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Synthesis Retreats | Presents


Leadership Edition

A Comprehensive Program Including
Preparation, a 5-Day Psychedelic Supported Retreat and Integration



Are You a Leader Who Wants To Build A Sustainable, Prosperous, Inspiring Organization Amid Transformational Times?

Join Like-Minded Professionals For This Experiential Program Designed To Reveal The Traits That Will Allow You To Thrive As A Next-Level Leader.

Humans desire growth. We have a deep need to expand into vibrant, fulfilling, conscious individuals that positively impact those around us. This hunger for expansion, aligned with a commitment to take meaningful responsibility, is fueling a genuine interest in psychedelics and the potential they hold to unlock latent parts of ourselves, bring forth new perspectives, and kick-start behavioral changes.


As we pursue self-actualization and our desire for impact expands beyond our own selves, more leaders are becoming committed to infusing organizations with the traits required to be life-affirming, innovative, and regenerative entities. 


Enter Expansion: Leadership Edition—a comprehensive experience that includes pre-retreat preparation, a 5-day psychedelic supported retreat, and post-retreat integration— designed for leaders who aspire to improve their self-awareness and decision-making skills, and catalyze their ability to create harmonious and regenerative systems. 


This is an opportunity to participate in a 5-day retreat supported by moderate to high-doses of truffles containing psilocybin in a legal, professionally guided container designed to optimize the potential for personal and professional breakthroughs.


Ideal participants for this program include those who:

  • Hold a leadership position within a professional organization (either for-profit or non-profit), with decision making authority over an organizational domain;
  • Direct capital for specific organizational goals (e.g., new plant and equipment, market expansion, brand development, R&D and new product or process development, creation of supply chains, redesign of organizational practices and other goals);
  • Oversee individuals or teams working toward specific organizational objectives;

  • Develop or execute organizational strategy, targets, mission and vision.

Past Expansion participants have reported their experience provided:

  • A deeper connection to others and the larger world that encouraged the development of stronger personal relationships.
  • Increased resilience and a feeling of more balance and peace as they navigate all aspects of life.
  • A greater sense of purpose and meaning in their life, resulting in a renewed sense of focus and direction.
  • The ability to access deeper levels of consciousness that promoted new insights and sparked creativity.

Synthesis is committed to safely, legally, and effectively stewarding psychedelics into modern culture through our use of truffles containing psilocybin. In our professionally curated settings, this remarkable organism can be an agent of life-enhancing experiences.


Using our integrative approach to transformative wellness, we combine leading-edge research with wisdom traditions, rituals, and spiritual practices to curate a potent container that has the potential to catalyze change.


Led by professional facilitators, Expansion: Leadership Edition integrates psychedelic education, workshops on regenerative leadership, open-dialogue, breathwork meditation, sound, psychedelic ceremonies, and integration with the aim of restructuring disempowering beliefs, sharpening perceptual lenses, and awakening expanded forms of consciousness.

What Some Are Sharing About Their Expansion Experience:

“This taught me to push my preconceptions aside and be very true, honest, and confident in who I am.”


Amsterdam-based branding strategist

“I experienced a deep feeling of peace unlike anything I have ever experienced, both in the moments I was in the ceremony and that reverberated in me for months afterwards.”


North Carolina Mom and three-time retreat alumni

Participation Requirements

To participate in Expansion: Leadership Edition, the following is required:

STEP ONE Complete the
Pre-Enrollment Health Screening Questionnaire
STEP TWO Sign the
Client Service Agreement
STEP THREE Submit the tuition to secure your place in the program

IMPORTANT: While the majority of our Expansion participants report their experience was beneficial, individual experiences can vary widely, and can range from those who gain little to no positive benefits to those that suffer negatively from the experience. 


Our programs are not intended to diagnose or treat mental health disorders, and because safety is our top priority, a thorough health screening is required prior to being approved to participate in Expansion: Leadership Edition


You can find additional details about our health screening criteria here.

Exclusive Opportunity for


Leadership Edition


In collaboration with faculty from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, we are pleased to offer registrants in the July 2022 Expansion: Leadership Edition the chance to participate in a research study dedicated to examining how consciousness-expanding retreats influence organization leaders' perceptions and decision-making.


