Insider Advice for Operating a Psychedelic Retreat or Wellness Center

The 2023 reMind Psychedelics Business Forum was held Nov. 28-29, 2023, at the Westgate Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. More than 30 expert speakers presented the latest insights and information in the field of psychedelics with the goal of advancing this emerging industry responsibly and ethically. The videos of the sessions are now available online.


Whether oriented for PTSD healing, spiritual awakening, executive coaching, or enhancing focus and creativity, running a successful retreat or healing center requires a well-thought-out strategy and properly trained facilitators. A panel of industry experts shared their experiences at the reMind Psychedelics Business Forum.

The session, titled “Psychedelic Retreats and Wellness Centers: Insider Strategies for Success,” featured Joe Moore, co-founder of Psychedelics Today; Ryan Reid, co-foudner of Bendable Therapy; and Frederica Helmiere, director of psychedelic practitioner training at the Synthesis Institute.

Reid discussed the challenges of operating one of the first psychedelic wellness centers to open in Oregon.

“The Oregon Health Authority, who manages the licenses, they’ve taken that a little bit to the extreme, where a license holder cannot use the word therapy. They can’t say healing treatment, they can’t use the word medicine. They are very stringent about and will send cease and desist letters if you in any way insinuate that you are offering anything curative or therapeutic,” Reid said. “So this is kind of created an awkward point where people seeking psilocybin assisted therapy will go to a service center saying, ‘I’ve been struggling with PTSD. My therapist thinks psilocybin session might be great. Can you explain what this will be like?’ But all the service center can say is, ‘We can just give you drugs.’”

Helmiere shared her viewpoints on the essentials qualifications that are required of any psychedelic facilitator.

If you find yourself in a position where you are trying to hire facilitators to work for you, here are some thing I think are essential: First, is significant personal experience with the work, with the medicine. You’ve got to put in that time to practice and get proficient with it before you can start to kind of maneuver in this space,” Helmiere said. “Second, I would say is a somatic attunement. You’ve got to be able to read what is going on in your body and read what is going on in someone else’s body. And the last thing I’ll throw out there might be somewhat controversial, but I would encourage you to question the assumption that therapists inherently make for good psychedelic guides.”

Watch the full session here

More about our speakers:

Joe Moore co-founded Psychedelics Today in 2015 with Kyle Buller. As CEO, Joe has created one of the world’s best known psychedelic podcasts, blogs and training platforms. Joe combines twenty years of avid research and training in psychedelics with twenty years of experience in software and multinational project management. Joe is an expert in transpersonal breathwork and much sought after international speaker on the intersecting subjects of psychedelic medicine and healing, breathwork, drug policy, medical innovation, international justice and environmentalism.

Ryan is co-founder of three separate entities operating within the Oregon legal psilocybin framework: Bendable Therapy, a 501c3 non-profit navigation service and access fund; Aboveground Services, a referral-based psilocybin service center focusing on mental health; and Drop Thesis, a manufacturing and multi-site service center business focused on personal wellness with novel product development and stylized brands. He is an Oregon licensed psilocybin facilitator and a licensed Professional Engineer with experience supporting start-ups navigate complex regulatory environments.

Frederica Helmiere is the Director of Psychedelic Practitioner Training at the Synthesis Institute. Prior to this, she served as Director of Education at Spiritual Directors International, designing professional development tools for advanced spiritual guides and companions. She recently appeared as a guest on the Waking the Wild and Tapped into Psychedelics podcasts, opining on training and certification of psychedelic practitioners. Frederica holds masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of the Environment, and a BA from Dartmouth College in Religion & Environmental studies. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer, taught at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and worked as a global interfaith peacebuilder at the United Religions Initiative.