Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) informed Psychedelic retreat.

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Jun 3 2019 - 4:00pm - Jun 6 2019 - 1:00pm
World Region: 
Henry Whitfield and Stefana Bosse

Location: Drenthe, The Netherlands
Dates: 3rd-6th June 2019
Contribution: £850 (accommodation and meals included, excluding cost of psilocybin truffles (approx £40 – provided by a trusted legal third party).

This retreat is aimed at mental health professionals interested in becoming psychedelic-assisted therapists, psychedelic therapists interested in an ACT-informed psychedelic experience and those wishing to better support patients in integrating psychedelic experiences.

There is currently a psychedelic research renaissance involving sizeable clinical trials in both Europe and the USA. Even if preliminary, the current results suggest unprecedented success rates for depression, addictions and more. With such trials underway, psilocybin is expected be medically licenced in the next 5 years (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.

Experts at multiple psychedelic research centres consider Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to be an important and useful framework for modern psychedelic therapy (see Walsh & Theissen 2018, Guss 2018). These four days are an opportunity to explore the psychedelic experience with some ACT perspectives in mind.

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, we may also consider if our old thought patterns take us where we really want to go. What new behaviours do our insights invite? How might our old habits get in the way of what we really want?

As well as offering these latter perspectives, the ACT also model invites its own integration with other models and traditions, into a behaviourally aware eclecticism.

Participants are invited to contribute their data towards a single case series design study, tracking mediators of change before and after a 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…

This retreat will include:

Day 1: Arrival (in the late afternoon) and preparation: approaching the psychedelic experience as an opportunity for personal growth

Day 2: Ceremony – Deepening and broadening our awareness with the amplifier of psilocybin, you embark on your psychedelic journey with the support of sober mental health professionals

Day 3: Integration – How will your psychedelic experience inform your life? What barriers to change can you pre-empt? Have you clarified the kind of life you really want to live?

Day 4: Closing circle, farewells and next steps

Each day will include body work and meditative practices to help us get into our direct experiencing. Through sharing circles we will learn from each other.

Minimum facilitator ratio: one to every five participants. Each participant will receive a one on one pre- and post-ceremony check-in.

Spaces are highly limited to a maximum of 17. Private rooms available for a supplementary fee of £100/night. 


About the facilitators:

Henry J. Whitfield: Henry Whitfield is an Association of Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS) Peer-reviewed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy trainer, Accredited Advanced TIR (PTSD therapy) Trainer and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (MSc – CBT). 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 or supervised over 1500 psychological therapists since 2003 and is a passionate integral thinker. He has published 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 a great deal. His knowledge of ACT and experience of facing trauma have guided him and many others on the path of psychedelic personal growth. He has written, co-written and edited training manuals for ACT, TIR and FAP (relational psychodynamic), and for a recent randomised control trial he co-developed an ACT integration model for a psilocybin-assisted therapy to treat depression.

Stefana Bosse: Stefana co-founded the Psychedelic Society’s Psychedelic Experience Retreats, the pioneering programme offering legal, modern ceremonial retreats in The Netherlands using psilocybin-truffles. For the last 3 years, she has supported over 300 people going on profound, often life-changing psychedelic journeys of healing and discovery. She is passionate about grounding psychedelic use and spiritual practice in psychotherapeutic inquiry, as well as uplifting our Western materialist mindset to the perennial wisdom found in the transpersonal.

Since 2016 Stefana has been training in holistic counselling under the tutelage of the founders of the Path of Love, a transformational 7-day psycho-spiritual process. She is a student of the Diamond Approach, a contemporary spiritual path integrating the teachings and practices of the ancient wisdom traditions with modern depth psychology. She holds a bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and a Masters in International Affairs from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York. Stefana is also a certified Emergency First Responder.

This retreat will also have other mental health professionals with ACT training and psychedelic therapy guide experience, ensuring each of you can receive individual attention when you need it. This retreat is not aimed at people with severe mental-health issues. All facilitators will remain sober throughout the retreat.

Further details coming soon.