Premium transformational psilocybin programmes
run by medical doctors alongside traditional healers
Catharsis comes from Greek κάθαρσις, katharsis, meaning "purification", "cleansing", which is the purgation of emotions that results in renewal and restoration.
Katharsis Journeys is a holistic team running premium psilocybin retreats in the Netherlands. Our approach is deeply rooted in the amalgamation of science and spirituality.
At Katharsis, we are dedicated to fostering a dynamic and synergistic environment where the expertise of scientists, doctors, and traditional healers converge to create a powerful bridge between science and spirituality. Our mission is to seamlessly integrate the best of both worlds, exemplified by the collaborative efforts of our esteemed professionals who work in harmony to deliver exceptional care and guidance. Join us in this pioneering endeavor and witness firsthand the positive impact of bridging the gap between science and spirituality.
We are committed to advancing a holistic and inclusive model of wellbeing that prioritizes intimate connections with oneself, others, and the natural world. Our aspiration is to foster a sense of community and self-development that empowers individuals to cultivate resilience and inner strength. We view humans as integral components of a larger ecosystem and believe that healing and growth stem from fostering connections with other humans and nature. We strive to be at the forefront of this transformative approach to wellbeing and invite you to join us on this journey.
Who is it for?
We are committed to supporting truth-seeking souls in their journeys toward self-discovery and healing. Our programs are designed for individuals who have made the decision to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, and are seeking the highest standards of professional support and safety in this field.
Read more about psilocybin and what current research tells about its risks and benefits.
Numerous studies has concluded the efficacy of Psilocybin therapy to decrease anxiety. Griffiths et al. (2016) showed capacity of psilocybin to produce sustained decreases in anxiety in patients suffering from life-threatening conditions.
The Johns Hopkins study in healthy individuals, 67% of the volunteers rated the experience with psilocybin to be either the single most meaningful experience of their life or among the top five most meaningful experiences.
Psilocybin has shown to result in increased mood and feeling of well-being.
Recent studies have provided evidence supporting ability of psilocybin to alleviate symptoms treatment-resistant depression (Carhart-Harris et al., 2016).
Many people have successfully treated their addiction from numerous substances with Psilocybin.
In a study by Johnson et al. (2017) investigating psilocybin-assistant smoking cessation, 67% of participants were confirmed as smoking abstinent at 12-month follow-up. At long-term follow-up, 60% were confirmed as smoking abstinent.
Our programmes pay close attention to safety, extensive preparation and integration. Your journey with Katharsis is outlined in the steps below.
4 • Retreat
Retreat at our venue in the Netherlands with Truffle Ceremonies with optional circle oh Rapeh (amazonian snuff), yoga, breath work and Qi Gong.
5 • Integration
To support you during this process we will be there all the way and guide you with three 60 minutes integration sessions. This is included in our retreat package. Should you wish for more of our guidance, there is an option to book in additional integration sessions.
6 • Further follow up
We are ready to assist you should you require even further follow-up. Our team of physicians can also help out with further referrals should this be of benefit to you
1 • Application
Fill in the application form and answer a short questionnaire.
This will be reviewed by one of our doctors and is our first line of screening.
2 • Call with physician
Step two consist of a consultation with one of our doctors. This is a three part call where we will evaluate your physical and psychological safety to work with the truffles and also get to know more about your intentions and requirments to decide if our retreats are suitable for you.
3 • Preparation
Following our initial conversation, the “preparation” phase commences. We believe that the work shall start early. As part of our retreat package we offer three 60 minutes consultation with in-depth guidance on how to prepare your body and mind for the journey ahead.
Why Katharsis Journeys?
Katharsis was founded by a team of medical doctors with expertise in mental health and psychedelic science. Our goal is to provide research-grade support and safety for people embarking on legal psychedelic journeys with psilocybin.
Founded by a team of physicians, it is a given that safety comes first at Katharsis Journeys. During our retreats, a minimum of 2 medical doctors will be present during your entire stay. Also, anyone wanting to take part in one of our programs is required to first go through our extensive safety and eligibility screening which is carried out by our panel of physicians.
to Participant ratio
At Katharsis we believe no one should risk to be left unattended during a challenging experience. This is why we always make sure to have no more than 2 participants for everyone 1 facilitator during our retreats.
A good preparation and integration is vital in creating a safe transformational programme with long lasting benefits. Thats why anyone wanting to participate in our programmes receives 3x 60min preparation sessions before the retreat, and another 3x 60min sessions for integration after.
Who are Katharsis?
The project was started by a team of medical doctors and a neuroscientist, who alongside traditional healers make up a holistic team bridging the latest scream in science with ancient wisdom and practices.
We are striving toward establishing a friendly dialogue between academic science and spirituality, paying respect to traditional methods of working with entheogens. This is why we have chosen to include representatives from both of these worlds in our team
Dr. Alexander Lebedev, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Alexander is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist with over 15 years experience in clinical and biomedical research. His academic work is focused on understanding complex relationships between global societal dynamics and people's health, wellbeing, beliefs and decision-making.
Dr. Luigi Espasiano, MD
Chief Business Officer
Luigi received his MD from the University of Naples. In 2018 Luigi worked as a clinical fellow at Imperial College London Psychedelic Research Group where he worked on pioneering psilocybin trial.
Dr. Emily Biesmans, MD
Chief Experience Officer
Emily Biesmans, British/Belgian national, holds a Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences from Manchester University and a M.D (Medical Doctorate) from the Medical University of Warsaw. Emily completed her post-graduate medical training at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta.
Dr. Amir Chalaby, MD
Chief Operation & Medical Officer
Amir achieved his Doctor of Medicine degree from Poznan University of Medical Sciences. After graduation he finished his core training in Malta where he gained experience in the core branch of Internal Medicine, in particular Cardiology and Emergency medicine.
"What a beautiful and valuable experience. The way in which the Katharsis team genuinely combines modern scientific knowledge with the age-old traditions of the use of plant medicines is particularly strong. The broad and personal approach is also reflected in the team of doctors, musicians, assistants and the shaman. In addition to professionals, very pure people who, with their experience and skills, know how to create a safe environment in which every person is given the space to grow. The structure of ceremonies, conversations and activities was perfect. I'm very impressed."
"Thank you for helping me to understand better and to accept myself for being me. The love and kindness that you offer with your approach to psychiatric "care" vs "treatment" is paramount to connect with the patients who truly need it the most."
"The experience of Katharsis Journeys is something that brought me years worth of therapy in terms of healing and growth, as well as an environment that was warm and authentic, yet professional. The teams of traditional healers and medical doctors worked in unison, showing a beautiful display of what it means to connect our past and our future. After just 5 days, I had the equivalent of a month's rest and I returned more equipped to deal with the challenges of my work. "
"The tranquil setting of the retreat center combined with the nutritional counseling, breathwork, one-to-one sessions with facilitators, live music, and the truffle ceremonies makes Katharsis Journeys, without a doubt, one of the best psilocybin retreats in Europe. "
Psilocybin containing truffles are fully legal to use in the Netherlands.
You can find high-quality informations on the legal status and state of research of Psilocybin at Drug Science, a UK-based independent scientific body founded and led by prof. David Nutt, chair of Psychopharmacology at Imperial College London.