Guided by a heady mix of ancient wisdom and modern science (just how we like it), Behold Retreats – the full-service wellness specialist providing bespoke and fully supported plant-medicine retreats in idyllic destinations worldwide – is spearheading a new age of wellness and positive, long-term mental health.
It may seem like a crazy thing to do, but sometimes world-scale drama breeds innovation. We at OutThere certainly know this. That’s why we were curious and excited in equal measures when we heard that Behold Retreats had launched its entheogen plant medicine escapes at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is wellness for the new age, some might even say new-age wellness. But the first-of-its-kind service creates individualised journeys and hand-holding for people wanting to experience entheogens, or psychedelic plant medicines in countries where the practice is decriminalised – like Costa Rica, Ecuador and – although closer to home, but perhaps less exotic – the Netherlands.
While psychedelic plant medicine such as psilocybin and ayahuasca has been practised in various cultures for centuries, the conversation about its benefits has been brought up again in a time where people are concerned for long-term mental health. With less witch-doctoring and more science-based evidence on the practice’s transformative qualities, Behold Retreats is hoping to elevate the experience and demonstrate the mental wellbeing benefits of embarking on such a journey. It begins with education and goes right through to post-integration support with a qualified therapist.
On each retreat, plant-medicine facilitators guide travellers into a meditative and expanded state of consciousness, ensuring safety and comfort throughout. In this immersive and highly supported context, guests are granted unparalleled access to their subconscious mind, allowing them to navigate within and to receive salient, memorable insights.
On speaking to Jonathan de Potter – founder of Behold Retreats – on why he felt that this would benefit OutThere travellers, he responded, “we often consider members of the LGBT+ community – any minority community for that matter – to be more resilient. We see that they are not afraid to be different, and voice their opinions openly and clearly. But this is often because they have been through a lot to get to that place of resilience, and confidence can sometimes mask anxiety and depression. Lockdown has also been such an isolating time when we can’t seek the company and comfort of like-minded friends, and incidences of anxiety and depression are twice as likely in such groups.”
Jonathan truly believes that working with entheogens can really help us move past these issues and set us on a long term path of love, growth and mental wellness. General themes are based around forgiveness (from past victimisation or exclusion), acceptance (of past situations or who they are) and healing (putting behind them traumatic experiences). Then of course as these things are put to bed, the focus becomes more growth-oriented, reaching that place where each individual finds their path to wellness and happiness.
It seems like there’s a real opportunity here for wellness to reach an all-new high. Sign us up.
Photography by Stefano Girardelli