The Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT) by Mind Medicine Australia (MMA) is a part online and part face-to-face professional training that provides registered healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively administer psychedelic-assisted therapies (PAT) in clinical settings.
The training is delivered by a world-class faculty made up of global leaders in the field. It teaches best practice for the delivery of PAT, with a focus on psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine-assisted therapy. These are the three psychedelic medicines with regulatory approval in Australia.
Apply now for our 2024 intakes – beginning February & July 2024.
Psychedelic-assisted therapies (PAT) are delivered by treatment teams with three main roles: prescriber, primary therapist and secondary therapist. This course has been developed to address the training needs for the three roles, recognising the desirability of members of PAT teams to understand the entire PAT treatment process and the roles each assumes. The Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy course provides appropriately qualified and experienced healthcare professionals with the necessary capabilities, knowledge and skills to safely and successfully facilitate PAT in a clinical environment, in accordance with their role as prescriber, or primary or secondary therapist.
Prescribers: For those who have the necessary qualifications to prescribe psychedelic medicines, this course will equip them with the knowledge and skills to create and document a PAT treatment protocol, and safely prescribe specific psychedelic medicines for specific mental health conditions.
Therapists: The course will prepare appropriately qualified and experienced healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively support patients undergoing PAT as primary or secondary therapists. Note that the ability to practice as a primary therapist in PAT is also dependent on prior relevant clinical experience in psychotherapy.
Training focuses on evidence-based, standardised approaches to PAT that may be integrated with clinicians’ existing psychotherapeutic experience and clinical practice. The course includes a combination of face-to-face and online learning and self-study. It is delivered over 13 weeks of online learning and a 6-day full-time, face-to-face residential workshop. The main psychedelic medicines this course focuses on are MDMA, psilocybin and ketamine.
Training of prescribers and therapists occurs together, reflective of the holistic team approach that characterises PAT. In previous iterations of the course, learners have given positive feedback specifically about the value of training together. However, whilst the curriculum is the same for all learners enrolled, in recognition of the unique roles and levels of responsibility of prescribers and therapists, assessment tasks differ for prescribers and therapists and serve to differentiate the CPAT award into two distinct awards: the CPAT-Prescriber and the CPAT-Therapist. Only psychiatrists and medical practitioners will be eligible to complete the assessment for Prescribers and be awarded the CPAT-Prescriber. The awards of CPAT-Prescriber and CPAT-Therapist are dependent on successful completion of all assessment items.
Dr Gita Vaid MD is CPAT’s International Course Director.
Dr Gita Vaid is a Board Certified Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. Dr Vaid completed her residency training at NYU Medical Center and her psychoanalytic training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU. Her early biological and research background includes a completed fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology and neurophysiology at New York Medical College and a research fellowship at NYU Medical Center.
Dr Vaid is currently on faculty and teaches at both IPE and the NYU department of Psychiatry. She has a special interest in teaching interview technique, psychoanalytic theory and British object relations.
Dr Vaid’s current focus and expertise are in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. She is a MAPS trained psychedelic therapist and was part of the NY site Phase 3 MDMA psychotherapy study for PTSD.
Dr Vaid is a leader in ketamine assisted psychotherapy which she practices and teaches in New York City. She serves as a lead instructor at The Ketamine Training Center with psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer, Dr. Phil Wolfson. She is a co-founder of the Center for Natural Intelligence, a multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to psychedelic psychotherapy innovation and research. She serves as the Director of Psychedelic Awareness and Consciousness research at The Chopra Foundation and with Dr. Deepak Chopra is currently developing protocols integrating meditation with ketamine assisted psychotherapy.
Current publications include:
Vaid G, Walker B. “Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Building Wholeness Through Connection”. Glob Adv Health Med. 2022 Feb 23;11
Gita Vaid, MD, “Psychoanalysis and Psychedelic Psychotherapy : A New Modern Synthesis?” The Wounds of Our Mother Psychoanalysis – New Models for a Psychoanalysis in Crisis.
