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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Director of Communication
Holly Bennett is a communications specialist based in Toronto, Canada. She has over 8 years of experience in the Canadian cannabis industry including marketing, 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 emerging mental health treatment options.
Natasha Fearnley, BScN, RN is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Laurentian University. With experience in facility management and leadership as well as direct patient care, Natasha is passionate about palliative care and grief support. Through her ongoing work caring directly for patients at end-of-life, Natasha has gained the perspective that death can be a beautiful part of our journey on this earth.
She feels that psychedelic psychotherapy can be a powerful tool for individuals with end-of-life distress to gain relief from suffering, and feels honoured to be able to help the public pursue access to this medicine.
Natasha is also a graduate of The Chiron Academy, completing their Psychedelic Integration Workshop. She is an active member of the Victoria Association for Psychedelic Studies. In her free time, she enjoys attending psychedelic related conferences and workshops, as well as volunteering at events providing harm reduction support.
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.
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
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.
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.
Melissa Anderson BScN, RN is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University. Through her varied seven years of nursing experience, Melissa has felt a great responsibility to promote and advocate for the wellbeing and overall health of her patients. As a nurse, she wishes to be a part of a movement in medicine that honors and more fully supports the needs of the whole person: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Melissa believes psychedelics can play a key role in understanding the root causes of many illnesses; enabling health care professionals and patients to better understand the crucial role that inner healing can play in medicine. Melissa is a passionate believer in the idea that our views of ourselves and the health of our relationships affect every aspect of our lives; because of this psilocybin assisted therapy can be a powerful tool in promoting greater health in individuals and society.
Melissa feels deeply honored to work with the passionate team at TheraPsil to advocate for those experiencing terminal illness and end-of-life distress, so they can have access to this profoundly promising medicine.
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.
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.
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.