Psychedelic Retreat for Mental Health Professionals, informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
100% refund offered if there is a travel ban from your country/the Netherlands at the time leading up to the retreat.
- 22 – 26th March
£2250 (accommodation and meals included, excluding cost of psilocybin truffles (approx £80 – provided by a trusted legal third party).
Two low-income places of £1350 are available.
Henry Whitfield, Tamara Slock, Sophie Adler, Robert Krause, Karlie Shelley
In the recent Special issue for Psychedelics in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 2020, multiple leading researchers illustrate how ACT and psychedelics can be interwoven to create what may become new era of breakthrough therapies. This retreat has been developed in a very similar vein and following the daily data of 62 single cases that we already collected during these retreats.
(See New Atlas FDA Breakthrough therapy, or Wired for more depth). The purpose of this retreat is to prepare and connect those interested in such developments. If you are interested in collaborating on future retreats like this, you are especially welcome.
The Programme: This four and a half day retreat + two month (average length) integration programme consists of:
Day 1: Arrival (in the afternoon) and preparation: approaching the psychedelic experience as an opportunity for personal growth, leaning into challenging emotions and opening to a flexible sense of self.
Day 2: Self-as-context meditation breath and bodywork – you are not your programming. Afternoon ceremony – with Psilocybin Truffles, you embark on your psychedelic journey with the support of sober mental health professionals
Day 3: Integration – What is still coming up? Being in your direct experiencing. Journaling on your experience as it continues to surface. Nonverbal expression.
Day 4: A scale of selves or ‘parts’ to integrate: fostering a transcendent self. Increasing willingness and noticing the barriers of mind. Breathwork. Second Ceremony – an opportunity to go deeper.
Day 5: Further integration – Is any of your inner or outer behaviour changing? What new paths do you feel invited to follow? Is a new view emerging of the kind of life you want to live? Balancing the head with the heart: Awareness practices coupled with behaviour change.
Each day will include experiential practices to help us get into our direct experiencing. Through sharing circles we will learn from each other.
Integration therapy: Then each participant is then offered four x 60-90min integration sessions via zoom. These sessions further support the unfolding of awareness that opened during the retreat and help translate this awareness into multiple domains of your life. Our current integration model brings together evolutionary science ‘multi-level selection theory’ and some of the work of Francoise Bourzat into a new expanded ‘ACT Matrix’ (as in Polk et al, 2016), integrating behaviour change to find a new balance between self-care, relationships, community and environment.
In preparation you may consider your personal challenges in terms of ‘willingness’ (how open are you to certain discomforts?), ‘experiential avoidance’ (what are the obvious or subtle ways you avoid those inner discomforts?), your motivations (what impulses behind your inner and outer behaviours are keeping you from what you truly want). Simple metaphors such as the ‘reverse compass’ may guide us on our way: where is your mind telling you not to go?
To integrate your psilocybin experience into a life better lived, you may also consider if your old thought patterns take you where you really want to go. What new behaviours do our insights invite? How might our old patterns get in the way of what we really want?
As well as offering these latter perspectives, the ACT model also invites its own integration with other models and traditions, into a behaviourally aware eclecticism. Some of these modalities of integration include breathwork, art therapy, shame work and Internal Family Systems therapy.
Participants are invited to contribute their data towards a multi-baseline, single case series design study, tracking mediators of change during psychedelic-assisted personal growth, including a number of ACT preparation and integration sessions pre and post retreat. Please contact us for further details of this research project…
Minimum facilitator ratio: one to every 3.5 participants minimum. Each participant will also receive one-on-one pre, between and post-ceremony check-ins.
Spaces are highly limited to a maximum of 14.
I particularly liked: The skill and heart of the facilitating Team, including how we were cared for and encouraged to keep going IN rather than being unnecessarily rescued, the inspired music, live and recorded, the beautiful house with its dedicated medicine space, the delicious nourishing food, the walks in the woods, all of the integration activities especially dealing with Shame, the ongoing connections. It all works together in synergy. After 49 years of experience with psychedelics, including Ayahuasca in the jungle and decades with mushrooms, this retreat stands out as a true transformation. More than having taken a flashy trip out and back, I feel like I’ve simply come home. I remember Who I Am and what’s going on here, the inner game Love is playing behind what often looks like Insanity. Having the integration support and ongoing group connection is essential. This team has masterfully orchestrated a container.
The retreat enabled me to face my deepest pain and to integrate it into my life and to transcend it, with the support and love of others. I feel a renewed sense of vitality with my life and doubts about my self-worth have left me.
I feel this retreat helped me in a very deep way. It felt like a very profound healing. It gave me a clear sense of how these medicines can be used therapeutically. It helped me come into a different relationship with pain. This was a profoundly transformative experience. The balance of preparation, ceremony, and integration was wonderful. The facilitators attended with such care and skill that I felt completely safe and was able to trust the plant medicine to go deep into the experience. Thank you for this opportunity. I now have a real appreciation for this important work. So much gratitude!
