2018 Forum Presenters

Robin Carhart-Harris, PhD

Dr Carhart-Harris moved to Imperial College London after obtaining his PhD in psychopharmacology from the University of Bristol in 2009. At Imperial, he led a series of brain imaging studies into the brain effects of LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA and DMT, plus a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant major depression. Three of his papers ranked within the top 100 most impactful scientific publications of the last two years (Altmetric). He is Founder and Head of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial and Co-founder of Global Psychedelic Research (globalpsychedelicresearch.org).

Anthony Bossis, PhD

Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, session guide, and co-author on the 2016 psilocybin NYU cancer-anxiety clinical trial and publication. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and lead investigator for a clinical trial evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. Dr. Bossis is a training supervisor of psychotherapy and the co-founder and former co-director of the Palliative Care Service at NYU-Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Bossis is an advisor and teacher for the Art of Dying Institute in NYC and for The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. He has a long-standing interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.

Devon Christie, MD, CCFP, IFMCP, RTC

Devon Christie is a medical doctor, mindfulness teacher, relational somatic therapist, yogi, and advocate for the therapeutic use of psychedelics.  She completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and Doctorate of Medicine at McMaster University, which is complemented by years of continued professional development.  Devon completed training in MDMA- assisted psychotherapy through MAPS, and serves as an advisory board member to MAPS Canada.  Devon has co-facilitated ayahuasca retreats with her mentor, Dr. Gabor Maté, helping participants to integrate their experiences.  She continues to lead deep group process integration retreats with her beloved husband, Sasha Cuff.  Devon is passionate about weaving world healing traditions, plant medicines and spirituality into her quest to assist others to live their fullest, happiest, most authentic lives.

Donna Dryer, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Donna Dryer, MD, FRCPC, is a transpersonal psychiatrist in private practice on the coast islands of British Columbia and a faculty member in psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  With her husband, Dr. Richard Yensen, she had received permission for LSD psychotherapy research protocols with addicts and people dying from cancer from the US Food and Drug Administration in 1991. They have been giving an “entheogenically–informed” workshop, The Heart of the Shaman, for 28 years at Hollyhock Retreat Centre, Cortes Island. Dr. Yensen and Dr. Dryer along with Dr.s Ingrid Pacey and Hayden Rubensohn completed the Phase Two MAPS sponsored MDMA -assisted psychotherapy study for treatment resistant PTSD in Vancouver.

Sheri Eckert, MA

As husband-and-wife founders of the Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) and Chief Petitioners of the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI), Tom and Sheri Eckert have set in motion a historic campaign to legalize Psilocybin Services, also known as Psilocybin Assisted Therapy, in their home state of Oregon. A growing number of Oregonians are getting behind the idea, largely in response to the latest science. The Eckerts, with a growing army of volunteers, are spreading a truth held increasingly self-evident: that the psilocybin experience, when facilitated under safe and supportive conditions, can be a life-changing gift. In addition to their activism, the Eckert’s own and operate “Innerwork” – a private psychotherapy practice serving the Portland metro area. Included in their catalog of services is their groundbreaking “Better Man” program, which is shown to neutralize intimate partner and family violence.

Tom Eckert, MS, LPC

As husband-and-wife founders of the Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) and Chief Petitioners of the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI), Tom and Sheri Eckert have set in motion a historic campaign to legalize Psilocybin Services, also known as Psilocybin Assisted Therapy, in their home state of Oregon. A growing number of Oregonians are getting behind the idea, largely in response to the latest science. The Eckerts, with a growing army of volunteers, are spreading a truth held increasingly self-evident: that the psilocybin experience, when facilitated under safe and supportive conditions, can be a life-changing gift. In addition to their activism, the Eckert’s own and operate “Innerwork” – a private psychotherapy practice serving the Portland metro area. Included in their catalog of services is their groundbreaking “Better Man” program, which is shown to neutralize intimate partner and family violence.

Bradley Foster, MA, RP

Bradley Foster is a coach, psychotherapist, facilitator and founder of the Toronto psychedelic society. He is the sponsor of the psychedelic research petition e-2010 in the House of Commons in 2017, which aims to bolster support for public funding of psychedelic research.

Bradley earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Toronto in 1984 and undergraduate degrees at McGill University and Columbia University. He completed the training program in leadership and psychotherapy at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto in 2006. Before turning to psychotherapy, he had a 15 year career as a communications consultant to media corporations such as Reuters Information Services, Teleglobe and Thomson Newspapers.

He is active in his community, having served on the boards of many non-profits. Bradley is the author of Deep Coaching: A Guide to Self Directed Living as well as a hundreds of articles on many topics. His website is http://bradleyfoster.ca.

