Who is...

Door of Perception = Dorien

My passion for psychedelics was born when I tried psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, over twenty years ago. I immediately knew that I wanted to introduce others to this special and inspiring state of consciousness. Learning about altered states of consciousness became a red thread in my life. I went on to study cultural anthropology, eager to learn more about the cultures that have been working with psychedelics for centuries. During my studies I worked in a Smartshop (where magic mushrooms were still legally sold at that time) and through that employer, and a grant from my university, I ended up at the 2006 LSD symposium in Basel. That symposium, in honor of Albert Hofmann's centennial birthday, was the inspiration for me to initiate the OPEN Foundation, which was founded in 2007 to stimulate psychedelics research in the Netherlands.

In addition to my theoretical interests in altered states of consciousness, I have always felt the need to help people. That combination led me to the path of mental health care counsellor. I worked in the field of social-psychiatry for ten years and experienced up close what it's like to live with a psychiatric condition. In the meantime, I gained experience as a volunteer guiding “bad trips” at festivals. Here my eyes were really opened to the risks that psychedelics may pose, when not taken in an appropriate or safe setting.


When I first became a mother, I decided to leave my psychiatric counselling career.  Although the people I worked with stole my heart, dealing with the limitations of the current mental healthcare system was starting to feel too taxing. Again and again I experienced how little the field of psychiatry can do to cure patients. I saw a lot of medication and very little progress and this started to frustrate me. It was time to look for an occupation that would give me energy and I decided to start my own business. Since then I have been working as a writer and psychedelic guide -  a long cherished dream came true.

Door of Perception op haar trouwdag

Dorien = Door of Perception

Friends have called me "Door" since I was a teenager. About ten years ago, a friend affectionately called me Door of Perception and that nickname stuck. It refers to Aldous Huxley's “The Doors of Perception”, a classic and influential 1954 essay about the writers first experience with psychedelics - the band The Doors named themselves after it. And because I admire both Huxley and the Doors, I feel very honoured with this nickname!