Physician Learning Project (PLP) on Psychedelics and Complementary Techniques: A Virtual Series

10.5 MOC Section1(1.5/session)  
10.5 Mainpro+ (1.5/session)

Learn about emerging therapies in mental health and wellness, with a focus on psychedelic medicine and complementary techniques in psychotherapy

Become aware of, and learn more about, therapies that patients may be seeking or have experienced, with underground providers or in clinical trials

Assess and explore the potential of incorporating the use of these emerging therapies in medical practice in the future (within regulatory frameworks

Session Time: Each session will run from 1900 – 2030 via Zoom (link to be provided by calendar invite).

Each session will include a presentation as well as the opportunity for smaller group discussions and Q&A

PLP Topics (7 session series):

Session One

WEDNESDAY APRIL 14 | 1900 –2030  
Indigenous Ways of Healing – Candace Campo, Sechelt Nation Anthropologist, Educator and Storyteller

Candace, ancestral name xets’emits’a (to always be there), is a Shíshálh (Sechelt) member born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada.  Today, Candace and her family live in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh community in the village of Xwemelch’stn in West Vancouver.  Candace started her company Talaysay Tours in 2002 and provides indigenous, cultural and outdoor experiences and events to international­­­ and local guests, community organizations, corporations and schools.  Trained as an anthropologist and teacher, sharing outdoor education and culture was made possible by growing up on the land and being taught the stories and history of her people by her parents and elders in the community.  Indigenous, Shíshálh language and cultural revitalization is at the height of Candace’s life work.  She enjoys the independence of operating her business while making educational, land-based learning films and digital stories.  Her current project includes editing a novel in the hopes to make it into a feature film one day.

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Two

WEDNESDAY May 12 | 1900 –2030 
My Experiences using Psilocybin in Palliative Care: First Six Cases – Bruce Tobin, PhD

Dr. Bruce Tobin, a clinical psychologist, based in Victoria, BC, has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice for 35 years. His practice has focused on treating patients with anxiety, depression, and trauma. In addition to this, he taught clinicians at the University of Victoria for 25 years as an Adjunct Professor and worked with Health Canada for 20 years providing psychological services to First Nations communities around Southern Vancouver Island.

In 2016, a palliative patient struggling with debilitating anxiety surrounding his prognosis came to Dr. Tobin, asking him to supervise a clinical psychedelic therapy session. Dr. Tobin was aware of the research coming out of Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere that was suggesting that one single “trip” with psilocybin could drastically alleviate the existential distress associated with a terminal illness. However, it was not legal in Canada for therapists to supervise their clients during psychedelic experiences.

Deciding to challenge the law to provide legal access to a compassionate therapy option, he applied, in 2017, for a status exemption for psilocybin under section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in Canada, on account of it being a useful approach to palliative care. With the legalization of cannabis in 2018, Dr. Tobin and legal team agreed that a precedent had been set in Canadian Law which could, in future, allow therapeutic access to psilocybin.

In 2019, Dr. Tobin founded TheraPsil, a coalition of healthcare professionals, advocates and stakeholders dedicated to helping Canadians receive therapeutic access to psilocybin. Due to the legal precedent, patient needs, and evidence available about the utility and benefits of psilocybin for palliative populations, Dr. Tobin and the TheraPsil Team believe that change is on the horizon.

Source: https://therapsil.ca/who-is-dr-bruce-tobin-the-founder-of-therapsil/

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Three

WEDNESDAY June 9 | 1900 –2030 
MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy with Trauma Survivors: Research Phase 2 Study and Clinical Experience  – Dr. Ingrid Pacey

Dr. Pacey received her psychiatric training at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, graduating in 1972. While in medical school, she witnessed LSD psychotherapy in a psychiatric setting as part of her training.

Her private practice in Vancouver became focused on psychotherapy for trauma survivors, particularly women who had been sexually abused as children. From 1987 – 1990, she trained with Dr. Stanislav and Christina Grof in Holotropic Breathwork. Over the next 14 years, she went on to pioneer the use of Holotropic Breathwork with trauma survivors, observing the special needs of people with PTSD when working in Holotropic Breathwork groups. Through this work she came to see the value of working with non-ordinary states of consciousness for people suffering from PTSD. She worked with MAPS (US) to bring MDMA research to Canada, starting back in 2009.  Phase 2 research into MDMA – assisted psychotherapy for severe PTSD occurred from 2013 – 2016 in Vancouver with 6 clients by 2 therapy teams.

