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.
Board of Directors
Founder & Chair of Board
Registered Clinical Counsellor (BC)
Registered Psychologist (NWT)
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.
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.
Steve is an entrepreneur, philosopher, leader, and coach based on Bowen Island, BC. Steve is Co-Founder and Founder of multiple ventures including Nature of Work, a performance and wellness optimization program for modern work, NOW with Steve Rio, a podcast that explores what it means to live a good life, and Humkala Inner Wellness, working to build retreat-based protocols based on psychedelics, meditation and somatic modalities.
Steve thrives at the intersection of social impact, culture, consciousness, and technology. Steve is an expert in technology, communications, and human wellness and performance. He has close to two decades of experience leading remote and distributed digital teams as well as implementing technology and systems for social impact organizations all over the world.
I have suffered from depression and anxiety ever since I can remember due to compounded traumas throughout my life. After retiring from my accounting career, I was diagnosed with, what was thought at the time, to be terminal cancer.
I survived, went into remission, and became involved with the B.C. Cancer Foundation as an advocate and spokesperson.
Still dealing with unresolved trauma, and after studying psychedelic therapies for over a decade, TheraPsil helped me apply for a section 56 exemption. I was approved as the first ‘non-palliative’ Canadian to access this treatment in October 2020. Dr. Bruce Tobin was my therapist and the difference the treatment made in my life is indescribable.
I am grateful we finally have the opportunity to have psilocybin -therapy available to us in Canada and I am thrilled to be on TheraPsil's board. As someone who has first-hand experienced the life-changing, healing benefits of psilocybin-therapy, I look forward to bringing a patient's perspective to the TheraPsil's Board and the future of psychedelic therapy in Canada.
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
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.
Natasha Fearnley is a Registered Nurse and the Clinical Intake Director at TheraPsil.
Natasha lives and works on the unceded Traditional Territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, also known as Victoria, BC.
Before working at TheraPsil, her nursing career has provided her valuable experience in facility management and clinical leadership. She has also had the honour of providing direct care to patients at the end of their lives, often holding space for those experiencing dementia.
Natasha now builds and enacts TheraPsil’s clinical protocols to ensure patient safety. She educates and guides each patient through a detailed assessment process, assisting patients who meet inclusion criteria to apply for section 56 exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Patients are then referred to trained therapists to provide their psilocybin assisted therapy. She is currently working with TheraPsil’s research department to collect observational data to detail the effectiveness of these treatments.
Natasha is trained to provide psilocybin assisted therapy to those in medical need, and in May of 2021 became the first Nurse in Canada to legally consume psilocybin for training purposes. She assists in the development and delivery of TheraPsil’s health care practitioner psilocybin assisted therapy training program.
Natasha is very grateful to be in a position to help the public gain safe and legal access to this medicine. She views psychedelic assisted therapy as a powerful tool to relieve suffering, not only for individuals facing end-of-life distress, but for all patients in medical need. She believes this treatment should be widely accessible and through her work is continually advocating for Psilocybin Regulations to be created in Canada.
Robyn is a fundraising specialist based as a guest on traditional lək̓ʷəŋən territory (Victoria, BC). She enjoys applying her skills in grant writing and fundraising strategy to nurture growth and success in multiple non-profit organizations across BC. Robyn holds a double major in Microbiology/Immunology and International Development Studies, with a certificate in Intercultural Communications from Dalhousie University. Becoming a part of the TheraPsil team has been synonymous to dreaming with her eyes open.
Robyn’s fascination with psychedelic assisted psychotherapy grew from her personal trauma work and PTSD research. She holds special interest in the Indigenous roots and history of these traditional medicines and looks forward to improved intersectionality and accessibility across our initiatives. On her time off, Robyn can be found enjoying forest baths, surfing, oil painting, pottery, music, and meditation in her pursuit of expanded consciousness.
Director of Communication
Holly Bennett is a communications specialist who lives, works, and plays on the unceded Anishinabewaki & Haudenosaunee Territories in Toronto, ON. She has over 8 years of experience in the Canadian cannabis industry including communications, and patient education. Holly holds a special interest in bioethics and drug policy and is passionate about mental health, harm reduction, and compassionate patient care. She is dedicated to helping change public perception and policy regarding psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and ensuring that this treatment option becomes safe, sustainable, and equitably accessible in Canada.
TheraPsil's Research Director
Julia gained her Masters in Neuroscience from the University of Bristol, UK, where she first was introduced to the benefits of therapeutic psychedelics in treating psychological trauma and other medical indications. Julia has undertaken a variety of research including Alzheimer’s disease, concussion and end-of-life distress and believes that scientists have a responsibility to educate the public on recent advances and discoveries to raise attention towards brain and mental health.
Now based in Victoria, British Columbia, Julia hopes to help expand the current literature surrounding psychedelics and their therapeutic applications in order to make necessary changes to drug policies
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.
Anne-Marie, BA, BSW, RSW is a Master of Clinical Social Work student with an extensive background in low-barrier harm reduction service provision in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She is a current Board Member with the Overdose Prevention Society and is former Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada.
Anne-Marie is a passionate advocate for increasing access to psychedelic-assisted therapies and reforming drug policy to include the voices and perspectives of people with lived experience.
Anne-Marie supports TheraPsil's Clinical Team as a Patient Intake Specialist and is also training as a Psilocybin-Assisted Co-Therapist. Joining TheraPsil has been a dream come true for Anne-Marie who is impressed daily by the team’s ethics, integrity, and commitment to patient-centered care.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.