Advantages Over a Retreat
Advantages Over a Retreat
There are many benefits to the psychedelic group retreat model, including having a sense of community, and sharing lessons and stories while witnessing others and being witnessed yourself. I’ve been on legal psychedelic retreats myself and have enjoyed many elements. However, there are some distinct advantages to the personal guided model:
Focus on building trust and rapport
Most retreats don’t focus on building a meaningful therapeutic alliance with facilitators before the experience, as it’s hard to do with so many participants. The model simply doesn’t support it. Trust (in the guide, and also in the process) is arguably the single most significant influencing factor for success, so we’ll spend dedicated time getting to know each other before and after the experience.
Full expression and release of emotions
Being such a personal process, everyone will need to express emotions differently during the psilocybin experience. Some people lie down in stillness and silence. Others need to cathartically express and release material by stretching, dancing, singing, shaking, laughing, screaming into a pillow, or punching a cushion. Such spirited expressions can be discouraged at retreats, as they can be hard to manage and might be considered a distraction to other participants. I encourage and support all forms of cathartic expression, within pre-agreed boundaries.
Everyone needs different levels of support. Some people glide straight into the experience with relative ease, whereas others need a little more hand-holding. Ongoing focused support isn’t always possible in groups, since many retreats only have one guide for every three to four guests. Whatever comes up for you, you will have my undivided attention and full support throughout the entire experience.
Thorough preparation and integration support
Many retreats focus mostly on the experience, and are light on preparation and integration support. Some may provide a reading list, where much of the content of the books won’t be directly relevant to the process. Or they may recommend that you meditate, without going into why it’s important, or say which meditations are most useful (there are many styles). Personally, I think more support is helpful. I have curated comprehensive written guides for before and after your experience, including only the information that is essential to the process. I have also recorded custom meditations for you, further supporting the preparation and integration of your journey.
Individual and community integration
Having a solo psychedelic experience doesn’t mean that you can’t integrate communally as well. Although I offer one-on-one integration sessions, you will also be invited to a regular group integration meeting, where you’ll be able to connect, share, and learn with others.
One retreat in Holland charges between $3,000 (£2,146) and $9,000 (£6,440) for the experience, not including transport. Another retreat in Jamaica charges between $4,300 (£3,076) and $11,200 (£8,013), not including transport. My psilocybin guiding service is significantly more affordable (see FAQs for my prices).