Psychedelic Assisted Integration Psychotherapy (PAIP)

Psychedelic Assisted Integration Psychotherapy is part of the wave of consciousness that is bringing together fields such as psychotherapy, classical and energy medicine, biotech, spirituality and earth-based practices to explore possible solutions to the rising problems in mental health and addiction.

The growing demand for this work from the public and healthcare professionals puts pressure on the establishment to review their stance on the safe and ethical use of psychedelics in healthcare (Pilecki et al., 2021). We could soon see an emergence of legislative frameworks that allow committed and skilled facilitators and therapists to practice openly in their communities. And, as psychedelic-assisted therapy becomes commonplace in modern healthcare, the demand for therapists equipped to work with this client base will increase.

We are very excited to share our ground-breaking approach to psychotherapy, which unites systems from modern and ancient philosophy, all four forces in psychology (including the somatic fields), health sciences, energy medicine, yoga therapy and interfaith spiritual practices.

The scope of our practice makes us best placed to support those who seek to heal by altering their state of awareness.

Course Design

First and foremost, it offers a space for diverse members of the plant and therapeutic communities to come together and learn from each other. It shares practical information suitable for people already working and preparing to enter the field.

There is also a wealth of wisdom from psychotherapy and embodied learning through group processes unique to each cohort. Practices from diverse mind, body and sacred traditions are taught to augment the psychotherapeutic work (permission has been obtained by tribal elders for any songs, stories or indigenous concepts that Shaura shares on the course).

Participants leave with a greater understanding of working multi-dimensionally with clients who undergo psychedelic treatment programs. Moreover, the taught skills are transferable and can be used therapeutically with all clients.

Live Integration Psychotherapy and Somatic Supervision sessions support the group to experientially absorb the content.

The course is accredited as a CPD certificate with the National Council for Integrative Psychotherapists (NCIP).

Suitability

There is a requirement for students to have self-competency as a learner, to exhibit self-awareness and confidence, self-reflection and self-responsibility. It is suitable for the following candidates.

  • Facilitators who are already working with psychedelics and wish to learn how to use skills from Integration Psychotherapy to increase the efficacy and safety of their work
  • Psychotherapists or counsellors who are interested in working with clients undergoing psychedelic experiences or therapy
  • Therapists and yoga teachers who are working with ceremony or in plant medicine communities
  • Healthcare professionals and coaches wanting to diversify into the field

*The course is offered as a CPD for people who have some grounding in the helping traditions. The Pilamaya Centre may offer an entrance pathway to applicants not meeting the course criteria.

Course layout

Because of the nature of the course and our experience with sharing our therapeutic work and training online, we can offer a hybrid experience, which is detailed below:

  • Five online weekends for the entire group, before and after the in-person retreat.
  • Five nights in-person retreat in country where the substances are legal.
  • 1* Follow up online Integration session for each retreat group.

The online sessions include the following training methodology:

  • We use lecture-style learning to teach the relevant neurochemistry psychological theory and discuss what we feel is essential for therapeutic practice.
  • The group learns by participating in plenary discussions and live integration sessions with the facilitator.
  • Participants work together in breakout rooms to share some of the taught practices in the course.

Additional learning

We strongly advise you to engage in home groups where you meet outside the course to practice and support each other. We are, after all, a community of learners traversing life’s labyrinths with similar interests and worldviews.

Digital resources

Lectures and practices will be recorded and shared with the group – all meditations, specific psychotherapeutic interventions, and movement practices shared will also be available for you to keep.

In-person retreat

The online classes give the group a steady foundation to build upon when we meet in person. The retreat offers an opportunity to continue the learning by adding two psychedelic experiences and live Integration sessions. We will continue embodying the teachings and sharing the theory and practice skills for the duration of the retreat.

The retreat curriculum will be influenced by what the group has absorbed, common questions and (to a certain degree) requests to focus on a particular topic already explored online. It also needs to consider the group’s energy levels and capacity to absorb the teachings. Therefore, each group has an organic nature, and we must also adhere to what the program needs to teach. Over our ten years of teaching countless groups and shepherding participants through profound self-development journeys, we have learnt to dance between those two lines of tension.

Due to the difference in costs for accommodation in our venues, we have structured the fees for the course alone and ask you to add the venue price on top.

Scope of the course and future pathway

This course meets the needs of facilitators working in the field who wish to upgrade their therapeutic skills. Or those who want to support people with their integration process. We may offer future pathways that teach people to hold psychedelic circles and ceremonies or facilitate one-on-one clients through altered states of consciousness. This certificate program will be a pre-requisite to any facilitator courses we may offer in the future.

