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Copyright 2018 A Whole New High

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What makes The Shift Retreat unique?

We are one of the three first Psychedelic Retreat organisers in the Netherlands to start retreats in 2018 and have successfully led hundreds of people through psychedelic journeys. We are trained Trauma Integration Practitioners which means we can go deep into the core root of peoples struggles and aid them in resolving these issues. Many people don’t realise that trauma is actually what is affecting their current state of dissatisfaction with life as we tend to think trauma is some big deep experience that has happened to others but not to us, when in reality we are all affected by childhood trauma regardless of how happy a childhood we had. Psychedelics bring us into a prime state where these core wounds are more easily accessible. Our experience in this field allows us to help those who work with us to find resolve to their unresolved trauma which is playing out in their lives in all kind of ways, from unhealthy relationship patterns, loneliness, addiction, eating disorders to PTSD, depression, OCD etc and just general unhappiness or unfulfilment in life. The merging of Psilocybin with our style of Trauma Integration Therapy is what really excites us most as it can bring about profound awareness and change. We specialise in small groups with a maximum of 8-10 participants. This allows us to create more intimacy between the participants and gives each individual a lot of time to express themselves, share during the integration days. And also to receive more support. A small group makes it easier to show vulnerability too. Our Retreat is longer than most others, which allows us to go very deep. We specialise in the integration process of the psychedelic experience and dedicate 3 full days to integration exercises. We teach a lot of self-therapeutic tools to our participants so that the integration process can continue when they return home and their process of self-awareness and understanding can flourish. We are female facilitators, so our ceremonies include a lot of feminine qualities, one of those being that they are very nurturing.

How many facilitators will be at your retreat?

Our groups are between 8 and 10 participants. When 8 participants, there are 2 trained therapists present as well as a helper. When there are 10 participants there is one extra trained therapists present. The guest to facilitator ratio is 2,5. It is also possible to do a private retreat with us in Maastricht on request.

Do exclude any guests for medical conditions/medicine they're taking?

We do not accept participants that are prone to psychosis, have schizophrenia, have a bipolar or borderline diagnosis. We do not accept anyone who is currently taking SSRI (participants need to be at least 2 weeks off the SSRI medicine).

How do facilitators manage difficult psychedelic experiences?

As trauma integration facilitators we assist our participants when they go through a difficult experience, by supporting them through their challenge with emotional support, breathwork and guidance.

How are dosages determined?

We usually recommend the dosage recommended by the John Hopkins University used for their clinical studies. These doses are equivalent to 3-4 dried gram of Psilocybin mushrooms. On our preparation day we discuss this with each personal individually, ensuring they are at a place they are comfortable with as far as dosage is concerned and where they can achieve their desired experience. The Participants are welcome to start out lower to get a taste of the experience instead of diving right in. Some participants who have experience with Psilocybin in the past are welcome to have a higher dose. Participants are able to increase their dose 1-1,5 hours after the ceremony has started. We check in with each person after an hour to see how they are feeling and if more is required. We also invite guests who are a little more nervous or whose first time it is to have a lower dose for the first ceremony to connect with the medicine and get a feel for it and then if they choose to they can have a full dose on the second ceremony day. There is also an opportunity to increase from a low dose to a higher one here during ceremony 1 if they begin to feel very comfortable and want to explore further.

What methods do you use to get participants to be in a proper mindset for the psilocybin experience?

Our participants have access to an online course 6 weeks prior to the retreat experience in which they learn how to mentally and emotionally prepare for this experience. At the retreat itself, we dedicate a full day to preparation for the experience. We answer every participants question, explain all the challenges a Psilocybin experience can bring and how to navigate a challenging experience and help participants to set their intention. Something thats very important to us is to create a trusting environment amongst the participants. We do this using intimacy building exercises. Each participant also has an online call with us prior to arrival at the retreat which gives them the opportunity to have their questions answered and where we give them advice on how to prepare both physically and emotionally.

How are the integration days structured?

Our integration days are mainly done in group settings, but during certain exercises participants will have the chance to get some one-on-one time as well. We have sharing circles, intimacy and bonding exercises, body movement exercises and teach self-therapy tools for participants to be able to continue the integration process at home. The integration program is catered to each group specifically and what the participants are going through in their lives and have gone through in the journeys and what we feel will serve them best, so it’s always different.

How is time structured during a retreat?

The Retreat has a very active schedule but every participant is free to take time to themselves during our activities if they wish. Participants are always invited to participate, but also encouraged to listen to their needs. So if they need to relax or would like to do something else, we absolutely welcome that. Participants love to go for walks in nature and there is always enough time for that. Our mornings usually don’t start until 10.30am – 11.00am which also allows time people time to themselves to journal, sleep, process or take a walk or a run.

How did this retreat start?

In 2018 The Shift Retreat was born from our desire to create a retreat that incorporated many elements which we find both valuable and important to the psychedelic experience but simply hadn’t been included to experiences that we had personally and those that we had connected with had experienced. We began 3 years ago with 1 or 2 day Kambo and Psilocybin Retreats for small groups but we wanted to create a retreat that was longer so that we could provide the much needed time and attention to integration of the experience itself and not leave people walking away without the tools and understanding to move forward in their lives. We also wanted to give our guests time to arrive, meet, settle in and for us to have time to create a safe connection within the group so that group can feel comfortable expressing their feelings with one another and opening up towards vulnerability. It is a very intimate experience and having a full week together really allows each person to open up at their own pace which is of course essential to opening up at all. This in turn allows our guests to go deeper if this is part of their desired intention. We spend a day preparing our guests on how to navigate the Psychedelic experience best and we dedicate 3 full days to integration. We teach our participants self-therapeutic tools to so that they have something concrete to take back into their daily life which they can use to grow further. The small group, the group-intimacy-creation exercises and the long retreat week also allows for real friendships to form so that the participants have likeminded people to reach out to after the Retreat.

How frequently do you have retreats?

We organise group retreats 3-4 times per year, but we work with clients in a private setting all year round.

How to arrive at the venue?

Guests arrange their own transport. There is a 2h direct train from Amsterdam airport and a 1h train connection from Dusseldorf airport to the nearest town. From there our guests share a taxi (20 min ride) to reach the venue. We connect our guests prior to the retreat if they wish, so that they can arrange to meet and travel together from the airport if they like.

A WHOLE NEW HIGH is a whole new perspective on how we perceive, use and administer entheogens which are drugs, psychedelics and power plants, to induce ‘non-ordinary’ states of consciousness to encourage emotional and physical well-being.

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Get to Know The Spirit of Psilocybin