Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
In February, ATMA Journey Centers Inc., an Alberta-based company focused on delivering psychedelic-assisted therapies, announced it was launching a psychedelic training program for therapists.
The course quickly sold out and a lengthy waiting list followed. The program has now completed, ATMA announced today, and the results exceeded expectations.
The program was developed in conjunction with Wayfound Mental Health Group Inc. and the Psychologists Association of Alberta. It was designed to give health care professionals the opportunity to better understand the experience of psychedelic medicine, and how to deliver and facilitate psychedelic-assisted therapy. “One of the major obstacles in increasing access to psychedelic therapy is an acute shortage of therapists who have the education, knowledge and resources both from a psychological and psychedelic perspective to provide the necessary support and guidance to patients,” said David Harder, co-CEO of ATMA. “This training program provides an accredited base of understanding for therapists who are seeking information and therapy involving psychedelics.”
Megan McElheran, CEO of Wayfound, a Calgary-based mental health service provider that’s been operating for 20 years, said the company felt “a client obligation to explore the research and clinical protocols related to psychedelic medicine.”
“Psychedelic treatment that includes psychotherapy has the potential to be a new frontier for psychology as we see that a potential paradigm shift is underway in mental health,” McElheran said. “Psychology has an essential role to play in this developing field and I am excited to participate in the training and capacity-building of our profession.”
Following the program’s success, ATMA is launching an introductory training program next month aimed at non-licensed health industry professionals, counsellors and social workers.