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 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
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.
Monica Branigan, MD
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.
Evan Collins, MD FRCPC
Andrew Adams, BSc Psych.
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.
Javed Alloo, MD CCFP
Javed Aloo is a family physician with a community practice in Toronto. He has over a decade of experience working with people with anxiety, depression, and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Building on tools from CBT, he encourages bringing a mindful and compassionate approach to managing and living with these often long-term conditions. www.Dr.Alloo.ca
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 (www.amindfulsociety.org) conference series.
Eileen Beltzner SCC MSW TITC-CFST RSW
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
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 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. www.arpitabiswas.com
Ana Bodnar, PhD C.Psych.
Ana Bodnar is a clinical psychologist as well as a yoga and meditation teacher. She brings over 20 years of experience to her teaching, training and clinical work. She has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto in teaching Mindfulness and Psychotherapy at the graduate and undergraduate level. She provides professional training in Clinical Applications of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in various institutional, agency and community settings. She also has a private psychology practice where she incorporates mindfulness and self-compassion practices to address a range of mental health issues. www.anabodnar.com
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. http://www.mindfulnesseveryday.com/
Ellen J. Buchman, MD CCFP FCFP
Ellen J. Buchman is a family physician in practice since 1979. Since 2009, she has focused her work on dementia care and mindfulness based practices. She has been trained in teaching MBSR and MBCT, and currently teaches MBSR courses to groups of family caregivers of patients with dementia and other chronic illnesses, in addition to other groups. She is a lecturer in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.
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 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.
Laura Lee Copeland, MD MBA FACEP
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 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 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 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. www.naturalhappiness.ca
Norman Farb, PhD
Norman Farb is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Toronto. His research examines the neuroscience of mindfulness, with a particular focus on ho 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. www.normanfarb.com
Karina Therese G. Fernandez, PhD C. Psych
Karina Therese G. Fernandez is an associate professor with the Ateneo de Manila University, Department of Psychology. and coordinator for the Master’s Program in Counseling Psychology. She is currently the executive director of the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services. She is a clinical psychologist and specializes in working with adolescents and young adults with with emotional regulation issues, stress management, depression, and anxiety disorders. She is a certified facilitator in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. She has published local and international journal articles on subjects such as social support, motivation, creative therapies, and trauma. She facilitates workshops on mindfulness, parenting, and psychological first aid, to name a few.
M. Lee Freedman, MD CM FRCP (C)
Dr. M. Lee Freedman is a Toronto-based psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, parents and families under stress. Over the past several years, she has been integrating mindfulness training into her medical practice. She now provides mindfulness-based therapy consultations and individual mindfulness-based therapy. Dr. Freedman leads mindful parenting therapy groups, mindfulness-based group therapy for adults with ADHD, and Camera-Assisted Mindfulness and Attention Regulation Training (CAM-ART™). She is a speaker and workshop leader on mindfulness meditation for healthcare and other professionals. She offers consulting services on the integration and use of mindfulness in education, the workplace, and other medical and non-medical settings, as well as individual consulting and coaching for business executives with attention regulation challenges.
Jackie Gardner-Nix, MB.BS PhD MRCP (UK)
Jackie Gardner-Nix is a chronic pain consulting physician, and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s department of anesthesia. She founded the Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM) program at St. Michael’s Hospital and teaches chronic pain skills for managing pain using mindfulness. MBCPM courses are also available via telemedicine from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital. She is the author of The Mindfulness Solution to Pain.
Profession: MBSR Teacher and Mentor
Allan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Certified MBSR Teacher, and MBSR Teacher Mentor. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of MBSR Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. He began his professional training at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in the year 2000. Allan has taught MBSR extensively to groups and individuals in a large variety of settings. Allan’s strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR has propelled him on a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work. mbsrmentorship.com
Jennifer Gruber, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Jennifer Gruber is an occupational therapist and psychotherapist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. She has over 15 years of experience working in mental health settings, primarily working with individuals with depression and anxiety. She has extensive training in CBT and MBCT, and has been facilitating MBCT programs since 2010.
Amanda Guthrie, ND
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. www.wholehealthtoronto.com
Eva Hahler, PhD C. Psych.
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 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.
Sherry Holt, M.Ed C. Psych.
