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Press Release

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum 2022 Intends to  “Shake the Tree” on Current Issues in Mental Health and to Explore New Models of Healthcare

August 25, 2022 – Nanaimo, BC – Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum 2022 –themed Shake the Tree: Seeds to Action – will be held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo, BC, in the traditional unceded territories of the Snuneymuxw nation, from Sept 29 – Oct 2, 2022. The conference intends to shake up current issues within the psychedelic-assisted therapy field as well as to open up possibilities for transforming health – especially mental health – and related professions.  

The conference is organizing a roundtable format Public Forum scheduled Oct 1st for anyone curious about psychedelic-assisted therapies to treat PTSD, addiction, depression, and end-of-life distress. This full day in-person event will be livestreamed — featuring concise presentations from trailblazing organizations like Roots to Thrive, and TheraPsil, as well as from MAPS Canada, Psychedelic Association of Canada, Vancouver Island University, and Chacruna Canada. Attendees will also hear from physicians and therapists about patient care and access to treatment, and new models of healthcare such as physician-nurse-therapist teams, and communities of practice. 

Patients’ voices will be platformed as part of an afternoon panel with Q&As, to share stories of healing and the importance of set and setting, preparation and integration, as well as therapist and/or community support.

Paul Stamets, renowned mycologist, will also be presenting at the Public Forum Day, providing compelling evidence that microdosing stacked with other substances may improve neurological health. His talk will take place just prior to a community lunch — included in the Public Forum ticket. 

Dr. Pamela Kryskow, a member of the conference’s visioning committee, and board member of Psychedelic Association of Canada, said: “The Public Forum Day provides a lay of the land of what’s happening in this fast-moving field. How do folks access treatment? What about navigating the Special Access Program through Health Canada? How do they find ethical therapists? We want to provide information and resources, and some education regarding risks and benefits, harm reduction, and safe practices.”

Over 20 presenters will be speaking at the Public Forum, including Paul Stamets, Dr. Valorie Masuda, Dr. Erika Dyck, Dr. Jean Paul Lim, Dr. Pamela Kryskow, Elder Geraldine Manson, Dr. Devon Christie, Dr. Shannon Dames, Dr. Georgina Martin, Dr. Crosbie Watler, Todd Haspect, Emmy Manson, and others. 

Also for the first time, Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum is organizing a Physicians Lunch and Roundtable workshop — to explore possibilities and the role of psychedelic medicines, and to inspire change agents/multi-sectoral representatives towards a call to action, to collaborate to set up new infrastructures and strategic working groups. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Crosbie Watler, one of the workshop facilitators as well as a member of the conference’s visioning committee, said: “We want to raise awareness that the status quo in mental health delivery is not working. There is a desperate need for a holistic lens, moving beyond a pill for every ill.” He added: “I believe that psychedelics can play a big role as part of a treatment model to address the upstream mediators of trauma, micro-trauma and disconnection, which is at the root of mental distress and associated symptoms.”

Other concurrent events on Oct 1 organized as part of the conference are the Neuromeditaton and Psychedelics workshop (first time presented in the west coast), and the Grof Breathwork: The Use of Breath as Entheogen workshop presented by two faculty members of Grof Legacy Training Canada. 

Preceding the above workshops is the Practitioners Forum scheduled Sept 29 – 30, with an “unconferenced” discussion circle format to tackle important topics in this field. Some of the topics include standards and agreements on practices; boundaries, ethics and safety; and how to be of service to indigenous populations and to honour the ways and healing ceremonies of First Nations communities.

Vancouver Island and the west coast of Canada have become a hot bed for this evolving field, with change agents developing new models of healthcare and infrastructure, as well as training and research. 

Dr. Shannon Dames, founder of Roots to Thrive, noted: “I am proud of the collaborative team that has been cultivated between Vancouver Island University, Snuneymuxw First Nation, and Roots to Thrive. Together we now have a world-class non-profit set up, providing psychedelic-assisted therapy treatment, within a community of practice model, as well as training and accredited, all within an ongoing program of research.”  Dames also played a key role in developing the newly launched Psychedelic-assisted Therapy Graduate Certificate program at Vancouver Island University, with its first cohort of 60 participants  starting this September.

Formed in 2019 in Victoria, BC, TheraPsil has also been a leader in the field, having supported patients from all across Canada access legal, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. Recently, TheraPsil supported 8 plaintiffs, including 7 patients, in filing a statement of claim for a Charter Challenge against Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos over access to medical psilocybin. This case is following in the path that led to legal, medical cannabis and the legal team is confident that by forcing the government’s hand through a legal challenge, medical regulations for psilocybin will be adopted. TheraPsil is also supporting 72 healthcare practitioners in filing an application for a judicial review at Federal Court over the refusal of their Section 56 exemptions to use psilocybin, applied for as part of their psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy training. 

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum 2022: Shake the Tree: Seeds to Action’s sponsors are Psychedelic Association of Canada, Majik Minds, TheraPsil, Grof Legacy Training Canada, and livestream provider Stream of Consciousness. 

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum 2022 is providing scholarships to over 15 applicants by the end of August, to attend its various events, with the help of scholarship supporters including the sponsors above, as well as Vancouver Island University’s Psychedelic Assisted Therapy graduate certificate program, Roots to Thrive, Cybin, and Float House Victoria.  Registrants can also support equitable access to these events by purchasing Patron tickets (Buy 1 + Donate 1).

Community partners of the conference are Fireside Project, Victoria Association for Psychedelic Studies, UBC Psychedelic Society, MAPS, MAPS Canada, Wild Woman Medicine Show, and Float House Victoria.

To register for Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum’s Public Forum Day (Oct 1), Practitioner Forum (Sept 29 – 30) and concurrent Practitioner workshops – Neuromeditation / Physician / Grof Breathwork (Oct 1 – 2), log onto

About Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum was founded in Vancouver Island, and is the longest running psychedelic conference of its kind in Canada. Launched in 2014, the Forum is unique today in that it is community-driven, and co-created with practitioners and advocates, supporting, working, and training, in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. The conference events also offer continuing education hours/credits.

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum is housed under Wisdom Circle Events Inc. – a BC benefit company which is committed to promoting public benefits including healthcare accessibility, education, and training. Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum is supported by a network of professionals, advocates, and volunteers in the community who contribute towards programming/visioning, scholarship initiatives, continuing education efforts, and more.

For media inquiries, contact:

Pauline Goh, Conference Manager

Tel: 778 441-5150


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