About Atman Retreat

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Psychedelics are known to produce profound, meaningful, transformative experiences when used in a safe and intentional manner.1 However, many people don’t have access to psychedelics, or to a safe setting within which to use them. Others simply don’t want to break the law. Until we adopt more compassionate, evidence-based drug policy, there are few ways for people to experience these extraordinary states of consciousness safely and legally. Atman Retreat exists to fill this gap.

Our core mission is to help people explore the full potential of the psychedelic experience, in all its healing, transformative, and transcendent qualities. Retreats are held in Jamaica, where psilocybin mushrooms are legal. Participants stay at a spacious villa, with comfortable rooms and a scenic private beachfront. Our team of experienced facilitators is passionate about creating space for inner transformation, insight, and breakthroughs.

Whether you’re completely new to psychedelics, or a seasoned psychonaut interested in a different kind of journey, Atman Retreat is a complete 4-day experience that allows you to explore psychedelics safely, legally, and in a setting designed to maximize their benefits.

When you feel ready, you can apply here. Read more about our team below, and we hope to see you soon on a retreat!

Our Team

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Irene Dubin, MA, CASAC

Facilitator

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe, completed my undergraduate study in pharmacology and received a master’s in psychology with an emphasis in addiction counseling. My early spiritual influences include Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Paramahansa Yogananda, Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as teachings of Zen Buddhists, George Gurdjieff and Ascended Masters. In my academic and professional study I give preference to somatic therapeutic modalities such as Hakomi therapy, Orgonomic therapy, mindfulness, Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, art therapy, motivational coaching, neuro-linguistic programing and hypnosis. My non-traditional studies include entheogenic research from a variety of sources, apprenticeship with a shaman in Druid College, past life regression therapy, sound therapy, breath work, and a psychedelic integration practicum for clinicians.

My life’s interests are meditation, painting, reading non-fiction books about exploration of consciousness, quantum physics, studying indigenous cultures, traveling, connecting with nature and more. I like to incorporate the full spectrum of my interests, studies and trainings in a holistic mind, body and spirit approach to this work.

My own experience with psychedelics in a therapeutic setting, knowledge and expertise in practicing psychotherapy, and coaching and addiction counseling help me to better understand a client’s needs and make sessions most effective and beneficial.

A psychedelic journey can be one of the most insightful and life-changing experiences we have. It can also be one of the most challenging experiences, evoking deep questions about the fundamental nature of who we are in this earthly life. Integrating these experiences in a way that brings meaning and value into our lives and relationships is often as important as the experiences themselves. My role is to support a client by providing a safe, non-judgmental environment, bridging mystical experiences and daily life in order to restore one’s wholeness.

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Zachary Zibrat

Facilitator

Hello! I’m Zach. I am a guide on the journey of personal transformation and awakening. I offer this with a background in somatic therapy, energy work, and Earth medicine traditions.

I have spent over 15 years training with teachers from Mazatec, Taoist, and Buddhist ritual healing traditions. I also incorporate Hakomi somatic therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation, Qigong, and Hatha yoga. I’m a multi-instrumentalist and use music as a way to connect to emotions, our bodies, and as a constant invitation to the Ayurvedic element of Space and the fundamental quality of Listening.

I am from Alaska and grew up being held by vast wilderness. I am an advocate for every person’s innate connection and reciprocity with nature. The Earth offers boundless wisdom and healing, and we are alive at a time where the invitation to come into right relationship with our environment is crucial.

My experience and practice is informed by my own path of healing from PTSD, depression, and several major physical ailments, as well as my ongoing inquiries into self-exploration, metaphysics, and cosmology. I’ve learned a tremendous amount on this journey, and I feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to share this work with others.

I welcome whatever brings you to this inquiry as a gateway to knowing yourself, letting go of what you no longer need, and cultivating a fulfilling, meaningful life. Using mindfulness, curiosity, and kindness, we can approach challenging life situations and emotional states to discover insight and healing.

We find greater access to living our lives creatively, responsive to the moment with grace. We deepen our capacities to give and receive love, nourishment, and care. We reconnect to the wisdom of our bodies, intuition, and the natural world. With deep gratitude to all of my teachers and guides, I live in service to healing, liberation, and realization for all of humankind.

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Sasha Bellucci, MA

Facilitator

It is my belief you have the wisdom within to heal yourself. I utilize voice and body work, various therapeutic modalities, spirituality, mindfulness, reiki, art, music, and movement to facilitate embodiment and self-reflection. By bringing awareness and expression to our authenticity, we find empowerment and liberation from fear. I am deeply committed to the collective awakening and the principles of sustainability, collaboration, community, and unconditional love.

During my time in grad school I went through my own psychedelic therapy. This experience changed my life and gave me relief from complex PTSD and depression. After I received my Master’s in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University, I trained in the therapeutic administration of psychedelic medicines. As a healer, I feel it is my ethical responsibility to offer the highest quality of care available and see this work as the future of psychotherapy. In the last two years I have had the honor of guiding more than 100 life transforming journeys. It is my honor to support your path of self actualization.

Personally, I am inspired by nature, gardening, mixed media art,  and travel. I am passionate about sustainability and permaculture. Ashtanga Yoga and meditation have been a big part of my life. In a few years I envision myself leading medicine retreats at an off grid permaculture community. Healing within as we heal our planet together.

