MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy is currently provided by trained mental health and medical practitioners working on approved clinical research protocols at facilities that meet government regulatory requirements for drug storage. At this time research protocols are limited. As Phase 3 trials continue, data is being collected to support a New Drug Application (NDA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021, with the hopes of making MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy into an approved prescription treatment. The MDMA Therapy Training Program is a pre-requisite for conducting MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy on a MAPS protocol and is expected to continue as required training for clinicians offering MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy post-approval, through the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). The MDMA Therapy Training Program delivers specialized training to build competency for the conduct of this modality and ensure that practitioners are offering the treatment in a safe, effective, and ethical manner.
The following are the current required elements for providing MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in an approved protocol:
1. Protocol: availability of an approved study protocol with capacity for additional sites.
2. Site: a treatment facility conducive to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, as confirmed by the sponsored study team and in compliance with standard procedure.
3. Physician: a prescribing physician who can obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule 1 license (or equivalent for countries outside the US) for MDMA. A second, back-up physician may be necessary to accommodate the requirement to have a physician available on-call.
4. Therapy Team: two or more qualified therapists affiliated with the approved site, who have successfully completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program and been recommended to become providers in an approved protocol.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is provided in a variety of settings, including private practice offices, mental health clinics, universities, and hospitals. A site wishing to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy must be an established business with one or more comfortable and private therapy rooms, an option for overnight stays on-site or nearby, and the ability to meet drug storage and security requirements, according to government regulation.
Each site must have one Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or another eligible physician and prescriber with an active Schedule 2-5 license who can obtain a DEA Schedule 1 license to handle, store, and administer MDMA. A physician associated with the site will be responsible for patient safety, medical screening, and medication tapering. After being selected to participate in a protocol, each site will work with the Sponsor to begin DEA registration and identify a local lab to perform blood work, and a cardiologist to perform required cardiovascular health screening.
A full description of site qualifications can be found in this document.
This application has several sections, including questions about the business and facility with which you are affiliated, and several open response questions. You will be asked to attach photos of the facility and therapy room(s).
MDMA Therapy Training Application for Providers
The MDMA Therapy Training Application for Providers has several sections, including questions about you, your professional experience and training, the site with which you are affiliated, and several open response questions. You will be asked to attach a current CV or resume, copies of any licenses you hold, and a headshot photograph.
Each application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You can save and return to work on your application at your convenience by creating a free Formsite account (instructions on first page of each application). Once you have completed the application, the final page will prompt you to confirm and submit. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, as they are received. Applicants can expect a response 3-6 weeks after submitting a complete application. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program enrolls clinicians who are committed to health and well-being, their clients and patients, as well as themselves. The training program accepts individuals who demonstrate training, experience, and competence providing therapeutic services in an ethical practice, with an emphasis on working with trauma.
Clinicians who value each person’s intrinsic wisdom and ability to heal are likely to be a good fit for this therapeutic approach. Called by many names, inner healing intelligence is a foundation of the MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy protocol and a core principle of the MDMA Therapy Training Program. More information can be found in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. More information can be found in the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Treatment Manual and in this article.
Qualified MDMA Therapy Practitioner Applicants must meet the following pre-requisites:
- Has earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree.
- Holds an active license to conduct psychotherapy or counseling as part of a mental health profession in the jurisdiction they plan to work. If one of the practitioners on a therapy pair is not fully licensed, they may alternatively be enrolled in a mental health training program gaining supervised hours of experience (i.e. Marriage Family Therapist Practicum, Social Work Internship, an RN in supervised clinical practice to obtain Psychiatric/Mental Health certification, Psychiatry Residency), AND plan to pair only with a fully licensed clinician to conduct psychotherapy who also meets the qualifications of the MDMA Therapy Training Program.
- At least one of the therapists has worked with trauma populations for two or more years.
- At least 20% of that time was spent working with adults .
- Both practitioners have received their own personal psychotherapy or counseling.
Please note that the required credentials to work on a regulated protocol will be determined by the regulatory agency and Sponsor and dictated by the approved study protocol and associated documents. The pre-requisites for practitioners are subject to change. Admittance in the MDMA Therapy Training Program is not a guarantee of a work position to deliver MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy.
