Frequently Asked Questions
What is Synthesis?
Synthesis is pioneering transformative wellness to help you achieve wisdom-lessing, improved connections, lasting betterment in your mood, outlook on life, relationships, and overall mental wellbeing through medically-overseen, guided psychedelic experiences. We use a combination of Psilocybin truffles, evidence-based wellness programs, and the support of an interdisciplinary team of experienced guides to optimize your healing journey. Read more about us.
Who is Synthesis for?
Synthesis is for people who are looking for the best in mental health and wellness practices. We work with professionals of all walks of life and ages, from those who are new to expanded states of consciousness, as well as the highly experienced. Read more about who comes to Synthesis.
How does it work?
You begin by scheduling discovery call with your Synthesis guide to see if a Psilocybin retreat is right for you. Before your call, we will ask you some personal and medical data. Then, we’ll book your dates, send you your preparation information, and introduce you to your group and lead facilitator for your retreat. Book your call.
How much do your programs cost?
Are there scholarships available?
We have scholarships available. Please ask for on your exploration call what is possible for you.
I’m looking for psychedelic therapy. Can you help?
It’s important to know that we do not offer any therapy. While our protocols and trainings are based on the best therapeutic practices currently available in this field, scientific research is still working on what constitutes proper therapy. What we offer is a safe and compassionate space where you can explore your own consciousness with all the beauty and darkness, love and difficulties that reside within it. We adhere to the best professional standards, but do not give treatment nor actively work with depression or traumas at this time.
We're working hard to develop our capacities which will allow us to offer legal therapeutic treatment in the near future. We're happy to keep in touch over email as we fulfill this long-standing ambition.
Are psilocybin truffles really safe?
According to recent studies, psilocybin mushrooms (which have the same active ingredient as truffles) are the safest drug currently known - safer than tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol. These substances are non-addictive, non-toxic, and, when taken within a structured setting under the guidance of medical professionals, hold little to no risk. Read more about psilocybin truffles.
What is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin, upon entering the body, is quickly metabolized into psilocin, which is responsible for the well-known psychedelic effects. Psilocin acts on serotonin at the 5-HT2A receptor, increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain, and producing profound changes in perception, such as visual and auditory hallucinations, tactile perceptions (such as tingling or warmth), and synaesthesia (the merging of senses).
Users of psilocybin report entering a profound state of mind where the usual limits of consciousness are expanded. Realizations about the self and the universe may come to the forefront, and people will often describe feelings of unity, interconnectedness, and unconditional love. Studies have shown that psilocybin can induce a mystical experience and that this positively correlates with the benefits that users report following the trip.
What’s the dose of psilocybin truffles will I be given?
We determine your dosage together with you during your 1:1 conversation. What we recommend varies, depending on your intentions, previous experience, your sensitivity to expanded states of consciousness, and your anxiety level on retreat.
On average we use the clinical and safe standard of 30mg/70mg of psilocybin and psilocin. When it is your first time we recommend a slightly lower dose to get more comfortable with these states of consciousness.
To learn more about psilocybin and dosages, read our article, ‘What is Psilocybin?’
I’m on antidepressants. Does this disqualify me for attending a retreat?
The simple answer to this question is that we review applications on a case-by-case basis based on both psychological and medical history, as well as current medications, to look for any contraindications before we can formally accept or not accept an applicant.
Our medical team is sometimes able to tell you under which conditions it’s safe for you to come on retreat, for example if you are able to taper off under correct supervision and receive sufficient aftercare after your retreat.
Everyone who we can’t accept at this time gets put into a contact list where we will monitor and reconnect as we expand our capacity to take on more and more people through building up and improving upon our support capabilities - which include therapeutic support pre-retreat and post-retreat. To learn more, read our article ‘Can you take shrooms on antidepressants?’
In any case, you're invited to book an Exploration Call and go through the Health Check.
The Synthesis Experience
How do I book directly?
We would like to make sure you have all your questions answered and trust a Synthesis retreat is right for you. That is why the first step towards joining a retreat is to book an exploration call with us. During this call, we'll explore your intentions, your questions and any concerns you might have. We'll also share more about our programs and explore if we are a good fit.
However, if there is a reason you do wish to attend the call, or would like to make an urgent booking, here is what to do:
Click, BOOK A CALL and follow the process outlined. While you pick your date and time, complete a few questions to help us personalize your experience.
