The Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto provides mindfulness based therapies for anxiety, depression, depressive relapse prevention, healthy eating, ADHD, diabetes and stress reduction. The Centre is one of Canada’s leading providers of professional development in mindfulness based interventions. We offer one-day workshops as well as intensive professional training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Our faculty includes physicians, psychologists, social workers and other health-care professionals. Our facilitators meet the Good Practice Guidelines for teaching mindfulness-based courses from the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers.

Patricia Rockman, MD CCFP FCFP

Patricia-RockmanProfession: Physician

Patricia Rockman is an associate professor with the University of Toronto, department of family and community medicine; cross appointed to psychiatry. She is the past chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Collaborative Mental Health Network. She is a medical psychotherapist and leads leads MBCT groups. She has been educating healthcare providers in stress reduction, CBT and mindfulness-based practices for over 20 years. She is a founder and the Director of Education and Clinical Services at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the developer of the MBCT Core Facilitation Certificate Program.

Zindel Segal, PhD

Zindel SegalProfession: Professor of Psychology

Dr. Zindel Segal is a distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto Scarborough and a senior scientist in the Campbell Family Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Segal pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation for promoting wellness in mood disorders and received the Douglas Utting Research Prize and the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario’s Hope Award for this work. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the past 15 years. His studies have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health Online and the New York Times. An author of over 10 books and 150 scientific articles, Dr. Segal’s recent books The Mindful Way Through Depression and The Mindful Way Workbook, are patient guides for dealing with stress and achieving mood balance in everyday life.

Susan Woods, MSW LICSW

Profession: Social Worker

Susan Woods is the Senior Guiding Teacher with the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI), Center for Mindfulness, University of California San Diego. Susan created the MBSR and MBCT certification programs at the MBPTI. Susan’s passion is to create professional trainings that provide depth and quality leading to best practice skills that support competency in the delivery of mindfulness-based programs. Susan has been teaching MBSR and MBCT for many years. She is a certified MBSR teacher through the Center of Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical Center where she was a teacher. Since 2005, Susan has been leading professional training programs in MBSR and MBCT and has taught at venues worldwide. She is an MBSR/MBCT mentor and supervisor, and a professional advisor on various MBCT clinical trials.  Susan has presented on the clinical application of mindfulness at numerous conferences and is a published author on the training of health professionals in mindfulness-based skills.  Susan is a graduate of the two-year Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA. She is a certified yoga teacher.

Evan Collins, MD FRCPC

evan-pic-150x150 Profession:  Physician

Evan Collins is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s department of psychiatry and staff psychiatrist at the Toronto General Hospital where he is affiliated with the Immunodeficiency Clinic. His clinical and research interests include HIV, cancer and therapeutic mindfulness. He is trained in MBSR and MBCT, and runs groups at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as well as the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. He also trains healthcare providers in the use of mindfulness-based interventions.
Andrew Adams, BSc Psych.

Andrew-Adams-150x150Profession:  Counsellor

Andrew Adams works with issues including physical /intellectual disability, addiction, mental health, abuse, caregiver stress, HIV, non-status immigrant, and marginalized youth. Professionally trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness Based Interventions, Andrew has a personal meditation practice and works with The Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the St Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society to bring Mindfulness-Based Stress Management to fellow front-line staff and people with substance addictions.

Michael Apollo

Michael Apollo-150x150Profession:  Mindfulness Teacher

Michael Apollo is Lead of corporate mental health programs at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and brings a wealth of executive training and mindfulness experience into his work. He holds the Director position at the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program within the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and has educated internationally on leadership, workplace resilience and the use of technology to support cognitive health. He has founded University Health Networks (Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret, Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto Rehab) mindfulness-based resilience training program for employees and is an expert trainer in social-emotional competency development. His training has been described as deeply transformational and inspiring. Michael is passionate about integrating mindfulness into society and is the Host of the A Mindful Society ( conference series.


