Not only is a well informed participant our ideal candidate, we require that our clients be well educated on the psychedelic process, our programs, and what to expect during and after treatment. Here are our mostly commonly asked questions:
FAQ for Working with Saj at PSI Amsterdam
Group Retreat Compared to Individual Therapist Led Sessions
Psilocybin, like other psychedelics, is a very experience dependent medicine. It changes its nature and outcomes depending on the context in which it is used. Unlike psychiatric medications like Prozac where it does not matter if you take it alone, or with friends, or in a therapy setting, psychedelics depend heavily on factors such as your internal psychological state, your assessment of whether your environment is able to support deep processing or not, and the trust (relationship) you have with whom you are working. For people wanting to engage with this substance recreationally, spiritually or simply out of curiosity, a ceremonial or group context will be fine and provide benefit. If you are looking to engage this substance as a medicine for working with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, addiction, or PTSD and complex trauma symptoms, you’ll want an individual, one-on-one, therapy setting with a trained clinician. The FDA research teams studying psilocybin and MDMA in the US exclusively work with individual clients for a reason. They do not employ a group model. The therapeutic container, the processing and the individual focus required for deep personal healing is simply not group settings are designed for. Your system will naturally limit the depth of your work if you know you are in a group of people all needing time and attention from a lay practitioner. This is an appropriate evaluation of your environment and what it can and cannot provide. While group psychedelic experiences can be useful and profound for certain types of experiences and certain types of participants, they are not ideal for the mental health oriented client.
Why does your program involve cannabis as well as psilocybin?
Intensives & On-going Care
After Care & Continuity
We offer weekly Zoom groups for people who have completed the PSI program and want to stay connected with us and others who have gone through the same process. In addition, you can continue to see a licensed clinician at Innate Path, our sister organization in Denver, Colorado. They use the same PSIP therapy model, the clinicians there were trained by PSI's Clinical Director, Saj Razvi, and have years of experience working with cannabis and ketamine in therapy.
Is this a research study? Why do you collect data?
This is not research in the typical sense of a double blind study. We consider it our ethical imperative to continue to monitor our programs and client's experiences and progress to see what works and what doesn’t, continually improving our programs. As much as we have an anecdotal sense of our results, we know this can be impacted by our own bias. The psychometric testing and surveys that we provide before, during and after your treatment will allow us to publish our findings and train practitioners in the US when psilocybin becomes a legal treatment. Just as you will have benefited from others who came before you, others will benefit from your work with us. Certainly, all patient information is anonymized and confidential.
Why is the body important in your modality?
What is the difference between a mystical experience and a psychological experience?
Psilocybin can evoke transpersonal or mystical experiences where individuals transcend their own ego and feel a sense of unity with the universe. People describe it as a very meaningful religious encounter, and it is one of the more common outcomes in ceremonial settings. However, spiritual realms are not the same as psychological realms. If you are looking to treat mental health conditions, the focus needs to shift from the cosmic mystical to your human egoic experience, to your body, to the relationships that formed you, to your childhood. The spiritual and the psychological both have their value, and there may be some overlap, but they are different dimensions that require different types of contexts and different types of work. Our suggestion is that if you have psychological or emotional wounding, pain, or a history of trauma, it is better to address this level before seeking to transcend your ego and suffering by going to the cosmic. Why? First, because not addressing the psychological before the spiritual leads to what’s known as spiritual bypassing. This is a scenario where spirituality is used as a way of avoiding life rather than being more engaged with life. Secondly, it is far easier to integrate the lessons of unity consciousness and spiritual experiences when you have a healthy, intact ego. A fractured or traumatized ego, or a nervous system compromised by dissociation, has far less ability to integrate and retain a transcendent experience.