- Psychedelic Insights Founder and CEO Luc van Poelje speaks to Truffle Report about psychedelic-assisted healing
- Having worked as a lifestyle coach and a mental health educator, Luc van Poelje decided to start a career as a psychedelic guide
- Psychedelic Insights provides legal psychologically guided psychedelic experiences to individuals and groups with psilocybin truffles for personal transformation, healing, and growth
Founder and CEO of Psychedelic Insights Luc van Poelje likens himself to a Labrador, happy to work and kind, but beginning in a place filled with increasing mistrust and bad energy.
“I noticed that my character was getting some dark edges during the last years of my corporate career, and I felt more and more disconnected. I could talk only about frustration at work. This seems laughable now, but back then, I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me,” van Poelje tells Truffle Report. “The way that we run society today is causing so much suffering. There’s never been more cancer, more depression, more anxiety. It doesn’t seem that the leaders of our world are overly occupied changing this because it’s also a business model. It’s not as though people are all conspiring to do us harm. I think most people believe that whatever they do is for the betterment of something.”
“I used to do some truffles and shrooms, but I never understood that they had any therapeutic potential. I researched it more and more and, in the end, I didn’t know anyone that had ever done high dose, and now I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. At one point, a friend of mine started talking about ayahuasca. I decided to try it. I didn’t have a clue what was waiting for me. I must say, that was one of the most deep and religious experiences and it changed me forever, it reshaped me. I had a deep cleaning where I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I felt like I was a different person. I was actually in need of the therapy we would later provide; Integration therapy. Integration of the psychedelic insights and experiences. They are often life changing.”
Founding Psychedelic Insights/The Process
A few years after a profound psychedelic experience, and following a year of working as a freelance trip guide, van Poelje founded Psychedelic Insights to offer safe and legal guided psychedelic trips.
“Psychedelics are such a profound experience and change people forever. They can open a space where you’re going to let go of any no longer relevant worries or inhibitions. We start with three talks in online calls. One is an introduction; I answer all the questions. I ask people how I can help them; Why they think they are stuck, what’s happening in their life, and what was the reason for coming. The reasons and responses are so diverse. It can be anything from personal psychological stuff to knowing if their deceased loved ones are in a good place. Some people want to talk with ancestors. It is all done in the intention setting where we go deeper into the psychology, and it’s for the person to dig in and see, ‘What do I want out of it? Why won’t I leave it all behind? Why am I so convinced of these things?’” explained van Poelje.
“Then we explain the process of experiencing psychedelics. What does it feel like? What to expect and what not to expect? How do you deal with certain things that come up in the psychedelic experience? When they finally get to the Netherlands, they book a place at our center — or since the pandemic, an Airbnb — and are visited by trip guides, always a man and a woman. We go over everything that’s been said and anything that is still on people’s mind. I applaud everyone that walks through my door because it takes courage, ” he continued.
The procedure begins with consuming the truffles in a respectful, mindful manner. Blindfolded, a 15-minute guided meditation precedes a curated playlist. Clients are lying down for the first couple of hours, with smiles on their faces.
“The psychedelic experience is stranger and bigger than people can imagine. It is an expanded conscious state where psychedelic insights often can be healing. A person’s trauma may result in a disconnection from feelings and emotions. With the psychedelic neurotransmitter people may feel reconnected and healed in a prolonged deep emotional experience. They can find a lot of peace or wonder or old memories there, that reconnects them to themselves, to their surroundings, their relationships and nature and even the universe.”
“Integration is extremely important if you’re coming from any type of healing because the neuroplasticity that is caused by the psilocybin experience is when you can mould or reshape it metaphorically, you can make new connections and new psychedelic insights. What you want to do is for people to have safe little adventures outside their comfort zone. You have the ability to finally escape old thinking patterns. This is where the neuroplasticity is gone, and where you are just no longer in control. We’re all prisoners of our neurology. You learn to compassionately create new opportunities to leave old patterns and emotions behind,” he explained.
“It’s not the placebo effect. It is the placebo effect because we don’t have another word for the placebo. It’s called positive thinking, and positive thinking is about our consciousness, focusing on what’s good. If you focus on what’s bad that grows, if you focus on what’s good that grows. If you focus on gratitude, living a full life, loving your family and your loved ones, then that grows,” he said. “As do worries and problems.”
1000 VETS Project
The 1000 VETS project, a collaboration of scientific, psychedelic, and veteran organizations, was launched to provide therapeutic, legal, and scientific research into psychedelic-assisted therapy to measure if it can reduce suicide, PTSD, and other mental health issues in veterans.
“We are still looking for more partners to carry this project. We are looking for a critical mass. We need a critical mass and work together to address the crisis of suicide, depression, and addiction among veterans in a global public dialogue in the press. There are more suicides than combat casualties since Iraq and 9/11. We want to get a spotlight on this pandemic, to allow veterans, after a thorough screening, come over to either Peru, Jamaica, Mexico, and the Netherlands, or help to us do research by taking truffles, ayahuasca, mushrooms, and then help us with the research to see what it does for them, to give them guidance and community support when they get back home.”
Psychedelic Insights currently participates in research with the Heroic Hearts Project for traumatic brain injury, overseen by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, a psychologist, neuroscientist, and Head of the Psychedelic Research Centre at Imperial College London.