Profession: Social Worker

Eileen is both a Social Worker and a Special Care Counsellor with over 40 years of clinical experience in both hospital and community settings. She is an author and a published researcher. She is recognized as a “Trained Mindful Self- Compassion Teacher” through the through the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Centre for Mindfulness. She most recently received her Core MBCT Facilitation Certificate from the University of Toronto’s Factor- Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She has had extensive training and clinical experience with families and individuals experiencing anxiety, bereavement, depression, empathy fatigue and trauma. Eileen has been incorporating Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) practices into her work with teachers, health-care professionals and other clients for a number of years.

Rainer Beltzner FCPA FCA FCMC ICD.D

Profession: Trained MSC Teacher

Rainer is a seasoned business professional and retired KPMG partner who, over the past four decades, has experienced the realities of large corporate structures, politics and interpersonal conflicts on a national and international basis. He has taught at Universities across Canada and mentored clients, staff and friends as they struggled with business, career and personal challenges. He completed his formal MSC teacher training in 2014 with Kristin Neff, Chris Germer, Steve Hickman and Michelle Becker and is recognized as a “Trained MSC Teacher” through the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Centre for Mindfulness.

As husband and wife, with over 45 years of joint life and parenting experiences, Rainer and his spouse Eileen (also a Trained MSC Teacher), co-present the full 8- week MSC training program as well as introductory MSC workshops, offering their participants a unique perspective and experience.

Arpita Biswas, PhD C.Psych.

Arpita-150x150Profession: Psychologist

Arpita Biswas is a registered psychologist in private practice in Toronto. She has over two decades of clinical experience in the treatment of mental health issues including anxiety, depression and trauma. Her areas of expertise include CBT and mindfulness-based interventions. She has obtained extensive training in mindfulness meditation and maintains a daily practice.

Heidi Bornstein

Heidi Bornstein 150x150Profession: Mindfulness Teacher

Heidi Bornstein has trained as an MBSR teacher at MBSR Toronto, Jefferson University’s Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts. She has also received training in Mindfulness for Kids at Risk, Street Yoga for Kids at Risk and SMART-1: Stress Reduction and Resiliency for Educators.

Monica Branigan, MD

Monica Branigan 150x150Profession:  Physician

Monica Branigan is a palliative care physician providing psycho-social-spiritual support to patients and families at home. She is an associate professor in the Division of Palliative Care at the University of Toronto. With over thirty years of practice, she has a rich clinical and teaching experience. Her mindfulness training includes the Metta End of Life Practitioner Program and MBCT. She is on the faculty for Mindfulness and Compassion in End of Life Care through the Faculty of Social Work at U of T.

Stephen Chadwick

stephen chadwick-150x150Profession:  Mindfulness Teacher

Stephen Chadwick is a mindfulness teacher who received training in MBSR at Jefferson University’s Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine. He has received certified training in Working with Those At-Risk, Level II Curriculum Training of Mindful Schools, and has trained in SMART-1: Stress Reduction and Resiliency for Educators. Steve teaches for The Mindful Edge® –Stress Reduction and Life Strategies for Teens program. He has 27 years’ experience as a teacher with the TDSB, specializing in working with children with special needs and ESL.

Anya Choulsky, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Anya Choulsky-150x150Profession:  Occupational Therapist

Anya Choulsky is an occupational therapist, a psychotherapist and a mindfulness teacher with the mood and anxiety services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She is a status lecturer at the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science at the University of Toronto, and is working on her master’s degree in rehabilitation science at the McMaster University. Anya facilitates CBT and MBCT programs at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Sharon Cirone, MD CFPC FCFP ASAM(Cert.)

Sharon Cirone-143x150Profession:  Physician

Sharon Cirone is a primary care physician with a focused practice in addiction medicine and mental health in Toronto. She provides medical psychotherapy in modalities of Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and trauma focused care.  Sharon has a personal mindfulness practice and began training in mindfulness facilitation in 2012. She is a member of a team of facilitators of Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

Laura Lee Copeland, MD MBA FACEP

Laura Lee COPELAND-150x150Profession:  Physician

Laura Lee Copeland is an emergency physician and Director of Medical Informatics for Humber River Hospital. She has used mindfulness to manage stress in her own life for many years and enjoys sharing the journey with others who may benefit. She has trained in MBCT at the Centre for Mindfulness. She will be expanding her practice at the Centre and Humber River Hospital.

