We are a group of healthcare professionals, patients, and advocates who are dedicated to making psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy available to Canadians suffering from end-of-life distress.
Join Our Team
Board of Directors
Founder & Chair of Board
Registered Clinical Counsellor (BC)
Dr. Tobin received his doctorate from University of Washington in 1983, specializing in philosophy of psychology. He has been in private practice psychotherapy for 35 years, specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression and emotional trauma. He taught clinical skills for 25 years at University of Victoria, where he was Adjunct Assistant Professor and a member of the Graduate Faculty. He worked under contract with Health Canada for 20 years providing psychological services to First Nations communities in the Victoria area. He is interested in the interface between psychology and spirituality, and the role that altered states of consciousness play in enhancing clinical processes.
Spencer was first introduced to healing psychological trauma with altered states of consciousness and therapeutic psychedelics from reading the work of Terrence McKenna, Rick Strassman, and Carl Jung and believes that these methods need to be treated seriously by governments and institutions. Spencer believes that responsible drug policy requires effective organization and leadership and is dedicated to bringing together the experts and advocates, to facilitate change that results in increased access to compassionate care, harm reduction, and treatment options for those in need. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is a reasonable treatment option for palliative patients in end-of-life distress and is where we need to begin
Jim is a passionate, loving and humorous man living with his wife and family in Victoria, BC. Jim loves time with his family and dogs, and enjoys travelling, playing guitar, cooking and designing and making small things from wood.
During his career, Jim has worked at the most senior levels of both the British Columbia and Canadian governments. He is a retired international resort developer and an internationally recognized mediator and negotiator. Jim has served as a Chief Federal Negotiator for Canada and is a mediator for the United Nations and the Yukon Dispute Resolution Board.
Steve Rio is Co-Founder of Enfold, along with his wife Austin. Enfold offers elevated, safe, and sacred retreats in BC, Canada. His life’s work is focused on raising consciousness, improving sensemaking, and helping individuals and society realize our full potential.
Beyond his work with Enfold, Steve sits on the board of Grateful Living and TheraPsil, is an advisor to Numinus, Holos Global, and Nikean Foundation, and mentors dozens of young entrepreneurs through multiple organizations.
John is an ardent supporter of drug policy reform and believes the growing acceptance of psychedelics and psychedelic therapy marks a paradigm shift in the treatment of mental health.
John was aware of the healing powers of psilocybin and other psychedelics but was truly blown away by a personal story from a patient in 2021.
Since then, John has been focused on doing whatever possible to support the legalization of psychedelic therapy and help change public perception towards it.
He is honoured and privileged to support TheraPsil’s patients alongside such a professional and dedicated team.
Yasmeen is passionate about human connection, workplace wellness, fitness, and human potential optimization. She is the Co-Founder of Nature of Work, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a Pain BC Certified Coach, and a personal trainer in multiple disciplines. Yasmeen enjoys spending her time in nature, exploring the human psyche, and is committed to human betterment and healing.
Yasmeen's healing journey began when she was able to clear the trauma she had been holding onto from childhood after a psychedelic journey and knows firsthand the profound impact these substances can have on people's lives. Yasmeen holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology and a minor in Applied Ethics, a CTI Coaching designation, and has also volunteered at the Canadian Cancer Society as the Event Chair and Health Promotion and Fundraising volunteer for 5 years.
Adam Farquharson is a web developer based in Victoria, British Columbia.
In 2018 he started to build websites for local businesses and organizations on Vancouver Island as well as the mainland.
Adam is excited to be part of Therapsil and to help share their vision of Psilocybin Therapy for Canadians in End-of-Life Distress.
Vanathy is a Registered Nurse and Clinical Intake Specialist for TheraPsil. Her nursing background includes primary care, palliative and end of life care, addictions and mental health, working with incarcerated individuals, ketamine-assisted therapy and program development for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies.