The study will be led by the following researchers:


Rachelle C. Sampson, Ph.D. is a social scientist, educator, and consultant with training in the neuroscience of change, transformational coaching, law and business economics. She is Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Senior Policy Scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy, Visiting Scholar at the Wharton School’s ESG Analytics Lab and the founder of Blue Prism, a coaching practice focused on aligning action with values and purpose. Rachelle holds a PhD in business economics from the University of Michigan, law and accounting degrees from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Prior to her academic and coaching career, Rachelle practiced as a consultant for Ernst & Young and as a corporate attorney in Australia.

bennet zelner

Bennet A. Zelner, Ph.D. researches, teaches, and advises on regenerative economics, psychedelic-assisted mental health treatment, and institutional change. He serves as Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. Bennet is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars, and his talks and articles can be found on his LinkedIn page. Bennet advises organizations engaged in the development of regenerative patterning and the production of well-being, including Transformative Capital Institute, Usona Institute, the Synthesis Institute, Sage Integrative Health, Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, Nautilus Psychedelic Medicine Institute, Virgils.io, and MindLumen. Bennet received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Synthesis Approach

At Synthesis, we focus attention on the following six (6) conditions, each of which plays an essential role in every psychedelic journey:

  • Set: The mental attitude of a would-be psychedelic voyager.
  • Setting: The surroundings in which a psychedelic substance is ingested.
  • Guide: The program team who are all experienced with non-ordinary states of consciousness and equipped to mitigate challenges and channel insights.
  • Substance: The type and quantity of psychedelic agent; in this program, truffles containing Psilocybin.
  • Session: The entirety of a psychedelic trip, including all ancillary activities and rituals.
  • Situation: The environment, people and culture a person comes to a retreat experience from and returns to afterwards.

When these elements are not carefully considered, and psychedelics are not used in a safe, supported and structured setting, many of their potential benefits may not be experienced. 


That’s why Expansion: Leadership Edition includes the critical preparation and integration elements that anchor the psychedelic ceremony experiences.


Because of the potentially powerful nature of psychedelic experiences, and the impact that sharing this experience with others can have on your psychedelic journey, we limit each Expansion program to a maximum of 24 carefully screened participants. 

Program Overview

Expansion: Leadership Edition is a Three-Part Comprehensive Experience Followed By Additional Virtual Gatherings Spanning Across 12-months

  • Online Pre-Retreat Preparation Sessions:Inclusive of three (3) 75-minute sessions in the weeks immediately prior to the retreat
    • Thursday, June 30th  |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
      • NOTE: There will be an optional Q&A session with researchers Rachelle Sampson and Bennet Zelner following this session. You are invited to stay and hear more about their research study, what participating entails, and pose any questions you might have.
    • Thursday, July 7th     |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
    • Thursday, July 14th   |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
  • A 5-Day Experiential Retreat:
    Inclusive of two (2) psychedelic ceremonies
    • Thursday, July 21st - Monday, July 25th
  • Online Post-Retreat Integration Sessions:Inclusive of three (3) 75-minutes sessions in the weeks immediately following the retreat
    • Thursday, July 28th   |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
    • Wednesday, Aug 17th   |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
    • Wednesday, Aug 24th   |  9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST

All participants will receive an Expansion: Leadership Edition Program Manual that contains important details, as well as a list of recommended resources.

Part One: Pre-Retreat Preparation Sessions

Setting the container for your experiential leadership retreat begins weeks in advance. Our preparation process draws upon scientific research, as well as wisdom traditions, to get you ready for your experience. 


Ahead of the first preparation session, we ask that you begin to work with the intention setting process outlined in your Expansion: Leadership Edition Program Manual, designed specifically to support you to articulate your intention for doing this work personally and in connection with your desired impact as a leader.


Grounded in your intention, you will attend three (3) Pre-Retreat Preparation Sessions hosted by our professional facilitators and in community with the other leader-participants who have joined the program.


