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The successful completion of the first cohort is a significant milestone for the Changa Institute and the field of psychedelic facilitation. Reports Psychedelic Health

A group of 13 individuals have become the first people to be licensed to facilitate psilocybin experiences in the United States outside of clinical trials in over 50 years.

The Changa Institute offers an intensive psilocybin facilitator training course that is designed to cater to individuals with varying backgrounds and lifestyles, including full-time working professionals, freelancers, and retirees. 

The Institute has stated that after months of rigorous training, practice, research and examination, the cohort has demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes and has shown a high level of skill in guiding individuals through their psychedelic journeys. 

The programme equips participants with the knowledge and skills required to facilitate psilocybin-assisted experience and covers a wide range of topics, including the history and science of psilocybin, harm reduction, ethics and legal considerations, as well as the practical aspects of guiding individuals through their experiences. 

Lisa Ginzburg Founder and Director of the institute, commented: “The successful completion of our first cohort of psilocybin facilitators is a significant accomplishment for the Changa Institute.

“We are excited to see these highly skilled and trained facilitators bring their expertise to the field of  psychedelic therapy and contribute to the growing body of research on the use of psilocybin for  therapeutic purposes.” 

Licensed US facilitators

Jeanette Small and  David Naftalin are two of the first people to qualify as ‘psychedelic facilitators’ in Oregon. 

Before graduating from the Changa Institute, Jeanette Small worked as a clinical psychologist with violent offenders and gangs in California. In her previous role, Jeanette had seen many different patients on many different medications. 

Small said: “Psilocybin is a medication that makes a difference unlike other medications. People need personal engagement with other humans to heal, taking a pill every morning does very little to heal the soul.  Patients engaging in talk therapy very occasionally go through very transformative healing, but these ‘ah ha’ moments come through very rarely.

“People used to get this transcendental experience engaging with religion but even this is deteriorating in modern society for various reasons. Building a relationship is difficult, especially with what is essentially a stranger. Psilocybin  itself does very little to ‘physically heal’ the patient but does wonders to allow the participant to let down their emotional guards and address deep rooted trauma that would otherwise be inaccessible  for many people.” 

Opening a service centre

Small, Naftalin and the other ten graduates will now be moving towards opening a service centre in Oregon where psilocybin will be administered to clients by the facilitators. 

Naftalin’s service centre Drop Thesis has been approved and will be open to the general public by Summer 2023. Small intends on opening this service centre to help her old clientele, violent offenders, a group that is often excluded from clinical trials and shunned by the psychedelic community.  

Additionally, to further its mission, the Changa Institute is looking for collaborators who share its vision and values, and is interested in working with researchers, healthcare providers, therapists and other organizations who are committed to advancing the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. 

Collaboration opportunities include joint research projects, training programmes and advocacy efforts. 

Interested parties can learn more about collaboration opportunities and submit proposals on the Changa Institute’s website visit


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