Vanathy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Psychology from Windsor University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from York University. She has continued her education of different therapeutic modalities, which include Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Compassionate Inquiry and Psychedelic Lead Psychotherapy (TheraPsil).
Vanathy combines holistic healing practices with trauma-informed modalities. She is a strong believer that our ability to look at our shadows plays a vital role in our ability to create lives with deep, fulfilling connections to ourselves and others. Just as trauma can cause dysregulation in our nervous systems, healing our trauma and learning to regulate our nervous systems allows us to access our wisdom and to obtain a state of freedom and joy.
Rhonda has spent the last 20 years of her accounting career across various industries including social impact, software, finance, and music. She currently is the Director of Finance at Briteweb, a strategy, digital, and branding agency amplifying the impact of global changemakers and is TheraPsil's Financial Consultant.
Rhonda is proud of being Tsimshian First Nations - her band is Metlakatla, BC. When she’s not crunching numbers, you can find Rhonda giving big, warm hugs to everyone, volunteering at animal shelters, and cuddling her dog, Koda, who she brings to work every day.
Rhonda has first-hand experienced the healing power of psychedelics and is grateful to work with TheraPsil as they work to make legal psilocybin therapy a reality for Canadians in medical need.
After studying Law at university, he became aware of the injustice and inadequacy of the laws that govern drug policy in the UK. He has worked for multiple charities and Not-for-profit organizations in this field, including Release, The Beckley Foundation, The Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Talking Drugs.
He is interested in the therapeutic use of psychedelics, harm reduction, and the dissemination of accurate information relating to psychoactive substances.
Emma is a dedicated member of the TheraPsil team. Her knowledge of, and passion for, psilocybin advocacy work stems from following her brother Spencer’s work in this space since TheraPsil’s inception in 2019. She was also deeply influenced by the documentary "Dosed 2," which opened her eyes to the medicinal potential of psilocybin. In August 2022, Emma began volunteering for TheraPsil and started full-time shortly after to support the Operations Team and spearhead community engagement and membership efforts via our online community of care and practice platform.
Emma is a graduate of Dalhousie University, where she holds a degree in Finance. Prior to joining our team, Emma was working in sales and account management where she gained valuable skills to support and continue to develop our training and community.
As a firm believer in the healing potential of psilocybin, Emma is committed to advancing access to this medicine for those in need, and educating health care professionals on its use. Emma believes that most importantly it is the engagement and collaboration of communities that will affect the change necessary to adopt regulation access in Canada. She is beyond grateful to be supported by such an amazing team dedicated to achieving this mission.
Alix comes to the TheraPsil team with a wealth of experience and strong passion for the potential to heal the body, mind, and spirit through the help of plant medicines and psychedelics.
Hardwired for deep connection and self-inquiry, Alix is a Certified Life Coach and is studying towards her Registered Professional Counsellor designation.
With a professional background in marketing for nonprofits and charities, account management, and project management, Alix is thrilled to join the TheraPsil team as a Support Specialist to bring additional support, value, and responsiveness to TheraPsil’s growing community of healthcare practitioners.
Ingrid is a psychiatrist who had a private psychotherapy practice in Vancouver for 47 years.
She retired from private practice in 2019. She worked mostly but not exclusively with women and her practice came to focus on trauma survivors especially of early childhood sexual abuse.
In addition to traditional psychiatric training, she sought additional training in Gestalt Therapy, Bioenergetics, Art training and eventually in 1987-1990 in Holotropic Breathwork with Stan and Christina Grof. She attended numerous conferences on trauma therapy, complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorders.
She facilitated monthly weekend Holotropic Breathwork groups from 1989-2004 mostly with her partner Wendy Barrett and also with Jane Cooper. Ingrid and Wendy pioneered ongoing Holotropic Breathwork groups for trauma survivors. 1990-2004 they facilitated annual 5 day Holotropic Breathwork groups at Hollyhock, some with meditation and periods of silence and some with a focus on creativity.
