Cynthia Oppelaar, MSc
Integrative psychosocial therapist
My style of working can be best described as a joint exploration. It is your process and you have to do this yourself. But you do not have to do this alone. I can guide you, support you, be your companion and witness as your process unfolds. I adapt my practice based around your needs and goals in our work together. Sessions may vary from 60-90 minutes. I enjoy working in longer blocks as I see clients can benefit more quickly with fewer therapy hours in total.
In 2016 I immersed myself into the Shipibo curanderismo tradition during a retreat in the Amazon jungle. It was my aim to restore my health by healing the remnants of a chronic illness, in which I happily and greatly succeeded. In 2017 I returned to the Amazon for an Ayahuasca Curandero Initiation Course. This is where I started studying the Shipibo plant medicine tradition and where I got initiated into my very first dieta. I frequently visit the jungle to deepen my study and I also worked as a guest facilitator for the Ayahuasca Foundation’s four week Healing Empowerment Course in the new Riosbo Ayahuasca Research Center. It is my mission to facilitate people in finding wholeness within themselves, and to support their healing from trauma and life’s adversities. I work with the presupposition that every wound also holds important gifts. I support my clients in finding, unwrapping and integrating these gifts. During my own integration process after the training my plant teachers called to shift my focus of the plant medicine work towards facilitating the integration processes. And this is where my therapeutic skills and my plant medicine background tie in beautifully.
Pre Ayahuasca counselling: 1. Information and education about Ayahuasca. 2. Preparation advice: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. 3. Information about: a) the different stages of the Ayahuasca process b) the legal risks of drinking Ayahuasca c) where to get your medical risks assessed, like contra indications (physical and psychological conditions in you or your family members) and medication you already use. 4. Provide you with a set of questions to ask yourself so you can decide for yourself whether you really want to drink Ayahuasca. So you will have more clarity about your motivation or specific goals for drinking Ayahuasca. 5. Provide you with a set of questions to ask others to find the set, setting, location, facilitator, brew and style of ceremony (therapeutic, religious or shamanic) and style of work (hands on or hands off) that matches best with your specific needs. Post Ayahuasca integration counselling: 1. Information and education about Ayahuasca. 2. Help you process specific events or experiences. 3. We listen to you and your story in a non-judgmental way. Having a witness, someone who holds space for you, can be key in connecting to yourself and to process the experiences you had. 4. We can acknowledge your experience and your sanity. 5. Integration coaching if you want to get the best out of your experience. 6. Guidance through the different stages of the integration process. 7. We love to help you unwrap all the gifts you received during previous ceremonies and to integrate them into you daily life. 8. Provide you with knowledge and tools so you can decide for yourself when would be the right moment for you to drink again or to drink at all. 9. Provide you with other empowering tools that might even replace drinking Ayahuasca or ingesting other psychedelics. 10. If you get stuck in your process, we can provide the tools to help you move through. 11. If you seek medical attention, we can connect you to psychotherapists or other health practitioners in your country who have experience with psychedelics.