2020 Forum Presenters

Raquel Bennett

Raquel Bennett, Psy.D. is a psychologist and ketamine specialist from Berkeley, CA. She primarily works with people who are living with severe depression, bipolar disorder, and/or suicidal ideation. She is fascinated by the antidepressant properties of ketamine, and has been studying this since 2002. She also has a long-standing interest in the psychedelic and mystical properties of ketamine, and the potential for this medicine to be used for spiritual exploration. Dr. Bennett is the founder of KRIYA Institute and the organizer of KRIYA Conference, which is an annual and international event devoted to the uses of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. You can learn more about her work at www.kriyainstitute.com

Françoise Bourzat

Françoise Bourzat holds a MA in Somatic Psychology from New College of California (San Francisco, 1990). She is a certified Hakomi Therapist (1991). She is an adjunct faculty in the East West Psychology Program at CIIS. Since 1987, Francoise has apprenticed with shamans and healers in the U.S. and Mexico. In the last 20 years, she has traveled with groups to Mexico, incorporating her counseling practice experience with her knowledge of expanded states of consciousness where she partners with Mazatec healers in Sacred Mushrooms ceremonies. She lectures internationally and she leads trainings in the U.S, France, Lebanon and Israel. Her book Consciousness Medicine (North Atlantic Books) showcases her decade long knowledge which bridges indigenous practices and Western psychology.

Kate Browning

Kate Browning is a former midwife and a Registered Nurse, psychotherapist, Integrative Energy Healer, and doctoral candidate in clinical psychology. She has worked in a variety of health care and educational settings for over 20 years as a clinician, clinical supervisor, consultant, educator, and lecturer and is now the coordinator of Langara College’s Integrative Energy Healing program. Her areas of specialization in teaching include professional practice and ethics, therapeutic communication, and relational practice.

Devon Christie

Devon Christie, MD, CCFP, RTC, is a medical doctor and registered clinical counsellor practicing in chronic pain, and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. She is also certified in Functional Medicine, Relational Somatic Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Kundalini Yoga. Her quest to discover methods to assist in alleviating human suffering has led to her interest in psychedelic psychotherapy research. Devon has trained with MAPS to deliver MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in a research setting.

Mark Cornfield

Mark Cornfield is a Community Psychiatrist with a special interest in longterm psychotherapy, complex PTSD, dissociative disorders.and couples therapy.  He trained in Imago Relationship therapy, EMDR, and Holotropic Breathwork, and completed Ketamine trainings at the Orenda Institute and the Wolfson Ketamine training at Empower, Vancouver.  For the last two years, he has been treating patients with IM, sublingual and intranasal ketamine.  He has a special interest in Ketamine as an empathogen and facilitator of other therapeutic techniques such as Imago couples therapy and EMDR.


Nese Devenot

Neşe Devenot is the Medicine, Society & Culture Postdoctoral Scholar in Bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, she received her PhD in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current project, Chemical Poetics: The Literary History of Psychedelic Science, explores the function of metaphor and other literary devices in narrative accounts of psychedelic experience. She was a 2015-16 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Timothy Leary Papers and a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, where she participated in the first qualitative study of patient experiences, and she received the award for Best Humanities Publication in Psychedelic Studies from Breaking Convention in 2017.

Claudia Ford

Claudia J. Ford has had a career in international development and women’s health spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia is a midwife and ethnobotanist, who studies traditional ecological knowledge, women’s reproductive health, and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Ford is on faculty at State University of New York, Potsdam, where she teaches Environmental Studies, Sustainability, Ethnobotany, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Environmental Literature, and Environmental Justice. Claudia serves onthe boards of The Biodynamic Association, promoting spiritual agriculture and a sacred relationship with land; and the Soul Fire Farm Institute, committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Claudia is also a writer, poet, and visual artist; and a single mother who has shared the delights and adventures of her global travel with her four children.

Sam Gandy

Sam Gandy has a PhD in ecological science from the University of Aberdeen and an MRes in entomology from Imperial College London. He has a lifelong interest in nature and wildlife and has been fortunate enough to conduct field research in various parts of the world including the UK, Kefalonia, Almeria, Texas, the Peruvian Amazon, Vietnam and Ethiopia. He also has experience of working in the psychedelic field, as past scientific assistant to the director of the Beckley Foundation, and currently as a collaborator with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. Sam has a particular research interest in the intersection of two of his big passions…nature and psychedelics…and the potential of psychedelics to reconnect our increasingly disconnected species to the natural world, for the betterment of humanity and the biosphere at large.

Duncan Grady

Duncan Grady’s professional experience includes over 20 years of post secondary education and 36 years of psychotherapy in addictions, trauma, death and dying. He has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate of Ministry. He is an elder of the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society, West Kootenays, BC. He currently co-leads retreats, works with communities impacted by lateral violence and provides training and consultation using western and non-western approaches to health, well-being, spirituality, trauma, dying and death. During the past year he has gone to communities in BC and Alberta to assist health care teams experiencing the overwhelm of working with suicide, fentanyl overdose and death. This work has primarily been with care providers who provide services, but has also included community presentations as well.

