Training Philosophy

The two-year internship training program at Sage provides interns with a rigorous education in long-term depth psychotherapy and psychedelic-assisted therapy. We aim to provide a thoughtful and intimate holding environment in which interns have the opportunity to develop more fully into themselves as clinicians. Our theoretical and practical orientation is comprised of the following approaches:

Depth psychotherapy (psychoanalytic and Jungian/archetypal models):

Depth psychotherapy is a model of treatment that accounts for unconscious processes that are highly significant in the development of psycho-spiritual well-being. The training program at Sage centralizes theoretical and practical considerations of contemporary Jungian and psychoanalytic models. These considerations include: developing a therapeutic frame and holding environment, models for making use of the therapeutic relationship as a means to better understand the personality and relational patterns of the patients we serve, developing a symbolic perspective and the art of interpretation, metabolizing unconscious affect, making use of dreams, fantasies, and reveries, careful consideration of the here-and-now process of psychotherapy, archetypal amplification of psychological experience, and attention to the emergence of transpersonal experiences facilitated by deep engagement with the psyche.  

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: 

The burgeoning field of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has shown strong promise as an effective and safe means for treating a variety of psychological conditions. This model of treatment, with its reliance on psychedelic medicines as a powerful assistance within a psychotherapy treatment provides a model of care that bridges the neurobiological effects of psychoactive medication with the relational healing of depth-oriented psychotherapy, a holistic treatment of body and mind as inseparable facets of human experience. 

Prohibitions on psychedelic medicines have had a significant impact on the field of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, profoundly limiting the development of research, theory, and technique. The psychotherapy training program at Sage aims to support the advancement of the field by facilitating the integration of what we know about psychedelic healing with the contemporary standards of practice within depth psychotherapy, trauma-informed care, and social justice theory. 

Trauma-focused services:

The training model at Sage holds a more expansive view of psychological trauma than the current standard held by the American Psychiatric Association, as described in the DSM 5. Following the majority of contemporary trauma theorists, such as Janina Fisher, Bessel van der Kolk, Donald Kalsched, and Peter Levine, the Sage training program recognizes that trauma arrives in many different forms - not only acute experiences of shock trauma, but also the cumulative effects of such things as emotional neglect and abuse, the impact of systemic and cultural oppression, and household dysfunction. 

Psychological trauma can lead to a diverse and complicated set of symptoms, including addictive and compulsive behaviors, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, insecure attachment, suicide attempts, and poor physical health. The trauma-informed treatment model at Sage places primary importance on recognizing the patterns of a traumatized psyche and facilitating a holistic approach to treatment that can locate a variety of psychological difficulties a person may be experiencing at their root. Our training program teaches therapists how to help facilitate the patient’s development of various capacities that are impacted by trauma, including emotional regulation, body awareness, boundaries and limit setting, communication, emotional intimacy and interpersonal awareness, as well as self-care and the means by which one may live a more meaningful life. 

Our two-year model for the program is an acknowledgment that change takes time, especially when an individual has had to cope with symptoms for years and often decades. Healing from trauma, whether single incident or cumulative, requires a relationship that facilitates the growth of trust through consistency, genuine emotional engagement, and often multiple experiences of rupture and repair. We support our therapists in a long-term approach to psychotherapy, and when appropriate, we encourage them to take the patients they have worked with into private practice upon graduating from the training program.      

Social justice: 

The training program at Sage aims to centralize the discourse surrounding racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, classism and other discriminatory practices and their many manifestations in psychedelic medicine and psychotherapy. Education around diversity is woven throughout the curriculum and forms an essential part of training at Sage. At Sage, intersectional literacy, i.e. a nuanced understanding of race, class, gender, sexuality and other intersecting identities, is considered just as important as the education required for assessment and treatment. In addition, the program aims to help educate practitioners to be adept at sensitively broaching issues of difference in the therapeutic relationship and holds representation of non-dominant groups as a primary aim in intern recruitment. 

We believe that making psychedelic medicine and psychotherapy more accessible to underserved populations can support the long-standing need for more equitable health care. In order to increase accessibility to quality treatments Sage maintains practices of community-supported medicine, which includes a privilege-based sliding scale fee system. This model of sliding scale slides not just down, but also up, so that those who have privilege and resources subsidize those who have not had the same kind of opportunities for success. 

Program Overview

Interns are required to carry a caseload of at least 12 clients, meet weekly with an individual supervisor and attend a 2-hour group supervision. Interns will also take part in a series of weekly didactic courses for 1.5 hours. The following didactic courses are completed in sequence over the 2-year program. 

Curriculum

Year 1

 ·          Foundations of Depth Psychotherapy

·           Psychedelic Psychotherapy - An Integrative Model

·           Foundations of Trauma Studies

·           Systemic Trauma

Year 2

 ·           Advanced Practices in Depth Psychotherapy

·           Indigenous roots of psychedelic medicine

·           Pathways to Integration

·           Psychedelics and Trauma: An Integrative Approach

Breakdown of Weekly Hours

Required Hours           Activity

           12                   Clinical Hours

            1                    Individual Supervision

2 Group Supervision

           1.5                  Didactic Seminar

        2 to 3                Paperwork, Clinical Notes

       1.5 to 3.5            Reading

            2                   Telephone Intakes

22 - 25 Total

All training activities will take place at Sage Institute: 3007 Telegraph Ave, Oakland.


How to Apply

 We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2019. Please check back next application cycle for more information.