The Preparation Sessions Include:

  • Preparation Through Practice for Leaders: Regardless of our leadership role in our individual organization(s), we come together with a beginner's mind. In the first session, we begin by getting to know one another and focusing on simple practices that help us connect to our deepest intentions for the journey ahead.
    • Thursday, June 30th   |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
      • NOTE: There will be an optional Q&A session with researchers Rachelle Sampson and Bennet Zelner following this session. You are invited to stay and hear more about their research study, what participating entails, and pose any questions you might have.
  • Awareness Through Active Listening & Noticing: Listening skillfully is one of the most simple, yet advanced capacities required of a leader, yet is rarely done well. Active listening is an art unto itself, a way of being. As leaders, listening allows us to access key data from stakeholders to inform our strategy and our decision-making process. In this session, we focus on developing our active listening further, cultivating an integrated practice of awareness by listening to ourselves, to others and to life in all its forms.
    • Thursday, July 7th    |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
  • Opening Up Around Resistance:  Resistance is a powerful force for transformation. During this session, we will explore what resistance is, how it may be showing up in your life, how you have previously worked with it to support breakthroughs as a leader, and what it looks like when it shows up during a psychedelic journey. Together we will walk through acceptance practices that support us to remain present and grounded.
    • Thursday, July 14th    |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST

You will emerge from the preparation phase with a set of unique intentions, informed by your personal and leadership commitments, that will inform the experiential phase of your journey.

Part Two: A 5-Day, Experiential Retreat in the Netherlands

Lage Vuursche, The Netherlands 

Thursday, July 21st  – Monday, July 25th 


Venwoude is a special and inspiring place to slow down, reconnect your mind with nature, and journey deep within yourself. Venwoude’s 40-acre estate is situated in a nature sanctuary named the Lage Vuursche, a 50-minute drive from Schiphol airport. Leaving the noise of modern life behind, the venue is the idyllic setting for personal growth, deep healing, and spiritual transformation.

Sit Around Flowers
Sleep Floor
Day 1

Your retreat begins the day you arrive at Venwoude. We will start with a welcome circle, followed by one-on-one facilitation meetings where you will clarify your intentions and confirm the dose for your first truffles containing psilocybin experience. 

Day 2

After morning meditation and detailed instructions, you will participate in your first psychedelic ceremony using truffles containing psilocybin. You will be fully prepared and made comfortable in a setting optimized for your needs, allowing you to make the most of your psychedelic experience.

Day 3

You will spend time integrating your first psychedelic experience while simultaneously preparing for your next one. The schedule includes group practices, integration workshops, and one-on-one meetings with an experienced facilitator.

Day 4

After morning practice and a guided workshop, you will experience your second psychedelic ceremony.

Day 5

The retreat’s final day centers on integration. You will participate in one-on-one and group integration sessions to begin processing your experience which will help support and enable you to integrate it more fully into your life.

Exclusive Opportunity for


Leadership Edition

sampson-rachelle Rachelle C. Sampson, Ph.D.
bennet zelner Bennet A. Zelner, ph.D.

During the retreat you will be invited to participate in two (2) 90-minute leadership workshops on regenerative leadership and systems change facilitated by Dr. Rachelle Sampson and Dr. Bennet Zelner. Created exclusively for the Expansion: Leadership Edition, the workshops will invite you to consider how existing organizational practices may be contributing to the economic, environmental, and social challenges currently facing humanity. The workshops will introduce systems-oriented approaches and regenerative leadership practices to address these challenges and will be highly interactive, inviting participants to explore how they might apply these approaches in their organizations. 

You will emerge from the 5-day experiential retreat with a deeper understanding of the intentions that are guiding you and your leadership, and with greater clarity around what you need to continue cultivating in your life as you prepare to return home.  

Part Three: Three (3) Post-Retreat Integration Sessions

While preparation is essential for maximizing the potential of a psychedelic retreat, integration is critical for unpacking and understanding your experience and transforming it into your desired outcomes, including the impact you’re desiring through your leadership. During our three (3) virtual group Integration Sessions, you will explore how to move from the retreat experience back into your day-to-day life.