Sherry Holt is a private practice psychotherapist who has dedicated her career to issues of emotional well-being for over 20 years. She is Past President of the Anxiety Disorders of Canada, and is a clinical member of the Canadian Psychological Association. She has studied mindfulness for over 10 years and incorporates into her clinical practice. www.sherryholt.ca
Angie Kingma, OT Reg. (Ont.)
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. http://www.mindfulnessforhealth.ca/
Sarah Kinsley, BA (Hons) B.Ed M.Ed C. Psych.
Sarah Kinsley was the coordinator of the Embodied Mind stream of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program in Continuing Education at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She worked at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto as a Child and Family Therapist. She has trained with Indigenous Elders in the field of healing within Canada and abroad. Sarah has completed three Yoga Teacher Training courses, and studied with various Yogis in North America and Asia.
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.
Matthew MacDonald, MD MA Kinesiology
Matthew MacDonald is a family doctor specializing in psychotherapy. Matt’s passion is to help competitive athletes overcome performance fears and tap into their more fearless nature. Matt combines a unique variety of approaches to help athletes: cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, and sport performance tools such as visualization and self-talk. He co-facilitates a Mindfulness for Athletes group, as well as MBCT groups for anxiety and depression. http://gasolinesuit.com
Sara Marlowe, MSW RSW
Sara Marlowe is a clinical social worker and university lecturer. She has practised mindfulness for many years and teaches mindfulness to children, youth, and families. Sara is the author of the children’s book, No Ordinary Apple: A Story about Eating Mindfully, described by Sharon Salzberg as “deliciously fun to read.” www.mindfulfamilies.ca
Allison McLay, BA DCS RP
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 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 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 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.
Bryan Moran, MD
Bryan Moran is a family physician with a focused surgical practice. He us trained CBT and solution-focused therapist with experience teaching change management stress reduction. He is a trained MBCT clinician teacher.
Gwen Morgan, MA MSW RSW
Gwen Morgan is a social worker and counsellor with over 22 years’ experience, specializing in patients living with diabetes and chronic illness. She has trained in MBCT and Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT). Gwen completed the nine-day practicum in MBSR at the University of Massachusetts and a seven-day intensive professional training in MBSR for pain and chronic illness.
Dominique Morisano, PhD, C.Psych
Dominique Morisano is a research scientist, consultant, lecturer, workshop leader, and licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. She currently holds status academic appointments at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH; Affiliate Scientist, Social and Epidemiological Research) and University of Toronto (Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health). She previously worked both clinically (Supervising Psychologist) and directing research at the Child and Family Institute of St. Luke’s Roosevelt-Hospital Centre while holding an academic appointment at Columbia University (Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry). Prior to joining the Faculty of CMS as a researcher, she was an Independent Scientist at CAMH (2011-2015). She has been actively involved with the Mind and Life Organization since 2008 and participates annually in their Summer Research Institute. Her main clinical and research interests center around goal-setting and motivation, addiction treatment and harm-reduction, and mindfulness-based approaches to wellness. She maintains a regular practice of both yoga and meditation. She can be followed on Twitter.
Melissa Nigrini, M. Ed
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
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
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.
Ted Robinson, MD CCFP FCFP
Ted Robinson is a physician with many years of experience in Family Practice and Rehabilitation Medicine. Currently he has appointments in the Pain Clinics at Sunnybrook and Mt. Sinai Hospitals in Toronto; in addition he practices out-patient orthopaedic rehab and chronic pain management at Bridgepoint Health. He has focused his practice on management of chronic pain for the past 14 years, using a cognitive-behavioural approach and mindfulness.
Patricia Savage RN, MPS
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.
Ian Singer, MSW RSW
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 email@example.com
Pat Smith, MD
Elaine Smookler, B.Mus. RP
Profession: Registered Psychotherapist
Elaine Smookler is a therapist, teacher and writer. 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. She is the facilitator of the Mindfulness Project at Sick Kids Hospital. Additionally, she offers mindfulness therapies online through eMindful, has provided practice support through The Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital and teaches part of a mindfulness elective at the U of T Medical School. Elaine is also on the faculty of Mindfulness Everyday, offering key note addresses on mindfulness and mental health for high schools in the GTA. She has written for a variety of publications including: The Medical Post, Shambhala Sun, Mindful magazine and is a monthly contributor to Mindful.org
Susan Woods, MSW LICSW
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. www.aconsciouslife.org