This weekend, more than 100 people will complete a six month psilocybin therapy facilitator program hosted by Innertrek.
Once completed, these individuals will be eligible to take the Oregon Health Authority’s new facilitator license test and, upon passing, will become the first legal psilocybin therapy facilitators in the country.
We caught up with one of them before he headed over to Portland for his last facilitator training class.
“It feels like a dream,” said Josh Goldstein, a future facilitator. “I feel very honored to be in this place, and I don’t take it lightly. I realize that those of us who are stepping into this now are kind of going to be in the spotlight.”
RELATED: Bend could see psilocybin service centers open by May: Here are the rules
RELATED: OHA releases final rules for Psilocybin Services Act
This class of people will be the staff members assisting patients through their hallucinogenic journey.
“I think it’s an incredibly powerful experiment that we’re engaging in,” said Goldstein. “A change in modality from looking at healing from someone doing it to you to really accessing your own wisdom because nobody knows you better than you.”
He helped explain the training process to us.
“It’s a six month training program with six intensives where we go and meet in Portland, and it’s an all day intensive, and then every Wednesday we have a two hour Zoom class, and every other Tuesday we have our small group Zoom class,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein told us his personal experience taking psilocybin and ayahuasca, another plant-base psychedelic, and his experience facilitating patient’s ketamine experiences, has prepared him to facilitate psilocybin journeys.
His teachers in the program gained hands on experience by traveling to other countries, like Jamaica, where psilocybin therapy is in practice, legally.
Goldstein also said he believes his background in education has helped him prepare for his new role.
“I was a science teacher for a long time so I do have a background in science so understanding kind of neurobiology of it. the last nine years I’ve been a principal at a therapeutic boarding school for middle school girls,” said Goldstein.
He is the first to admit he is not a medical or a mental health professional.
His job will be to educate potential patients, asses them to make sure the treatment would be beneficial and, “ultimately sitting with someone in that experience and being a kind, grounded and knowledgeable presence,” according to Goldstein.
Once Goldstein receives his license, he’ll wait for a center to start operating in Bend and will work there.