About Us

The Forum's History

Founded in 2014, the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum is currently Canada’s premier conference on psychedelic psychotherapy. The 2020 Forum was organized as a hybrid (live and virtual) event, and livestreamed from Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, BC.  The 2016 and 2018 Forums were held in Victoria, BC, and attended by over 200 registrants respectively.

The Forum is an opportunity for everyone interested in the field of psychedelic psychotherapy — including health providers, advocates, researchers, students, body workers, traditional and/or holistic therapists — to come together to learn, network, and dialogue about this exciting, challenging, and promising field. 

The Forum also offers training / continuing education credits to health care professionals including family physicians and physician assistants/nurses, psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists. Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum maintains responsibility for the program content.

The last five Forums, held in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020, took place on Vancouver Island, BC. 

PAULINE GOH

The Forums Founder

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Pauline Goh

Founder

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Working in the areas of health and wellness, community organizing and restorative justice, and teaching and research, we are an interdisciplinary cooperative who advocate for the therapeutic, spiritual and cultural use of plant medicines and psychedelic substances for personal and collective healing and transformation.  We see the potential of such use to envision a new way of life on Earth, in right relations with all her inhabitants. We aspire to help cultivate safer, justice-informed, inclusive communities of practice who are active in anti-racism, cultural safety, reconciliation, eliminating systems of oppression, and environmental stewardship.  

Our intention for the 2020 Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum is to co-create spaces for deep listening, dialogue, learning, relationship building and visioning.  We draw on trauma-informed, restorative justice and intersectional practice, and the values of humility, courage, vulnerability, transparency, reciprocity, compassion, and trust. 

Pauline Goh

Pauline Goh is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Certified Focusing-Oriented Therapist specializing in somatic psychotherapy, trauma work, couples therapy, and cross-cultural issues. She co-founded the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum in 2014, and later initiated the development of continuing education and scholarship committees for the Forum. Pauline graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco with a Master of Arts in Integral Counselling Psychology. Prior to her second career as a counsellor, Pauline worked for over 16 years in the corporate sector, in business, tourism, marketing, media, and conferencing. She enjoys music and gardening, as well as “playing” Tai Chi as an instructor and continuing student.

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Pauline Goh

Pauline Goh

Mercedes Grant

Mercedes Grant is a liberatory healer, activist, writer, witch and community organiser. She is dedicated to creating dynamic, inclusive, healing, and educational spaces that encourage people to engage in paradigm-shifting dialogue while building safer, compassionate and supportive communities both online and in-real-life. She holds 500+ hours in traditional yogic education, with a focus on substance abuse recovery and trauma recovery through a justice-informed lens, producing educational programs for wellness professionals from around the world. With over a decade of combined education and experience in documentary film production, public relations, communications and crowdfunding strategy, she has collaborated with social entrepreneurs and organizations including MAPS Canada, Extinction Rebellion, Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery and the award-winning documentary feature, Fractured Land. She is currently on the steering committee of the 2020 Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum in unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish people in so-called British Columbia, Canada, as well as holding space in her community for exploring Deep Adaptation in the face of climate and ecological collapse.

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Mercedes Grant

Mercedes Grant

Shannon Dames

Shannon Dames comes to the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum driven by the potential that psychedelic-assisted therapies offer amid an international mental health crisis. She holds a Doctorate in education and a Master’s in public health with experience in various areas of nursing, policy-making, teaching, and research. She currently works as a professor and researcher with Vancouver Island University, as a community activist, and as a co-founder of the Roots Program. Shannon is a published author of several academic articles, book chapters, and has a book in press that focuses on the core developmental factors that mitigate stress and promote thriving among healthcare. In recognizing that only 20% of those suffering from mental health distress are seeing improvements in the current mental health system, she was awarded a CIHR and other grant and philanthropic funds to forge a new path. Working with six agencies in BC and multiple practitioners and policymakers, she is developing and studying the combination of resilience development and psychedelic-assisted therapies, all delivered within a novel and innovative outpatient mental health model.

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Shannon Dames

Shannon Dames

Marnie Roper

Marnie Roper completed a BA and graduate coursework in Religious Studies at the universities of Toronto and McGill, focused on the application of teachings on compassion and the alleviation of suffering. She completed clinical trainings in spiritual care and transpersonal psychotherapy,and has been working as hospital-based Spiritual Health Professional for 15 years. Here her work has focused on mental health, end of life care, staff wellness, and collaborating in healthcare system change towards holism, relationality and cultural safety / anti-racism. She is very interested in how psychedelic assisted therapies support such change, including trauma recovery, mystical and unitive seeing, and nurturing connection – to each other, ancestors, Gaia and all her inhabitants.

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Marnie Roper

Marnie Roper

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