The pricing of psychedelic-assisted therapy and healing is a controversial topic. If you’re stuck and lost in the conversation of how to price your psychedelic-assisted healing services, whether you’re a coach, facilitator or other kind of psychedelic healer, read on. It’s a challenge to strike the perfect balance between affordability, sustainability and making a good living while honoring your own values and needs as a psychedelic service provider.
In this post, I’ll shed light on the intricate dance between financial considerations and the transformational work carried out by healers, coaches, and psychedelic entrepreneurs. I believe in having transparent discussions about the worth of psychedelic services and learning how to effectively communicate the value of your offerings. Read on to see if your pricing is aligned with your purpose.
Question the Double Standard
Whether you’re a seasoned facilitator or a budding spiritual business owner, the topic of pricing is one you can’t ignore. I was inspired to write about this topic after recording a podcast episode with my friend, Daniel Shankin, the founder of Mt. Tam Psychedelic Integration. He also runs a psychedelic integration coach training program, and if you’re interested, send me an email to get a discount code.
During our talk Daniel pointed out some flaws in the debates about pricing and value that really stuck with me. I asked him what he says to people who push the idea that psychedelic space holders and practitioners shouldn’t charge for their services.
He said this type of mindset feels like a witch trial – one where we critique and diminish the value of services a healer or spiritual practitioner provides for the betterment of the world, while not fighting with that same effort towards multi billion dollar companies that are morally and ethically questionable.
Why is it okay in our society for people who work at these conglomerate companies to be paid very well for their services, but it’s not ok to properly pay someone who is preparing a psychedelic space to help people heal and grow into happier, healthier people?
Acknowledging Time and Effort Behind the Scenes
A service provider running their own business can pour hours and days to prepare and hold space properly for those that seek it. It’s a true labor of love, filled with unseen time and energy dedicated to offering their services to the world. Why does it suddenly become a problem that this person would want to charge $500, $2,000, or even $10,000 for their time and expertise?
One of the reasons there’s so much uncertainty in the realm of pricing is that prices are all over the place in the entrepreneurial spaces. This issue comes up frequently with many of my clients, especially the ones that are newly forming their businesses, or at a new stage in their business and offerings.
As your experience grows and you do more trainings, or you prepare to launch new programs, the question of “How do I price this?” is always a top stressor. Unfortunately, pricing is such a personal thing and requires the consideration of so many factors, so there’s no real formula to determine what price is best for you and what you provide.
Align Your Pricing with Your Values
You can compare yourself to others in the market offering similar things as yourself, but you’ll still be left with a lot of questions. I’ve seen people offering medicine work in a ceremonial group setting for $200, with potentially cheaper options when you travel to another country, depending on where you’re from. Additionally, I know people who offer medicine work in the five-figure range.
I know coaches who offer sessions for $150 an hour (which I personally think is too low) and I know coaches charging in the six-figure range. I don’t charge in the six-figure range, but I know many coaches who do.
For my personal value system, I wouldn’t feel right charging people that much, but this is not to judge people who do. I believe that anyone can really charge whatever they want. Only you can determine how to build out a pricing system that acknowledges the investment of your time, energy, and expertise.
Exploring Free Offerings and Tiers of Services
I offer a range of programs and coaching that vary from free up to 5 figures. Joining my email list is free, along with free courses to help you Grow Your Spiritual Business and learn How to Integrate Psychedelics and Sacred Medicines Into a Transformational Business. I conduct free workshops, provide information and advice for free on my blog, podcast, YouTube channel, Instagram, and my Facebook groups.
From there I offer services at different tiers that are priced anywhere from $97, $444, $3,000, up into the five-figure range and above. I also offer different payment plans for each of those programs.
There are several benefits to having a tiered pricing system in your business. First, a tiered pricing system allows you to reach a broader audience with varying budgets. This can help you attract clients who might not have the funds to work with you now but would still like to get some value from you.
They might not see the value in your bigger offers, but they see enough value in the smaller offers to try them out and get to know you a bit better.
Low-tier options can also serve as an entry point for clients who are hesitant or new to your services. Once they experience the value you provide, they may be more inclined to invest in higher tiers.
People Invests in What Matters Most to Them
Something to keep in mind about your high-tier offers is that often, clients who opt for higher-tier packages are more committed to their goals and the process you set for them. They are more likely to be engaged, which leads to them getting better results.
How many of you know someone who says they’re broke, but then you see them going to festivals, ceremonies, spending money on mushrooms, getting a new car, etc. The reality is these people have money for the things they believe add value to their lives, so they budget accordingly and find a way to add those things to their list of financial commitments.
Even when a person has very little money, something comes up, like fixing their car, a medical expense, or needing a new pair of shoes, and they find a way to pay for those things. There’s always a way to find the money for what you need.
Before you roll your eyes at this and call me privileged, keep in mind that I have a lot of perspective on this because I have been there myself. I’ve had negative income multiple times in my life, but I also have a high-abundance mindset.
I see abundance everywhere – in the trees, the flowers, and the clean water that runs out of my taps. I see it in the fact that even people who don’t have much money still have access to smartphones. These are privileges that are comparatively abundant when we look at the bigger picture of the entire world.
So when I talk about this, I’m talking about the people that are privileged enough to be interested in psychedelics in general. You’re already at a privilege versus just trying to survive in the world.
Limitations of “Trip Sitting” as a Business
I want to share an example with you. If you listened to my podcast episode where I talked about why trip sitting isn’t a good business, you’ll know why I don’t believe it’s a scalable model.
