ATMA offers a psychedelic therapy training program for professionals

Published Mar 23, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Aleksandr_Kravtsov

Canada’s first psychedelic training program designed for medical health professionals has arrived, and it’s a unique experience because it also includes a chance for those who participate to test out psilocybin therapy for themselves.

ATMA Journey Centers Inc is an Alberta-based business that is dedicated to providing the most innovative psychedelic-assisted therapies all around the globe. The company has announced the launch of a controversial training program in collaboration with Wayfound Mental Health Group Inc. that will guide mental health professionals on how to work with and prescribe psychedelics to patients.

The launch

Beginning in March of 2021, the companies will offer the Psychedelic Therapy Training Program for Mental Health Professionals, a learning experience that will take place both online through a remote training platform and in person at the ATMA Calgary Journey Center. Part of the experience includes an exemption through Health Canada that will allow attendees to legally try psychedelic therapy with the help of psilocybin, a component derived from what is most famously known as magic mushrooms.

Expanding on Section 56 exemptions

Health Canada has become increasingly more willing to allow room to breathe for both patients and doctors who are intrigued by the possibilities of psilocybin therapy. Exemptions these days in Canada are extended to patients who are in dire need of relief, and that’s an amazing thing, but some say that it’s still not enough to allow for important work to be done in the department of mental health.

Canada’s regulator has taken a bold new approach to psychedelic therapy by increasing access to psilocybin through Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, legislation that controls many taboo substances and how they are used right across the country, including psychedelics.

Changing the landscape

ATMA was the very first Canadian company to conduct legal psilocybin therapy for a palliative care client who had been granted an exemption through Section 56, so this is not the first time that the company has been granted the opportunity to conduct what are essentially human trials. This research is absolutely imperative if we want to proceed with legal access to psilocybin and other psychedelics because until we know more about it, Health Canada is very likely to maintain strict rules surrounding its use.

The psychedelics therapy program

The training program will begin in March, and it will boast a wide range of expert instructors and practitioners who are leaders in the medical psychedelic community. So far, one world-renowned instructor has signed on, Dr. Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, an American-based agency that is recognized as one of the most positive influential advocates for psychedelics in medicine.

Will there be more opportunities like this?

If you’re worried about missing out on this one, there is no need to fear, as the leader of the project has already announced that there will be many more training programs in the months and years to follow. Unfortunately, registration for this session is already inching towards maximum capacity, so those who would like to participate will need to keep an eye out for announcements that should come in the very near future.

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