Lauren McDonald

Facilitator & Psychiatrist

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Her Role

Lauren is a psychiatry doctor, psychedelic therapy guide and retreat facilitator. She regularly facilitates psilocybin retreats in the Netherlands and is the co-founder of Essence Medicine, an organization providing psycho-spiritual group support to people facing life threatening illness. Lauren also delivers training and experiential retreats for Mind Medicine (Australia) and PsyEdu (UK). Alongside holding clinical roles, Lauren is a group facilitator and finds love in co-creating spaces that support connection, healing, and growth.

Her Story

Lauren initially studied and practiced western psychology and psychiatry until a stage IV cancer diagnosis led her on a personal journey of healing towards a deeper understanding of what it means to provide whole-person, mind-body-heart-spirit care. For the last few years Lauren has worked as a clinical trial doctor, therapy guide, and researcher at The Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London, where she has dedicated her attention across trials investigating psilocybin-assisted therapy for anorexia nervosa and fibromyalgia, as well as DMT for treatment-resistant depression.

Her Why

Lauren loves supporting people to come home to themselves, unfold more of who they truly are, and deepen into the beauty and mystery of life. She is also passionate about the group setting and she has witnessed time and time again the depth of healing that can happen in community.