Our retreat programmes may suit if you are looking for:
Self-growth or self-actualisation.
Creativity and cognitive boost.
Potential alleviation from the symptoms of depression, anxiety or OCD.
Relief from nicotine addiction or compulsive behaviours.
Potential alleviation of migraine or cluster headaches.
Working with trauma and PTSD (pending successful pre- screening by one of our facilitators)
Our retreat programmes are not suitable if:
You have a diagnosed psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar, clinical depression or a personality disorder
You are currently on psychiatric medication including SSRIS
You have a personal or family history of psychosis
You are dealing with serious addiction or have substance abuse issues
As a rule, we do not work with very sick people.
Not everyone is a candidate for retreats involving psychedelic drugs. As a general guideline, people who have cognitive and emotional conditions associated with disorganized or diminished ego strength are not good candidates for pharmaco-assisted retreats with psychedelics. Contraindications include people with personality disorders, bipolar, psychotic or schizophrenic tendencies.
We work in the broad tradition of Dr Stan Grof - creating a safe container for people to access the wisdom of their own inner healer. During the psychedelic journey, clients have their own comfortable, safe space to journey inwards. We use mindfold eye masks and earphones with music to allow clients journey inwards. We hold space for our clients and do not intervene in our client's process unless specifically asked to.
"Western Science is approaching a paradigm shift of unprecedented proportions, one that will change our concepts of reality and of human nature, bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, and reconcile the differences between Eastern spirituality and Western pragmatism."
Stanislav Grof in ‘Beyond the Brain
Our methodology is based on cutting edge scientific studies and psychological models from research universities such as Imperial College London and John Hopkins University. Without being prescriptive for our clients, we are also informed by a land-based ancestral spiritual tradition based on our Irish heritage. The science of psilocybin is new, the medicine is not, and is part of our celtic and broader shared human heritage.
While giving guidance when necessary, we allow our clients to process their experiences through the prism of their own cultural, spiritual and personal perspectives. 'The map is not the territory', and while we can offer guidance based on our multi-disciplinary training and personal lived experience, we do not inform our clients on the meaning of their experiences, although we can help them frame their experience within the context of their own psychology and personal belief systems.
Our integration process is designed to help our clients embody their vision, with one-to-one consultations and group facilitation. We find that the shared experience and human connection helps our clients to find meaning and support. We also integrate in our model the three core conditions of humanistic psychology that have been showed to create change : empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. These core conditions have been proven to be an essential component of any therapeutic relationship. While maintaining boundaries, we deal with all our clients in a warm and caring way.
- The cutting edge scientific studies on psilocybin show an overall increase in openness in participants, an increase in connectedness ( to oneself, others and the natural world), and an increase in functional and structural neuro-plasticity. This means that psilocybin can help people break or change patterns in their life. Psilocybin can also help people to accept, rather than to avoid, repressed emotions.
- Clinical case studies and research trials describe common patterns of subjective experiences that are associated with therapeutic benefits for people with severe anxiety and depression. As the initial phase of psychedelic experience wanes and people regain familiar barriers between visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory senses, people typically report heightened cognitive clarity and expanded emotional receptivity. Previously unrecognised or unquestioned assumptions related to one's place in the world and relationships to nature, one's physical and social environments become available to being considered anew.
- While psychedelic experiences vary significantly from one individual to another, research subjects and people interviewed for journalistic articles commonly express attributes which include heightened clarity and confidence about their personal values and priorities, and a renewed or enhanced recognition of intrinsic meaning and value of life. People often voice a sense of exhilaration, insight, and strengthened connection to others, as well as a richer sense of relationship with nature.
- People who take psychedelics with an intention of spiritual introspection often report that the drugs opened windows into deeper realms of existential experience. In safe and supportive environments, these effects typically induce a state of wonder, conceptual frame shift, expanded capacity for love, and an intensified sense of connection. Patients living with medical conditions that had robbed them of hope or reason to live may experience a transformative shift in perspective and experience of inherent meaning, value, and worth.
Currently, scientific trials are being undertaken with psilocybin at the John Hopkins Centre for Psychedelic Research for the following issues:
- Depression with Alzheimer's disease
- mood symptoms of post-treatment Lyme's disease
- increasing creativity
- opioid addiction* (*at Inwardbound we do not work with serious addiction issues)
Given to carefully screened clients with the right mindset and setting, in recommended doses, psilocybin has proven to be notably safe. It has no tissue toxicity, does not interfere with liver function, has scant drug contra– interactions (see below 'What medications are contra-indicated with psilocybin?'), and carries no long-term physical effects.
These drugs are not intoxicants in the usual sense. They do not dull the senses or induce sleepiness. On the contrary, sensory perception is intensified and attention is aroused. Although abuse syndromes have been reported, few people become habituated or addicted to these drugs. Psilocybin is not addictive.