Bobby Esbin, MD

Bobby Esbin-150x150Profession:  Physician

Bobby Esbin received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1984. He has extensive clinical experience treating anxiety, depression, substance abuse and addiction. He has a special interest and extensive training in mindfulness-based therapy and its direct application to a variety of mental health conditions.

Karen Davis

Karen_Davis-150x150Profession:  Educator

Karen Davis is a dedicated educator with 30 years of experience working with children, teachers and parents. Karen recently retired to country living in her home in Muskoka. She is an instructor of smartEducation™ (Stress Management and Resiliency Techniques). Karen has been working to bring mindfulness into education by leading mindfulness workshops and retreats with educators, parents and community members. She in on the board of Discover Mindfulness and believes it to be a strong support for mindfulness in education.

David Denis, ND RP

david-Denis-150x150Profession:  Naturopath, Registered Psychotherapist

David Denis is a naturopathic doctor and a registered psychotherapist with a private practice in Toronto. Dr. Denis has expertise in providing treatment and training for the mind to enhance performance, reduce performance anxiety, and to increase the joy of  pursuing your passion. He specializes in treating anxiety and depression using a combination of naturopathic modalities, cognitive behavioural therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions. He teaches MBCT to professionals and has extensive experience offering mindfulness-based cognitive therapy groups for anxiety and depression.

Norman Farb, PhD

norm Farb-150x150Profession:  Cognitive Neuroscientist

Norman Farb is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Toronto. His research examines the neuroscience of mindfulness, with a particular focus on how physical sensations are interpreted to create a sense of identity. He completed both his MA and PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, exploring neural mechanisms of mindfulness.

Mary Githumbi

70-mary-lr2Profession: smartEducation Teacher

Mary Githumbi is a Bachelor of Science (Honours)  graduate from the University of Toronto. She completed a double major in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science with a minor in Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health. She maintains a personal mindfulness practice and has taken the MBSR workshop and been trained to be a smartEducation facilitator. Mary’s work experience covers providing para-counselling to international university students and research into mental healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Amanda Guthrie, ND

Amanda-Guthrie-150x150Profession:  Naturopath

Amanda Guthrie is a naturopathic doctor with a family practice in Toronto. She has a special interest in providing care for people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and digestive health concerns. She has trained in MBCT and provides treatments that blend scientific research with holistic healing, including mindfulness-based therapies and healthy lifestyle counselling.

Eva Hahler, PhD C. Psych.

Eva HAHLER-150x150Profession:  Psychologist

Eva Hahler is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist and a yoga teacher for children, adolescents and adults. She has diverse experience across different hospital and healthcare settings in the assessment and treatment of psychological, neurodevelopmental and neurological conditions, with specific experience in CBT and mindfulness-based approaches for anxiety and mood disorders. She is currently working at the Toronto District School Board, where she is involved in initiatives for the implementation of mindfulness practices in the school system. She has completed mindfulness training for youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, as well as mindful parenting training with Dr. Susan Bögels, and has trained in MBCT facilitation at the Center for Mindfulness Studies.

Darren Higgins, MD FRCPC

darren-Higgins-150x150Profession:  Physician

Darren Higgins is a staff psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital, a lecturer in the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and has a private practice in adult psychiatry in Toronto. He leads MBCT groups at CAMH and integrates mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches in his individual and group psychotherapy work.

Angie Kingma, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Angie Kingma-150x150Profession:  Occupational Therapist

Angie Kingma is an Occupational Therapist and a member in good standing with COTO and CAOT. Angie has over 10 years of experience working in a variety of mental health settings, including many years of experience teaching MBCT courses for anxiety and depression as well as Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM) for chronic pain.

Alison Kelford, MD, MHSc, CCFP, FCFP

Profession:  Medical Doctor

Alison is a family physician in community practice. She has more than 20 years helping people manage a wide range of mental health and stress based illness  in a primary care setting.  She has a longstanding mindfulness practice and has completed training in CBT and MBSR. She is presently enrolled in the MBCT facilitation certificate through The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Dianna Last

diana last-114x150Profession:  Mindfulness Teacher

Dianna Last is an MBSR teacher who received her training under the direction of Roy Hintsa and Dr. Diane Reibel the Director of The Stress Reduction Program at Jefferson University’s Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine. She participated in the 7-Day Professional Training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine under the direction of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli. She studied at the International Meditation Institute in India for five years. Dianna received her certification as a Yoga Ed Instructor for Working with Those At-Risk, trained in Mindfulness for Kids at Risk with Vinnie Ferraro, and smartEducation™ (Stress Management and Resiliency Techniques) with Linda Wallace. Dianna is a teacher for The Mindful Edge® – Stress Reduction and Life Strategies For Teens program in high schools.

