Diane has completed an MA degree in the philosophy of consciousness and psychedelics from the University of Buckingham. She is currently studying Psychedelics, Altered States and Transpersonal Psychology with the Alef Trust.
Diane's background is in alternative education and she has founded schools in Los Angeles and Scotland for children and young adults who were not thriving in the mainstream educational system. Prior to that, she trained with Richard Bandler and became an NLP therapist which provided profound exploration into re-framing conscious states. Diane then went on to develop training programmes for Premier football clubs, cancer support centers and the US and UK armed forces.
She believes that psychedelic experiences are a powerful way to completely shift conscious states, which changes a person's relationship with themselves and with the world.
Robert W. E. Laurie
Robert is an international lawyer, qualified in England at the University of Oxford and is currently president of Ad Lucem Law Corporation in Vancouver. His legal practice focuses regulatory issues surrounding cannabis and psychedelic plant medicines.
Robert serves as a Board Advisor to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada and Steve DeAngelo’s Last Prisoner Project.
He is a legal advisor to the Heroic Hearts Project, a founder in the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, and a director with the Ecuador Amazon Restoration Project.
Maya is an operations specialist and writer, bringing a thoughtful presence to all of her work and business practices. She has authored a compressive analytical report on the business of psychedelics, and is now co-authoring the book, Our Trip Together. Maya is grateful to dedicate all of her professional energy to the psychedelic ecosystem, and aims to help propagate a collaborative and cohesive state of being for this global community.
She has consulted for, and worked with, a number of other organizations in the space, including the Heroic Hearts Project, Synthesis Institute, and Tabula Rasa Ventures. Having co-founded the annual psychedelic conference, Psyched, Maya continues her pursuit to strengthen the community through the open-source sharing of knowledge and interdisciplinary networking.
BPA Founding Board:
From February 2021:
The team is comprised of a diverse group of professional individuals, including:
neuroscience researchers, addiction specialists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, mental health nurses, drug policy experts, human rights activists, philosophers, artists, musicians and historians.
Dr John Anderson
John started his professional career as a Researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience and is co-author of a range of research articles, including a study on Light-flicker Ganzfeld and its ability to produce pseudo-hallucinatory phenomena in healthy adults. John completed an apprenticeship in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and has taught Mindfulness meditation.
John currently works as a trainee humanistic counsellor where he specialises in psychedelic integration therapy. His ongoing interests include the potential development of a safe tailored psychedelic-assisted therapy for people living with Bipolar spectrum disorders.
He became interested in psychedelics through their capacity to produce novel states of consciousness that can lead to longer-term psycho-spiritual transformation especially when combined with appropriate psychological support.
Dr Jake Hawthorn
Jake is a psychiatrist currently working as a specialty doctor in addictions and general adult psychiatry. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 before completing his medical foundation training in Greater Manchester. He then worked in psychiatry in New Zealand for a year before applying to start core psychiatry training in South East Scotland in 2017. He passed the Royal College of Psychiatrists membership exams in 2019 and completed core training in 2020.
Jake has been interested in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics since early on in his medical career, and in particular the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy for addiction. Jake is hoping to start a clinical research project in this area in Scotland, and contribute to bringing the safe and therapeutic use of psychedelics back into practice.
Dr Jaazzmina Hussain
Jaazzmina is a consultant psychiatrist, specialising in the care of older adults. She began learning about psychedelics as a therapeutic option for people’s mental and emotional suffering after reading Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind, purchased on a whim whilst attending a neuroscience conference.
The amazing results of the John Hopkins medical trials, administering psychedelics to people who are close to death to mitigate fear, has captivated her interest ever since.
She is now learning about psychedelics and their place in history, culture, society and medicine - which she finds to be a very humbling experience, and one she is very grateful for.
Jaazzmina brings to the team, an open and enquiring mind, a joyful heart and the knowledge and skills developed over the last decade of medical training and practice.
Xanthe E. Horner
Xanthe is a multidisciplinary artist, witch and intuitive tarot reader based in East London, UK. Her creative practice perches playfully on the intersection between art-making, visionary experience and mythopoesis. She draws on the archetypes of contemporary culture and historical narratives alike to spin new spells towards collective healing, reversing the hex of disenchantment by reimagining and reinventing the myths we live by. She believes psychedelics are a powerful tool for forging deeper connectivity between people, plants and the planet.
Angelika is an integrative counsellor (Prof. Dip Psy C) who believes that no single approach is the right way for every individual. She is currently working primarily with victims of domestic abuse, exploring and integrating different ways and modalities to help the clients.
Having had personal experience with psychedelics Angelika discovered that deep work comes from within and would love to find the way to combine her interest in holistic psychology with plant medicine and is particularly interested in creating systems that ensure that people from all walks of life can access psychedelics as a therapy option.
Adam is an existential psychotherapist working in London, while researching the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca. His Master's research analysed what UK participants in ayahuasca ceremonies make of their experiences. Breaking Convention, Europe’s biggest psychedelics conference, awarded this research a prize in Social Sciences in 2019, and Adam is now continuing this qualitative research for his PhD.