With her experience in Holotropic Breathwork and trauma therapy, Ingrid became involved with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research for trauma survivors, for MAPS(US). She was the PI for the first research study in Canada 2012-2016. In 2021 she became a trainer for Therapsil, an BC organization advocating for legalization of psilocybin and for training in psilocybin -assisted therapy.
Ingrid is now a trainer for Grof Legacy Training, in Canada led by Carolyn Green and Dr Neil Hanon. She is again facilitating Holotropic Breathwork groups in the context of training. Her chapter on MDMA and Holotropic Breathwork appears in “Psychedelics and Psychotherapy”ed Dr Tim Read and Maria Papaspyrou. She lives with her spouse of 40 years, Wendy Barrett. She has 2 children and 3 grandchildren and a malamute named Misty.
Dr. Houman Farzin is a staff physician at the palliative care and family medicine departments of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. He is a lecturer at McGill University medical school, where he earned his medical degree and completed his residency training.
He has a broad range of clinical skills and has spent many years working in remote communities across North America, including the Arctic Circle. He is passionate about the health and wellbeing of the indigenous and immigrant populations and hopes to expand access to care in these communities.
More recently he has been focusing on the applied sciences of psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health, life-threatening illness, and end-of-life care. He holds an M.Sc. in Nutrition from Columbia University and a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California Berkeley. He is also trained in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
Dr. Farzin is the Montreal site physician for the Phase 3 clinical trial of the MDMA-assisted therapy sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and has also completed the MDMA therapist training program. In his spare time, he enjoys nature, makes music, and performs as a disc jockey.
Jagpaul is an Assistant Professor at UBC Faculty of Pharmacy and practices as a Clinical Pharmacist in both HIV/Infectious Diseases and Mental Health/Addictions with over a decade of experience in Cannabinoid Medicine and Psychedelic Harm Reduction. Her work has spanned from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, BC’s rural communities and beyond into international humanitarian and medical aid via WHO, UN, MSF and other NGO’s.
In addition to her pharmacy practice on the DTES she is a volunteer street medic, providing harm reduction and overdose response services. She is passionate about traditional healing modalities + wellness practices as she is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and a vocal advocate for drug policy reform to include equal access to psychedelics. She has been delving into consciousness and the human experience for many years and has a strong desire to provide assistance to patients struggling with end of life distress. Jagpaul spends any free time immersed in nature or leading academic journal clubs on psychedelics!
Dr. Joseph A. De Leo, Ph.D., C.Psych., is a dual-licensed Clinical and Rehabilitation Psychologist in Ontario, Canada and New York State, USA. As the Founder and Clinical Director of the Centre for Compassionate Care (C3), Joseph and his team are deeply committed to establishing best practices and standards of care in the provisioning of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
As a clinician, Joseph specializes in the assessment and treatment of complex mental health conditions, including addictions, trauma, and chronic pain. He has extensive experience working in a variety of clinical settings, including hospital-based programs and community-based practices, and is involved in clinical teaching, training, and supervision initiatives within healthcare organizations and universities alike.
Joseph has completed specialized training in psychedelic-assisted therapies and research, most notably at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), MAPS-based MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD, as well as through ongoing mentorship and consultation in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy with local practitioners and culturally diverse peer groups. Along with Dr. Mitch Earleywine, he is the co-developer of Integrative Ketamine Enhanced Psychotherapy (IKEP) for difficult-to-treat mental health conditions, including depressive, trauma- and stressor-related disorders (i.e., PTSD).
Joseph has specific interests in advocacy that focuses on the safe and compassionate use of psychoactive plants and psychedelic medicines, including therapeutic cannabis and psilocybin. As an author and consumer of clinical and psychological research, Joseph and his team actively engage in scholarship, policy discussions, and clinical research practices that promote client-centered, person-focused, trauma and culturally-informed evidence-based care models that can broaden access to effective mental health treatments.
