Meet some of our team members

Justin Townsend

CEO & Head Facilitator

With experience as an advisor to start-ups, most recently in the health care space, Justin brings a blend of business acumen, leadership skills and a nose for futuristic health models to the MycoMeditations team.

Throughout his career Justin has worked as a business leader across a range of industries, helping innovative companies identify opportunities, communicate their vision and deliver profitable products. But he has also been on a personal quest to explore alternative healing therapies to combat his own anxiety and depression.

Over the past 20 years Justin has delved into both transpersonal and Jungian depth psychology, explored psychedelic modes of healing and developed meditation and breath work techniques, which he taught in Germany.

After attending a private retreat with MycoMeditations in 2017, he saw the opportunity to combine his unique business skills with his interest in alternative healing methods. Justin joined the MycoMeditations team soon afterwards, becoming partner and CEO in 2019.

As a retreat facilitator, Justin draws inspiration from the profound healing he is privileged to witness and believes that psychedelics offer an exciting path forward for mental health.

Mike Ljubsa

Business Director & Facilitator

Throughout his time in University, Mike began to suffer from depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Conventional treatments provided him very little relief. It was during this time that he discovered psilocybin mushrooms and began exploring his psyche.

Psychedelics immediately became an enormous interest of his with the realization that these compounds were completely misunderstood by society and were in fact powerful tools of the mind.

Mike discovered MycoMeditations through a Google search and over the course of a week in Jamaica, undertaking three of the biggest psilocybin experiences of his life, everything changed for him. This transformative week allowed him to leave with a completely different perspective on life. The experience completely reframed his understanding of his personal issues, the human mind, and reality.

Following this, Mike immediately dropped any future career plans in order to join MycoMeditations full-time. He often works at the retreat as a facilitator. He also coordinates the marketing of MycoMeditations and helps in management from back home in Edmonton, Canada.

Denise Rue

Facilitator, LCSW

Denise is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in trauma, with a focus on adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She received her MSW from Rutgers University in 2012 and is an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) practitioner.

Before joining the MycoMeditations staff in 2019, Denise worked at a county mental health agency in New Jersey, where she conducted individual therapy and facilitated women’s trauma groups. Prior to receiving her MSW, Denise obtained certification in advanced clinical hypnosis, with a specialty certification in medical hypnosis. She also owned and operated Wellspring Clinical Hypnosis.

A frequent speaker at local and civic group meetings, Denise also taught an adult education course, “Hypnosis: The Power of the Mind,” and wrote and recorded a CD, “Transformations: Hypnotic Exercises for Well Being.” Denise also holds an MFA in poetry and has taught poetry in schools, nursing homes and a women’s prison.

Emilia Sabatowska

Facilitator, LMHC

Emilia is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in psychedelic integration and trauma-focused therapy. She uses mindfulness meditation and body-based approaches, to help clients access their healing potential. She has completed training in clinical hypnotherapy, ketamine assisted psychotherapy and various forms of meditation.

Emilia’s own experiences with psychedelics have fueled her commitment to supporting individuals who are exploring them for healing and personal growth. The transformation observed, both personally and in others, has been a big motivation for Emilia to do this work.

As an integration specialist, Emilia supports guests in processing any emotions and insights from the psilocybin sessions, to help facilitate lasting changes.

When not in Jamaica, Emilia manages a counseling practice focused on psychedelic education and support. She also enjoys travel and dance, as ways of nurturing her own personal growth.

Shanika Sancroft

Facilitator

Shanika, a Treasure Beach local, is a trained social worker and a former employee of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Jamaica. Shanika worked closely with the most vulnerable Jamaican populations, where she provided assessments, counseling and helped families cope with the challenges of living in a developing country.

Shanika also served as the Administrative Assistant at the Treasure Beach Destination Management Organization (DMO) a non-profit organization aiming to support the Treasure Beach community through the development of a sustainable and unique brand of ‘Community Tourism”. Through her training and passion for communal and personal wellness, Shanika is a cornerstone in our local outreach efforts in Treasure Beach and all of Jamaica.