Dr. Raymond Turpin was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and he attended the University of Georgia where he earned a BA degree in psychology. It was here where he also first discovered psychedelics and the extensive historical scientific literature about these medicinal compounds. He attended what is now the University of West Georgia and earned an MA in psychology before moving to the Bay Area and earning his doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in 1999. He moved to western North Carolina in 2001, and in 2004, he co-founded Jackson County Psychological Services, which provided free and reduced-cost mental health services to the students and families of the Jackson County Public School system. This agency eventually grew to over 100 employees and expanded their model of socialized mental health services to the public schools of Haywood and Macon counties.
In 2016, Dr. Turpin worked for two years for Meridian Behavioral Health, and then went into private practice in Waynesville in June 2018. He now primarily works with adults and older adolescents. In his clinical experience, he has worked in psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric emergency units, a juvenile detention facility, schools, and community mental health clinics.
Dr Turpin has been studying and researching psychedelics since 1984. He is currently an investigator of an Expanded Access program sponsored by MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies), providing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant PTSD, and he is also a Lead Mentor for the Certificate in Psychedelic Therapy and Research program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also the Executive Director and Clinical Director of the Pearl Psychedelic Institute, which is a non-profit he helped found, whose mission is to help shepherd psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy into mainstream acceptance through research, community education and training and the establishment of a reduced-fee psychedelic clinic in western North Carolina.
Dr. Turpin has also been working intensively with ketamine-assisted therapy for several years. He lives in Waynesville with his wife of 34 years, Kim, and they are owned by two dogs (Annie and Buddy Coltrane) and five cats (Sketch, Loki, Mavis, Sasha and Stephen Ra). They have two adult children: Julia is a recent graduate of Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, with an MA in Transpersonal Psychology, and Ray is a senior at the Savannah College of Art & Design, majoring in animation and video game design.