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How to Work Safely, Ethically and Skillfully in the New Paradigm A THREE-DAY DIGITAL CONFERENCE Join Interest List

Mental Health Treatment Is On the Brink of a Long-Overdue Paradigm Shift

Are You Prepared?

After decades of stigma, misunderstanding, limited access – and a complete ban on research – scientists are rediscovering psychedelics’ therapeutic potential for a vast range of mental health issues, from depression to addiction, and to the acceptance of mortality. 

A frenzy of interest has captivated a new generation of researchers, and last year the U.S.’s highly respected and oldest research institution, Johns Hopkins University, launched a dedicated center for psychedelic studies. Now there are dozens of studies being conducted at respected institutions using the highest standards of scientific rigor.

While the research is still emergent, studies have shown that positive results can come from short courses even single sessions of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Psilocybin, in particular, shows tremendous promise for treating depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So much so, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated psilocybin therapy as a "breakthrough therapy" for depression, suggesting it may be an enormous improvement over already available therapy.  

No longer will you or your clients have to settle for status-quo treatment options that too often fall short.

Psychedelic therapy has been brought out of the shadows and is swiftly becoming an available option to help your clients achieve the breakthroughs they need with persistent challenges like addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma and the debilitating effects these conditions have on their lives.

As a result, there is a growing urgency for therapists and guides who are trained on best practices to mitigate risk, reduce harm and ensure positive short-term and long-term outcomes for clients.

Experts in psychedelic health care agree these best practices must be informed by clinical research, wisdom traditions and hands-on experience. 

That’s why The Synthesis Institute, in partnership with some of the world’s foremost scholars and practitioners, is hosting The Fundamentals of Psychedelics: How to Work Safely, Ethically and Skillfully in The New Paradigm, to give mental health professionals, as well as practitioners supporting health and wellness in other modalities, the foundational footing essential to working with psychedelics inside a therapeutic model.

Now, you can be expertly educated to do meaningful work that will change the paradigm of mental health care forever.

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Be Part of a Revolution in Mental Health Care with a Foundational Training in Psychedelics from Some of the World’s Foremost Experts

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You’re invited to join:

Dr. Alex Belser

Psychedelic Researcher and Licensed Psychologist at Yale University

Dr. Malynn Utzinger

Director of Integrative Medicine and Co-Founder of Usona Institute

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris

Founder of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London

Dr. Rosalind Watts

Former Clinical Lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at Imperial College London and Clinical Director of The Synthesis Institute

Bia Labate, Ph.D

Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)

Ryushin Marchaj

Zen Teacher and Priest

And other top experts in this burgeoning field.

They will offer a world-class virtual conference on current best practices in psychedelic health care as informed by clinical research, wisdom traditions and The Synthesis Institute’s own experience with hundreds of clients since its inception in 2018.

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The Fundamentals of Psychedelics will empower you to work safely and effectively with psychedelics inside a therapeutic model to help your clients finally experience the breakthroughs they need and deserve.

In this Three-Day virtual conference, you will:
  • Gain a clear understanding of the therapeutic power of psychedelics – informed by the most leading-edge scientific research and wisdom traditions.
  • Discover the critical importance of integrating other modalities and self-care practices into the psychedelic journey of healing – and have the opportunity to experience and practice these modalities with Synthesis Facilitators.
  • Understand the role of screening – not only as a safety-protocol, but also as a powerful first conscious step on the psychedelic journey.
  • Orient to the power of psychedelic therapy inside a group setting – and the associated risks and challenges therein.
  • Align with the importance and application of key therapeutic models – including the transpersonal and the shadow, through a psychedelics lens.
  • Cultivate a commitment to provide access to marginalized and minority communities – as an essential ethos associated with honoring the power of psychedelics.
  • Be connected to a growing international community of professionals and practitioners dedicated to advancing a new mental health model – including top scholars and pioneers in the field.
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These are the kinds of breakthroughs that are possible for your clients with a carefully guided psychedelic experience inside a therapeutic model:


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Hospital chaplain, musician and father

“Once addicted to meth and heroin, my daughter was introduced to psychedelic treatment, and was sober within one month. It single-handedly saved her in a way that hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on years of the very best traditional 12-step programs and an ever-changing array of psychiatric meds never did.”