Practitioners who believe they meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to submit an MDMA Therapy Practitioner Training Application for consideration or to reference and use the discussion forums within the Connect Portal.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program is committed to addressing mental health disparities in psychedelic psychotherapy as well as trauma treatment, especially those facing the most marginalized communities. In a commitment to address the current lack of diversity in psychedelic research, qualified clinicians from and serving communities of color, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and military populations are strongly encouraged to apply.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program advances equity and inclusion by providing opportunities and establishing fair practices to support a training and treatment environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, military and veteran status. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities. The MDMA Therapy Training Program strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible training environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.
Developing the ability to deliver non-directive therapy with non-ordinary states of consciousness in a competent and ethical manner is a serious undertaking and an ongoing professional and personal commitment. Practitioners become qualified to conduct MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy on a MAPS protocol when they have completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program, are selected to work on an approved protocol, agree to follow research protocols and practices, have undergone Supervision, are licensed or paired with a licensed psychotherapist, and demonstrate competence and ability to practice ethically, as assessed by program and supervision evaluations.
- All practitioners must complete the MDMA Therapy Training Program (approx. 100 hours plus Supervision). An outline of the training program can be found below.
- All trainees must complete one Supervision case, on the first patient they treat. Therapy sessions will be recorded for review by a Supervisor. Therapy Pairs may select a program Supervisor to work with and meet for a minimum number of supervision hours. Supervisors will provide an evaluation of each trainee, to support the trainee’s graduation requirements.
- Providers maintain their certificate of training in good standing by adhering to ethical practice guidelines and recertifying to maintain active status.
- The MDMA-assisted psychotherapy protocol is administered by a Therapy Pair, two practitioners who work side-by-side in every therapy session. See above for Therapy Pair qualifications.
- At least one practitioner on every Therapy Pair must be fully licensed, and in good standing, to conduct psychotherapy according to state and local requirements.
Scope of Practice:
- Every practitioner is responsible for working within their scope of practice and competence. Each Therapy Pair must demonstrate competence for working therapeutically with the patient population being served.
Disclaimer: Each trainee is responsible for their own tuition and supervision fees and any other expenses necessary to complete the MDMA Therapy Training Program. See description of tuition fees below. Each training applicant must provide supporting documents (including copies of licenses and certificates held). Each site may have multiple Therapy Pairs.
In January 2019, just as Phase 3 trials began, MAPS PBC submitted an application to the US FDA Expanded Access program. If approved, Expanded Access would allow additional sites in the United States and US Territories to meet the requirements to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to eligible patients under a MAPS protocol.
Opportunities to participate on a MDMA-assisted psychotherapy protocol are expected to grow, in the United States and internationally. Due to the nature of clinical research and the regulatory approval process, it is difficult to predict the timing and outcome of protocol approvals. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply and monitor the Connect Portal and MDMA Therapy Training Program Email Newsletter for updates.
MAPS PBC is currently accepting Site Questionnaires from sites in the United States and US Territories that are interested in being screened for initial eligibility to participate on a future MDMA-assisted psychotherapy protocol, pending approval.The growth of this modality is likely to happen gradually over the next few years. Due to the incredible interest in this modality, MAPS PBC may not be able to respond to all applicants at this time. Applications will be held until opportunities to increase the number of sites grow. Sites will be contacted for clarification on their Site Questionnaire responses as needed. At the time of review, applicants will be notified of their site’s initial eligibility status.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program is currently accepting Practitioner Training Applications from qualified applicants who would like to begin their training in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, as they are received; applicants will be notified of their application status and will be contacted if needed for clarification on their application responses. The MDMA Therapy Training Program is a pre-requisite to working on a MAPS MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy protocol; qualified practitioners who are enrolled in or have graduated from the MDMA Therapy Training Program will be considered for participation in future protocols, pending approval.
Due to the unpredictable nature of clinical research, we understand that many qualified practitioners may wish to wait until regulatory approval is granted, and opportunities to deliver MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy are confirmed, before investing in their training with the MDMA Therapy Training Program. Please stay tuned to the Connect Portal and MDMA Therapy Training Program Email Newsletter where we will share updates on protocol status, training announcements, and other news related to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Thank you for your interest in healing, growth, and learning!