MBBS MPM FRANZCP Cert. Old Age Psych. AFRACMA
Dr Eli Kotler is CPAT’s Australian Course Director.
Dr Eli Kotler is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychodynamic Psychotherapist. He is the Medical Director of Malvern Private Hospital, an addiction and trauma hospital in Melbourne. Eli completed the inaugural Mind Medicine Australia Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT) course, and has since been on its Faculty.
As a psychiatric trainee, Eli was awarded the Royal College of Psychiatrists Trainee Prize for his Scholarly Project on Depression, as well as a Research Committee Trainee award for his work on Philosophy of Mind. As an adjunct lecturer at Monash University, he oversees medical students on their addiction medicine rotation. He has been invited as a keynote speaker to several conferences and meetings to discuss addictions, trauma and psychedelics. Eli sits on the Committee of the ANZMHA to help organise their yearly addiction conference. He also sits on the inaugural Clinical Advisory Group for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. Eli is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, and is a member of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs. He also has extensive research experience with novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.
Due to his interest in trauma, Eli has been appointed an Independent Medical Examiner by WorkSafe Victoria. He has been appointed by the Minister for Workplace Safety to sit on the Victorian Medical Panels, and is an expert witness in historical abuse cases.
Clinically, Eli works in a psychodynamic framework, and attempts to help his patients find freedom from their addictions and trauma through relational experiences, and experiential self-awareness. He is part of the AFL Player’s Association referral network for addiction issues, and his interests in depth-psychology and neuroscience led him to found the Melbourne Neuropsychoanalytic Group. Eli is a Board Director of Mind Medicine Australia.
MBBS, B.SC, MRC PSYCH
Dr Ben Sessa is one of CPAT’s Residential Facilitators.
For over 15 years Dr Ben Sessa has been at the forefront of psychedelic and cannabis research and clinical medicine in the UK through his affiliations with Imperial College London. Ben qualified as a medical doctor from UCL in 1997 and went on to specialise in psychiatry. For 25 years he has worked as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist with young people and adult patients in the field of addictions and trauma-related psychiatry.
Ben started studying psychedelics as a junior doctor and has taken part in research projects at Bristol University, Cardiff University and Imperial College London with LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ketamine and MDMA – receiving and/or administering all of these compounds in legal research settings.
One of the first doctors to develop the field of contemporary psychedelic research in the UK, he was the former co-founder, former CEO, and subsequently the former Head of Psychedelic Medicine at Awakn Life Sciences, a Bio-Tech company carrying out psychedelic research into addictions. Awakn opened four clinical centres in the U.K. and Europe, providing psychedelic psychotherapy with ketamine, for a wide range of psychiatric indications, as well as an extensive R&D psychedelic research program.
Ben was one of the first Medical Cannabis psychiatric prescribers in the UK.
Ben is a trained MDMA, ketamine and psilocybin therapist. He has led research into MDMA-assisted therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder and is published widely in the academic and medical press.
Ben is the co-founder and past president of the Breaking Convention conference. He is the author of The Psychedelic Renaissance (2012/2017), the novel ‘To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic’ (2015) and Altered States (2021). Ben lives and works in Bristol, UK.
BMBS, BSc, PGCert
Dr Lauren Macdonald is one of CPAT’s Residential Facilitators.
Lauren is a psychiatry doctor and therapy guide at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London. She currently works on trials studying psilocybin-assisted therapy for anorexia nervosa and fibromyalgia, and DMT for treatment-resistant depression. Alongside her clinical work she is a retreat facilitator and co-founder at Essence Medicine, an organisation providing psycho-spiritual care to people facing life threatening illness. She has degrees in Medicine and Psychology, and has undertaken further training in Integrative Medicine, Compassionate Inquiry, Yoga, and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies).
BA, MB BChir, MRCP, MA, DM, MRC Psych, FRCPsych, FMedSci, FRCP, FSB
Professor David Nutt is a renowned researcher, policy advisor and author, who is currently Head of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.