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Business executive managing chronic anxiety and PTSD

“It allowed me to begin settling into my skin. Be more authentically me. I had social anxiety, chronic anxiety and PTSD. I’m not completely past it all, but since my psychedelic-assisted therapeutic experience, I don’t have to be on anti-anxiety medications anymore.”


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North Carolina mom who has struggled with low-level depression all her life

“My overall mental health has improved tremendously. Each time my baseline mood improves. I no longer question that there is something eternal that connects us all. And all the things that I would normally worry about and that would normally occupy my thoughts have become insignificant.”

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The Fundamentals of Psychedelics

How to Work Safely, Ethically and Skillfully
in The New Paradigm

A Day-By-Day Conference Overview

Here’s a closer look at everything you’ll cover in just one weekend:


The Fundamentals of Psychedelics Welcome Circle: A Live 90-Minute Orientation Daan Keiman and Natasja Pelgrom

During this live pre-conference event, you’ll meet Natasja Pelgrom, Wellness Retreat Director and Lead Facilitator at Synthesis Institute; Daan Keiman, Director of Ethics and Advocacy and Lead Facilitator at Synthesis Institute; and members of the wellness team. Plus, you’ll have a chance to connect with other conference attendees in our new online community platform and meet each other face-to-face in short breakout sessions. 

During this 90-Minute welcome circle and orientation, you will: 

→ Get an overview of the Three-Day virtual conference, including how to access your conference materials.

→ Learn how to access the Synthesis Community Circle, our secure, private platform where you can connect and engage with the global community of conference attendees.

→ Discover how to make the most of your digital conference experience.

→ Meet the Synthesis team of facilitators and enjoy a guided practice to help you feel centered and grounded.

→ Have the opportunity to ask questions about the event.


Day One

The Journey Ahead: The Potential of Psychedelic Therapy to Revolutionize Healing Dr. Rosalind Watts

Psychedelics offer incredible promise for healing and improved well-being. But while the studies show many positive results, they also highlight where we need to expand and adjust our Western medical model if we hope to give people long-term, sustainable solutions to problems like depression, PTSD, and general mental wellness. Dr. Rosalind Watts, clinical psychologist, clinical lead of psilocybin studies at Imperial College, and clinical director at Synthesis, opens the conference with an inspirational look at where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how you can become part of this emerging movement that is poised to revolutionize how we think of mental health.

You will: 

Discover how psychedelics open the door to healing and how ongoing therapeutic support is necessary to prevent that door from shutting.

Learn about new additions to the psychedelic support model inspired by patient experience and indigenous wisdom.

Get a peek at the next generation of research beginning at Synthesis and the opportunity to be a part of it.

About Rosalind Watts

Rosalind Watts, PhD, is clinical director of the Synthesis Institute and former clinical lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at Imperial College London. She is creator of the psychedelic therapy model Accept, Connect, Embody, Restore (ACER) and has a particular interest in the therapeutic role of nature and community as support for psychedelic therapy.

Mysticism Through a Scientific Lens: How Research is Legitimizing the Healing Power of the Psychedelic Experience Dr. Alexander Belser

The mystical nature of the psychedelic experience is one of the most profound and enigmatic aspects of psychedelic medicine. Dr. Alexander Belser, a psychedelic researcher and licensed psychologist at Yale University, has spent more than two decades listening to the stories of those who have journeyed. Through compelling firsthand accounts, Dr. Belser shares the fascinating variety of mystical experiences and their implications for the future of transformational medicine.

You will:

Learn about the religious, spiritual and mystical experiences occasioned by psychedelic medicines and learn how we can understand the various forms of mystical experience.

Review the challenges and controversies of trying to quantify the mystical experience for research.

Reflect on the awesome potential and responsibility that we all bear to represent the incredible diversity of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, socio-economic, and differently abled perspectives—both in the research stage and when psychedelic medicine becomes available as treatment.

About Alex Belser

Alex Belser, PhD, is a psychedelic researcher and licensed psychologist at Yale University. He is the founding president of Nautilus Sanctuary, a non-profit center for psychedelic medicine in New York City. His research has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and VICE.

At the Intersection of Science and Practice: How Cultivating Inner Awareness is Essential to Facilitating Healing Through Psychedelics Dr. Malynn Utzinger

What does it take to skillfully help someone use psychedelics therapeutically? What expertise is required, and how can you cultivate such competencies? Dr. Malynn Utzinger, cofounder of the nonprofit Usona Institute, shares what her medical research organization has learned in training the psychedelic guides of the future for their research studies. 

