MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program
The MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program is a clinical training program that facilitates learning in the theory, skills, and practice of MDMA-assisted therapy. The theoretical approach is based on a philosophy that every person has within them an intrinsic wisdom and ability to heal, and that this inner healing wisdom blossoms naturally in an environment of safety and support.
Candidates for the MDMA Therapy Training Program must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Hold an active license or registration to practice psychotherapy in good standing in their jurisdiction, OR
- In a post-doctorate, post-graduate internship, or residency program in the field of mental health OR
- Demonstrate a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience providing behavioral health services
These qualifications outline the minimum requirements for the program. The Admissions Committee will take into consideration number of years of experience, education, and qualifications.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program acknowledges a diverse range of professional, spiritual, and traditional backgrounds. Mental health professionals, medical professionals, counselors, psychiatric aides, clergy members, chaplains, traditional medicine practitioners, hospice workers, somatic practitioners, and other professionals and certified practitioners providing therapeutic services are welcome to apply.
MDMA-assisted therapy is delivered in a co-therapy model, meaning two practitioners work together in delivering the treatment, each in their respective scope of competence and practice. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to apply with one or more colleagues and note this on their application.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program supports trainees in acquiring the competence necessary to conduct MDMA-assisted therapy. The MDMA Therapy Training Program enrolls compassionate and experienced practitioners who are committed to health and well-being, their own and that of their clients and community. The program is currently accepting applications for qualified practitioners interested in learning the modality of MDMA-assisted therapy. Please click the Apply button to start an application.
Certification and Recertification
The requirements to become a MAPS-Certified MDMA-Assisted Therapy Practitioner are:
- Completion of the MDMA Therapy Training Program course
- Experiential Elective
- Consultation and Clinical Experience
Trainees who successfully complete the MDMA Therapy Training Program (Requirement 1) and Experiential Elective (Requirement 2) will receive a Certificate of Completion from the program. Trainees who satisfy Requirements 1, 2, and 3 will receive a MAPS Certification in MDMA-Assisted Therapy.
Recertification is required every two years and involves a recertification application and 16 hours of Continuing Education (CE) units, to be offered by the MDMA Therapy Training Program and other approved MAPS training providers. The first recertification deadline will occur in 2023; certified practitioners will be informed of available CE courses starting in 2022.
As with many therapeutic modalities, the MDMA Therapy Training Program believes that some of the best preparation for supporting others through a process, is going through a similar process oneself. The kind of knowledge gained from firsthand experience is invaluable and difficult to replicate.
In 2009 the FDA approved a MAPS-sponsored healthy volunteer trial permitting trainees enrolled in the MDMA Therapy Training Program to apply to receive MDMA-assisted therapy. The study is called MT1 and is nearly complete, enrolling 120 people in total. In 2019 MAPS submitted a similar protocol, called MT2, however this protocol is not yet active. Opportunities to receive MDMA-assisted therapy are very limited. MAPS-sponsored clinical trials for PTSD and other treatment indications have strict eligibility criteria. Efforts are underway in various countries to seek regulatory exemption to deliver psychedelic therapies to small groups of clinicians training to practice in the modality. At this time MAPS is not currently enrolling for healthy volunteer therapy training protocols.
Experiences in non-ordinary, and extra-ordinary states of consciousness are required as an elective in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. To satisfy the Experiential Elective requirement, trainees must:
- Demonstrate personal experience in a facilitated non-ordinary state of consciousness practice
- Such as: psychedelic-assisted therapy clinical trial or treatment, medicine ceremony, shamanic drumming, sweat lodge, meditation retreat, Holotropic Breathwork, other forms of breathwork
- The practice must be an established practice and facilitated by someone trained and qualified in that modality where the trainee participates in a personal experience
- Trainees applying previous experience for credit must have completed that experience within three years of enrollment in the MDMA Therapy Training Program
- Elective must be 8 hours minimum
- Strongly recommended that the experience include both one’s own personal experience in a non-ordinary state practice and the experience of sitting and holding space for someone else in a non-ordinary state practice, though the latter is not a requirement for graduation
- Once enrolled, trainees may contact their training coordinator to discuss electives that may suit the trainee’s needs, including accommodations, medical conditions, and preferences
In order to qualify as a MAPS-Certified MDMA-Assisted Therapy Practitioner, trainees must complete the Consultation and Clinical Experience requirement.
Clinical experience must be gained in an approved clinical setting, including approved clinical trials, legally sanctioned practices, and in the future pending rescheduling of MDMA-assisted therapy. Clinical experience can only be completed when a candidate enters the practice of MDMA-assisted therapy following their participation in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. There may be a significant delay, and no guarantee, of opportunities to practice MDMA-assisted therapy, due to regulatory and legal limitations.
Forty hours of clinical experience in the practice of MDMA-assisted therapy and 15 hours of Consultation are required for MAPS Certification as an MDMA-Assisted Therapy Practitioner. Clinical experience includes all hours of actual therapy delivered to participants enrolled in MDMA-assisted therapy treatment. Of the 40 hours, at least 18 must be gained in MDMA-assisted therapy sessions where MDMA is administered; the remaining hours may be completed in preparation or integration sessions before or after an MDMA-assisted therapy session. All 40 hours of therapy must be reviewed with a MAPS-Certified Consultant. Trainees will be required to meet with a MAPS-Certified Consultant at certain time points and frequencies while gaining the 40 hours of experience; details will be provided to candidates entering consultation. An online directory of MAPS-Certified Consultants will be available in the future. The MAPS-Certified Consultant must sign off on the 40 hours of Clinical Experience and 15 hours of Consultation and submit the verification form directly to the MDMA Therapy Training Program.
Consultation fees are the responsibility of the trainee and are estimated at $1,000-2,000 USD. These costs include the Consultant’s time to review session notes and recordings, Consultation meetings and preparation, notes, and verification of experience. Consultation fees are paid directly to the Consultant. Scholarship funds may be available to help offset the costs of Consultation; candidates may inquire about funds with the program at the time of their entrance into practice.