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An Immersive Therapeutic Ketamine Retreat in NYC

With decades of experience in psychedelic, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practices, Cardea invites those seeking transformation and awakening to a weekend of immersive play, with the use of art, music, dance, and ketamine.


Play is serious business. In fact, it is the central element in human transformation. Conjuring us to feel alive and coaxing us to be real, it’s something far beyond just “fun.” Through play, the invisible landscapes of our inner lives merge with the visible world we all perceive in our own unique ways. Play thus acts as an antidote to the isolation and disconnection inherent in psychological suffering—it is fundamentally collaborative and connective. When we play, we always play with someone or something: it’s always a relationship: an encounter. And in this, and so much more, play is the Marrow of our compassion. 

To not play? Well, the best word for that is alienation: the estrangement from our own power to summon life in ourselves and an estrangement from other living beings. To exist as if everything is same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

Play is never habit, and it’s always about novelty.

In this ketamine assisted therapeutic weekend event, we take a deep dive into serious play, talking about it, thinking about it, seeing where it already plays in our lives and finding those places where we want it to play a bigger part.  We also play a lot in a serious manner, bringing in artists, dancers and musicians to help us reach our own states of play. 

The aim in all of this is for our guests to leave more alive and awake to the world and to their inner lives, leaving our doors with a fresh orientation toward their own transformative goals, both personal and social.

To find out more and reserve your spot, schedule a free consultation with a Cardea’s Clinical Director.


Introduction to Cardea’s Method of Serious Play
Including Dialogic sessions – a reflection-based listening model for preparing and processing your experience.

Two group ketamine sessions guided by live sound
Supported by our licensed therapist and trained space holders

Group Reflection Session 
To make meaning of your experiences and deepen your intentions prior to 2nd ketamine session

Morning Meditations
Begin your day grounded, centered, and present

Life-infusing Art & Activities 
Multi-media art-making, poem-writing, movement, dance, improv, and music circles led by experiences facilitators

Intimate Community Building
7 spots for like-minded beings to continue enriching your work with psychedelics and play

Exceptional Space Holding
Through the whole weekend, experience radical hospitality from Cardea team and facilitators to ensure the groups needs are at the center of our focus


Next Steps? Book Your Free Consultation!



Ross EllenhornRoss Ellenhorn, LICSW, Ph.D
Ross Ellenhorn serves as the owner and CEO of Ellenhorn, a psychiatric recovery program, and is the co-founder of Cardea, a psychedelic-based growth and recovery program, with offices in New York City and retreats in Jamaica. An author of three books on human change, his latest work, “Purple Crayons: The Art of Drawing a Life,” published by Harper Collins, emphasizes the significance of play in human experience and its potential as a gift of modernity. Ross challenges the prevailing trend of standardization in human transformation, critiquing the evolution of therapy from an improvisational art form to a push for normalization and sameness. Rejecting such standards, he endeavors to heal the wounds of “problem saturation,” wherein individuals feel defined by their issues rather than their inherent vitality. Advocating for an authentic, artistic existence, Ross rejects societal expectations in all his endeavors and will be central to the “Serious Weekend of Play” workshop. His recent article in Time Magazine und  erscores the need for a play-oriented approach to psychedelic-assisted therapies. He frequently speaks nationwide on the relationship between play and experiences of aliveness and authenticity in people’s lives. Visit his website to learn more. 


Aimee Meredith Cox, PhD

Aimee Meredith Cox, is a cultural anthropologist, writer, and movement artist. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at New York University following her appointment as an Associate Professor in the African American Studies and Anthropology departments at Yale.  Aimee is the author of the award-winning Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship (Duke 2015 and the editor of the volume, Gender: Space (MacMillan, 2018). Aimee performed and toured internationally with Ailey II and has choreographed performances as interventions in public and private space in Newark, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.  She now leads movement classes,  teacher trainings as well as advanced study and continuing education workshops around the globe. Aimee’s hope is that we can learn to feel into our hearts and find the courage to fly, fueled by the powerful medicine that is movement. She is invested in our potential to liberate ourselves from the conventions that make us small and fearful, so that we can practice a kindness towards ourselves that extends beyond who we are and what we find familiar. Aimee will be leader  a powerful movement session during the “Serious Weekend of Play” workshop. IG: @aimee_mere