You will:

Discover what changes and growth you need to incorporate into your own life to be a good guide.

Learn what it takes to be a facilitator as part of a study.

Explore the importance of self-care as a guide and experience it in real-time through an extended visualization and meditation exercise to access your inner awareness.

About Malynn Utzinger

Malynn Utzinger, MD, is cofounder and director of integrative medicine at Usona Institute, a non-profit psychedelic medical research organization. She is also director of integrative practices for the international biotech company Promega. She combines her experience in medicine and research with contemplative and integrative approaches to mind-body health.


Day Two

Losing Your Self and Living in the Gap: Letting Go as a Path to Wholeness Ryushin Marchaj

The quest for healing—of moving toward wholeness and connection—is a courageous act. Listening to the inner call to be on the journey and to help others who are also on the path is a noble and serious pursuit. Buddhist teacher and former pediatrician and psychiatrist Ryushin Marchaj shares how grounding your exploration in a spiritually oriented practice can give you a scaffold upon which you can build the deep emotional and psychological work that psychedelics ask of you and your clients.

You will: 

Explore three fundamental questions that will support you on your journey to wholeness.

Understand how a practice structure gives you support for being in the exploratory, organic, evolving, and sometimes messy process of growth, for yourself and with your clients. 

Examine the critical role of community in our quest for wholeness.

About Ryushin Marchaj

Ryushin Marchaj, MD, a Zen teacher and priest, has nearly four decades of experience studying and teaching the Dharma. In 2014, he began a systematic study of the relationship between Buddhist teachings and ceremonial medicine use, primarily with ayahuasca and psilocybin.

Psychedelic Chaplaincy: Supporting your Clients in Making Sense of their Deep Psyche Experiences Daan Keiman

Walking with someone into the intimate realm of the deep psyche is a privilege that carries with it a profound professional responsibility. As the director of ethics and lead facilitator at the Synthesis Institute and co-founder of the Guild of Guides Netherlands, Daan Keiman has guided more than 250 individuals on psychedelic journeys and is devoted to developing ethical models for offering psychedelic care. In this workshop he will share his framework and best practices for supporting the critical component of “meaning making”. He will discuss how the art of making sense of deep psyche experiences can enhance or diminish the healing potential of engaging with the vastness of our minds.

You will:

Learn what Psychedelic Chaplaincy is and how its code of ethics provides a strong and safe framework for both user and guide to follow. 

Understand what existential or spiritual integrity is, and how to find the right language and practices to help your clients prepare, move through and integrate psychedelic experiences. 

Learn to find the right balance between making sense of deep psyche experiences and facilitating an openness to the mystery and not-knowing. 

Reflect on how holding a safe, open and non-judgmental space for the client is a gift that allows them the opportunity to grow towards wholeness.

About Daan Keiman

Daan Keiman is lead facilitator and director of ethics and advocacy at the Synthesis Institute and co-founder of Guild of Guides Netherlands. He has more than a decade of experience guiding and caring for people in altered states of consciousness and maintains a private practice as a Psychedelic Chaplain.

The Therapeutic Power of Breathwork: Generating Openings through An Experiential Journey Sven Kimenai

Breathwork is a profound practice that can promote insights and openings in everyday life as well as in the psychedelic journey of healing. In this experiential workshop led by Sven Kimenai, a facilitator at Synthesis and a Wim Hof Method Certified Instructor and Breathwork Coach, you’ll be introduced to the neurobiology of breathwork. You’ll learn about the emotional and psycho-spiritual benefits of the practice and have an opportunity to experience an introductory breathwork session firsthand.

You will:

→ Become oriented to the physical, emotional and psycho-spiritual benefits of breathwork

→ Understand the connection between the breath and associated functions of the nervous system

→ Explore the potential impacts of breathwork as a practice to prepare for a psychedelic ceremony

About Sven Kimenai

Sven Kimenai is co-lead facilitator and breathwork coach at the Synthesis Institute. A highly intuitive, nature-centered adventurist with a background in psychobiology and supplement development, he is particularly interested in using techniques like breathwork and the Wim Hof Method as supports for psychedelic-based transformational healing.


