Certificate in Psychedelic Assisted Therapies at Naropa University (March 2022-Dec 2022)
While both assisting and attending this 200-hour contemplatively based professional training program, April gained an in-depth education in essential aspects of psychedelic-assisted therapy, trauma-informed care, and spiritual integration. During this time, she also completed specialized training in the clinical use of MDMA with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy with Phil Wolfson at the Ketamine Training Center (September 2019)
In this training April gained competence, understanding, and skills for the creation of the appropriate set and setting for KAP. This encompasses the therapeutic modalities, tools and processes necessary for guiding clients in non-ordinary states of consciousness; including building trust, working through trauma, awakening mind-consciousness, supporting new behaviors and integration.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Apprenticeship (February - May 2019)
Working with experienced KAP therapists as a client, therapist and through extensive reading, April acquired a sense of KAP work from the inside out and developed her own relational, attachment-based and somatic approach to ketamine work.
Natural Processing- Somatic EMDR Levels 1, 2, 3; with Craig Penner Denver, CO (May 2018- March 2019)
Based on this training April can help you resolve inherent nervous system dilemmas such as the competition between the “drives for completion” and “drives for survival”. This somatically-based process-oriented therapy allows you to identify and process the moment-by-moment early survival strategies that disconnect you from yourself. April will support you to pace the work so that you can stay within your window of tolerance, track your resiliency, trust the process, and deepen into your natural healing abilities, to experience the emergence of your true self.
EMDR Therapy Tools for Attachment Trauma - with Barb Maiberger and Arielle Schwartz, Boulder CO (March 2018)
Based on this training April can help you learn to identify the parts of yourself that were wounded in your early relationships, and help them to gain resources and support in preparation for attending to those past hurts. Learning about your attachment style and how to be with the younger parts of yourself with kindness will help to shift the patterns in your current relationships. Gain skills in working with nonverbal trauma, regulating your nervous system, and attending to shame without getting caught in it. Through this work, you can learn to feel safe in your body and in your relationships.
Hakomi Method with Melissa Grace and Phil Del Prince at the Hakomi Institute, Boulder CO (2013-2016)
Through this training, April can help you to access your own present felt experience to uncover unconscious patterns and core material. Old memories, beliefs, and experiences held in the body exert their influence unconsciously, by organizing our responses to the major themes of life: safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, control, responsibility, love, etc. Some of this material supports who we wish to be, while some of it, learned in response to stress or trauma, limit us. These unconscious patterns can be gently updated through new moment by moment experience.
10 Day intensive meditation retreats (yearly since 2010)
Drawing on personal experience in these retreats, April offers a steady grounded presence to anything that you may bring to your sessions from the strongest emotions to the subtlest awareness. Outdoors and indoors, April has sat for hours and days with her own rage, grief, shame, loneliness, boredom, beauty and joy. Claiming both her own darkness and lightness in this way has brought her a sense of freedom that is her greatest wish for you.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)
Ketamine creates an altered state of consciousness that facilitates the processing of trauma, depression, limiting beliefs and unhelpful behavioral patterns. April uses a relational KAP model to gently bring awareness to these unconscious patterns that keep you stuck. Ketamine helps loosen psychological “defenses” so you can try out new ways of being in the world and create more choice about how you approach life and relationships. Typical benefits from KAP therapy can include improvements in emotional state, reduced anxiety, depression and post-traumatic symptoms.
Ketamine is a legal, dissociative anesthetic that is most frequently used in a hospital setting. At a lower sub-anesthetic dose, ketamine evokes a non-ordinary state of consciousness that produces psychedelic, euphoric, and dissociative effects that can facilitate therapeutic work. KAP is a safe and highly-effective modality for the resolution of treatment resistant depression (TRD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and a variety of other mental and physical disorders.
Ketamine targets NMDA receptors in the brain via mechanisms that are entirely novel in comparison to traditional anti-depressants (SSRI/MAOI/SNRI). Studies demonstrate Ketamine’s biological effects such as increased neurogenesis (creation of new neurons), increased neuroplasticity (formation of new neural pathways), and dimming of the ‘default mode network’ (associated with the rumination found in anxiety and depression).
Your suitability for KAP will be determined during the initial sessions, as well as, through a medical screening with the prescribing nurse practitioner.
The Healing Time~ Pesha Joyce Gertler
Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say holy
Before beginning KAP, we will work together to assess your current situation; collaboratively identify goals; build a sense of safety and trust; and practice skills that will support the changes you’re moving towards. A minimum of 5 to 10 sessions are required for new clients before beginning KAP. Unlike traditional ketamine sessions in an IV clinic, this process allows the underlying symptoms of distress to be addressed through deep attachment-repair and trauma resolution work.
Each 3-hour KAP session is a personalized facilitated experience that creates a safe and supportive context for the therapy work. April is trained in a wide range of modalities including mindfulness-based techniques, somatic psychotherapy, and trauma resolution therapies. Ceremonial elements, poetry and wilderness therapy provide further support for a rich and meaningful healing experience.
Clients that gain the most from KAP sessions use the time to approach personal material that can be difficult to access or stay with in ordinary sessions. Longer-term benefits are consolidated through practicing the new ways of being in daily life.
What to Remember When Waking: The Disciplines of an Everyday Life by David Whyte
The Journey of Soul Initiation: A Field Guide for Visionaries, Evolutionaries, and Revolutionaries by Bill Plotkin
The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships by Bonnie Badenoch
Consciousness Medicine: Indigenous Wisdom, Entheogens, and Expanded States of Consciousness for Healing and Growth by Françoise Bourzat
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys by James Fadiman
The Ketamine Papers edited by Phil Wolfson
Integration Workbook: Planting Seeds for Growth and Change by Psychedelics Today
Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide for Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration by Kile M. Ortigo