Is Synthesis Right for You?
Synthesis is great for you if:
You want to connect with ‘like-minded’ individuals and start to build a community around you of people interested in the modern, responsible use of psychedelics.
You’ve been stuck on a major professional or personal problem for an extended period of time and are looking for creative inspiration.
You want to explore the outer reaches of your consciousness, unlocking aspects of your mind that have yet to be accessed.
You’re curious about the utility of psychedelics and want to do them in a safe, legal, and structured setting.
You feel like there’s a psychological blockage preventing you from reaching that ‘next stage’ in your professional or personal development.
You want to press reset on your mind, and break out of your tired, habituated thought patterns.
You’re open to the potential value of psychedelics but haven’t found the right time and place yet.
You’re intent on being your ‘best self’ and you want to learn how to utilize psychedelics to accelerate the process of personal development.
Synthesis is not for you if:
You have a clinical diagnosis of depression, bipolar, borderline, PTSD, or schizophrenia.
You have a family history of schizophrenia or psychosis.
Currently prescribed to anti-depressant medications (please contact us if you want to be notified when medical spots open up).
You are just looking to get high and have fun.
Despite the exciting potential for the clinical use of psychedelics, Synthesis is not a retreat for people looking to experience psychedelics to treat a specific clinical condition. By going through the application process, you accept that we can not accept individuals on prescription medication for mental disorders, there is no clinical motivation for your participation, and that Synthesis Retreat will not be held accountable for any issues that arise from your Synthesis Experience.
Who will facilitate the sessions and what are their qualifications?
How will the psychedelic sessions be set up?
We provide a comfortable indoor space with mattresses to lay down on, eye shades, and profound music. In creating an optimal environment for your psychedelic experience, we combine ceremonial aspects rooted in age-old tradition with modern approaches that have proven, in scientific research, to be effective at facilitating a deep, meaningful experience.
Why should I invest in this experience if I can take mushrooms home?
We believe the context of a group retreat and having experienced guides are essential ingredients to properly optimize for safety and getting the most out of a psychedelic experience. From years of retreat experience we know the value of this experience is rooted in the relationships you will build.
Can I do more than one retreat?
Yes, you can. A second retreat can be a quite different experience, certainly not just a repetition. In case it‘s your second overall psychedelic experience, many people tend to be even better prepared and relaxed as there is a familiarity which allows them to let go or direct their experience even more. For experienced psychonauts on the other hand, each experience can have its own focus or topic, exploring different aspects.
Is there any prep or post work included with the retreats?
Prior to the 3-day retreat, you will have a 1-2 hour group video call with your facilitators to discuss the retreat. More preparation documents will be sent over nearing your retreat date. During the retreat, you will have two 30-minute private conversations to discuss anything that might come up. We will always be available for any assistance post-retreat.
Are psilocybin truffles safe?
According to recent studies, psilocybin mushrooms (which have the same active ingredient as truffles) are the safest drug currently available - safer than tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol. These substances are non-addictive, non-toxic, and, when taken within a structured setting, have little to no risk.
Where can I learn more about psilocybin truffles?
To get more information about psilocybin truffles, please read through this Essential Guide on Psilocybin Mushrooms.
Is it legal to eat psychedelic truffles in Amsterdam?
What are the long term risks associated with psilocybin truffles?
As long as you do not have a pre-disposition to psychosis or schizophrenia, and are currently not prescribed any there are little to no long-term risks associated with psilocybin truffles.
Will my personal information be confidential?
We keep all personal information confidential, none of it will be shared with third parties.
I’m excited about this opportunity but nervous about trying psychedelics for the first time. Do you have further resources I can check out?
The best beginning resource is The Third Wave, a website dedicated to psychedelic literacy and education.
Can I opt out for the research?
Yes, you may opt out at any time, participating with our research is not mandatory. Part of these retreats is to discover the potential of psychedelics on human development and to improve the integration of these substances in your life. If you do choose to participate, all of your data will be held strictly anonymous.
Can two people submit a joint application to sign up?
Two people (i.e. a couple, or friends) can sign up for the same retreat, but we will need an individual application per person.
If you both mention your partner during the application, we will make it a priority to place you both on the same retreat. You will be able to share a room during your stay, if requested.
During the retreat, you will each have your own guide for 1-on-1 sessions. You will have the option of being together for your psilocybin experience. We will explain the pros and cons of this to you both beforehand, so that you can make an informed decision about the best way for you to maximize your experience at Synthesis.
Do you offer 1-to-1 guided sessions if I prefer to do this in private?
Yes, we do! Please see our private retreat offer for more details. We also offer 1-to-1 preparation and integration coaching as an option during our group retreats, for an additional fee.