Dr. Reg Peters is a Trauma and Emergency physician in Abbotsford, BC. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Peters played an integral role in the creation and development of the Abbotsford UBC Family Practice Residency Program and has been involved in teaching medical students and residents since 1997. He received the Clinical Faculty Teacher of the Year Award from the UBC Residency Program.
25 years of ER experiences have fueled Reg’s passion for wellness and holistic health. He recognizes there is a need not being met by our current medical system and has obtained training in Functional Medicine, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, and the use of psilocybin in healing.
Reg has a strong desire to work with patients struggling with end-of-life anxiety and is interested in developing communities of support for patients wanting to heal from trauma.
In his personal life, Reg enjoys trail running and connecting to the outdoors.
Hi, I’m Dave and I am passionate about helping individuals and organizations experience greater levels of health. I love to teach, consult and coach managers in leading employees to maximize their potential. I am grounded in current research and am committed to promoting an evidence-based, best practices approach in whatever arena I’m working.
I hold 2 graduate degrees in counseling psychology and have over 30 years experience in the mental health field including working with hundreds of companies in multiple industries. My expertise and certifications include: Psychological health and safety, Trauma and PTSD, Management coaching, Mental Health First Aid, Mental health HR/LR, Respect in the Workplace, Substance Abuse in the workplace. On a personal level, I am married to Adele and have two grown sons; I love to golf and am an avid consumer and critic of modern film.
Charlotte Jackson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has worked in the field of Mental Health and Substance Use in Vancouver, BC, since 2001.
Charlotte held the position of Team Lead with Vancouver Coastal Health for many years, providing clinical supervision to both mental health and outpatient substance use teams.
She is a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) trained therapist and was a sub-investigator in the Phase III clinical trials using MDMA assisted therapy for individuals with severe PTSD. Charlotte is currently an Associate Supervisor with MAPS, supporting therapists-in-training in the European MAPS sponsored MDMA clinical trials.
Charlotte is interested in the intersection of the psychological and the transpersonal. In pursuit of this, she completed her undergraduate studies in classical mythology at UBC, was a long time student of A. H. Almaas and the Ridhwan School, and has studied with Taoist Master, Mantak Chia. She is a student of Stan Grofs work and is pursuing further education in holotropic breathwork. She has followed the teachings of, and been on retreat with,
Cynthia Bourgeault with the Contemplative Wisdom School. She is currently working with Dr. Ingrid Pacey, providing theoretical and experiential training to therapists pursuing competency in working with non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Charlotte works from a harm reduction, strengths based, trauma-informed perspective, as well as from an anti-oppression framework. She works with individuals seeking support with trauma, anxiety and depression as well as those wishing to explore the integration of psychedelic experiences and other expanded states.
Nicholas Brüss, EdD, LMFT is an integrative psychotherapist who specializes in helping people with psychedelics-assisted therapies. He was trained as a psychedelic therapist by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and is a therapist on the MAPS-sponsored FDA Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, is a MAPS Public Benefit Corp. clinical supervisor, and Zendo Harm Reduction volunteer.
Certified in both IFS and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, he’s been provided ketamine-assisted IFS therapy in Los Angeles, California since 2017. Nicholas is the Co-founder and Lead Trainer of the Psychedelic Coalition for Health, an organization providing training in psychedelic-assisted therapy and integration for clinicians, and public education programs advocating for the psychedelic medicine health and happiness.
Nicholas is also a certified Mindfulness Facilitator through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. With the Center for Compassion, Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine, he’s a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT).
Dr Jean-François Stephan is a general physician practicing family medicine and psychotherapy. He has a great interest in addressing psychological and emotional trauma as he sees them as the root of most diagnosed mental health issues.
