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About

We are committed to developing evidence-based, time-honored best practices for training practitioners to safely, ethically and effectively support people on a journey for healing using truffles containing psilocybin.

About

The Synthesis Institute

With a proven track record for leading safe, legal, medically supervised psychedelic retreats for more than 750 individuals, The Synthesis Institute has collected years of data, experience and anecdotal success stories. At its inception, it collaborated with the Imperial College London to supplement its clinical research and The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) to offer its students the hands-on experience they need to become certified in psychedelic-assisted therapies and research.

Standing on its years of experience and reputation for offering world class, legal psychedelic experiences and its involvement in psychedelic research, The Synthesis Institute is uniquely qualified to begin setting the standard for practitioners to safely, ethically and effectively support people on a journey for healing using truffles containing psilocybin.

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Synthesis Therapy Faculty

Synthesis staff members are trauma-informed, clinically trained psychedelic psychotherapists, researchers and practitioners:

Dr. Rosalind Watts PhD | Clinical Director

Rosalind is the former Lead Clinical Psychologist at Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research. Her clinical team has been pioneering research in the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, particularly for depression and disconnection.

Rosalind has developed a psychedelic therapy model ‘Accept, Connect, Embody’, and a psychometric measure of ‘connectedness’ which her qualitative research identified as a mechanism of therapeutic change in psychedelic approaches. Collecting data from our participants, her research has recognised consistently positive outcomes for people attending Synthesis retreats. Rosalind will use her expertise to optimise the Synthesis retreat model, continue scientific research and develop a clinical model to help more people with mental illnesses in the future.

James Clifton Integral & Transpersonal Psychotherapist | Lead Facilitator

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.

Natasja Pelgrom Spiritual Care | Wellness Retreat Director

Throughout her professional development, Natasja maintained strong ties to her innate sense of spirituality, by concurrently studying energy healing, Reiki, ThetaHealing®, emotional freedom techniques (EFT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and till today receiving sacred teachings from Native American and North European Shamanistic lineages.

She is a highly intuitive guide and has trained, assisted and facilitated in 500+ psychedelic ceremonies. As a medicine woman operating internationally, she curates medicine retreats, teaches empowerment workshops and developed a psychedelic integration and Self-Love program.

Daan Keiman MA Spiritual Care | Lead Facilitator, Director of Ethics and Advocacy

Daan holds an MA in Spiritual Care and has years of professional experience working in mental health and addiction care. He is the co-founder of Guild of Guides Netherlands: an organisation that seeks to professionalize psychedelic sitting services. His experience with guiding and caring for people in altered states of consciousness spans over a decade; ranging from psychedelic harm reduction work on festivals to his private practice as a Psychedelic Chaplain.

Daan draws from his personal Buddhist practices, psychedelic research and his professional experiences to create compassionate and powerful containers for personal and relational transformation. As an avid explorer of consciousness, he is highly capable of supporting others who are traversing the landscapes of the mind.

Sven Kimenai BSc. Psychobiology | Co-Lead Facilitator & Breathwork Coach

Sven has a background in Psychobiology & Supplement Development. After his studies, he went on a path of exploring science-based methods for self-healing. He became a Wim Hof Method Instructor, a Breathwork Facilitator and started studying Psychedelics for transformational healing.

He emphatically empowers others to step out of their comfort zones and supports them in exploring their inner landscapes. His aim is to research and apply psychedelics and breathwork, to catalyze personal growth, insight & human connection.

Leadership

Martijn Schirp Co-Founder &
Chief Visionary Officer

Martijn has driven the vision of Synthesis Institute since he co-founded the company in 2018. As CEO for two years - and now as Chief Visionary Officer - he has stewarded Synthesis through the early concept to maturity with the vision of making psychedelic tools accessible in a safe, legal, and modern context. Under Martijn's leadership, Synthesis has heralded a world-class, professional standard for psychedelic wellness and mental health. 

Having previously co-founded HighExistence and Apotheosis, Martijn is an experienced entrepreneur in the wellness and transformative space. As a writer, speaker and interviewer on psychedelic subject matter, he was one of the first in the space to anticipate the microdosing revolution in early 2014.  

Applying his academic background in interdisciplinary science and philosophy, his work and identity as an entrepreneur is strongly influenced by eco-phenomenological thought, and by his decade-long personal practice with Buddhism and Shamanism. He is currently focused on scaling opportunities for flourishing, well-being, and transformation through the synthesis of contemplative practices, immersive technology, and psychedelics.