Carolyn Green, PhD

Carolyn Green, BSc(PT), PhD started her own breathwork journey in 1993. In 1999, Carolyn completed the two-year Grof Transpersonal Training program and joined the Association of Holotropic Breathwork(TM) International. She has been leading workshops and individual sessions ever since and is a cofounder of thesecretofbreath.com. Holotropic Breathwork(TM) is her heart work. She also does pharmaceutical safety and policy research.

Rachel Harris, PhD

Rachel Harris, PhD is a Psychologist with both a research and a clinical background. She was in the 1968 Residential Program at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA and remained on the staff for a number of years. During the decade she worked in academic research, Rachel received a New Investigator’s Award from the National Institutes of Health and published over forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals. She also worked as a psychological consultant to Fortune 500 companies including the UN. Rachel was in private psychotherapy practice for thirty-five years specializing in people interested in psychospiritual development. Rachel is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety. Visit Rachel at her website, www.listeningtoayahausca.com.

Charlotte Jackson, MA, RCC

Charlotte Jackson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor working in the field of Mental Health and Substance Use for over 15 years. She works from a harm reduction, strengths based, trauma informed perspective, as well as from an anti-oppression framework. Charlotte works with individuals and couples addressing trauma, anxiety, depression and with the integration of difficulties arising from non-ordinary states of consciousness. She is a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) trained therapist with their research study using MDMA assisted therapy for individuals with severe PTSD. Charlotte was in long term supervision with Andrew Feldmar, social phenomenologist and radical psychotherapist. She has trained as a co-therapist with Dr. Ingrid Pacey, Principle Investigator in MAPS Phase II study researching MDMA for treatment resistant PTSD. Charlotte has studied Holotropic Breath work with Dr. Stanislav Grof and Diane Haug. Most recently, Charlotte has studied with Annie and Michael Mithoefer, of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), exploring non-directive therapy as well as the non pathologizing recognition of multiplicity as manifest in MDMA assisted therapy in individuals with severe PTSD.

Tarzie McLean, MC

Tarzie is an individual and relationship counselling therapist, providing psychedelic-informed therapy and integration work, generalist counselling, as well as psychoeducational and therapeutic workshop experiences. She is trained at the Master’s level in Counselling Psychology and has been working in mental health, community development and systems transformation for about 20 years. Tarzie’s educational background includes clinical psychedelic psychotherapist training through the Orenda Institute as well training as a death doula / end-of-life care facilitator. For many years she was involved in providing training and leadership for harm reduction services at transformational festivals, mentoring people about psychedelic peer support. She is a co-lead for the Psychedelic Medicine Society of Calgary.

Rick Miners, PhD, R.Psych.

Dr. Rick Miners is a Registered Psychologist licensed to practice in British Columbia. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of children, youth and adults experiencing developmental, learning, emotional and behaviour problems. He also provides family and couple therapy, and is a sub-investigator and therapist in MAPS MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Severe PTSD Research Program. Rick completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at Concordia University in Montreal. He has conducted research on mindfulness, led mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, provided presentations on a variety of mental health topics, lectured at the university level, and coauthored a book chapter on social development. Rick has participated in Aboriginal rites of passage, and trained in Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Aboriginal approaches to healing complex trauma.

Janis Phelps, PhD

Janis Phelps, PhD, is the Founder and Director of the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She created the first academically accredited training program for psychedelic therapists and researchers. She is former CIIS Dean of Faculty, a clinical psychologist, and a marriage and family therapist. For more than 25 years, Janis has been researching the global uses and practices of psychedelics in promoting healing and community development, deepening spiritual practices, and igniting mystical experiences. Her research and scholarly writing has focused on psychedelic therapy, entheogens, and mind-body wellness. She teaches graduate courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, mindfulness, Buddhism and psychotherapy, spiritual counseling, and principles of healing. She serves on the board of the Holos Institute and maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, CA.

Hayden Rubensohn, MD

Dr. Hayden Rubensohn was born in South Africa and moved to Calgary in 1995. After high school, university and a few years of travel, he completed Medical School in Calgary in 2012. Hayden is currently training to be a Palliative Medicine sub-specialist, having completed 2 years of Psychiatry training and 4 years of Internal Medicine training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Hayden’s primary area of interest is in psychospiritual issues at the end of life, as well as the impact of existential suffering on desire for hastened death and requests for medical assistance in dying. He wishes to one day study and utilize psychedelic medicines in his clinical practice to address some of these issues.

Hayden was a co-therapist along with Dr. Ingrid Pacey in the MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial examining the role of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment refractory PTSD, and has presented this work to multiple psychiatry departments across the lower mainland. He is proud to be involved in the Phase III clinical trial now being conducted in Vancouver and is thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss that research with the audience today.

