appear to be publicly traded companies, for investment minded Nexians). I’ve been weighing whether this might be a viable vehicle to an encore career for myself.
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null24
#3 Posted : 10/7/2021 10:50:13 PM

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I don't know where your friend resides, but in the U.S., Oregon legislated the legalization of psilocybin-assissted therapy and there will be career options opening up here for that starting in about a year. I did a search and came up with this link to a course:introduction-to-psychedelic-assisted-psychotherapy-for-clinicians. Tickets appear to be sliding scale and reasonable. Even if she is not local, your friend may find tons of useful information on how to enter the field, and gain a good understanding of the core competencies required.

Text about the course from the site:


There are other peripheral fields one could get into around the service and hospitality for people coming to places to engage in legal therapy from, uh, less forward thinking states.

I would think the most assured route would be gaining a psychotherapist license, but perhaps going a certificate route and getting peer support or wellness specialist training would be helful. It wouldn't be the same as direct clinical support for patients, and sure as hell doesn't pay as well, but peer support is a valuable therapeautic tool and does not require an expensive degree. Most certificate courses have full scholarships available in some way. I would hope there would be peer delivered services in these clinics, especially around providing addiction treatment and services for veterans and other special populations. A person would have to be certified in the state where they intend to practice.

Your mileage may vary with this commercial psychedelic site, but the Googler also turned up an article with some links to organizations offering costly trainings for coaches.
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dreamer042
#4 Posted : 10/8/2021 1:14:16 AM

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Currently MAPS program is only open to clinicians.
Quote:
Candidates for the MDMA Therapy Training Program must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

Hold an active license or registration to practice psychotherapy in good standing in their jurisdiction, OR
In a post-doctorate, post-graduate internship, or residency program in the field of mental health OR
Demonstrate a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience providing behavioral health services

These qualifications outline the minimum requirements for the program. The Admissions Committee will take into consideration number of years of experience, education, and qualifications.

https://mapspublicbenefi.../training/certification

Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is barely in it's infancy at the moment. This is an industry with an an incredible amount of growth potential. It will be interesting to see how the existing mental health infrastructure takes to these novel treatment approaches, there is going to be a lot of stigma to overcome and we may never see if fully adapted by the existing order. In any case, clinics need staff and there will always be opportunity to get involved at some level or other.

There are many routes to becoming licensed to practice psychotherapy, but all of them involve a lengthy pursuit of higher education.

The first step is completing a bachelor's degree. You can go with the old standbys of Social Work or Psychology, or many schools now offer counseling specific degrees.

To be able to engage in clinical work, you will need to pursue graduate studies. Which route you take really depends on which qualifications you desire, which concentration areas you want to focus on, and what locale you wish to practice in.

In most states a PhD or PsyD a required to become licensed as a Psychologist, though there are a few that will grant licensure at the masters level. A PhD tends to have a stronger concentration on research and a PsyD tends to have a stronger focus on clinical practice.

Social Workers and Counselors can become licensed clinicians at the masters level. Many schools offer fast track "advanced standing" courses that allow you complete a masters degree in as little as one year if you hold a qualified bachelors degree. As things currently stand, the best bet for a counseling focus would be mental health counseling, particularly with an emphasis on trauma and PTSD. As the scope of approved uses expands there will almost certainly be opportunities to apply these interventions in fields such as marriage and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, etc.

Whichever route you take, there will be state requirements for a certain number of supervised practice hours and a standardized licensing exam. License holders are also required to obtain a certain number continuing education credits on an annual or biannual basis to retain and renew their license.

All told, you are looking at a minimum 6-7+ years to obtain a license to practice psychotherapy in order to even qualify to apply for the MAPS training program.

You can likely improve your chances for acceptance and make some good industry connections by pursuing a psychedelic specific certification, like the one offered by CIIS.

I can't stress enough how early we are in the game right now though. 7 years down the road there may be many many more options and opportunities and tracks to getting involved in this blossoming industry. There is also a ton of opportunity and many promising approaches in the mental health field outside this specific concentration as well.

If you aren't inclined to invest the time and expense of pursuing higher education, there are plenty of other ways to get involved. Psychedelic peer support provides a lot of the same training and opportunity without such a steep investment. You can look at getting involved with something like The Fireside Project (Website is down at the time of this writing, hopefully it comes back!) or MAPS Zendo Project, or one of the many similar projects springing up all around the globe. You can get involved in advocacy with something like Decriminalize Nature, The Drug Policy Alliance, or Students for Sensible Drug Policy. You could get involved with a psychedelic society or community, or even low-key offer tripsitting or integration support services in your local community.

TL;DR - Therapist is a long road, DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU! There is a spot for everyone to get involved and help push this revolution forward. Thumbs up
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Loveall
#5 Posted : 10/21/2021 7:32:10 AM

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Thank you everyone, much appreciated.

I've been thinking about this for myself. I may join a masters program and go for it.

A PhD physicists with 15 years experience in the tech industry. Why not? Would make this the ultimate SWIM post... lol
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Loveall
#6 Posted : 12/9/2021 2:32:29 PM

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Ok, how about this strategy. It is a non standard path, but is a serious question.