Rachel Aidan PhDc | Chief Executive Officer

Rachel is a serial entrepreneur, conscious business and leadership coach, speaker, and conscious social change facilitator with nearly 20 years of experience working with clients across the U.S., Europe and East Africa.

In addition to her passion for conscious business and leadership, Rachel is focused on the transformation of trauma into action and leadership. Her practice includes a variety of modalities integrating body, breath, meditation and creative arts-based practices.

Rachel holds a B.A. in Transformative Education & Leadership and a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health and Mindful-Trauma Informed Leadership. Rachel is currently working on her PhD in Integral/Transpersonal Psychology.

Myles Katz Co-Founder &
Director of Business Development

Myles has spent his career on three different continents launching or leading VC-funded startups with technological, socially responsible, and green initiatives.

He has a strong belief that business and capitalism, when incentivized correctly, can be the most powerful tools we have to make positive, sustainable change in our modern society, and is excited to bring his experience to the psychedelic movement.

Advisory Board Members

Our advisory board is comprised of highly respected leaders in the psychedelic space:

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, and Synthesis Advisory Board Member

Robin is the Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, in the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, where he has designed a number of functional brain imaging studies with psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and DMT (ayahuasca), plus clinical trials of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. His scientific contributions to psychedelic-assisted therapy could play a significant role in the future of psychedelics for mental health care.

Robin states that scientific investigation into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is vital for combating the mental health crisis. As a partner with the center, scientific research shows that the Synthesis experience was found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve sense of wellbeing and emotional stability, and increase connection to self, others and nature. Legal, professionally-organized retreats like Synthesis can be a safe way for people to experience the transformational potential of psychedelics, and they can also be a great source of data for research, helping to further advance the field. Robin works alongside Synthesis to provide high-quality services and meaningful scientific research for the psychedelic community.

Tero Isokauppila CEO and Founder of Four Sigmatic, and Synthesis Advisory Board Member

Tero is the CEO and Founder of Four Sigmatic, a global superfood company helping people to elevate their wellness with adaptogenic mushroom ingredients. He is also the author of two best-selling books Healing Mushrooms and Santa Sold Shrooms.

A respected expert in the industry, Tero speaks at various events and was chosen twice as one of the world’s Top 50 Food Activists. Tero believes that professional, legal and modern contexts like Synthesis are making psychedelic experiences more accessible to help people gain the benefits of greater connection, personal healing and meaningful insights from a single dose.

Bia Labate, Ph.D Executive Director of Chacruna Institute, and Synthesis Advisory Board Member

Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines (http://chacruna.net). She is Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is also co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil and Diversity, Culture and Ethics Advisor at the Synthesis Institute. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-one books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.

Tura Patterson Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Usona Institute, and Synthesis Advisory Board Member

Tura builds upon her background in business development in leading the cultivation and management of strategic relationships for Usona Institute. Tura engages directly in identifying and fostering key relationships with research collaborators, donors and regulatory partners to ensure streamlined and well-managed alignment with Usona’s clinical program goals as well as new drug discovery and research initiatives.

Prior to Usona, Tura worked as a business development consultant with specialization in strategic planning, development of new markets and services, sustainable design and global engagement for high-technology, non-profit, academic and professional service organizations. Within that role, Tura applied her expertise in facilitation, creative thinking, and organizational development to position clients through innovative partnerships and new collaboration opportunities.

Tura has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in International Economic and Commercial Relations and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an LEED Accredited Professional.

DR. BENNET ZELNER Associate Professor at Robert H. Smith School of Business and Synthesis Advisory Board Member

Bennet A. Zelner, PhD, researches, teaches, and advises on regenerative economics,
the delivery of psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare, 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. He is also co-founder of
a new organization, the Transformative Capital Institute, that funds and collaborates on
projects supporting the emergence of regenerative communities and the production of
well-being. Bennet is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars, and his article
on the “Pollination Approach” to delivering psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare
appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of the MAPS Bulletin. Bennet serves in an advisory
role for Usona Institute, the Synthesis Institute, Sage Integrative Health, the Brooklyn
Psychedelic Society, Virgils.io, and Psychedelic.Support. He received his bachelor’s
degree from Brown University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.