Leanna Standish, ND, PhD

Dr. Standish is a neuroscientist and physician living and working in Seattle WA. She holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Radiology Department as well as at Bastyr University. Dr. Standish has been studying ayahuasca in the field, in the forest and in the lab for 19 years. Her lab has developed a standardized potent ayahuasca tea that is suitable for human studies and meets FDA and DEA regulations. She is founder and CEO of Standish Medicine, Inc., a small woman owned early stage botanical drug company, which specializes in research on polymolecular psychoactive plants medicines with potential in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological diseases. As a physician she specializes in naturopathic oncology and conducts clinical research on the effectiveness of integrative oncology care. Dr. Standish has conducted controlled cancer trials in immunomodulatory mushrooms and botanical therapies.   She hopes one day to conduct clinical trials of ayahuasca in the treatment of PTSD, depression, addiction and neurodegenerative diseases.

Joe Tafur, MD

Joe Tafur, M.D., is a Colombian-American family physician originally from Phoenix, Arizona. After completing his family medicine training at UCLA, Dr. Tafur spent two years in academic research at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in a lab focused on mind-body medicine. After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo and trained in ayahuasca shamanism. In his new book “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine,” through a series of stories, Dr. Tafur shares his unique experience and integrative medical theories. To learn more about his work, visit drjoetafur.com and modernspirit.org.

Kenneth Tupper, PhD

Kenneth Tupper, Ph.D. is the Director of Implementation & Partnerships at British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, where he supports the improvement of the provincial addiction treatment system through scientific research, health professional education and clinical care guidance. Prior this current role, between March 2003 and February 2017, Kenneth was Director, Problematic Substance Use Prevention in the Population and Public Health Division of the British Columbia Ministry of Health. In this former role, he assisted in the development, implementation and monitoring of provincial health policy to prevent and respond to problematic drug use and associated harms. Kenneth is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, where his research interests include: psychedelic studies; the cross-cultural and historical uses of psychoactive substances; public, professional and school-based drug education; and creating healthy public policy to maximize benefits and minimize harms from currently illegal drugs. Kenneth has published in numerous peer reviewed journals, presented at international health and drug policy conferences, and has been twice appointed to Canadian delegations to high-level United Nations international drug policy meetings.

Bruce Tobin, PhD, RCC

Bruce Tobin, Ph.D., taught art therapy for 25 years at the University of Victoria. He is a founding member of the B.C. Art Therapy Assn. and an Honorary Life Member.  With a background in philosophy, he has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 30 years, and has been a Registered Clinical Counsellor since 1992. He has pursued interests in the role of non-ordinary states of consciousness in emotional healing and growth, and in the interface between the scientific, psychological and the spiritual dimensions of human life. He has trained in Holotropic Breathwork with Dr. Stan Grof, and is a member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

Philip Wolfson, MD

Phil Wolfson MD is the creator of a new psychotherapy modality based on use of the medicine ketamine—Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. He is the author of The Ketamine Papers and Noe – A Father/Son Song of Love, Life, Illness and Death. He has been the Principal Investigator of the recently completed MAPS.org study of MDMA treatment for individuals with a life-threatening illness. Dr. Wolfson’s work is the result of an intense, now many decades long clinical psychiatry/psychotherapy practice. Phil Wolfson is a sixties activist, psychiatrist/psychotherapist, writer, practicing Buddhist and psychonaut who has lived in the Bay Area for 39 years. He writes for Tikkun magazine and is on its inner editorial board. In the 1980s, he participated in clinical research with MDMA (Ecstasy). He has written and had issued 6 patents for unique herbal medicines and ketamine. Phil was a founding member of the Heffter Research Institute. He is a journalist and author of numerous articles on politics, transformation, psychedelics, consciousness and spirit.

Richard Yensen, PhD

Richard Yensen has been a pioneer in transpersonal psychology since 1972 when he began his psychedelic research career at Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore as a Research Fellow. He explored psychedelic therapy and practice in Mexico with Salvador Roquet, a Mexican psychoanalyst & Maria Sabina, the priestess of the mushrooms who first disclosed their secret to the west. In the USA he was co-holder of IND 3250 from the US Food and Drug administration for the psychotherapeutic use of LSD. He has pioneered non-drug ways to access deeply sacred states of mind usually only available through high doses of sacred medicines. He has taught at Harvard University & University of Maryland medical schools, Johns Hopkins and Union Graduate School. He is director of the Orenda Institute on Cortes Island. He was co-principal investigator for the recently completed MAPS sponsored PTSD & MDMA phase 2 psychotherapy study in Vancouver. He is currently filming a documentary on the life and work of a relatively unknown psychedelic pioneer, Salvador Roquet.