The Synthesis Institute is a global leader in the modern psychedelic movement, offering ethical and professional psychedelic education and training to aspiring psychedelic practitioners who seek personal growth, community, and professional development in the emerging psychedelic field.


The Synthesis Institute

As a global leader in the modern psychedelic movement, The Synthesis Institute is dedicated to advancing psychedelic research and delivering high-quality professional education and training for aspiring psychedelic practitioners. With a pioneering history of offering legal psychedelic experiences to over 1,000 individuals, the Synthesis Institute has established itself as a trusted educational provider for a growing community of more than 300 students and graduates. The Synthesis Institute continues to fulfill its mission through the Psychedelic Practitioner Training program.

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Frederica Helmiere Psychedelic Practitioner Training Program Director

Frederica is a designer and facilitator of transformational learning experiences -- in classrooms, workplaces, community groups, and in the backcountry. Fascinated by the ways that consciousness, worldviews and discourses change and expand, she has spent the past twenty years exploring the tools available to respond to civilizational crises, especially the modern west's loss of the sacred. Frederica holds masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of the Environment, and a BA from Dartmouth College in Religion & Environmental studies. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer, taught at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and worked as a global interfaith peacebuilder at the United Religions Initiative. Prior to Synthesis Frederica served as Director of Education at Spiritual Directors International, designing online learning experiences for advanced spiritual professionals. An avid backpacker, triathlete and mountain enthusiast, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters.

Liz Hanna Program Manager
As Program Manager for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training, Liz draws on experience facilitating individual and group work in contemplative ecology and music, as well as 15 years of professional experience in program administration and operations, to support all aspects of participants' experience in the training. A graduate of Yale Divinity School (MA: Religion and Ecology) and Berklee College of Music (BM: Music Therapy), her formal studies include music therapy, performance, composition, psychology, sacred music, religion and ecology, contemplative practice, liturgical studies, and spiritual discernment. Areas of personal affinity include reconciliation work, advocacy and reform in mental health and disability spaces, and the restoration of shared language and practice for honoring the sacred in the living world. CLOSE
Rachel Lovie Director of Immersion Experience

Rachel has 40 years experience working with psilocybin and non-ordinary states of consciousness in European and Mexican lineage traditions. She is a School of Lost Borders wilderness rites-of-passage ceremony guide and combines nature-centered preparation and integration practices to provide participants with self-empowering intention-setting and integration experiences. 


Rachel has a background in creativity, the arts, and imaginal ways of knowing, and her PhD mapped the processes involved in transformative development of individuals in small groups. Her ground-breaking doctoral thesis argues that our creative capacity is central to our ability to develop, and that lasting change depends on our ability to fully incorporate (embody) transformative experiences.


Rachel has been collaborating with Synthesis since 2021, when she became instrumental in the design, development, and delivery of the inaugural Psychedelic Practitioner Training, more recently turning her focus to the development and delivery of the new Synthesis immersive training retreats known as the Immersion Experience.

Maya Albert Director of Operations
Maya is an operations specialist and writer, dedicating her professional energy to the growth of the psychedelic ecosystem. As a Director of Operations, Maya supports each department in achieving their specific goals through goal setting, organizational structure, and project oversight. She also leads the Practicum program, connecting sites and students for in-person learning around the world.
Having co-founded the annual psychedelic conference, Psyched, and hosted the first Psychedelic House of Davos, Maya continues her pursuit to strengthen the community through the open-source sharing of knowledge and interdisciplinary networking. She has consulted and worked with a number of other organizations in the space, including the Heroic Hearts Project and Tabula Rasa Ventures. She has authored a compressive analytical report on the business of psychedelics and is now co-authoring the book, Our Trip Together. 
Emily Roth Admissions and Training Guide
Born and raised in California, Emily is excited to be part of the growing US team at Synthesis. Her passion for connecting people with opportunities for personal growth carries through in her work as part of the Synthesis customer support team.

Emily brings nearly a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry, primarily from her role as director for a series of successful yoga and wellness studios in the Bay Area. During her career, she's had the privilege of witnessing many transformative moments, which inspires her daily to continue advocating for new mental health treatments and increased access to care.

She is honored to be working alongside passionate people toward the mission of empowering others to tap into their ability to heal and experience life in a more intimate way. CLOSE
Myriam Jenni Client Journey Manager
Myriam has worked as a management consultant for the last 5+ years. She worked on a wide variety of projects, ranging from IT implementation customer journey to eLearning development.

Since discovering the medicine work four years ago while traveling in Ecuador, she became increasingly fascinated by the healing potential of psychedelics. Her thirst for learning more led her to enroll in a Master's degree in Transpersonal Psychology, which she is currently completing. On top of that, she also co-founded the Psychedelic Society of Barcelona, where they organize talks and events related to the psychedelic world. Myriam loves spending time in nature in her free time, especially in the mountains, where she likes to go on long hikes. CLOSE
Michaela Mairinger Director of Marketing

Michaela has dedicated the majority of her professional journey to fostering growth in startups. Prior to her association with the Synthesis Institute, she led the marketing initiatives at a digital mental health startup. Her educational credentials include a degree in Business and Marketing, as well as a Master's Degree in Marketing.

A personal experience with traumatic grief sparked a decade-long exploration into a variety of traditional and non-traditional healing methodologies. Michaela is particularly intrigued by the intersection of psychology and the symbolic language of archetypes. She has received training as a Gestalt Therapist, Drama and Art Therapist, Family Constellations Facilitator, SAT-certified Enneagram Practitioner, and Jungian Astrologer.

Michaela's first encounter with Ayahuasca in 2014 marked a significant turning point in her life, inspiring her to continue her exploration of various plant medicines ever since.


Advisory Board Members

Rev. Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Zen priest in the tradition of Zen Buddhism and a Dharma heir of the late John Daido Loori, Roshi

Ryushin Sensei was the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he immigrated to the United States in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Yale University in 1976, and his medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1980. He worked first as a pediatrician in Portland, Maine, later serving in the US Navy as a physician for three years. He then returned to Albany for postgraduate training in psychiatry. After completing his residency, he served as medical director for a community psychiatric outreach program, the Mobile Crisis Team, which served Albany County’s disenfranchised and homeless population. He entered full-time residential training at the Monastery in 1992. In addition to his roles as the Monastery’s abbot and director of operations, he explored contemplative practices in higher education, collaborating with several liberal arts educators and administrators in the Northeast to look at ways for college students to engage in religious practice as part of their education. He has been practicing Buddhism since 1983. Since 2014, he has been rigorously exploring and training in ayahuasca ceremonies in various traditions, guided by several teachers. Drawing on his background as a physician and psychiatrist, Ryushin’s infectious interest and thorough training in the workings of the mind and compassionate expression of unconditional love, combined with his skill at translating complex concepts into the accessible, everyday language, characterize his unique teaching style.