Risks of Psilocybin:
- can cause harm in people with psychosis or a pre-disposition to psychosis
- can cause anxiety, fear or confusion.
- can cause moderate elevations in pulse and blood pressure.
- can cause headaches the day following use.
- in very rare cases, can cause persisting perceptual change, HPPD. However, according to Dr. Matthew Johnson of the John Hopkins Centre for Psychedelic Research, this has never occurred in any of the psilocybin clinical trials.
Adverse physiological effects are few and of short duration, but can be substantial. During the onset of psychedelic experiences nausea and vomiting are not unusual. In this first hour or more, visual and spatial orientation are commonly disrupted, which can give rise to anxiety. Sympathetic nervous system arousal may occur both because of fear, and from direct effects of the drugs. Particularly during the initial phase of sessions, psychedelics dissolve barriers between physical senses resulting in synesthesia; touches, smells, and tastes can take on sounds, shapes and colors. Similarly, emotions and thoughts may evoke visual images and sounds. These phenomena explain why the term hallucinogen is often used synonymously with psychedelics to refer to this class of drugs.
- Not be using tricyclic antidepressants or lithium, SSRIs, haloperidol, or MAOIs (some of these increase psychedelic effects, some of them reduce effects).
- Not be using 5-HTP, St John’s Wort or any other supplements that “may affect serotonergic function”
- Do not consume cannabis or dronabinol for at least 24 h before a session.
- Not be using Ritonavir/Indinavir
Tricyclic antidepressants include:
Taking psyilocybin while on an MAOI can dramatically increase the effects of the experience.
MAOIs are most commonly found in the prescription anti-depressants:
- Nardil (phenelzine
- Parnate (tranylcypromine)
- Marplan (isocarboxazid)
- Eldepryl (l-deprenyl)
- Aurorex or Manerix (moclobemide).
Check with your doctor if you are not sure whether your prescription medication is an MAOI.
SSRIs are not reported to cause a dangerous interaction, though they are reported to substantially decrease the effects of psilocybin.
Research recommends against using cannabis or marijuana with psilocybin.
There are some other medications which may interfere with psilocybin:
- anti-convulsants or anti-epileptic medications such as
Neurontin(gabapentin) and Topamax(topiramate). The exact mechanism by
which topiramate works, for example, is still unknown, so it is
impossible to even guess whether or not it will interfere with
- medications which are either synthetic analogs of certain
hormones or which regulate hormone production: Prednisone and
Synthroid, for example. There is no direct evidence to suggest that
these drugs will interact with psilocybin, but hormones have a very
complex and inter-related effect on numerous body systems. We have
seen a few reports suggesting that thyroid levels play a part in
- * tranquilizers and mood-altering medications such as Xanax,
Valium, Prozac and Wellbutrin.
- Ondansetron (Zofran) and Compazine(prochlorperazine)
- Imitrex (and associated triptans):
In relation to migraine headaches based upon many reports, triptans are one of the most likely
medications to block the clusterbusting effects of psychedelics. In our opinion, they should be avoided both before, during and after,
beginning psychedelic treatments for cluster headaches.
- sumatriptan (Imitrex®, Imigran®) injections
- sumatriptan (Imitrex®, Imigran®) tablets
- zolmitriptan (Zomig®) tablets
- sumatriptan (Imitrex®, Imigran®) nasal spray
- naratriptan (Amerge®, Naramig®) tablets
- rizatriptan (Maxalt®) tablets and rizatriptan orally dissolvable
- zolmitriptan orally dissolvable (Zomig-ZMT®) tablets
- almotriptan (Axert®) tablets
- frovatriptan (Frova®) tablets
- eletriptan (Relpax®) tablets
SSRIs are contraindicated with psilocybin. Our policy on clients using SSRIS is that they should come off them at least 5 weeks before our retreat in conjunction with medical advice. Medical advice needs to be sought as coming off SSRIs can have serious physiological and psychological side effects.
Two five hour sessions over the course of the retreat, with the option of stepped dosages.
On our group retreat programmes, we provide five facilitators (male and female) to a maximum of 12 clients. This very low ratio allows us to provide the highest possible standard of care for our clients.
Four nights accomadation in a twin room, facilitation, all meals, transfers from Amsterdam City Centre ( if you arrive at the designated time)
Flights to and from Amsterdam Schipol airport, travel insurance and psilocybin truffles which can be purchased from a third party (cost 50 euro)
No, but in certain circumstances we may ask for a medical letter.
A common question we get is "what if I don't like the music?". Our 5 hour play list has been chosen in-line with current research. It is designed to evoke an emotional response, not necessarily to be liked. That said, we use a wide range of musical sources so it you don't like a certain genre or style of music, it won't be long before it changes.
Light fitting comfortable clothes