Paul Calderón

Paul Calderón is a writer, actor, producer, director; and a student and practitioner of various spiritual and martial arts disciplines spanning over forty years. Over the years he’s been on faculty at NYU Tisch Graduate Film School, The Lee Strasberg Institute; The School of Visual Arts; and The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.  In 1992 he co-founded the LAByrinth Theater Company; where he directed productions starring Philip Seymour Hoffman; Sam Rockwell; John Ortiz and Stephen Adly Guirgis. Currently, he is co-artistic director of the Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble, for which he has written and directed three full-length plays. He is an Obie Award recipient and a SAG Award nominee. Off the stage, Paul is a certified instructor in the Mantak Chia Healing Tao system, as well as a certified yoga instructor. He has facilitated workshops at Esalen Institute; Kripalu Center; as well as leading Yoga and Dance retreats, as well as leading Freeing the Artist Within workshops at the Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY. Paul joins Cardea’s “Serious Weekend of Play” workshop to facilitate playful improvisation session with his wife and partner Catherine Calderson to foster the inner-artist within.


Catherine Calderón

Catherine Calderón is the founder of Shambhala Yoga & Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York, has been celebrating life through yoga, dance, filmmaking, and theater directing for more than 35 years. has over 40 years experience in Yoga and spiritual practices, and is a life-long dancer.  She has studied extensively in various traditions, including Tantra Yoga, Taoist Healing Love practices, Tibetan Buddhism, the Afro-Cuban Orisha tradition, and is a registered yoga teacher, trained by Todd Norian.  Cathy leads retreats, workshops & healing ceremonies at centers around the country and the Caribbean, including Kripalu Center  in Massachusetts, Esalen Institute in California, and Samnyasin in Puerto Rico. As a salsa dancer, she performed at the Apollo Theatre with Tito Puente, & the Palladium with Hector Lavoe.  She is also a filmmaker (“A Bailar” & “Dancing with the Spirits”), theater director/producer, and teaches acting with her husband Paul Calderon  One of her greatest joys is to share her passion for music, dance creativity & Spirit, and serve as a doorway for others to connect with their own unique expression of Life.


ONLY 7 SPOTS – Reserve yours by booking a free consultation below.




FRIDAY (5/31)

3:00-3:30 – Welcoming with Snacks & Refreshments

3:30-4:00 – Reaching the In-Between: Discussion with Ross Ellenhorn, Ph.D, Author of Purple Crayons: The Art of Drawing a Life.  

4:15-5:00pm – Entering the Transitional space: The encounter of  “me” and “not-me” – Dialogic Drawing Art Event 

5:30-6:30pm – Group Ketamine Session with Live Sound

7:00-8:30pm – Post Ketamine with hearty snacks



9:00-10am – Opening the day: remarks and morning meditation 

10:00-12:00 – Group Integration discussion

12:00-12:45 – Hosted Lunch

1:00-1:30 – Witness, Withness and Play: Discussion with Ross Ellenhorn

1:45-3:00pm – “When I look, I am seen. I can now afford to look and see.” A Dialogic Poem Event led by Ross Ellenhorn

3:15-4:30 – A Witness to yourself, a Withness with Yourself: Movement session with Aimee Cox PhD

4:30-5:00 – Wrap up for day


SUNDAY (6/2)

9:00 – 10:00 – Morning Meditations

10:00-12:00 – Group Ketamine Session with Live Sound 

 12:00-1:00 – Hosted Lunch

1:00-1:30 – Aliveness and Realness: Discussion with Ross Ellenhorn, Ph.D

1:45-3:00 – Feeling Alive: An improv activity with Paul and Catherine Calderon

3:15-5:30 – Art Temple: A Happening. Multi-media Art Event led by Ross Ellenhorn

5:30-7:00 – Closing of the Container: Light dinner and a reflective review of the weekend.



3-Day Weekend: $2,250

  • Includes virtual Medical Assessment with our prescribing doctor
  • Does not include cost of the nasal spray medicine (~$100) paid directly to pharmacy

*payment plans available through CareCredit. Inquire on consultation.


Cardea is dedicated to assisting individuals in their recovery from deep psychological anguish and supporting those seeking an awakened life. We believe that breaking free from standardized living and embracing uncertainty and novelty are key to personal growth and well-being. Join us as we explore the limitless possibilities for self-knowledge and increased wellness through the fusion of psychedelic-assisted therapy, ketamine care, and acupuncture.

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