What is the typical age bracket of people attending retreats at Synthesis?
- You are over the age of 18
- You take a mature approach to your work and relationships
- You are looking for an experience designed to catalyze deeper self-understanding and personal growth
- You have a developing interest in the safe and responsible use of psychedelics. See more: 'Is Synthesis right for me?
How is the psilocybin truffle experience offered at Synthesis different from other kinds of psychedelic retreat experiences, for example, attending an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru?
There are a great many different types of psychedelic retreat. Synthesis is a new model of retreat, based in the Netherlands, which uses psilocybin truffles. The experience that you will have at Synthesis is in many respects different from the kind of experience that you would have at a traditional shamanic ayahuasca or peyote ceremony. When you are doing your preliminary research into what kind of psychedelic retreat experience might be most appropriate for you, there are a great many different aspects of the retreat to consider, each of which has a crucial impact on the overall experience that you will have. These include:
The retreat location. This will also affect the legality of taking psychedelics, and the particular cultural contexts that may be drawn on.
- Synthesis has been designed to allow people to have a psychedelic experience in luxury accommodation in a developed country (with hot meals, running water and clean sheets, etc.)
- Ayahuasca retreat centers in South America typically provide much more basic accommodation, equipping participants with essentials such as food, water, and bedding, often in partially outdoor/camping conditions. To give you an accurate flavor of this type of experience without over-generalizing, insect repellent is a must.
The format of the ceremony itself. This depends on which traditions it will be based on, and what language(s) will be spoken by the facilitators.
- Psilocybin truffles have a short duration (ideal for first-time psychedelic users), and each participant receives individual attention from facilitators.
- Ayahuasca has a much longer duration and is typically taken overnight in a large-scale ceremony with music. Buckets are provided to accommodate nausea and vomiting which most people experience.
The group dynamics. Factors like the group size, typical age range, and whether there is a screening process, will all affect the overall group dynamic.
- At Synthesis, the psilocybin ceremony takes place in a small group, with a maximum size of 16 participants, with an individual focus from the guides on each person’s specific needs, as detailed in their application. Our medical/health and safety protocols draw on gold-standard practices used in clinical research into psilocybin, which has an illustrious 70+ year history.
- In ayahuasca ceremonies in developing countries, group sizes can be 20-30+. The emphasis placed on modern health and safety standards may be minimal.
Preparation and integration. Find out how extensive this will be, what activities it is likely to consist of, and consider whether these feel right for you.
- At Synthesis the preparation and integration activities devised by our guides are designed to lend a helping hand at every stage of your journey. Participants begin preparing emotionally for their journey two weeks beforehand, with materials provided in order to help with intention setting and logging their thoughts in the run-up, as well as one-on-one consultations with facilitators and groupwork surrounding the psilocybin ceremony itself.
- The preparation and integration guidelines will be different at every retreat, so find out what kinds of activities the particular ayahuasca retreat you are considering offers in this regard. Always ensure that your travel plans allow you to fully participate in the retreat’s preparation and integration activities bookending the ceremony itself.
While it is important to consider all of the above elements before making a decision, the most crucial aspect of all to consider is:
The substance used, and whether the kind of trip it produces is right for you. Before planning to take any kind of psychedelic substance, research its unique palette of psychological effects.
Truffles produce an experience which is relatively short-lasting compared to other natural psychedelics, and the method of administration used at Synthesis is designed to the minimize any nausea that may be present during its onset.
Ayahuasca is a long-lasting psychedelic plant brew produced from plants that grow in the Amazon, and has been used for millennia by indigenous groups in ceremonial contexts to induce visionary states.
Although the kind of journey that ayahuasca could take you on will vary considerably depending on the structure and nature of the ceremony, all ayahuasca experiences must be preceded and followed by a strict dietary regimen, often lasting several weeks (known as the dieta) and a period of sexual abstinence, in order to prepare the body to consume the brew safely. (The specifics of these practices can vary greatly between different ayahuasca retreat centers. All responsibly run retreats will provide their own guidelines and explanations of these.) In practical terms, this is the most distinctive point of contrast between ayahuasca and psilocybin, which can be consumed safely without this level of physical preparation.
Find out what you can expect mentally and physically during the trip, including its duration, and any necessary prep and aftercare practices. Learning about your chosen substance in advance will help you to get the best out of your participation. The information you find out as you consider taking this exciting new direction will also equip you to decide whether any given retreat you might be considering offers the format and structure in which you would most like to experience that particular psychedelic. For more information about the psychedelic agent used at Synthesis, consult our resources on truffles, and their active ingredient, psilocybin.