Allison McLay, BA DCS RP

allison-McLay-150x150Profession:  Registered Psychotherapist

Allison McLay has 25 years of experience in psychological assessment and counselling. Her areas of expertise include the assessment and treatment of learning disabilities and ADHD. She has worked in both private practice and the social service sector and currently works for the disabilities and personal counselling departments at York University. Allison practices mindfulness personally and professionally. She co-facilitates MBCT groups for anxiety/depression and training professionals.

Dee Miron, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Dee-Miron-150x150Profession:  Occupational Therapist

Dee Miron is an occupational therapist with a special interest and background in mental health. She has taken numerous workshops and seminars related to mindfulness and mental health; including  Level 1 Certification in MBCT Facilitation from the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and training in MBCPM with Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix.

Raha Mirian, MA RP

Raha Mirian-150x150Profession:  Registered Psychotherapist

Raha Mirian is a Registered Pyschotherapist working in private practice in Toronto, with over 10 years of experience in meditation and mindfulness. She specializes in trauma-informed, compassion and mindfulness-based approaches to wellbeing. For the past several years, she has used her extensive training to provide clinical interventions to clients facing issues in the areas of trauma, anxiety and mood disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, suicidality, grief and loss, physical concerns, and relationship difficulties. She provides individual therapy, training in mindfulness and meditation, and leads MBCT and DBT Skills Training groups.

Nikki Mohle, RN CNO

Nikki MohleProfession:  Registered Nurse

Nikki Mohle is a registered nurse specializing in mental health. For the past three years she has been working with adults living with anxiety, depression, and substance use issues at the Homewood Health Centre using CBT and mindfulness-based interventions. She has practiced mindfulness for several years and studied the application of mindfulness and yoga to depression, anxiety, substance use, and disordered eating, including recent completion of her certificate in MBCT.

Gwen Morgan, MA MSW RSW

gwen Morgan-150x150Profession:  Social Worker
Lead – MBSR Program

Gwen is a Clinical Social Worker who is Certified Mindfulness Teacher of MBSR with the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.  She is also a Certified MBCT facilitator.  She completed the 7-day MBSR professional training with Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli in 2007 and since has offered MBSR and MBCT groups in medical and community settings.  She adapted MBSR for people living with diabetes, incorporating her training in Mindful Eating, and co-facilitated a mindfulness group for marginalized people offered through the CMS Social Program. She was invited by Susan Woods to be an Assistant in the MBSR Intensive Training & Retreat.  Gwen is an Approved MBSR Mentor.

Melissa Nigrini, M. Ed

Melissa Nigrini 150x150Profession:  Educator

Melissa Nigrini specializes in adult learning and community development. She has 20 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating education programs and initiatives. Melissa has been a mindfulness meditation practitioner for over 15 years. She has studied yoga, qi gong, tai chi, and insight meditation in Asia and North America. She has facilitated mindfulness practices with youth and adults in a variety of contexts and cultures. Melissa is an instructor in the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program at University of Toronto and she facilitates several weekly mindfulness drop-in groups in Toronto. She is primarily interested in how mindfulness and compassion apply to learning, wellbeing, and community development.

Elaine Orsini, BA ECE OTC

bioProfession:  Educator

Elaine has 36 years of teaching experience ranging from daycare to elementary to secondary. She has taught in Ontario, British Columbia and Africa. Elaine has piloted the first Mindfulness Camp for teenagers at Camp Olympia as well as the first Mindfulness Councils in her school with Mindfulness Without Borders. She has trained in MBCT and aligned this with her work for social justice, locally and globally. Her area of expertise as Chaplain for 15 years includes facilitating retreats for both students and staff.