Course Topics

History, research and practicalities

  • A brief history of psychedelic usage in spiritual and therapeutic traditions
  • The use of psychedelics for ritualistic or ceremonial purposes
  • Current use and trends of psychedelics in modern medicine, including where they show promise for treatment-resistant conditions
  • Clinical and ritualistic settings and their effect on the experience
  • Contraindications for use and practical guidelines for working with medium to higher-risk client groups
  • Effects of the recent publicity around the treatment, including client expectations
  • The reality of working with clients who present with long-term conditions
  • Differentiation between spiritual and therapeutic expectations
  • Helping people to prepare for the experience and working with the integration process
  • Supporting clients who are working through trauma and those who have had traumatic psychedelic experiences
  • The legalities of working with psychedelics for facilitators and therapists
  • Using robust intake processes to manage risks for clients and facilitators

Relevant neurophysiology, biology and psychology

  • Basic cell biology
  • The role of DNA, including what we know about inherited genetics and epigenetic changes over the lifetime
  • The development of the nervous system and how it functions
  • A brief summary of significant neurotransmitters and their effects
  • The organisation and restructuring of our neurobiological systems through the early years
  • How the early environment and infant attachment shape our unique chemical signatures
  • The workings of the autonomic nervous system in health and distress
  • Toxic Stress: the long-term effects of stress and trauma
  • Foundations of neuroplasticity and neurotransmitters that support change
  • Increasing the potential for neuroplasticity with Integration Psychotherapy
  • Current focus of pharmacological interventions for mood disorders and their effect on the system
  • Neurological effects of psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, Ketamine, N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Ayahuasca, Mescaline and Ibogaine.

Therapeutic relationship

  • The role of the archetypal figures of priest, shaman, medicine person and therapist
  • Creating the appropriate alliance for the journey
  • Cultivating presence and the intentional use of Self
  • Facilitating change and supporting long-term integration
  • The use of mind and body practices
  • Counteracting unfavourable experiences in recreational use
  • Working with trauma that arises during or after a therapeutic session
  • Preparing people with trauma background to work with plants
  • Using alternative methods that alter consciousness without using psychedelics to change biochemistry

Psychotherapeutic models and influences

Integration Psychotherapy teaches through our unique model called the Nine Dimensions of Self, which is influenced by but not limited to the following:

  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Infant Attachment
  • Deep Psychology
  • ProcessWork
  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • Somatic Psychology
  • Gestalt
  • Native American Indigenous Science
  • Vedic and Tantrik Psychology and Energy Science
  • Field Theory

Practices

  • Employing movement, dance and simple yoga
  • Journeying with drumming, rattle or voice
  • Building interfaith ceremonies and ritual
  • Creating and delivering Yoga Nidra
  • Utilising somatic resourcing
  • Applying Gazespotting

If we think of the human system as an evolutionary multi-dimensional experience, we can more easily understand how it runs into problems when we get stuck. A psychedelic experience can help move things along, especially if the facilitator or therapist can hold a many-faceted space.

– Shaura Hall

Entry Requirements & Suitability

The course is offered in partnership with The Yogologist and is accredited by The NCIP (National Council for Integrative Psychotherapists) as a 130-hour CPD Certificate.

We offer the course as a hybrid experience, where some of the theory is delivered over Zoom and can be accessed via online recordings. Group practice sessions are a combination of online and in-person. The in-person aspect of the course is run over a five-night intensive retreat.

Next Zoom Webinar Details

We will share more about the course in a free webinar at 7 pm on Tuesday 31st of October. As the first in the series, it will introduce you to the Course Director and give her a space to share a little about her rationale for building the course, contextualise it within the frame of Integration Psychotherapy and generally discuss her work in this area.

There is also space for questions that have not been answered on the page.

The webinar schedule is below:

  • Settling and grounding
  • Introduction to the session
  • Presentation
  • Q&A
  • Recap and closing meditation

Please arrive at the waiting room 10 minutes before we start, at 6:50 pm. We cannot let people who come after 7 pm.

The webinars will be recorded for those who cannot make it. We ask that you do not book a spot if you know you can’t make it. Instead, use the button below to request a recording.

Fees

The cost of the course (without accommodation where applicable) is £1800

We ask for a non-refundable deposit of £300 to secure your place.

We want to make the course accessible to as many people as possible, while also respecting the cost it has taken to bring the course together and deliver it. Therefore, we have a certain amount of bursary places we can offer to people who could not afford to do the course otherwise. To qualify for a bursary, you need to apply through the application form and we will arrange a short interview with anyone who meets the criteria. Successful candidates will receive a reduction of up to 55% off the full course fee.

All course fee above excludes accommodation and food.

The fee for the course and accommodation will be added together at the time of your booking and a payment plan can be arranged.

Next Intake 2024

The next intake dates are being organised to commence around the beginning of the next academic year Sept/Oct and will run for a duration of nine months.  Those who wish to register interest or apply for the course may use the links below.  We will contact you to confirm receipt of your communication. 

