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  • Writer's pictureKaty Bird

Best Practices for Discernment in Choosing a Facility, Retreat Center or Psychedelic Guide

As the use of psychedelics for therapeutic and spiritual purposes gains wider acceptance, the number of facilities, retreat centers and psychedelic guides offering services is also increasing. While the growth of the industry is exciting, it also raises concerns about the safety, ethics and quality of the services being offered.

When it comes to choosing a facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide, it's important to exercise discernment to ensure that you receive the best possible care and experience. Here are some best practices for discernment and a list of questions to ask when qualifying practitioners.

Best Practices for Discernment:

  1. Do Your Research: Before choosing a facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide, do your research. Check their website, read reviews and testimonials, and ask for referrals from trusted sources.

  2. Verify Credentials: Make sure that the facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide is licensed, certified and trained to offer the services they provide. Verify their credentials with the relevant governing bodies.

  3. Check Safety Standards: Ensure that the facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide follows strict safety standards and protocols. This includes medical screening, informed consent, and emergency procedures.

  4. Understand Their Philosophy: Take the time to understand the philosophy and approach of the facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide. This will help you align with their values and approach.

  5. Ask Questions: Don't be afraid to ask questions. A good facility, retreat center or psychedelic guide will be transparent and open about their practices and procedures.

Questions to Ask Practitioners:

  1. What is your training and experience in working with psychedelics?

  2. How do you ensure the safety of your clients during the experience?

  3. What kind of medical support is available during the experience?

  4. What is the protocol for emergencies during the experience?

  5. What is the screening process for clients?

  6. What is your philosophy and approach to working with psychedelics?

  7. What kind of preparation do you provide for clients before the experience?

  8. How do you address individual needs and preferences in the experience, such as music and setting?

  9. What is your approach to integration after the experience?

  10. How do you maintain ethical boundaries with clients?

Yes, it's important to have a checklist of questions and considerations when choosing a facility, retreat center, or psychedelic guide. However, it's also important to trust your intuition and the energy you feel when interacting with potential practitioners. If something feels off or doesn't sit right with you, don't ignore it. Your intuition is a powerful tool and can help guide you towards the right path.


Ultimately, the goal is to find a practitioner or facility that feels safe, trustworthy, and aligned with your personal values and intentions. By doing your due diligence and trusting your intuition, you can increase the likelihood of having a positive and transformative experience with psychedelic modalities.


With that said, it's crucial to ensure that you're grounded and energetically balanced before making any final decisions or committing to participate in a medicine ceremony. Just like how a car won't drive straight if its tires are unevenly inflated, we can make unbalanced decisions when we are not in harmony with ourselves. Take the time to connect with yourself and find inner peace before deciding on a facility or guide.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  1. What are my reasons for wanting to engage with psychedelics?

  2. Am I in a stable mental and emotional state to safely engage with these substances?

  3. Have I thoroughly researched the facility, retreat center, or psychedelic guide I am considering working with?

  4. Am I comfortable with the legal and potential social risks associated with engaging with psychedelics?

  5. How will I integrate the experience into my life and ensure lasting benefits?

  6. Have I discussed my decision with trusted loved ones and healthcare professionals?

  7. What safety measures and precautions can I take to minimize risk and ensure a positive experience?

  8. Am I willing and able to invest the time, resources, and effort required for safe and responsible psychedelic use?

  9. How will I maintain my physical and mental health during and after the experience?

  10. What steps will I take to ensure a healthy and supportive environment for myself during the experience?

Trust your inner voice and listen to your body's signals. And remember, If something does not feel in alignment, it's ok to take a step back and re-evaluate your options - this is your healing journey and you get to choose what stops you make along the way.

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