Jess McCulloch

Documentary features Synthesis as Model for the Future of Psychedelic Retreats

 

 

Some say psychedelics produce hallucinations and lowers inhibitions. Others believe it makes people more capable, efficient and creative. In Silicon Valley, many even say psychedelics can be a tool for self-improvement.

Scientific research into psychedelics is increasing around the world, with a growing number of people calling for governments and ethics committees to take a second look at the drugs. Many studies are working to identify the therapeutic properties of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms or ‘shrooms’) on the human mind, both of microdosing and taking higher doses of psychedelic drugs in a guided environment. This DW documentary film, featuring an inside look inside a Synthesis Retreat, follows the journey of a man who microdoses LSD, with life-changing results.

Introducing the history of LSD with Albert Hofmann who discovered it, the documentary goes on to feature a hosts of psychedelic experts. Those interviewed include Henrik Jungaberle, researcher at MIND foundation, lifelong microdosing researcher James Fadiman, Paul Austin, the CEO of The Third Wave, Johannes Ramaekers the Psychopharmacology Professor at the University of Maastricht, Katrine Preller and Franz Vollenweider of Psychiatric University Hospital in Zurich, and Dr. Gerhard Gründer, a psychiatry professor at the University of Heidelberg. The documentary also highlighted personal case studies of people who have experienced a number of benefits from microdosing and macrodosing psychedelics, including increased focus, heightened senses, feeling more relaxed, having more energy, being more awake and having restored hope after depression.

The film-makers also visited Synthesis, and spoke to Myles Katz, Director of Business Development, who explained the benefits of the experience of a psilocybin retreat.

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“People really feel themselves going through the motions of things but not really living a fulfilling life, or to their full potential. One of the most powerful outcomes from these experiences is that people just feel this immense sense of connection to themselves again, to the natural world, to the other people in the group that they share these experiences with.” — MYLES KATZ

Profound experiences are common with guided, high-dose psychedelic trips like the ones offered by Synthesis (Watch James’ story). One returning Synthesis guest named Keith, a medical doctor from the United States, had an experience of connecting with his inner child, which manifested itself in his journey as a conversation with his younger self, aligning with the intention he had laid out prior to the retreat. It’s these kinds of remarkable experiences that help participants of Synthesis’ retreats work through challenging memories and gain a better understanding of themselves for improved wellbeing

To discover more about the Synthesis experience, watch the video from 35:50.