Under the leadership of Professor Nutt, the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College is one of the world’s foremost psychedelic research laboratories, publishing landmark research on psychedelic therapies and neuroimaging studies of the psychedelic state.
Professor Nutt has also held many leadership positions in both UK and European academic, scientific and clinical organisations, including presidencies of: the European Brain Council, the British Neuroscience Association, the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
He was previously Chair of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and empty rooms from three children who are all in college or recently graduated.
Dr James Fadiman B.A. (Harvard) M.A., Ph.D. (Stanford) began his personal psychedelic research a few weeks before starting his graduate work at Stanford where he did his dissertation on the effectiveness of LSD-assisted therapy. During the research lull of 40 years, he has held a variety of teaching (San Francisco State, Brandeis, and Stanford) consulting, training, counseling and editorial positions. He has taught in psychology departments, design engineering, and for three decades, at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) that he co-founded.
James has published textbooks, professional books, a self-help book, a novel, and a series of videos, Drugs: the children are choosing for National Public Television. His books have been published in 8 languages. He has been the subject of a one-hour documentary released by Page3 Films, featured in a National Geographic documentary and had three solo shows of his nature photography.
James had his own consulting firm and sat on two non-profit boards as well as having been the president of several small natural resource companies. He has been involved in researching psychedelic for spiritual, therapeutic and creative uses and is known for his pioneering work on microdosing . He has published The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, and most recently, Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who You Are. The book he is writing now has the working title All About Microdosing.
BA, MD, Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)
Gabor Maté (pronunciation: GAH-bor MAH-tay) is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness.
Gabor’s book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. His books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress; Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder; and (with Gordon Neufeld) Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. To learn more, join his enews list at www.drgabormate.com.
* Please note that faculty is subject to change based on availability.
The course will take place over a period of 4 months with:
Apply now for CPAT 2024:
Cohort 1: March 3 – June 30
Sydney residential: June 12-17
Melbourne residential: June 20-25
Cohort 2: July – Nov
Residentials in November in Melbourne & Sydney
"This training not only marries scientific, Western, research-based knowledge with ancient, age-old, holistic knowledge. It puts the participant through a journey as well. Change is not only individual. It is not only in groups. It is all of the above. And more."
Dr Paul Meens, Psychiatrist, New Zealand
"This is by far the best PD course that I have ever attended! (Having attended over thirty different workshops, and PD of all sorts). To the facilitators and teachers: there are honestly not enough sufficient words to express my gratitude and appreciation to you!"
Tamryn Morgan, Psychologist, NSW
"Any self-proclaimed 'evidence based' clinician should do this course. Psychedelic medicine is here; learn about it and you will not only understand it better, but it may reinvigorate your career."
Dr John Farrow, GP, NSW
"A truly ground-breaking course on a new-old area of psychiatry. A must for anyone interested in challenging their preconceptions and offering something new to their patients. Delivered by a world class faculty and thoroughly recommend."
Dr Kevin Ong, Psychiatrist, VIC
"The CPAT course covers all didactic material relevant to ‘psychedelic therapy’ delivered by international and Australian experts. The ‘retreat’, led by experienced facilitators, is the peak and heart of the course, giving trainees a deep, natural, transpersonal, drug-free experience of mimicking the psychedelic state."
Dr Stephen Proud, Psychiatrist, WA
"The MMA course was such an incredible collaboration of science and soul, mind and heart, knowledge, and gnosis. Not only were we given all the education and skills to do this work, but we were also given the deep exposure into psyche, to ensure that we do it with compassion, professionalism, and reverence. I’m so excited for the future of psychiatry thanks to MMA."
Ashe Young, Psychotherapist, WA
"I have found the CPAT course very educational. I feel that my understanding of the medicine has improved and the course has prepared me to both sit with patients on the medicine and to help them integrate their experiences. I would highly recommend this course to other practitioners interested in this emerging science."
Dr Rimona Burke, GP, NSW
"I had a great, meaningful time. It’s so rare to bring a group of people with the same interest and passion for self-growth and helping others together. This world suffers from a huge PTSD and needs this so much. Thank you."
