The therapist training of COMPASS

With the support of investors, the COMPASS company has been trying for some years to establish psychedelic treatment for depression with psilocybin. It has launched phase 2 studies in several European countries and aims to bring psilocybin through the very complex phase 3 study process to obtain regulatory approval for the pharmaceutical market.

COMPASS training requires prequalification as a psychiatrist, as a psychologist with psychotherapy experience or as a health care professional with a relevant master's degree such as registered mental health nurses.

The training program comprises several stages:

1. Twenty hours of online learning (including video lectures and re-enactments of common clinical scenarios from psilocybin sessions) based on a psilocybin therapy handbook and other resources;

2. A five-day interactive training session in small groups of 10-12 therapists with a focus on role play and feedback;

3. Training under the guidance of an experienced psilocybin therapist. Trainee therapists must have observed at least four psilocybin sessions before they can conduct a session alone.

4. The opportunity to experience a psilocybin session personally. This is considered a key component of training.

5. Ongoing 1-to-1 supervision and feedback sessions with a dedicated mentor. There are also monthly webinars by therapists and trainers that focus on clinical cases.

Currently only therapists who are involved in COMPASS studies can take part in the training. In the future, a larger pool of experts are to be included in the program.