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Jahan Khamsehzadeh, PhD(c)

Facilitator

I am a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. After years of research, I have almost completed my dissertation—a comprehensive overview of psilocybin mushrooms. I plan to publish it next year as a book titled “Mycelial Mind: An Integral Approach to Psychedelics, Evolution, and Blockchain”.

Along with my academic focus, I also finished the Hakomi comprehensive training, a two-year mindfulness-based somatic psychotherapy program. I am also in multi-year training in a Mazatec shamanic lineage, and I am assisting for the second year in the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research program at CIIS, the first legal training of its kind on psychedelic psychotherapy. I also taught a class on psychedelic psychotherapy at John F. Kennedy University, and worked with the Cosmic Mass for a year, a project to reimagine ritual in a postmodern culture.

Having attended Burning Man for almost a decade, I have led two camps, and will again be volunteering at the Zendo Psychedelic Harm Reduction Center. Psychedelics, specifically psilocybin mushrooms, set the course for my academic career, first graduating from the University of Arizona with a major in Philosophy and minors in both Physics and Psychology, and then earning a master’s in Consciousness and Transformative Studies from John F. Kennedy University.

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Kate Becker, MSW, RYT-200

Facilitator

Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy, EMDR Therapy and yoga all appeal to me because these therapies help people reach deeper levels within themselves and find their ability to heal. There is a letting go and self-processing that provides a foundation for seeing from new vantage points, and an expanded consciousness of a one’s story, life, and experience of being.

The body and mind provide protection from harm long after the threat is gone, leaving us in limited cycles of thoughts and feelings. Mind expanding therapies allow the body to process the past, experience safety and peace in the present, and manage adversity in the future. Being witness and providing the support to people as they venture through is truly an honor and privilege.

I learned Transcendental Meditation when I was just 10 years old and I didn’t realize at the time how it would change the trajectory of my life. Meditation has provided me momentary calm in the face of tragedy, and at other times in my life a complete sense of serenity. And still there are days I can’t calm my mind. That’s when I rely on yoga postures, mantras, connecting with my pets and the environment to find balance.

Early in my professional career, I worked in New York City in advertising and marketing research. I loved the work, but I could feel that something was missing and that was my need work with people. A little soul searching brought me back to the career I’d wanted to pursue when I was in college, so I went graduate school received my MSW at UCONN. After graduate school, I enthusiastically attended numerous post-graduate courses including EMDR Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a yearlong training in dissociation, many addiction trainings, as well as becoming a registered yoga teacher.

The promising research on psychedelics along with personal experiences years ago inspired me to become trained in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy. I volunteered with MAPS and attended their week-long training in MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy, and also participated in a Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy training.

I have over ten years of experience working in several different settings including outpatient mental health, substance abuse treatment and hospice, as well as extensive training and experience in Motivational Interviewing and Trauma, P.T.S.D. and Addiction treatment.  

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Aaron Nesmith-Beck

Founder

Over the past 10 years through personal experience, anecdotal evidence, and a growing body of scientific research, it’s become clear to me that psychedelics are uniquely powerful tools for creating profound, positive change in people’s lives.

Psychedelics have long played an important role in my own life. I had my first psilocybin experience at 16, and it deeply shifted my sense of self worth as a young person. Further psychedelic experiences through my later teens and early twenties helped me solve personal problems, improve relationships, and provided me with insights into the world and the nature of my own mind I otherwise never would have had.

Towards the end of my undergraduate degree at McGill University, I discovered psychedelic research, in particular the MAPS MDMA trials and psilocybin studies at Johns Hopkins. The prospect of a level-headed, evidence-based return of psychedelics to our culture was incredibly exciting. What good luck, I thought, to be alive and young right at the time of the “psychedelic renaissance”.

After university I spent three years travelling, living abroad, and working remotely. During this time I’d write about personal development, spirituality, and psychedelics on my blog, Freedom and Fulfilment, which has now reached over 700,000 people worldwide. My interest in psychedelics grew over this time, along with the belief that increasing access to high quality psychedelic experiences could be deeply impactful in a positive way.

In mid-2018, I started putting together the pieces of what would become Atman Retreat. I’m fortunate enough to have had support from some very smart, competent people, and to have found an exceptional group of facilitators along the way. We’re honored to offer the opportunity for people to explore the full potential of psychedelics in a safe, legal way.

Today I’m based in Toronto, Canada. Here I volunteer as an organizer for Mapping the Mind, an annual psychedelic research conference at the University of Toronto. I’m also a regular meditator, and have been practicing for over 7 years. Other interests include applied ethics, personality psychology, transpersonal psychology, yoga, and nonduality.

Thanks for visiting, and we hope to see you soon on a retreat!

Medical Support Team

Justin-

Justin Anderson, MD

Doctor on call

Justin is the covering physician (doctor on call) for Atman Retreat, available throughout our psilocybin sessions. He practices general medicine as a medical officer at St. James Public Health Services and Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Justin received his MB,BS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) from The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.

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Alex Fuentes, MD

Medical Advisor

Alex advises on safety practices and provides input on the participant intake process for Atman Retreat. His main professional interests are addiction medicine and longterm patient relationships, and he is excited about developments in both clinical and non-clinical applications of psychedelics. Alex received his MD from the NYU School of Medicine, and holds a BSc from McGill University.

References

1. Nichols (2016). Psychedelics. Pharmacological Reviews. 68 (2). 264-355.

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