The Healing Power of Plants

Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training Course

The Plant Spirit Medicine Healer training course consists of the following:
  • Course Work
  • Home Study
  • Clinical Work
  • Clinical Consultation upon Graduation

Course Work

Sessions 1 through 4 are dedicated to learning the practice and theory of Plant Spirit Medicine.  During these sessions, students will develop the capacity to understand what a client needs at a fundamental level, as well as the skills to provide it.  This includes:

  • Classical Chinese Five-element worldview. The five-element approach has stood the test of millennia for use.  It invites us to view the world as a cycle of transformation of the energies of sunshine, earth, air, water, and wood. The curriculum includes all aspects of five-element theory: the ability to see, hear, smell and feel what a person really needs at a core level; traditional pulse diagnosis; treatment planning; client management and ethics; and skills in listening and rapport.
  • Building relationships with plant allies. The healing comes from building relationships with the plant spirits. Students will learn how to enter non-ordinary states of consciousness (non-drug induced) in order to apprehend the healing qualities of the spirits of different plants.  Students will visit a number of local wild plants and befriend the spirits of those plants.  They will learn the method for expanding and refining their plant spirit material medica with the plants that grow in their own area, enabling them to bring the appropriate plant spirits to each of their clients.
  • How to develop a practice. Students will learn the necessary aspects of opening a practice, including how to give an effective public talk, develop and manage a successful practice, set up a treatment room, maintain clients, set fees, maintain ethics of client care, appropriate dress code, scheduling, confidentiality, consultation skills, and self care as a healer and professional.

Home Study

The Training requires considerable self-study and homework.  All study is directly related to becoming a healer and is necessary in order to practice this medicine. Students can expect to devote approximately 6-10 hours of homework per week–theory and clinical practice–between class sessions.

Clinical Work

During the clinical sessions (Sessions 5 thru 8), students will hone their assessment skills and learn about treatment planning and healer-client relationship.  Putting into practice what they have learned in Sessions 1 thru 4, students will treat patients under supervision, demonstrating their understanding of  traditional five-element assessment, and the clarity of their relationship with their plant spirit allies. In order to present clients in these sessions, students must have completed all homework and passed the necessary requirements.

After these initial clinical sessions, students will follow a healer in his/her practice in order to ground themselves in the real practice of the medicine.  In the final session, the student will lead the treatments under the guidance of a teacher to prepare the student to work on their own.

Graduation, clinical consultation, and healer status

When students complete all sessions successfully they are eligible to graduate and receive a certificate of completion. At this stage, the graduate is ready to practice Plant Spirit Medicine Healer under the guidance of a clinical consultant. The consultant will reinforce what the healer has learned, offer client advice, review treatment charts, answer questions, and provide support in whatever manner necessary. A PSM Healer may join the Plant Spirit Medicine Association as an Associate member.

After six months of successful clinical consultation and with Eliot Cowan’s recommendation, a healer may be inducted into the Temple of Lay Spiritual Healing as a Plant Spirit Medicine Lay Spiritual Healer (LSH). An annual contribution to the Temple and continuing education units (CEUs) are required to maintain certification as a LSH. At this level, the LSH will join the Plant Spirit Medicine Association as a Professional member. CEU’s may be obtained with the completion of advanced PSM training, related workshops, and by attending the PSMA annual conference. 

Dates and Costs

As you might expect, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered plans to offer an in-person healer training in 2021. Nevertheless, Eliot Cowan and the Blue Deer PSM team are in the process of developing the next healer training, initially as an on-line course in 2022, and available wherever you live!  The training will transition to in-person in later sessions for hands-on experience and clinical supervision with Eliot Cowan at the Blue Deer Center in Margaretville, New York.  

Dates and Costs are to be determined. 


The Blue Deer Center is the home of Plant Spirit Medicine. It is a non-profit organization and retreat center located in Margaretville, New York and nestled in the Catskills Mountains on 93 acres of sacred land, with the river of peace (Saskawhihiwine) running through it. The land has been known for millennia as a place where conflict is resolved and illness gives way to health. People come from all over the world to immerse in nature through Blue Deer’s programs which offer shared experiences of transformation and healing. We invite you to visit the Blue Deer website to learn about all upcoming programs:


For More Information

For more information about PSM Healer Training, email:  or call 845-586-3225, ext. 3.

For firsthand accounts and more about this transformational healing approach, see the book, Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan.  Order a copy.  It can also be found on