"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek"- Joseph Campbell
We do not claim to heal or fix anyone. Nor do we work with people in very vulnerable emotional, psychological or mental states. We do, however, strongly trust in the power of psilocybin, the psychological process that unfolds on our retreats, and have witnessed many clients have transformative and life changing experiences.
"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."
Dr Stan Grof in ‘Beyond the Brain'
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.
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.
At Inwardbound we believe in weaving together the threads of science and spirituality, knowing that these two ways are one.
Our psilocybin retreats offer a safe container to journey deep into your psyche. This process of diving deep into the subconscious can be challenging, but as Carl Jung put it, there is gold to be found in the shadow.
We agree with the assessment of the founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Research (MAPS), Rick Doblin, when he took issue with: "the myth of psychedelic drugs as magic bullets, the ingestion of which will automatically confer wisdom and create lasting change after just one or even a few experiences. Personality change may be made more likely after a cathartic and insightful experience, but only sustained hard work after the drug has worn off will serve to anchor and solidify any movement toward healing and behaviour change". In other words, integration, and self work after the experience, are the keys to lasting change.
We hold space for our participants to feel hidden and repressed emotions and whole spectrum of the human experience- from fear and anger to joy and bliss.
We trust deeply in our process, and our capacity to hold our clients in a safe container.
We do not fix or heal our clients, the responsibility to heal ultimately lies with the individual. This process can be challenging, but for the majority of our clients, very beneficial. It is also important to mention that psilocybin does not have a strong visual or hallucinogenic quality for everyone, in people with strong ego defences, the psilocybin experience may be lessened.
What to Expect?
Stage 1: Pre-screening
Once your application is submitted, our screening process begins. Each successful application will receive an hour consultation with a psychotherapist to ensure our retreats are mutually suitable and to answer any of your questions. Our retreats are not suitable for people who have had a mental health diagnosis (such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bi-polar, clinical depression or personality disorders, suicidality), cannot cease any psychiatric medication (ie SSRIS), or are dealing with serious addiction or substance abuse issues.
Stage 2: Pre-departure
Intention - The Quest
Our pre-departure process allows us to communicate with all our participants, to answer any questions. We set an individual and collective intention and prepare for our journey. What is it that you intend to heal, how do you want to grow?
Stage 3: The Psychedelic Retreat
Our experience retreats take place over five days at one of our beautiful retreat centres in the Netherlands. Participants are asked to make their own way to Amsterdam by 17:00 on the first evening of the retreat. From there we arrange transport to our retreat centre.
On the first evening of grounding and preparation, we set an individual and collective intention. What is it you intend to let go of, what do you intend to heal, how do you want to grow?
Our psychedelic sessions take place the afternoons of the second and third day, and are followed by two powerful days of integration using different therapeutic modalities from Art therapy to yoga. Our programmes are based on the pioneering work of Dr Stan Grof.
The retreat ends on the evening of the fifth day.
Stage 4: Post-Retreat Integration
The Return: Embodying the Vision
Immediately after your retreat, we provide a one-on-one integrative consultation session to help you embody and integrate your experience.
A few weeks after your retreat, we will organise an online video conference for sharing, support, integration, and grounding. What have you learnt? How do you embody what you have learnt into your everyday life?
On top of this, we also run a monthly Inwardbound Psychedelic Integration Group for past participants, a held space for people to process their psychedelic experience and how to integrate it into everyday life.