Although retired from active practice, she continues to mentor therapists interested in psychedelic therapy and speaks and writes about this rapidly growing field as we await the legalization of MDMA and psychedelics for therapy.

Reference Materials:

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Four

WEDNESDAY Sept 8| 1900 –2030 
Ketamine: From Anesthetic to Antidepressant and Beyond – Dr. Ian Mitchell

Ian Mitchell returned to Kamloops after training in Emergency Medicine at McMaster and working at St. Paul’s, Vancouver and the Shaikh Khalifa Medical Center in Abu Dhabi. He is currently on staff at Royal Inland Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, UBC.  He is a cannabis clinician and researcher, and a frequent first aid provider at Burning Man.  He has been using ketamine in his clinical practice for 25 years.

He is on the board of directors of KATACanada.org, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing access to ketamine.

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Five

WEDNESDAY Oct 13 | 1900 –2030 
Psychotherapy and Psychedelic Medicines: Greater than the Sum of Their Parts – Dr. Devon Christie

Dr. Devon Christie is a clinical instructor with the UBC Department of Medicine, and has a focused practice in chronic pain and trauma. She is also a Registered Counsellor emphasizing Relational Somatic Therapy, a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher (UCSD) and Interpersonal Mindfulness teacher (UMass). She is trained to deliver both MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD (MAPS USA) and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and has been certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. She is passionate about educating future psychedelic therapists on trauma-informed, relational somatic skills and is a co-founder and lead trainer with the Somadelic Institute. She also teaches for the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Certificate Program in Psychedelic Therapy and Research, the Integrative Psychiatry Institute Certificate Program in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy, and the ONCA Foundation Psychedelic Therapy program.

 She is currently Principal Investigator and study therapist for a Canadian MAPS-sponsored open-label compassionate access study investigating MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, a parallel qualitative study, a co-investigator on a study investigating MDMA-assisted therapy for fibromyalgia.  Devon is a recognized speaker and expert on the potential for incorporating psychedelic assisted therapies in an improved health care model for the future, and is the Medical and Therapeutic Services Director with Numinus Wellness Inc.

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Six

WEDNESDAY Nov 10 | 1900 –2030 
The Failed Promise of Modern Psychiatry – Dr. Crosbie Watler

Dr. Watler received his MA in Psychology before returning to medical school, MD at McMaster and psychiatry residency at Dalhousie. He worked 5 years as Chief of Psychiatry at Lake of the Woods Hospitals in Kenora, Ontario, serving a year as chief of medical staff.  He then moved with his wife and three children to Duncan in 2001, presently residing in Maple Bay on Vancouver Island.

He maintained a busy practice with Island Health for 19 years—inpatient, outpatient, tertiary care and assertive community treatment.  He served as department head of psychiatry and medical director for IH’s Mental Health and Substance Use program between 2015 and 2019.

His current focus is holistic health and getting to the upstream mediators of our current mental health and substance use crisis.  He has had a past affiliation with Therapsil—compassionate access to end-of-life psilocybin.  He is currently affiliated with the Roots to Thrive Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy project, the My Community Thrives non-profit, who last week hosted the first legal group psilocybin sit in North American.   Works part time at Cedars Cobble Hill residential substance use treatment centre.

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

Session Seven

WEDNESDAY Dec 8 | 1900 –2030 
How to Get More Psychedelic Experience & Training – Dr. Pam Kryskow

Dr. Pamela Kryskow is a medical doctor with a strong interest in psychedelic medicine, mental health and chronic pain.  She is the medical lead on the Roots To Thrive Ketamine Assisted Therapy program that treats health care providers with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addiction and on the My Community Thrives team that provides psilocybin therapy for patients with end of life anxiety who have section 56 exemptions from the Health Minister. She is one of the founding board members of the Canadian Psychedelic Association and is part of an expert team working to give Canadian’s access to psilocybin at end of life.

 Dr. Kryskow is actively involved in research related to psilocybin, ketamine, mental wellness, and neurogenesis. She is a Clinical Instructor at University of British Columbia and Adjunct Professor at Vancouver Island University.  She is co-investigator on the largest microdosing study Microdose.me which is ongoing with 15 000+ enrolled participants.

 In real life she loves foraging in the forest, ocean kayaking, growing kale and daydreaming in the hammock.

Zoom recording: Click here (with audio transcript)
YouTube: Click here

For more information, contact Antoinette Picone at antoinette.Picone@viha.ca.