1) Get a master's from University of Metaphysical Sciences (UMS). They are not accredited by a federally recognized institutions. It is accredited by AAMA & AADP, which as I understand things are institutions set up to standardize metaphysical studies. It seems this field is trying to regulate itself while trying to gain wider acceptance, but I could be wrong.

2) With a master's in UMS, get ordained.
Quote:
Upon completion of the master’s curriculum, you may
choose to be ordained by Wisdom of the Heart church with
the title of either Reverend or Minister.


3) As an ordained minister with a divinity master's degree in a spiritual program, get 1000 hours of experience as a spiritual counselor/healer, and then apply to the MAPS psychotherapy training program. Highlighting the key qualifications below:


MAPS wrote:
Application Requirements
Candidates for the MDMA Therapy Training Program must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

- Hold an active license or registration to practice psychotherapy in good standing in their jurisdiction, OR
- In a post-doctorate, post-graduate internship, or residency program in the field of mental health OR
- Demonstrate a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience providing behavioral health services

These qualifications outline the minimum requirements for the program. The Admissions Committee will take into consideration number of years of experience, education, and qualifications.

The MDMA Therapy Training Program acknowledges a diverse range of professional, spiritual, and traditional backgrounds. Mental health professionals, medical professionals, counselors, psychiatric aides, clergy members, chaplains, traditional medicine practitioners, hospice workers, somatic practitioners, and other professionals and certified practitioners providing therapeutic services are welcome to apply.

MDMA-assisted therapy is delivered in a co-therapy model, meaning two practitioners work together in delivering the treatment, each in their respective scope of competence and practice. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to apply with one or more colleagues and note this on their application.


Could this strategy work to get into the MAPS program? Many thanks for your thoughts.
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dragonrider
#7 Posted : 12/9/2021 10:11:10 PM

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Is it particularly the MAPS program that you are interested in? Because i think the other projects mentioned might be just as interesting, or maybe more even.

I'm a bit sceptical about the therapeutic value of MDMA myself. It is true that MDMA makes you less fearfull and it definately lowers inhibitions and makes you more talkative. But the same could easily be said about alcohol.

I think one of the problems with MDMA is that if you've opened up to somebody and you told them more about yourself than you're normally comfortable with, it's just too easy to later on dismiss everything you said as something that was just the result of the intoxication.

With other psychedelics that are being experimented with therapeutically, i believe there's a greater chance that the things coming to light during the experience will have a lasting impact.

People often describe a mushroom experience as life changing.

I've never heard anyone say that about MDMA.
 
Loveall
#8 Posted : 12/10/2021 1:08:53 AM

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dragonrider wrote:
Is it particularly the MAPS program that you are interested in? Because i think the other projects mentioned might be just as interesting, or maybe more even.

I'm a bit sceptical about the therapeutic value of MDMA myself. It is true that MDMA makes you less fearfull and it definately lowers inhibitions and makes you more talkative. But the same could easily be said about alcohol.

I think one of the problems with MDMA is that if you've opened up to somebody and you told them more about yourself than you're normally comfortable with, it's just too easy to later on dismiss everything you said as something that was just the result of the intoxication.

With other psychedelics that are being experimented with therapeutically, i believe there's a greater chance that the things coming to light during the experience will have a lasting impact.

People often describe a mushroom experience as life changing.

I've never heard anyone say that about MDMA.


Thanks for the input πŸ™

It's about my friend being able to get a career going in helping people which is her passion. She has a natural talent for it, and could contribute a lot to the field. While MDMA is not the most profound experience one can have, it is ahead in full FDA approval for use in therapy.
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dreamer042
#9 Posted : 12/10/2021 1:19:43 AM

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dragonrider wrote:
I've never heard anyone say that about MDMA.

Now you have.

MDMA absolutely changed my life. Cool
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Seeingisbelieving
#10 Posted : 12/10/2021 6:29:47 AM

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dragonrider
#11 Posted : 12/10/2021 6:01:15 PM

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Loveall wrote:
dragonrider wrote:
Is it particularly the MAPS program that you are interested in? Because i think the other projects mentioned might be just as interesting, or maybe more even.

I'm a bit sceptical about the therapeutic value of MDMA myself. It is true that MDMA makes you less fearfull and it definately lowers inhibitions and makes you more talkative. But the same could easily be said about alcohol.

I think one of the problems with MDMA is that if you've opened up to somebody and you told them more about yourself than you're normally comfortable with, it's just too easy to later on dismiss everything you said as something that was just the result of the intoxication.

With other psychedelics that are being experimented with therapeutically, i believe there's a greater chance that the things coming to light during the experience will have a lasting impact.

People often describe a mushroom experience as life changing.

I've never heard anyone say that about MDMA.


Thanks for the input πŸ™

It's about my friend being able to get a career going in helping people which is her passion. She has a natural talent for it, and could contribute a lot to the field. While MDMA is not the most profound experience one can have, it is ahead in full FDA approval for use in therapy.

Sorry for somewhat derailing the discussion. I hope your friend will manage to find the path that works best for her. Being able to help others is a great gift.

Interesting article btw Seeingisbelieving.
 
Loveall
#12 Posted : 12/14/2021 3:54:04 AM

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No worries dragonrider.

Still hoping to find a contact in maps we can touch base with. Just want to get on a good path to have chances of admission. If anyone has a contact please PM me (thanks πŸ™).
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