There are three (3) 75-minute Integration Sessions: 

  • Somatic Integration: Coming home and returning to the workplace with a renewed sense of possibility and vision is both an exhilarating experience as well as a potentially difficult one. Using a variety of integration tools, we will provide support in accepting the challenges, however they may arise. We encourage you to connect to what is empowering and nourishing, and to remain feeling everything as deeply as possible by attending to your body’s intelligence.
    • Thursday, July 28th    |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
  • Social Integration: In a world where language around expanded states of consciousness is rare, and the experiences themselves are frequently and easily misunderstood, you may face challenges in speaking your new, authentic truth. You may encounter disagreement, judgment, and unfavorable responses from people in your life. You may begin to see your leadership challenges in a very different light and be inspired to navigate those challenges in a totally different way. In this session, we will address how to remain integrated in the social sphere and within the communities you lead. You will also be supported to discern when and how much to share with others and how to identify which insights can be applied to your leadership impact. 
    • Wednesday, Aug 17th    |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST
  • Synthesis - The Culmination of Elements: This will mark the last week of your Expansion: Leadership Edition program. In this session, we will bring the program together by reflecting and making an inventory of what has changed, setting intentions to remain connected moving forward,  and acknowledging our transformed commitment(s) to leadership as a result.
    • Wednesday, Aug 24th     |   9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. UTC/6 p.m. CEST  

You will emerge from the Integration Sessions with a renewed sense of how to apply and embody the insights and learnings gained from this growth-enhancing experience to your everyday life, and equipped with the tools and practices to continue to evolve on your personal and leadership journey. 


Leadership Edition


Ellen Bush

Ellen is a certified teacher of Kundalini Yoga, Pilates, therapeutic dance, and Yin yoga and meditation, as well as a certified breathwork facilitator. She is also a visual artist and writer and holds a Master's degree in Dance Movement Psychotherapy from Goldsmiths University, London.


Following her professional interest she has amassed more than 20 years of exposure and participation in mystical experiences, altered states, energy healing, plant medicine and their intersection with neuroscience and has a deep interest in psychedelics as a way to work with intergenerational and collective trauma.


Following her own curiosity, she gathered together training in a range of experiential therapies including, Hakomi, Focusing, Level 3 Internal Family Systems (IFS) and is currently training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) and Brainspotting.

James Clifton

For more than three decades James has studied many of the world's perennial philosophies and engaged fully in a number of the great wisdom traditions, with specific interest in non-ordinary states of consciousness.


Trained formally in transpersonal psychotherapy and integral coaching and working with trauma and addiction, he is experienced at tracking tension and points of change and growth in individuals and groups. This unique experience allows him to fully understand the role of psychedelics and entheogens as a catalyst for authentic transformation.


Lesley Quilty

Lesley Quilty is a creative consultant, facilitator, coach, and trainer based in the Findhorn Community in Scotland. She has more than 20 years of experience in professional theater and is a senior program director at Olivier Mythodrama, a leadership consultancy that fuses arts and theater-based tools with archetypes. As a professional clown, she works with children with life-threatening illnesses and creates customized clown pieces for educational and environmental events. 

Hanneke Schots

Professionally trained in psychodynamic therapy, specialized in trauma and inner child work, Hanneke combines various modalities including bodywork, breathwork, psychedelics, hypnotherapy, shadow work and voice dialogue. 


Her inclusive and holistic approach has led to a vibrant practice in the heart of Amsterdam as well as co-leading workshops and retreats. 


Hanneke’s curiosity for all of life, personal experiences and professional training allows her to create a loving, non-judgmental container where people can explore more of themselves and bring in acceptance, love and transformation.



Leadership Edition

Now Enrolling for the Following Retreat Dates

Thursday, July 21st - Monday, July 25th
Venwoude Retreat Center, Lage Vuursche, The Netherlands

Program Tuition: $6,497*

Maximum capacity in each Expansion: Leadership Edition program is 24 participants and registrations will be confirmed in the order that Pre-Enrollment Health Screening Questionnaires are completed and program tuition is paid. 

*Program tuition is inclusive of VAT. Travel costs to and from the Netherlands are not included in the program tuition.

Financial Scholarships Are Not Currently Available. If you are
 in need of a scholarship in order to participate in the program,
please do not complete a Pre-Enrollment Health Screening
and instead click here to be added to our
scholarship interest list.


Leadership Edition

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a health screening required?

At Synthesis, safety is our number one priority. Although the psychedelic retreat experience can be beneficial for many, for some it’s not appropriate to consume truffles containing psilocybin. These include people who have medical contraindications relating to their physical and mental health. Our health screening process aims to mitigate the risk for participants, and we have a dedicated team that assesses each health screening using informed guidelines.

Are there any specific conditions or health contraindications that would make me ineligible for the program?