Having had personal experiences with both extremes of psychedelic experiences, from psychedelic trauma to mystical experiences, he sees psilocybin-assisted therapy as a powerful adjunct to existing treatments, understanding first-hand the risks that come with such a potent experience, and the potential to heal profound psychological wounds.
He also spearheaded the procedures to obtain public health coverage for psilocybin-assisted therapy in Quebec. Dr Stephan is passionate about sharing efficacious tools for psychological healing and spiritual development and dedicated to the advancement and accessibility of psychedelic medicine.
Kylea Taylor is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC #34901) who has been thinking, writing, and teaching about ethics for almost three decades. She developed InnerEthics®, a self-reflective, self-compassionate approach to relational ethics that includes a set of awareness tools useful in heightening a therapist's ethical alertness in the therapeutic container.
Kylea teaches the Inner Ethics® model in psychedelic psychotherapy trainings. Kylea started studying with Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Christina Grof in 1984 and was certified by them as a Holotropic Breathwork® practitioner in 1990. She worked with Stanislav Grof and Tav Sparks as a Senior Trainer in the Grof Transpersonal Training throughout the 1990s, facilitating and observing 1000s of extra-ordinary state of consciousness sessions. She worked for nine years in a residential substance abuse recovery program where she managed a women’s program and facilitated Holotropic Breathwork®.
Kylea is the author of The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with Clients, The Breathwork Experience, Considering Holotropic Breathwork®, and is the editor of Exploring Holotropic Breathwork®. InnerEthics.com/
After receiving a degree in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Ottawa, Rich started his career working as a mental health and addictions crisis worker for 13 years in Kingston, Ontario. Seeing the limitations of the current system, he sought out other modalities to support deeper healing and became a Registered Psychotherapist. He trained in ketamine assisted therapy, cannabis-assisted psychedelic therapy, Sensorimotor psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems therapy, psilocybin therapy, and somatic and relational psychedelic therapy with 3MMC. He supports others in preparation and integration as well as group and individual medicine journeys. Since 2019, he has been a mentor with Students for Sensible Drug Policy's Pipeline Mentorship program.
Rich is passionate about psychedelic advocacy, education, and harm reduction. He started the Kingston Psychedelic Society 8 years ago to bring people together and reduce the stigma around psychedelics and create a safe space to discuss alternative healing modalities. In 2022, he co-created a community-focused centre called Neuma, which supports group psychedelic work and education. He has spoken globally on topics such as psychedelics, spirituality, shadow work, and PTSD. Rich has a daughter and a loving partner who keep him humble. His ongoing commitment to cultural humility, self work, and equity are what continue to inspire him to be a better human doing this important work.
Maria Paula Almiron is a native Argentinean, she qualified as a psychologist from Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR) and completed professional equivalences in the United Kingdom, obtaining her license as a clinical and a forensic psychologist through the British Psychological Society. She is currently a registered practitioner with the Healthcare Professions Council (UK) and is in the final stages of registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
Maria’s work in expanded states of consciousness grew out of exposure to the eastern practices of silence, prayer and pilgrimage, her own relationship with visionary plants in Central/South America, and formal training gathered in Western academic contexts. In collaboration with several projects across formal and informal channels, Maria is in active service of the psychedelic community, promoting harm reduction in recreational settings, facilitating integration for individuals with adverse experiences, contributing to clinical research, advocating for safe and legal end-of-life access and providing psilocybin assisted therapy for Health Canada approved cases.
Maria is a certified Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy Facilitator through the Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI), a MAPS-trained MDMA-assisted psychotherapist for the treatment of PTSD and a Therapsil-trained psylocibin-assisted psychotherapist for the treatment of end-of-life anxiety. She works with MAPS as a protocol-adherence rater in MDMA trials for PTSD, is the co-founder of the Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Program at the Cognitive Behavioural Center of Niagara and a Clinical Suitability Assessor with Heroic Hearts Canada.