Student Liability

Once admitted onto the course, each student is liable for the entire training fee; Shaura Hall is not obligated under the trading name of The Yogologist or The Pilamaya Centre to refund monies if a student decides not to attend or complete the training. 

Please exercise due diligence and digest the material above fully to decide whether this course is for you. If this course calls to you, then come with an open heart.

Assessment and Graduation Requirements

All theory is assessed by online quizzes with a pass rate of 80%; students can retake any that fall below 80%.

Therapeutic skills are assessed throughout the course, with feedback given at regular intervals. Students must demonstrate that they have absorbed the relevant content on safe practice, including contraindications for treatment and working with moderate to high-risk clients. Furthermore, high levels of self-awareness, resilience and transferential tolerance must be observed for participants to gain the award.

We will discuss pathways to certification for those who appear to need longer to complete. 

One 2000–3000-word case study highlighting how the skills taught in the course have been used within the student’s existing work frame, with either one client over at least eight weeks or with a recurring group.

Your Facilitators and Guides

 

Shaura Hall


Your primary facilitator is the founder of the Pilamaya Centre and course director for the groundbreaking diploma in Integration Psychotherapy®. Shaura is a Multi-Modal therapist with qualifications in Yoga Therapy (C-IYAT), Supervision and Neurosomatic Psychotherapy (NCIP). She is also an Interfaith Minister (ROSIM) and regularly attends training courses on subjects that will enhance her capacity to work creatively. She has written and delivered Meditation and Yoga Teacher training for over ten years; her background has allowed her to support hundreds of clients and students seeking balance in today’s world. As part of her commitment to psychotherapy and the community, she co-founded Integration Psychotherapy Services (IPS), which offers subsidised therapy to those who could not otherwise afford it.

Her spiritual background began in 2004 with the Lakota First Nation people and practices; they introduced her to a ceremonial way of life, and she has continued to pray with the same community ever since. As part of that journey, she was given passage into NAC (Native American Church) meetings and introduced to the plant medicine peyote. This medicine is sacred to the NAC; therefore, for Shaura, it is not available outside of this group of people. Thus, she has been able to sit up with them on rare and precious occasions for the past twenty years.

Shaura was later surprised when the plants began to call her; issues of cultural appropriation and rights to carry medicines worked their way through her until what remained was the invitation from the plants and her commitment to serve humanity. Therefore, she started to train as a therapeutic plant facilitator in Spain. She was introduced to some typical integration styles and began searching for a recognised psychotherapeutic therapy training course. What she came across made her realise that her work style could hugely benefit this community. After five years of groundwork, including founding, formalising and directing the diploma in Integration Psychotherapy®, this course is finally ready. Shaura’s commitment to serving the field without taking from the traditional people has been the primary motivator for her to share her extensive knowledge and creativity with the plant medicine and therapeutic community. The course fulfils the need to enhance professionalism and therapeutic expertise for facilitators and therapists who work with medicines in the modern world.

Jennifer Smallwood


Jennifer Smallwood is a BACP Senior Accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist, Integrative Therapist and Clinical Supervisor. Jennifer is also an EMDR UK & Europe registered and accredited EMDR Consultant with a successful private practice based in Sheffield. She holds a BA Honours Degree in Pure Philosophy, a master’s degree in Gestalt Psychotherapy, awarded in Meditation and Facilitation for Mental Health which she uses alongside her EMDR and Gestalt practices to further her work with trauma.

Jennifer has worked in private practice for the past 19 years as well as volunteering for The Samaritans, working for the NHS in Derby City Centre PCT, and eight years working for FREED BEECHES Eating Disorder charity in Nottinghamshire as Senior Psychotherapist and Deputy Clinical Manager. Before her retraining in Psychotherapy, Jennifer worked as a Business Consultant helping businesses improve the efficacy of their Systems and Processes. She is a guest speaker at SPACE Academy and also delivers workshops locally in Trauma.

Valeria Ricotti

Originally from Italy, Dr Ricotti is a Professor of Paediatric and Child Neuropsychiatry. In 2010 she joined the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she currently holds a position as Honorary clinical Lecturer.

She is a dedicated clinical researcher, having contributed to the development of novel advanced therapies, biomarkers and international natural history registries. She has for many years been interested in the health applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in a collaboration with the National Institute for Health and Care Research Biomedical Research Centres at UCL and Imperial College London, which yielded two papers in Nature Medicine.

In 2019 she co-founded Dinaqor AG, a Swiss gene therapy company, where until 2022 she was responsible for the company’s overall scientific strategy with a focus on the translational activities, which included a lead compound now in Investigational New Drug Application (IND) enabling studies plus a pipeline of three other gene therapy products.

She is co-inventor of six patents. She is a co-founder and director of three UK-based start-ups, in the space of neurodegenerative diseases and plant-base medicine.

Permission from First Nations elders has been given to share any of the First Nations concepts or songs that are offered on this course

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Many thanks.