CALGARY, Feb. 19, 2021 – ATMA Journey Centers Inc. (“ATMA”), an Alberta-based company focused on delivering innovative psychedelic-assisted therapies internationally, revealed details today about the first Psychedelic Journey Center in Canada which will be located in central Alberta.
The company will own and operate the private wellness center that is nestled within a retreat setting within a sprawling forest and nature, positioned approximately 2 hours from both Calgary and Edmonton. ATMA Creekside will provide a convenient destination in which clients will be able to experience a range of healing and transformational modalities as part of multi-day experiences, ceremonies, and retreats.
David Harder, Co-CEO of ATMA, said: “Creekside Journey Center begins the exciting rollout of our plans to create immersive retreat-style Journey Centers across Canada and beyond. Our aim is to position ATMA as the disruptor in a psychedelic renaissance that is so often focused on up-scaling the therapy.”
Rather than focusing on patient through-put and optimizing to move as many people through medicine work as quickly as possible, the company says that its goal is to provide deeply immersive protocols that bring people inward and find life-long healing. The trend in psychedelic therapy appears to be in proprietary molecules and processes eligible to be patented or trademarked, but Harder points out that ATMA wants to provide a different experience.
“ATMA will be known for finding a place you can connect, find healing, and discover community,” he said. “Our philosophy is that these deep inner medicine sessions are not best suited in a clinical appointment where only a few hours are allotted in the midst of a busy day and lifestyle. “
Harder explained that the company’s protocols are designed to be experienced over a number of weeks, and include, beyond the counselling and medicine work, time to connect with nature and others on a similar path. “This particular property at Creekside has a special energy to it, and with the incredible forest and relaxing creek that flows throughout the expansive property, we believe it’s going to provide a magical space that will provide clients meaningful experiences and healing.”
When the property opens this spring, it will provide full-service programs that include well-appointed cottages and suites, holistic and organic food prepared by certified chefs, and leading-edge psychedelic medicine therapy and protocols. The individual therapy sessions will be combined with group work which will intentionally provide both the individual processes needed to overcome mental health challenges as well as group journey opportunities where community can be fostered. A customized program of individual therapy sessions will occur both before and after the medicine work done at the Journey Center, allowing each client to be fully prepared for their experience and to have the support before and after their Journey Center visit.
“Our goal is to create an ultra-comfortable, safe and peaceful environment where the only thing a client needs to focus on is their own work and healing in a community of safe spaces and community support,” said Harder. He explained that the company’s vision is not to create a portfolio of medical-style psychedelic clinics located in busy urban centers. “Our business plan is to create nature-inspired destinations where a client can remove themselves from daily life for a few days or a week or more. We believe it’s important they have space and time to really focus on doing the deep work that will provide shifts and changes that are sustainable and life-changing.”
ATMA was the first private company in Canada to legally conduct psychedelic-assisted therapy using psilocybin under a Section 56 Exemption that was granted to a palliative patient by Health Canada. Additional patients who have recently obtained Section 56 Exemptions are also scheduled to undergo legal psychedelic therapy with ATMA next week.
Greg Habstritt, President of ATMA, said: “While we remain optimistic that Health Canada will continue to increase access to psychedelic therapy, we’re mindful that the timelines are not certain and that it will take some time before mainstream access to this medicine exists.”
He suggested that because of this, ATMA’s business model will allow the generation of immediate revenue and cash flow from more traditional retreat services while the company continues to work within the Health Canada guidelines and regulations.
“We’re a bit different in the industry, because we’re not building clinics out designed exclusively for psychedelic therapy and then waiting for the legislation to change. We’ll be operating profitable Journey Centers immediately, with the ability to introduce and expand a range of psychedelic medicines and related services as they become accessible and legal.”
Added Harder: “Today has special meaning to me because this is the realization of a vision that I’ve held for 5 years – to have a special environment in which this medicine work can be done.
The acceleration of awareness and acceptance of psychedelics in the health care and medicine arenas over that time has been extraordinary to witness. In the end, what matters most is that those who are suffering and would benefit from this medicine get access to it as soon as possible.”