Psychedelic Retreats And The Future Of Mental Health: A Review
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Psychedelic Retreats And The Future Of Mental Health
By: Gregory Ferenstein
To get a glimpse of what the economy might look like when the average American can access psychedelic-assisted therapeutic services with the swipe of a credit card, I recently spent a weekend at a completely legal retreat in the Netherlands, where high-dose ‘shrooms are combined with talk therapy, group recreation and walks in the woods, hosted by the Europe-based non-profit, the Psychedelic Society.
Our hosts from the Psychedelic Society meticulousness build a group dynamic with sharing circles, meetings and ritualistic song the day before we collective ingest a large dose of truffles (~25 grams or 5 grams of dried mushrooms), concocted in ginger tea, prepared by the onsite chef.
Across from me is a married couple in their 30s with no mushroom experience. The time dilation of psychedelics makes it hard to know how long it was until the mushrooms had fully taken over the entire group, but soon the emotions were palpable.
For those unfamiliar with mushrooms, they have a curious relationship with the mind; it feels like a hyper-perceptive therapist has inhabited your mind and communicates through surrealistic imagery that evokes powerful emotional insights—a personal virtual reality therapeutic art show tailored just for the user.
The inexperienced couple laying together plan on doing more ceremonial work; the one who cried described it as one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives and wondered why everyone doesn’t do it.
I did not find a single participant who did not have a meaningful and positive experience–this portends good things for a burgeoning industry of psychedelic retreats.
Psychedelics always seem to be for some stereotypical group, whether its wealthy technologists or severely depressed patients.
If my experience with the retreat is any indication, mushroom-assisted therapy could become mainstream in the near future.