It takes a lot of time and energy to run it properly. There’s also a limit on the number of sessions you can do in a week, which clearly cuts into your ability to grow the business. It’s not like you can schedule people back to back unless you’re willing to risk giving a poor experience to some of your clients.
Maybe you sit with someone and for one session and some big trauma surfaces. You wouldn’t just cut the session short because you have a client coming in directly after this client would you?
Then there’s all of the time and energy it takes to set up a space. There’s preparation work, traveling, rental agreements, the preparation of the medicine, music, and ambiance of the setting or arranging to bring in your own music and instruments. There’s money spent in additional training, buying supplies, providing snacks or refreshments. It all adds up!
I teach my clients who are holding medicine space to offer a limited amount of preparation sessions and integration sessions. In these situations, your prices should ideally cover the costs of all the preparation involved, not just the time you spend with clients. By focusing on quality over quantity, facilitators can ensure that each interaction is meaningful and tailored to their client’s needs.
Money as a Catalyst for Growth
I wish we lived in a world where everything could be free, where we exchanged goods and services, and truly lived as our ancestors did many, many, many generations ago. I really do. But, we can’t deny where we are right now. We can’t pretend that capitalism exists. I’ve made peace with the fact that we live in the capitalistic society we’re in (for now). I know people who’ve tried to bypass this, leave the world, and attempt to run their businesses off of donations only or using a pay-what-you-can model…which is great in theory, but terrible for their lives.
The reality is we have to pay for our lifestyles, and we often have more we’d like to invest in. Maybe you want to expand on something or take a new integration training – that requires money. The way I see it is like a reinvestment.
A large amount of my income is reinvested back into my own growth and healing so that I can be of better service to all of my clients. When I do that, then they can be of better service to the outside world. It creates a domino effect.
That’s why I have no problem accepting the amount of money I ask for in exchange for my health and my programs. I see it as a cycle of abundance that’s going back into the greater good.
Balancing Pay-as-You-Wish Models with Sustainable Livelihoods
If you’re really set on offering services for free, consider integrating it thoughtfully. Within your tiered pricing system, carve out spaces for sliding scale options or dedicate specific time slots for pro bono work, maybe on a quarterly basis. This approach ensures that your altruistic intentions align with your overall business model, allowing you to contribute meaningfully to those in need while maintaining the sustainability and balance necessary for your practice to thrive.
Once in a blue moon I do some pro bono work, especially for nonprofits or projects I really believe in. Sometimes when people offer me a lot of support from their heart, I will reciprocate their offer, but it’s a rare occurrence that is usually only done with people I know very well. Ultimately, it’s important to feel good about your work and be paid well for the value you provide.
The Hidden Costs of Undercharging
A big reason I advise against undercharging is that it quickly leads to resentment. If you feel in your heart that you aren’t earning enough to justify the amount of time and value you give, you’ll quickly burn out of your business and lose motivation to continue.
Undercharging also ends up attracting clients who don’t take your services seriously. With less of their money invested, they don’t feel the need to show up the same way as people who have more skin in the game. I’ve seen this over and over and over with my clients, especially clients that do single sessions.
I had a client once who was charging $75 per session because she was new. I told her that was really low, especially for someone living in the Western world. It’s an amount that most people in the field wouldn’t take seriously.
So what happened? She would have clients book sessions with her and then cancel or they wouldn’t show up. Some clients would end up only doing one or two sessions, and they wouldn’t give her a review, a testimonial, or refer her out to anybody. They’d say they didn’t get any results from working with her in such a limited amount of time.
But what happens when you charge more? If she had been charging $350 per session, the people who book with her would feel more invested in showing up and committing to what they invested in because it’s more of their money on the line.
I personally work with people who charge $500 for an hour of their time, and I don’t flinch because it’s always worth it. When I show up for that $500 call, I’m fully engaged. I show up and I do the work. I take it seriously. But if I only paid $50 I might not pay as much attention, and I might question how qualified the person is to give me any kind of advice.
How Clear Communication and Pricing Impact Business Success
Very often when people undercharge, it can raise some red flags for people. They might wonder if this person knows what they’re doing, or if they’re just starting out. There’s a psychology to it. Let’s use the example of buying cheap wine. There’s great cheap wine out there, but if you paid more for a bottle, then you’re more likely to honor it differently and use it for different occasions based on its perceived value.
As a psychedelic practitioner, I highly encourage you to talk to people and get a sense of what everyone is charging. Using that information and your own values system, costs of operations, and amounts you need to live, you can start to build a better picture of a pricing system that truly works for you and your clients.
There’s a sweet spot you can find where you feel satisfied with what you’re receiving, and your clients are impressed with the value you provide while having spent enough to keep them committed to your services. there is no one way there is what’s best for you, and that’s it.
If you’re able to communicate the value you offer, and you’re actually giving the value, then people will want to work with you and they’ll find a way to meet your prices.
Money, Value, and Purpose in the Psychedelic Realm
I know this is a sensitive topic, but I think it’s important to have transparent and honest conversations about money in the psychedelic space. As a psychedelic business coach, I hate to see entrepreneurs in this field struggling because we all deserve to be supported in our life’s work and our soul’s purpose.
I invite you to reflect on the perspectives shared about money, value, and pricing and join in the conversation. Your insights, opinions, and even triggers are valuable as we navigate the path to a more compassionate and conscious world. You are a part of this movement, and remember, your medicine is what we need for these times.