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Guild of Guides

Nanacatl Healing is a member of the Guild of Guides

This means that all our team members are working under the code of conduct of the GOG and their five principles.

The 5 principles

All the guides that the guild represents are deeply moved by human suffering and aspire to alleviate it where they can. In doing so, they seek to embody the following five ethical principles: care, respect, competence, accountability and integrity.

Care – All guides seek to embody and invite a universal experience of care, kindness and compassion. This reflects the commitment to the welfare and well-being of each client or participant and a duty to ‘do no harm’. Moreover, guides feel a responsibility to take care of their clients, participants and colleagues and to nurture a practice of self-care. Guides take steps to responsibly manage personal stress, maintain their own mental and physical health, ensure that their work is supervised by colleagues, and devote time to their own spiritual, contemplative or reflective practices. Due to the demanding nature of this work, guides are aware of the first signs of compassion fatigue and burn out. Because these might comprise their capacity to care, they work actively to remain healthy.

       

Respect – Guides deeply respect the rights, dignity and integrity of their clients. Guides treat clients as persons of intrinsic worth with a right to determine their own priorities. They respect their clients’ dignity and give due regard to their moral, spiritual and culturally specific values. The autonomy of a client is always the point of departure. As far as possible, guides ensure that participants and clients understand and consent to whatever professional action they propose. GoG encourages members to contemplate the ways in which they can make this consent legible and transparent; such as signing (digital) documents.  

Guides uphold reverence for the medicines they work with. Whether they consider these psychedelic substances as conscious agents of change or as molecules with the capacity to enhance the innate healing capacities present in all humans, they are moved by a deep respect for psychedelic medicine. They are aware of the cultural and historical backgrounds of these medicines and do not claim ownership over them.    

  

Competence – Guides monitor and develop their professional or vocational skills and ethical awareness on an ongoing basis. They recognize that their expertise and capacity for work are limited, and take care not to exceed their own limits. Guides also stay up to date about relevant cultural and scientific developments and movements regarding psychedelics.

Accountability – In their professional activities, practitioners are required to act in a trustworthy and reputable manner towards clients, participants and the community of guides and other professionals at large. They act appropriately to resolve ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest and are accountable for their actions.

Integrity – Guides are honest about and accurately describe their qualifications and the care and services that they can (and cannot) offer. They treat others in a fair, open and straightforward manner, honor professional commitments, and act to clarify any confusion about their role or responsibilities. They abstain from giving medical advice if they are not certified to do so. They do not use the professional relationship to exploit participants and they deal appropriately with personal conflicts of interest. They take action against harmful or unethical behaviour in colleagues in a wholesome way that invites growth and learning; while being primarily guided by protecting those that might suffer from the harmful behavior.

These five principles form the foundation from which the Code of Conduct (CoC) follows. 

Code of Conduct

Participants' safety

  • Guides conduct exhaustive physical and mental health screening of participants and ensure their clients receive appropriate and adequate support before, during, and after a psychedelic experience.

  • Guides inform participants and clients about the risks and benefits of partaking in a psychedelic experience and offer insight into their own capacities and limitations. They work with written informed consent. Guides do not give medical advice.

  • Guides are responsible for the setting, upholding, and monitoring of appropriate boundaries within the guide-client relationship. They are aware of power dynamics and disparities, do not engage in sexual and romantic relationships, or in any inappropriately exploitative manner. They never pressure clients to take a psychedelic substance and respect their autonomy. As a rule, guides will not allow participants or clients to leave the designated space during the effects of the substance, without consulting with and consent of the guide.

  • Guides ensure that personal information about the client will be stored safely, in compliance with the law, and will never be shared with anyone else without prior consent. Guides can share personal information of clients with other guild members under certain conditions. Guides ensure privacy and confidentiality before, during, and after retreats.  

  • Guides will provide clients with appropriate and reliable preparation, integration, and aftercare for a psychedelic experience. They will reach out to relevant professionals, colleagues, or third parties if they can not offer the needed support. 

  • Guides practice mindful care when touching clients and pose boundaries to their use of touch, based on their professional capacities and limitations. They never engage in sexual touch of any sort. 

  • Guides hold a position of authority over the participants and are aware of this power relation and the responsibilities it brings. They do not proselytize nor enforce their own world view.

  • Guides have a complaints procedure in place and can contact/refer to the external confidentiality person employed by the Guild of Guides NL.
    Report concerning conduct

  • Guides only share testimonials – verbal, written, video, audio, and with any level of anonymity – under strict conditions and with written informed consent. 

  • Guides set limits and/or conditions to receiving donations and tips, reimbursements, and engaging in business relationships or ongoing services, during and after a psychedelic experience.  

  • Guides will inform clients of their responsibilities before, during, and after a psychedelic experience. They advise against making major life changes in the two months after a psychedelic experience.

  • Guides take care to protect their clients against COVID-19 and do not guide clients through psychedelic experiences online.
     

Guide requirements

  • Guides have extensive personal experience with altered states of consciousness.

  • Guides are well-informed about contraindications for psychedelic experiences and are aware of substance/medication/supplement interactions. They are familiar with the wide range of effects that can be caused by psychedelic substances and understand how to spot and work with the various experiences that clients might go through during their journey, including challenging experiences. 

  • Guides aspire towards inclusion and to challenge prejudices.

  • Guides have put proper emergency protocols in place to navigate mental, spiritual, and physical health crises before, during and after experiences.

  • Guides know their own limitations and avoid working with clients that the guide does not have compassion for or lacks the skills and experience to support.

  • Guides demonstrate good self-care and invest in their own mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing and hygiene. 

  • Guides do not make false or exaggerated claims about psychedelics in their advertisement. Guides are sincere and forthcoming about what they can and cannot offer in terms of therapy and credentials and create clarity around the intentions of a session or retreat. Guides do not actively target vulnerable or desperate groups and individuals. 

  • Guide members show high integrity and awareness around claims and practice caution when talking about personal beliefs and convictions. They speak realistically about the nature of transformation. Guides aspire and act to avoid harmful dynamics that can arise around (charismatic) leaders, positions of power, and heightened suggestibility under the influence of a psychedelic substance.

  • Guides that operate in the Netherlands have an understanding of and adhere to the Dutch laws, customs, and the different regulations that may apply to them and their work. 

  • Guides have a basic understanding of power dynamics and therapeutic processes, even if they are not trained as therapists. Guides commit themselves to ongoing training and education, engage in (peer) supervision, and/or mentoring. 

  • Guides never exceed a 4:1 ratio of participants to guides in group experiences and 2:1 clients to guides in a private session. 

  • External guides, third parties and volunteers that work under the auspices of a member guide or organization also subscribe to this code. 
     

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