Nicholas Ozarko, MSW RSW

nick-ozarko-150x150 Profession:  Social Worker

Nicholas Ozarko is a social worker with a background in adult mental health and experience providing treatment services in hospital and community settings. He has also held positions with the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office and the Public Guardian and Trustee. He has experience teaching clients practical skills using cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based approaches. His personal mindfulness practice and ongoing training in mindfulness-based therapy inform his work with clients.

Shawna Perlin, MD

Profession:  Medical Doctor

Shawna Perlin is a family physician in Toronto with over 30 years experience in her practice. She graduated with a Psychology Degree from University of Toronto in 1975, and a medical degree from Dalhousie University, in 1981. She completed a Family Practice/Emergency residency at MacMaster University in 1986.  She has a strong interest in Women’s Heath and Mental Health. She has done a lot of psychotherapy in her practice. She  began studying mindfulness and yoga in 2014. She is completing her MBCT certificate program and teaching MBCT groups at the Centre. She brings openness and humour to her groups along with her mindfulness teaching.

Patricia Savage RN, MPS

FullSizeRenderProfession: Mental Health Therapist

Patricia Savage is a Mental Health Therapist in private Practice in Muskoka, Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Professional Studies in Psychotherapy and Expressive Arts Therapy. Patricia has extensive experience working in acute inpatient, outpatient and community settings as well as in primary care. She facilitates MBCT groups in Huntsville, Ontario through the Algonquin Family Health Team.

Joanna Shapiro, MD CCFP

Profession: Medical Doctor

Joanna is a family physician in a community practice. She has a special interest in women’s and children’s health, as well as navigating the challenges of parenting through the family life cycle. She has been in family practice for 20 years initially practicing and teaching at The University Health Network before moving to a community setting. She enjoys a personal mindfulness practice which lead her to pursue the Facilitation Certificate through The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Wendy Stanyon RN EdD

Profession: Registered Nurse

Wendy Stanyon is an associate professor with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Faculty of Health Sciences and a registered nurse, Wendy has worked in mental health for more than 30 years. Given the prevalence of mental illness, she considers mental illness awareness to be a required life skill and works collaboratively with individuals and community groups to raise awareness and facilitate a greater understanding of health and wellness strategies. Wendy has also completed a certificate in applied mindfulness through the University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work and trained in MBCT facilitation at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Ian Singer, MSW RSW

Ian-Singer-150x150 Profession: Social Worker

Ian Singer is a Senior Clinical Counsellor at Catholic Family Services of Toronto, where he provides couple counselling and individual psychotherapy.  His private practice is located in The Centre for MindBody Health.  Ian began training in Insight-oriented mindfulness meditation (Vipassana) in India and Nepal in 1992.  He is an Instructor in the University of Toronto’s Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate Program.  Ian can be reached at

Pat Smith, MD

Pat-Smith-150x150 Profession: Physician

Pat Smith is a family physician who works in the area of women’s reproductive health. She has practiced mindfulness for over 10 years and is currently expanding her learning and teaching to include MBCT groups.

Elaine Smookler RP

ES208Profession: Registered Psychotherapist

Elaine Smookler is a Registered Psychotherapist, teacher, public speaker, writer and performer (BMus, ACTRA). For the past 20 years, she has helped individuals, schools, organizations and businesses develop mindfulness and resilience in everyday life. Elaine has received the Core MBCT Facilitation Certificate from the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and professional training as an MBSR facilitator. At the Centre for Mindfulness Studies Elaine offers MBCT, MBSR and Introductory Mindfulness programs. Elaine is a facilitator of The Mindfulness Project at Sickkids Hospital, a columnist for Mindful magazine ( and she teaches mindfulness as part of the curriculum at University of Toronto Medical School. Elaine developed and presents the learning series “Get Started With Mindfulness” for and she offers a course in project development: “The Mindful Way Through The Creative Process,” for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Elaine presents stress management programs, online talks and support to American corporations through eMindful and in-person mindfulness programs to a wide variety of clients.


Personal Programs

Start: Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 6:00 pm
Start: Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 10:00 am
Start: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 6:00 pm
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Professional Development

Start: Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 9:30 am
Start: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 9:30 am
Start: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 11:00 am
Start: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 9:30 am