Dr. Valorie Masuda is a palliative care physician and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UBC. She graduated from UBC in 1986 with BSc in honours pharmacology and in graduated in 1990 as a Medical Doctor. She worked in the Haida Gwaii and then in the Yukon for 8 years, followed by working in emergency medicine in Cowichan Valley for 14 years. She completed her residency in palliative care and certification as a general practitioner in oncology in 2014 and then worked in the Cowichan Valley in community palliative care for 6 years. Dr. Masuda is also a part-time farmer working towards sustainable, humane, local food production and enjoys spending time with her family as well as participating in two local orchestras both as a vocalist and playing the viola.
David Wood is a lawyer, patent agent and partner practicing from the Calgary office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Canada’s largest national law firm. David is Co-Chair of BLG’s Cannabis Industry Focus Group, and practices intellectual property, regulatory and commercial law. His practice is specific to the Canadian cannabis industry, and to research and commercialization of psychedelics, entheogens and entactogens. David’s individual practice is an effective blend of regulatory, intellectual property and commercial legal advice for the cannabis industry and the global psychedelics sector. He has significant experience organizing and managing teams of his colleagues at BLG to advise clients in the cannabis industry and the global psychedelics sector. David was recognized in the 14th edition (2019) of Best Lawyers in the cannabis category for his work in the regulated cannabis industry.
David has experience advising federal licence holders and applicants under the Cannabis Regulations, federal licence holders and applicants under Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations (restricted drugs), technology companies, and other domestic and foreign participants in the Canadian cannabis industry and the global psychedelics sector. David has advised pharmaceutical companies, a national pharmacy chain, a natural health products company, manufacturing companies, software companies, clinics, food companies, assisted living facilities and others on many aspects of Canadian medical and adult use cannabis regulation. David has advised technology companies focused on cultivation, extraction, formulation, biosynthesis, hardware and other aspects of the cannabis industry. David has advised pharmaceutical companies, a contract manufacturer, technology companies, hospitality companies, investment banks and other entities in relation to the global psychedelics sector.
David holds a PhD in biochemistry. His graduate-level education in structural biochemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, plant biochemistry, and natural products chemistry provides a strong technical background for advising clients in the Canadian cannabis industry, and clients positioning for commercialization of psychedelics, entheogens and entactogens, in relation to both intellectual property and regulatory law.
Carmen is a first generation Australian and psychedelic fringe dweller engaged in independent co-research and practice in Vancouver. Her practice (Square Peg Therapy), provides low barrier services to artists, queer, gender and neuro-diverse peers, informed by Narrative Therapy & Transpersonal Art Therapy, supported by a history of engagement with the arts, and substance use in naturalistic, ceremonial and therapeutic contexts. Her deliberately secular approach, specializing in relational psycholytic protocols, straddles the considerable gap between medicalized and neo-spiritual substance assisted therapies.
Inspired by legacies of Bohemianism and performed at the intersections of class, queerness and creativity, Carmen will share community centered approaches that invite diverse practices and navigate the challenging inheritance of Psychedelic Medicine as it currently stands.
We are grateful to have several committees that shape and drive the organization, including:
Training Committee, Nurse Subcommittee, Treatment Committee, Community of Care and Practice Committee, Ethics Committee
TheraPsil’s team operates as visitors in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, the unceded homelands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, represented by the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations. Our team also works from unceded səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territory in North Vancouver, BC and unceded Anishinabewaki & Haudenosaunee Territories in Toronto, ON. To identify the unceded Traditional Territory you are a guest on, visit Native-Land.ca.
As a team composed of mostly settlers, we acknowledge, with peace and respect, that we are visitors and guests on this land. We also acknowledge that the substances we advocate for, in a western-medical context, psilocybin mushrooms, have been used for thousands of years by Indigenous communities across the globe for healing and ceremonial purposes. The modern psychedelic-therapy movement would not exist without Indigenous knowledge keepers who are the original custodians of this medicine.
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