Next, complete the medical screening process, and if approved, you will receive an email from us confirming your call. To bypass the exploration call stage simply reply to that email (or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org) and indicate the reason for not attending the call and the dates and program you would like to attend. We will correspond through email with you.
What if I'm not medically approved?
In order for us to accurately assess your suitability and safety for a psilocybin journey, as well as to provide you with a personalized experience during your retreat, we would love to get to know you better first and see whether Synthesis is right for you.
If you screener identifies anything that requires a closer look by our medical team, we will wait until we get clearance from them. In the mean time, we will postpone your Exploration Call while we work with you on your case.
There are three possible outcomes of this review:
- Your Health Screener is approved and you are invited to reschedule your Exploration Call
- To get a better understanding of your condition, we may request some more information from you. This may be over email or in the form of a brief call.
- If we don't feel as though we can support you safely through your psilocybin experience, we may decline your application and therefore your Exploration Call (if this happens, we will send you an email with further details) Throughout this entire process, we handle your information with the utmost care and consideration for your confidentiality.
We appreciate this may feel like a roadblock and we want you to know that our medical team will work with you, with your best interests at heart, to determine the best course of action. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Your safety is our primary concern.
Why the retreat model?
Studies have shown that 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 whole process, from being able to surrender fully because there is medical and professional support, to the meaningful relationships you will build with others.
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. There are also creative spaces inside and outside to explore. 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.
Is there any preparation and integration work included with the retreats?
Upon arrival, guests participate in both group and individual workshops to help prepare them for the psilocybin ceremony. On the day of the ceremony, guests participate in a breathwork session and are carefully supported by experienced practitioners, including an on-site medic as they experience psilocybin in a therapeutic context. After the ceremony, guests participate in group and individual workshops focused on integration before customers return home. Additional preparation and integration support is also offered digitally outside of in-person retreat dates.
What is the typical age 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?
Will my personal information be confidential?
We keep all personal information confidential, none of it will be shared with third parties.
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.
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 that 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.
Can I stay an extra night at your venue?
You are welcome to stay an extra night at the venue either pre-retreat, post-retreat or both. We charge an additional cost of $200 for each night.
Please note that because your extended stay is beyond our normal retreat schedule, you will be responsible for your own transportation and your own meals during this time. We will be very happy to assist or point you in the right direction for both. Your apartment’s kitchen is well equipped for cooking and there are many restaurants and grocery stores within a short walk of the venue.
Check in time early arrival: between 12pm and 19:00 / 7:00 PM* Check out time late departure: 10:00 AM
- We kindly ask you to communicate your arrival time to our venue manager, so that she can get everything prepared for your arrival.
You are welcome to use the sauna and the facilities in your apartment, but the access to the rest of the building will be restricted. The retreat team is preparing for your retreat, and so the common areas like the church and ceremony space are off limits. We appreciate your understanding.
What’s the ideal flight schedule for my arrival / departure?
Arrival to Schiphol International Airport: Please keep in mind that you should land by 10.30 AM CEST (local time) at Amsterdam Airport on the first day of your retreat to make it through customs on time. The shuttle service to the venue leaves at 11.30 AM CEST.
We are aware that the time window for arrival might be limited. If you have trouble booking a flight that lands before 11.00AM on the first retreat day, please contact us so we can help you with the travel schedule.
Departure from Schiphol International Airport: We advise to book your returning flight after 19.00pm CEST on the day of departure, as the retreat will wrap up at 16.00pm CEST and drop off will be at Amsterdam Central Station or Schiphol International Airport at 16:30 - 17:00pm. This should give you sufficient time to make it through customs without any unnecessary stress.
What’s your take on couples (or family members, friends) attending together?
Coming together or not is a very personal decision. Many couples join us for a retreat together and have a wonderful time. Coming together can be a very bonding experience for both of you, a transformative experience to share and remember. Our Director of Operations actually came as a participant to one of our first ceremonies with her husband. She often reminisces with a smile that the experience brought them much closer together.
In some cases, it might make sense to come alone. If you have a personal issue you’d like to work on during the retreat, having your significant other around could be a distraction for you. For instance, you might end up worrying about them and be unable to focus on your own process. In this case coming separately might be better.
Have you already decided that you’ll come together? Excellent. This is how it works: Both of you need to sign up for an Exploration Call, which is followed by our Health Check. The Health Check is a mandatory step for each of you. You may schedule your call together or separately, that’s up to you, but please let your exploration guide know in advance if you come together on your call.