The Problem With Psilocybin Retreats
Why should you go to psilocybin mushroom retreat? I asked myself the same question a few years ago when I first considered psilocybin for my headache condition. Everything I found about these retreats was a turn off, from the “New Agey” vibes to the communal vomiting at ceremonies to the price tag. I even found reports of abuse or irresponsible behavior at some facilities.
Lucky enough for me, I did quite well with figuring it out for myself. I got the dosing right for my headache condition on my own and the experience itself was very pleasant. Not everyone is that fortunate. Some people have a difficult experience, and some people never even attempt try it on their own. Maybe they lack access or are afraid of having a difficult experience.
I decided to set out to design my own. A retreat that is more invested in problem solving, and less invested in New Age mysticism. According to our Google Reviews, we are doing a pretty good job.
What I Don’t Like About Psilocybin Retreats:
Eating some mushrooms or ayahuasca, having a cathartic vomit session, and then chatting with some uber spiritual therapists is probably not the ideal long term solution. The staff at a weeklong retreat do not know you well enough to provide quality counseling beyond what pertains directly to the experience, and I don’t see a way around this conundrum. There may be a period of elevated mood after the visit, but you can have more sustainable results combining it with supportive therapy at home.
I cannot change some limitations of a retreat format, but I have created what I think would have been the perfect retreat for ME.
Too Heavy On The Mysticism
If you are anything like me, you will also eyeroll super hard as soon as anyone mentions past lives or chakras. I just cannot relax or trust anyone in an environment like this, and being under the influence of psychedelics requires you to trust the people around you.
Psychedelics are associated with deep, mystical experiences. But this does not mean that another’s interpretation of that experience should be foisted upon you. I once described one of my experiences to another psychonaut acquaintance, and he insisted that it must be a communication from a dead relative. Needless to say, I was not of the same opinion, and it was a bit of a turn off for me.
I cannot divorce the psychedelic experience from the “mystical”. They will always be connected in some way, and it does the experience a disservice to even try. But at our retreat we view the spiritual or mystical side of the psychedelic experience as being something subjective and personal. There are facilitators that naturally lean toward the spiritual side, and there are those like me that are hyper rational. But either way, the direction comes from the visitor.
What Do You Take Home?
Obviously, I am not talking about souvenirs or T-Shirts. I am not even talking about “supplies”. But you took some shrooms, rode out the experience, had a good chat, so now what? A psilocybin retreat is set up to make you dependent on THEM for the experience. We all know that the mood enhancing effects are not permanent, though some may get more mileage than others. The pain management effects are even shorter lasting. With the prices these retreats charge, there is no way you can make this a viable treatment plan.
So how are we changing that? Visitors learn what they need to know to manage their condition on their own. We teach them to control their experience, so they have the confidence to handle it back home. They also complete a comprehensive mushroom growing course. Therapists that are experienced or interested in psychedelic integration are not difficult to find back home. With psychedelic therapy becoming popular, even more qualified therapists will be available in the near future.
So, “What do you take home?” with our retreat, the answer is everything. You learn how to incorporate mushrooms into a meditation routine, you learn how to make that routine consistently enjoyable, and you learn to provide your own supplies.