Day Three

Charting an Unknown Path: Screening as a Tool to Safeguard Practice Daan Keiman and Dr. Rosalind Watts

As psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is becoming more accessible to the general public, our ability as clinicians and guides to provide a safe experience for our clients is more essential than ever—not only for the individual client, but for the safety of the modality as a whole. At The Synthesis Institute, a finely tuned screening process has become the bedrock of our approach to the safe application of transformational wellness and psychedelic assisted therapy. In this moderated panel discussion, the Synthesis Institute’s Clinical Director, Dr. Rosalind Watts, and one of its Lead Facilitators and Director of Ethics and Advocacy, Daan Keiman will outline the origin and evolution of the clinical screening process at Synthesis and discuss how we continue to refine and strengthen the process of harm reduction.

You will: 

Learn about the contraindications to the use of psychedelics and how the screening process catches those situations early. 

Understand how the screening process differs for 'wellness' and 'clinical' populations

Understand the evolving nature of the screening process and the essential feedback loop required to ensure safety as it reaches more people.

Revealing What’s Hidden: How the Psychedelic Experience Illuminates Shadow Work James Clifton

Psychedelics are known for their ability to temporarily suspend or dissolve the egoic structures of personality. When the curtain is pulled aside, how do we safely guide someone through this profound, often mysterious journey to an experience of true transformation? James Clifton, an integral psychotherapist and lead facilitator at Synthesis, explains how shadow work can be a useful framework for confronting and integrating what we find hidden within ourselves.  

You will:

Assess the benefits and drawbacks of the shadow and what to do when someone encounters shadow parts in a psychedelic experience.

Understand how psychedelic-based shadow work differs from more traditional clinical shadow work and the critical importance of doing your own as a therapist.

Review your responsibilities as a guide before, during, and after a guided psychedelic experience.

About James Clifton

James Clifton is the lead facilitator at the Synthesis Institute. With more than three decades of practice as an integral psychotherapist and counselor, he has extensive experience working with trauma, addiction, and non-ordinary states of consciousness, both in individuals and groups.

Honoring the Sacred: What Lessons Can Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy Learn from Indigenous Traditions Bia Labate, Ph.D

Psychedelic medicine is poised to take off in the West, but are we doing justice to these substances and the indigenous communities that have been in sacred relationship with them for thousands of years? Dr. Bia Labate, PhD, an anthropologist and executive director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, makes an earnest argument that we need to do more to bridge the world of “ceremony” with that of “psychedelic therapy.” 

You will: 

Glimpse a world where plants are intelligent spirits—a perspective that will change how you think of set, setting, integration, and healing in general.

Understand the importance of community, cosmology, and whole-system thinking and how to incorporate this into clinical research and your work with clients.

Get practical steps you can take in your personal and professional practice so you can begin to think about psychedelic medicine from a more holistic viewpoint.

About Bia Labate

Bia Labate, PhD, is executive director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and public education and culture specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). A queer, Brazilian antropologist, she is author, co-author, or co-editor of more than 20 books.

The Symbiosis Between Drug and Therapy: The Scientific Understanding of Transformation Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris

Recent studies at Imperial College London have given us insight into the power of psychedelic medicine to change the brain and help those suffering from depression. But what else did these studies reveal that might change the course of how we use psychedelics therapeutically? Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial, reviews what the studies confirmed, what surprises they revealed, and what remains yet to be explored in this emerging field.

You will: 

Discover the difference between neuroplasticity of the brain and psychological plasticity of the mind—and the importance of the role of the guide in navigating these malleable spaces.

Learn the latest best practices for set, setting, and integration, as well as the influence of community on healing.

Get an insider’s look at the most important factors to consider as we move forward, including merging traditional wisdom with science and the need for highly trained and skilled facilitators.

About Robin Carhart-Harris

Robin Carhart-Harris, PhD, is founding director of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. He has designed and implemented studies with LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT, including some of the first brain imaging studies and multiple clinical trials of psilocybin for treatment resistant depression.


Featuring East Forest’s unique, introspective blend of the sounds of nature and psychedelic ambient music streaming between all sessions.