This retreat gave me a new self. I feel I can take up space in the world, I feel I have a voice and a purpose. I had no idea how much my barriers and insecurities were inhibiting my life. I can see what my life would be like with more awareness to when these barriers and insecurities are showing up and the steps to move forward with actions that truly matter to me. I could not imagine a better group of knowledgeable and skilled facilitators for this retreat. I felt safe and cared for the entire time, allowing myself to fully let go. The variety of modalities incorporated were each beneficial and together created a healing experience. The group aspect added a deeper level of connection, learning, and insight. If this is the direction psychedelic-assisted therapy is headed, I am excited and hopeful to see the future unfold.
This retreat was a most important and meaningful experience in my life! It introduced me to the transformational experience of taking psilocybin, which I will be forever grateful for. It was a thoughtfully planned retreat, full of many rich experiences: walks in nature, great music, powerful group exercises, integration sessions, plenty individual attention. But, perhaps as important as the powerful consciousness expanding medicine, was the team of guides/leaders which was put together. The guides were continually supportive, unbelievably kind and loving, knowledgeable, open, available, and I cannot imagine having gone through the experience of taking psilocybin for the first time without them. They were present in all the activities, they were invaluable to the integration process and they became true mentors to the participants. The group size was perfect: 14 participants. Live music was a beautiful and inspirational part of the retreat. I would love to be able to do the retreat again.
About the facilitators
Henry J. Whitfield
Henry Whitfield is an Association of Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS) Peer-reviewed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy trainer, an Accredited Advanced TIR (PTSD therapy) Trainer, a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (MSc – CBT) and Visiting Research Fellow at Regent’s University – School of Psychotherapy and Psychology. For over seven years Henry ran and supervised brief therapy for PTSD projects for Victim Support and Mind in London gun crime hot spots, using CBT and TIR.
Henry has also trained over 1500 psychological therapists since 2003, supervising mental health professionals the NHS for ACT and Trauma work. He is also a passionate integral thinker, publishing journal articles and book chapters on the integration of therapeutic models including, REBT-mindfulness, ACT-TIR-CBT, Person-centred-TIR. His psychedelic plant medicine path has changed how he does psychotherapy especially with self-concept issues. He has written, co-written and edited training manuals for ACT, TIR and FAP (relational psychodynamic). Now he focuses his research on the development of ACT-consistent models for psychedelic preparation and integration, with psychedelic process research for Regents University London. He is also author of a new model of psychological flexibility A Spectrum of Selves, tailored to a psychedelic therapy context published 2021 in Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Dr Robert Krause
He has lectured in philosophy at Quinnipiac University and at Western Connecticut State University. Robert has certifications in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery from Harvard University, in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapies and Research from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and in Sex therapy also from the CIIS. He was a faculty advisor to the Yale Psychedelic Research Group and is currently the lead therapist and co-author of the treatment manual for the Psilocybin – Induced Neuroplasticity in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also a co-author of the recently published ‘Psilocybin-assisted therapy of major depressive disorder using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a therapeutic frame’ Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 15 (2020): 12-19′
Robert’s daily practices include yoga, meditation and tantra. He completed yoga instructor training with Aum Pradesh Guar in Goa, India and was certified in tantra instruction through the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program. He has been practicing zazen meditation for 30 years.
Currently Robert maintains a private integrative psychotherapy practice in New Haven, Connecticut.
Tamara has studied plant medicine with a Mestizo Maestro and is currently studying under a Shipibo Maestro from Peru. She is the co-founder and manager of Mother’s House, where she supports research and conducts psychedelic ceremonies. She also works closely with ICEERS, organizing workshops on harm reduction and safety protocols for facilitators working with psychedelics.
As a former nurse, Tamara realized that the compassion she had for her patients was a big part of the healing process. She started following the path of Yoga, became a breathworker, bodyworker and Reiki practitioner, exploring different pathways for holistic wellbeing. During retreats she uses music and various healing practices to help facilitate ceremonies. Over the years, Tamara has witnessed many people heal their trauma with the help of psychedelics. She’s driven to enact a balance between therapeutic practices and indigenous shamanic teachings. For her, it’s not a job—it’s a calling and a way of life.
Sophie-Charlotte Alice Adler, MSc, is a psychologist, hypnotherapist, Internal Family Systems therapist, researcher and author. She has specialised in working with altered states of consciousness since 2017 and has been supervising ketamine infusions at Instituto Dr. Scheib in Mallorca since 2018. In Autumn 2020 she built up a private practice for Dr. Scheib in Berlin where Ketamine Therapy is offered. Ketamine (off-label use) is currently the only legally available and approved psychedelic substance in the UK and Germany. With the support of Dr Mario Scheib and Prof Revenstorf, Sophie Adler developed an innovative therapy method, the “Ketamine Hypnosis Package” (KHP), publishing a case example of this in the Journal of Psychedelic Psychiatry.
Since 2018, she has accompanied over 400 ketamine infusions as a psychologist and hypnotherapist. In 2020, her book “”Altered States of Consciousness – New Paths in Psychotherapy? The Potential of the Psychoactive Substance Psilocybin“” was published by Carl-Auer in Germany.
She is the founder of ACSMINDWORKS – a group of specialists working on healing and states of consciousness in a variety of ways. Sophie-Charlotte Adler is a member of the MIND Foundation as well as the KRIYA- Consultation Group with Dr. Raquel Bennett and Dr. Jessica Katzman in California.