Elizma was born and raised in South Africa. Elizma is a co-founder of Amazon Sacred Medicine and the Director of Psychological Services and Integration. She is a professional psychotherapist and has been working in the mental health field for 14 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in psychology from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and a Master of Arts degree in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Her clinical experience includes working psychotherapeutically with children, adolescents, couples, adult individuals, groups and families. She also has specialist experience in the fields of addiction, emergency psychiatric services and group retreats.
She has been participating in ceremonies of ayahuasca since 2006. In 2009 she spent intensive time in the Amazon forest near Iquitos, Peru being initiated into the healing practices of Ayahuasca and other plant medicines. It is during this time that she started questioning the efficacy of the models of western psychotherapeutic practices. She started seeing healing take place faster and with much more depth than healing over many years of psychotherapy in an office.
This sparked off the desire to learn more about the therapeutic use of ayahuasca and how to bridge the gap between western models of psychology and sacred ayahuasca rituals. Since 2010 she has been assisting her husband, Carlos, in facilitating group retreats of ayahuasca.