Jo is a Clinical Nurse Specialist. She completed a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing (Mental Health) at South Bank University in 1998 and a MA in Psychodynamic Communication with Adolescents at the Tavistock Clinic in 2006. She has since studied many approaches including Mindfulness, Group Analysis/Therapy and Polyvagal Theory. She is currently part of the first cohort of The Synthesis Institute’s Psychedelic Practitioner Training.
Jo’s background is primarily in Child & Adolescent Mental Health and has practiced in various in-patient and community settings. She has worked across several organisations and was part of a successful government pathfinder Children’s Trust that delivered multi-agency, early intervention services to children and families. It was here that Jo really began to appreciate that prevention is better than cure. Jo currently specialises in young adults with High Functioning Autism, who have co-morbid mental health issues. Before the pandemic Jo also ran a youth group for these individuals.
Jo’s passion for the therapeutic potential of psychedelics was sparked by attendance at a Psychedelic Retreat for Mental Health Professionals informed by Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, in Amsterdam. Here she experienced the incredible potential of using psychedelics in a planned, responsible and supported setting, with appropriate follow up support. She feels that every aspect of her life was changed for the better from that moment. She is now fully committed to contributing to the movement to secure access to psychedelics for anyone who may benefit in terms of healing and/or personal growth.
Dr Anna Ross
Anna is a specialist in drug policy shareholder engagement, with her PhD focusing on the participation of stakeholders in the development of drug policy in Scotland. She is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Health at the University of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Research Assistant for Drug Science. Anna completed her graduate studies in Law at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a Masters in Alcohol and Drugs Studies, and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.
Anna has worked for the Scottish Government on developing safeguarding protocol for charities, and also the UK Government as the Special Advisor to the Scottish Affairs Committees Inquiry into Problem Drug Use in Scotland. In addition, she has been on a range of advisory committees in Scotland, set up the Scottish Drug Policy Conversations: a multi-stakeholder deliberative group exploring drug policy issues in Scotland, and is co-founder of the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group.
Anna has over twenty years experience of practitioner work with substance use, and identifies as a lived and living experienced researcher. She is passionate about human rights based approaches to drug regulation, and developing research around cannabis and psychedelic use for health and wellbeing.
Phil is a musician and mental health nurse, currently fiddling with King's Gambit and nursing with older adults in a community mental health team in Northamptonshire. In his career as a carer spanning 20 years he has worked with all ages from 1 to 101 and is looking forward to the next chapter of his life where he hopes to use psychedelics as a tool for healing with a burning passion to bring this to the NHS as soon as possible in a safe and therapeutic way. He believes strongly that everyone should have access to these life changing medicines if they so wish and that legislation should be changed to sensibly reflect the mounting evidence within the research base globally, supporting the efficacy and tolerance of psychedelics.
Phil leads an amazing group of nurses, counsellors and therapists, the group is called the 'Psychedelic Practitioners' and you can join them on Facebook here.
Dr Dayna West
Dayna earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Alliant University and it was whilst working as a staff psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, that she fully realized how small our tool kit is for helping people heal from traumatic events and illness. In 2019 she earned a Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies & Research from CIIS (the California Institute of Integral Studies). She has also spent time at Synthesis in the Netherlands where she participated in a retreat and was also a retreat assistant.
Dayna has also worked as an educator, school counselor and administrator serving students & their families from pre-school through high school in the United States, Europe and South America.
Dayna is currently executive-producing a documentary about the US FDA clinical trials for MDMA-assisted therapy for treating PTSD. She is committed to being the best ambassador possible for the psychedelic renaissance.
Dr Jon Waterlow
Jon holds a DPhil (PhD) in History from the University of Oxford.
He is a writer and podcaster based in Edinburgh. His work on psychedelics, consciousness and psychology has appeared in The Spectator, HighExistence, Aeon, MisFit Press, and elsewhere.
Jon co-authored The Psychedelic Journal, which offers people space to explore, document and integrate their experiences.
He is fascinated by the interconnections of psychology and spirituality and has worked personally with various plant medicines.
Jon has begun training in counselling and, having spent a month studying in a Buddhist monastery, is interested in developing Buddhist perspectives as part of psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy.
He is the co-owner of The Island, a tattoo and wellbeing studio founded on 'biophilic' principles which seeks to reconnect us with the natural world in an urban setting.
From June 2021:
Fiona is a human rights activist with over 25 years of advocacy experience in policy development, lobbying and community development.
She is the founder of Recovering Justice, a drug policy reform organisation for people with lived and living experience of problematic substance use. They seek peaceful solutions to the war on drugs through policy change.
She has an MA in anthropology, foundation in person centred therapy and is a clinical hypnotherapist.
She is working to challenge and change current drug policy, the main structural barrier to psychedelic research and move forward to create an ethical and equitable movement.