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Conference Materials and Resources

When you register, you’ll receive everything you need to take full advantage of your conference, including:
  • Access to the recording of the 90-minute Fundamentals of Psychedelics Welcome Circle pre-event orientation
  • (10) 45- to 90-Minute Expert-Led Live Online Workshops
  • (9) Live 30-Minute Integration Sessions — so you can get your questions answered or have the opportunity to practice what you learn in the workshops.
  • A Handout for Each Workshop — featuring key takeaways plus additional resources and references.
  • Lifetime Access to All Conference Content — including audio and video recordings via The Fundamentals of Psychedelics online learning platform.
  • An Exclusive Invitation to a Private and Professionally Moderated Discussion Forum — where you can connect with other like-minded professionals, share best practices, and ask and answer questions.
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How to Work Safely, Ethically, and
Skillfully in the New Paradigm





I'm interested in this event

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No-Risk Registration

*2-payment plan option expires on Friday, November 6th at Midnight PT

You can register for The Fundamentals of Psychedelics at no risk. If, for any reason, you need to
cancel your participation in The Fundamentals of Psychedelics simply email us at
Support@SynthesisInstitute.com prior to 12pm PT on November 13th, and we will issue you a
refund, no questions asked.

An Exclusive Registration Bonus

Bridging the Gap: Integrating Indigenous Wisdom and Western Psychology as an Optimal Orientation for Psychedelic Practitioners
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Register for The Fundamentals of Psychedelics and you’ll receive an exclusive invitation to a live interactive workshop titled Bridging the Gap:  Integrating Indigenous Wisdom and Western Psychology as an Optimal Orientation for Psychedelic Practitioners, featuring Françoise Bourzat, co-author of Consciousness Medicine: Indigenous Wisdom, Entheogens, and Expanded States of Consciousness for Healing and Growth to explore the indigenous roots of psychedelics.

During this 90-minute session you’ll have an opportunity to ask specific questions and interact with Françoise Bourzat on this important topic.

This bonus session is yours at no additional charge when you register for the weekend conference.

Françoise Bourzat is a counselor and author of Consciousness Medicine. She has been facilitating ceremonies with sacred mushrooms, in collaboration with healers in Huautla de Jimenez, Mexico, for more than 30 years. She trains psychedelic guides and teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco.


NEW Bonus Workshop Added

Creating a Cultural Container for Psychedelics in the West: Reclaiming a 2,500-Year Legacy.

Join practical philosopher Jules Evans for Creating a Cultural Container for Psychedelics in the West: Reclaiming a 2,500-Year Legacy.

During this live bonus workshop, you'll be led on a historical tour of the evolution of our relationship to the sublime and how we move toward a more open-minded, therapeutic agnosticism toward ecstatic experiences in this new psychedelic renaissance.

During this session you can expect to:

  • Get acquainted with the varieties of ecstatic experiences and how they came to be marginalized in the West.
  • Explore how psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is helping to lend credibility to the mystical experience and shift public opinion back toward a balance that echoes the legacy of the Greeks.
  • Reflect on how you can shape the emerging culture—in both your personal and professional practices—to create “controlled spaces where we can safely lose control.”

This bonus workshop will take place after the Fundamentals of Psychedelics digital conference and is yours at no additional cost. If you're unable to participate live in this session you'll receive access to the recording once it becomes available.

Jules Evans is research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, The Art of Losing Control, Holiday from the Self, and co-editor of Breaking Open: Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency.

Headshot - Jules Evans copy





I'm interested in this event

images not found

No-Risk Registration

*2-payment plan option expires on Friday, November 6th at Midnight PT

You can register for The Fundamentals of Psychedelics at no risk. If, for any reason, you need to
cancel your participation in The Fundamentals of Psychedelics simply email us at
Support@SynthesisInstitute.com prior to 12pm PT on November 13th, and we will issue you a
refund, no questions asked.

Here’s What Professionals Are Saying About Training to Do This Meaningful Work


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Certified psychedelic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker with specialty focus of hospice and crisis intervention

“Synthesis trains practitioners to facilitate psychedelic journeys with heart and humanity. They lead with science and safety but also have reverence for plant medicine and ceremony. It’s the perfect blend that my clients need.”


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MD MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Novamind

Psychedelic medicine is poised to shape the future of mental health. They hold extraordinary therapeutic potential that cannot and should not be ignored. It’s time.”


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MA, LPC, and coach

“I’m in support of the healing aspects of plant medicine. But you need a well-trained facilitator who is really grounded and prepared to do a thorough intake and integration with you. Within those careful parameters, it can be absolutely life-changing.”