The following are considered contraindications that would deem someone ineligible to participate in the program. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide

  • Schizophrenia

  • Psychosis (including mania)

  • A personality disorder, including borderline personality disorder

  • Psychiatric hospitalization

  • Any dissociative disorder, including dissociative identity disorder

  • Self-harm or self-destructive behavior. Examples include: cutting, bruising, burning or similar self-inflicted wounding, self sabotage, excessive drug and/or alcohol use for multiple days with little to no sleep, regular high-risk sexual behavior, etc.)

What kind of support is available during the retreat?

Our Facilitation Team includes a Lead Facilitator as well as a minimum of seven (7) Co-Lead Facilitators and a minimum of three (3) Retreat Assistants, all of whom have been carefully trained and supervised by our Lead Facilitators to support you during your journey. Our retreats have approximately one (1) support staff for every two (2) participants.

What type of mushrooms do you use in your retreats?

Synthesis uses a tea made from truffles, an earlier stage of mushroom development that still contain psilocybin and has psychedelic effects if ingested.

How do you decide what dosage a participant receives?

Deciding on dosage is a collaborative and consent-based process. You will discuss dosage in a one-to-one facilitation session on-site at your retreat. Generally speaking, the first dose is 15g of truffles containing psilocybin. The second dose can be up to a maximum of 40g of truffles containing psilocybin.

What are your COVID-19 protocols?

Current COVID requirements are outlined below, but are subject to change based on real-time needs:

  • Prior to travel, all participants must complete the Pre-Visit COVID-19 Screening no sooner than three (3) days prior to departure. If you answer yes to any of the screening questions, you are required to contact support@synthesisretreat.com for additional instructions.
  • A negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected in the Netherlands no more than 24 hours prior to the start of your retreat.
    • Recommendations for where you can obtain a NAAT (PCR) test upon arrival in the Netherlands can be provided upon request. 
  • Arrival at the venue during the assigned check-in window. Early arrivals to the venue are not permitted.
  • Upon arrival at the venue, a COVID screening and temperature check is required.

Where does the retreat take place?

The retreat takes place at Venwoude, a beautiful venue situated on an estate in the woods between Amsterdam and Utrecht. It is known for its excellent organic food, simple but high-quality accommodations, well-kept gardens, and general atmosphere of loving care and spiritual depth. Learn more here.

What are the accommodations like?

The accommodations are located in three (3) separate buildings throughout the grounds and include a mix of single and double rooms. The buildings vary in age, but all accommodations are simple and clean.

Room assignments are made at the discretion of a retreat team member, and we cannot guarantee participants single rooms. We will do our best to accommodate family members who wish to stay in double-occupancy rooms whenever possible.

There are bathrooms on every floor of the buildings. All bathrooms are mixed sex, gender neutral spaces. There are no single-sex bathrooms or showers. Individual shower stalls are private. There is also a sauna and outdoor shower.

Does the venue accommodate special food preferences or dietary restrictions?

The food at Venwoude is vegetarian, organic, seasonal, and local. Coffee, teas, fresh fruit, and nut snacks are available between meals. The kitchen will cater for any individual dietary requirements and/or lifestyle preferences. We will collect dietary information from participants prior to your retreat.


Is transportation available to the venue?

Participants are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the venue. Synthesis recommends the Staxi taxi service which can be reserved and booked in advance. Additional transportation recommendations can be provided upon request.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

Time Frame


120 or more days from first Preparation Session

Entire amount the client has paid, less $500 processing fee

90 -119 day from first Preparation Session

50% amount the client has paid, less $500 processing fee

60-89 days from first Preparation Session

25% amount the client has paid, less $500 processing fee

59 or less days from first Preparation Session

No refunds

Do you offer scholarships?

We are currently in the process of securing funding and building a fair and equitable process for reviewing and approving scholarship applications for Expansion: Leadership Edition.

If you are interested in participating in Expansion: Leadership Edition and could benefit from the support of our scholarship program, please complete the form here, and you will be added to our scholarship interest list.

What if I have a conflict with the online Preparation and/or Integration Sessions?

Attendance at the online Preparation and Integration Sessions is mandatory and integral to your program experience. Although occasional exceptions can be made due to extraordinary or critical circumstances, we encourage you to be sure you can attend each of these sessions in advance of registering for the program.