Pamela Kryskow

Pamela Kryskow MD is a clinical instructor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.  Specializing in alleviating the complex modality of pain, she successfully synthesizes her training in family, rural, emergency, pain, counselling and functional medicine.  Dr. Kryskow’s wealth of experience in conventional medicine augmented by her deep knowledge on the safe use of MDMA, psilocybin and other psychedelics, places her at the forefront of this new, rapidly emerging paradigm. Her specialized interest and research in the applicability of microdosing has proven formulative in this growing practice.

Anja Loizaga-Velder

Anja Loizaga-Velder is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, with humanistic and transpersonal orientation. Paralell to her psychotherapeutic practice Anja has been collaborating with indigenous healers and investigating the therapeutic potential of the ritual use of psychedelic plants for over 25 years.

She earned a doctoral degree in Medical Psychology from Heidelberg University in Germany with a dissertation on the topic: The therapeutic uses of ayahuasca in addiction treatment and has published several research articles and book chapters that explore the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca and other psychedelics for the treatment of mental health challenges. She is founding member and director of research and psychotherapy at the Nierika Institute for Intercultural Medicine, in Mexico, a NGO dedicated to the investigation and preservation of indigenous traditions with sacred plant medicines and their therapeutic applications in the treatment of mental health challenges.

Anja also is adjunct profesor and researcher in Humanities in Health at the Medical School at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she works towards implementing clinical research into evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of sacred plants in intercultural therapeutic settings.

Susan McBride

Susan McBride is a Registered Social Worker working in private practice using EMDR for trauma work and Imago therapy with couples and individuals since 2002. I have been facilitating Holotropic Breathwork sessions on a monthly basis since 2004. Her interest in the field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy led to trainings utilizing Ketamine through KRIYA 2017, Orenda 2018 and Empower 2019, while also assisting her husband Mark Cornfield to faciliate individual ketamine sessions beginning in January 2018 and then facilitating couples groups since July 2018.

Stephen Reid

Stephen Reid is a transdisciplinary thinker, cultural changemaker and metamodern mystic who has trained in the fields of physics, complexity science, meditation, plant medicine, sacred sexuality and political activism. He is currently the curator of Totnes Convergence, the lead developer of Autopia, a co-director of the Psychedelic Society (which he founded in 2014 and has become one of the global leading providers of legal psychedelic retreats), and a contributor to Enspiral.

Previously, he was the youngest ever board member of Greenpeace UK, was selected as the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Totnes (before standing aside as part of the Unite to Remain agreement), co-founded the New Economics Foundation’s New Economy OrganisersNetwork and worked as a technology consultant for organisations including the Labour Party, the Living Wage Foundation and 350.org. Stephen has an MPhys in Physics from the University of Oxford, where he specialised in quantum field theory, and an MRes in Complexity Sciences from the University of Bristol.

Bruce Tobin

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.

Torsten Passie

Torsten Passie MD, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Hannover Medical School (Germany) and Visiting Scientist at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main (Germany).

He studied philosophy, sociology (MA) at Leibniz-University, Hannover and medicine at Hannover Medical School. He worked at the Psychiatric University Clinic in Zürich (Switzerland) and with Professor Hanscarl Leuner (Göttingen), the leading European authority on hallucinogens and psycholytic therapy.

From 1998 to 2010 he was a scientist and psychiatrist at Hannover Medical school (Germany) where he researched the addictions and the psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness and their healing potential, including clinical research with hallucinogenic drugs. He is a board member of the Swiss Physicians Society for Psycholytic Therapy and was Visiting Professor at the Harvard Medical School in Boston d uring the years 2012-2015 . He is a therapist in the Phase 3 studies for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Europe. More than 50 of his Publications have appeared in high-ranking scientific journals. His books include The Pharmacology of LSD (2010), Healing with Entactogens (2012) and The Science of Microdosing Psychedelics (2019).

Monnica Williams

Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Prior to her move to Canada, Dr. Williams was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School (2007-2011), the University of Louisville in Psychological and Brain Sciences (2011-2016), where she served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities, and the University of Connecticut (2016-2019). Dr. Williams’ research focuses on African American mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the assessment of race-based trauma, unacceptable thoughts in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and interventions to reduce racism. This includes her work as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. She also gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations. Dr. Williams is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), having served as the diversity delegate from Kentucky for the APA State Leadership Conference for two consecutive years. She has served as the African American SIG leader for Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and she serves as an associate editor of The Behavior Therapist and New Ideas in Psychology. She also serves on the editorial board ofCognitive Behaviour Therapy, and the Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, and co-founded their Diversity Council. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.