Helena Andrejkova, Counsellor, NSW
"The course was exceptional. The content was so well put together and delivered by extremely professional presenters. Ben and Lauren were completely amazing. I felt challenged and held throughout the entire experience and the balance of ‘head’ and ‘heart’ worked very well. The breathwork was the highlight of my experience. I went into the session with a lot of anxiety but felt completely safe and held by both my sitters and the facilitator. Craig and Maurizio have an incredible presence and skill at creating a safe container. Overall, I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of doing the course to jump in and expand your mind and heart. Thank you all."
Susann Keating, Psychologist, WA
"I came to acquire knowledge about being a psychedelic therapist.. and I got that, and so much more! This was such a mind-expanding, heart-opening experience. If you are curious follow your instinct, enrol, and enjoy the journey!"
Angie Randell, Psychologist, QLD
"I was sceptical initially when starting the course. I was curious as The College and TGA have made an announcement about psychedelic treatment. I am grateful for having done the course. It answered many questions and the whole experience was educational. MMA made learning fun."
Dr Alfred Chung, Psychiatrist, QLD
Download the testimonials from our previous intakes: Download pdf (287.9 KB) Last updated: Nov 23, 2023
Mind Medicine Australia’s Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies is endorsed as professional development training by the organisations listed below.
It may also form the basis of individual professional development and training plans. All our training courses and events can also be used to claim ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points in Australia through professional colleges (e.g. through the Australian Psychological Society, RANZCP, RACGP…).
Please check with your professional membership body for the appropriate category and number of points.
The CPAT course aims to build on skills already acquired and used by professionals working in the mental health field. The three main roles in administering PAT are the Prescriber, Primary Therapist and Secondary Therapist.
Note that this is not an entry level course that qualifies an individual to practice psychotherapy. Applicants are expected to already be qualified to practice in the mental healthcare field and have relevant clinical experience.
The CPAT course is available to a variety of mental healthcare professionals including: psychiatrists; medical practitioners; addiction specialists; mental health nurses; psychologists; psychotherapists; counsellors; occupational therapists; pharmacists; and mental health social workers. Other relevant healthcare professionals may be considered.
Admission into the CPAT is dependent on several factors including potential role in PAT (prescriber, primary therapist, secondary therapist), professional qualifications, and capacity of the applicant to successfully undertake and complete the CPAT. Preference will be given to applicants who have clinical experience in mental healthcare. Applicants must be registered with AHPRA (Australian applicants) and/or a member of a relevant professional association representing healthcare practitioners and be of good professional standing.
Note that MMA believes that to be a Primary Therapist in PAT, the practitioner should have extensive psychotherapeutic experience, preferably with significant amounts of supervision, and is/has engaged in their own self-development (eg. therapy, experience in altered states).
Application fee: $250 (non-refundable)
Course fee: $9000 (by installments) or $8000 (upfront payment in full)
(Fee will rise from 1 January 2024 to $10950, or $9950 upfront payment in full)
Funding is available for outstanding practitioners in financial need and those from rural, regional areas and/or those from indigenous or other diverse groups to support part of the tuition fees for the course. Some financial assistance is available on a competitive basis.
Are open for 2024 intakes (applicants will be considered in order of receipt. We expect the program to be over-subscribed so please register early to avoid disappointment.)
Screening and interview/finalise applicants:
Your application is processed as received and contact is made directly to assess further and arrange an interview
Step 1: Complete the Application Form, including payment of your $250 application processing fee.
Step 2: Applications will be screened, and if successful invited to an interview. Interviews will begin in March.
Step 3: If successful in your interview, you will be invited to join the course. You’ll be issued a student agreement and invoice for either $8000 upfront payment or 3 x $3000. Your place in the course will be secured upon receipt of your signed student agreement and your first payment.
By submitting an enrolment application for the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT), you acknowledge that you have read and accepted these Terms and Conditions.
*Subject to regulatory requirements