Renee takes a deep breath as she walks up the path to the outhouse where she will have her first guided psychedelic experience. Her coach, Lotte, greets her at the door with a warm smile. “Welcome Renee! Come on in, and let me show you around.”
Lotte gives Renee a quick tour of the peaceful space, showing her the outhouse, the private garden, and the room where she will lie down later. Renee feels her nerves settling as she takes it all in. This feels like a safe, comforting place to delve into the inner recesses of her mind.
T +15-60min | Preparation
After the tour, Renee settles onto the couch with a cup of tea. Lotte sits across from her. “Before we begin preparing the psilocybin tea, let’s discuss your intentions one more time. What is it you hope to gain from this experience?”
Renee takes a slow sip of tea. “Well, as we’ve discussed, I hope to gain clarity and insights about my addictive behaviours. The drinking, smoking, overeating…I want to finally get to the root of all that and hopefully find a way towards more balance.”
Lotte nods. “We will hold that intention gently during the session. Remember, you may not get clear ‘answers,’ but trust that your deeper mind knows what you need.” She leads Renee through a brief meditation to ground and centre before the psychedelic voyage ahead. Renee feels centred and ready. The journey is about to begin.
T +60/90min | Ingestion
After about an hour of preparation, Lotte enters the outhouse carrying a cup. “It’s time,” she says softly. She places the cup, filled with psilocybin tea, on the table in front of Renee. “This is the doorway. Whenever you feel ready, you can drink this and surrender to the journey.”
Renee’s hands tremble slightly as she reaches for the cup. She pauses, takes a few deep breaths, and whispers to herself “I’m ready for this.” She lifts the cup to her lips and drinks the earthy liquid inside.
Lotte guides Renee through one more meditation as they wait for the psilocybin to take effect. They chat lightly, but soon Renee falls silent, turning her focus inward. She feels the first waves starting to lap at the shores of her consciousness.
T+2-6hrs | Peak Experience
The effects build over the next hour until Renee is fully enveloped in the mystical waters of the psychedelic experience. Lotte helps her lie on the couch, getting blankets and eye shades to support deep immersion.
Renee surrenders to the tide, letting it carry her where it will. Visions and insights arise, some beautiful, some challenging. Lotte checks in periodically, an anchor keeping Renee’s boat from drifting too far. Renee finds herself confronted with core wounds related to her addictions. It’s painful yet feels like the truth.
She sometimes reaches out for Lotte’s hand; at other times, she delves in solo. She loses track of time, floating through inner space.
T+6-8hrs | Coming Down
After what feels like aeons, Renee starts to feel the effects diminishing. The visions fade to shadows. She gradually becomes aware of her body on the couch, Lotte sitting nearby. Her anchor to ordinary reality.
Renee sits up slowly, still feeling raw and sensitive. “Would you like some water? Or maybe a short walk?” Lotte asks gently. Renee nods, and they walk mindfully around the garden as Renee continues landing back into her body. They don’t talk yet; this is a time for digestion. Renee feels transformed, exhausted, and grateful.
T+7-9hrs | Back on Earth
After her gentle walk outside, Renee goes back inside the retreat space. She sits on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, not quite ready to talk. Lotte busies herself preparing a light vegetable soup for dinner. The rich broth grounds Renee as she eats slowly.
Finally, she takes a deep breath and looks up at Lotte. “That was…intense,” she says with a shaky laugh. She proceeds to try to put words to her experience – the visions, the insights, the emotional purging. Lotte listens without judgment.
After recounting her journey, Renee falls silent again. She feels raw and vulnerable but also optimistic. Her intentions feel closer than before. There is work ahead, but she feels she uncovered keys today to unlocking old patterns.
As the effects dissipate, Renee begins to feel more like herself again. Lotte reminds her to be gentle in the days ahead as she integrates this experience. Renee hugs Lotte, thankful for her guidance, before heading home to rest. She drifts to sleep, feeling hopeful about the path ahead.
[this story is a combination of experiences of our coaching clients, told through the eyes of Renee, one of the characters who help explain psychedelics through stories]