The Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto provides mindfulness based therapies for anxiety, depression, depressive relapse prevention, and stress reduction. The Centre is 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), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).
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 a medical psychotherapist focussing on mindfulness-based programs. She also provides mentorship and trains clinicians to deliver MBCT and MBSR. Patricia has been educating healthcare providers in stress reduction, CBT, and mindfulness-based practices for over 20 years. More recently she has become involved in psychedelic-assisted therapy training. She is the co-founder and advisor of Education and Clinical Services at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the developer of the MBCT Facilitation Certificate Program. She has co-authored a number of publications in the areas of mindfulness and mental health.
Zindel Segal PhD C.Psych
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.
Evan Collins MD FRCPC
Eileen Beltzner SCC BA MSW RSW
Eileen is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher, a Making Friends with Yourself MSC Teacher for Youth, a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher for Healthcare Communities, a MSC Mentor, and a Senior Faculty Member at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, Canada. Initially trained as a Special Care Counsellor, receiving this designation from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada, Eileen worked for 25 years with parents and children with a variety of special needs; and developed state of the art programs, both nationally and internationally, for the parents and professionals working with them.
She received her Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier in 1998 and since that time has worked in hospitals, community organizations and in private practice as a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist. As such, she gained valuable clinical experience and expertise working with people from all walks of life, facing and overcoming struggles that are part of the human condition. Eileen’s adventure into MSC began as a professional interest in 2010 and became personal in 2012. Thanks to the MSC teachings her favourite line is and continues to be from peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Mud … No Lotus.”
Eileen teaches the 8-week MSC program, the 5-day in-person MSC Intensive, and a variety of MSC workshops for adults, parents and youth. Currently, Eileen is teaching two MSC training program online; MSC for adults and MFY for young people.
Her most recent book, “How to Tame the Tumbles the Mindful Self-Compassionate Way” (2019), introduces parent(s) with young people, between the ages of 7 to 12, to child-sized MSC concepts and practices. For more information about Eileen please go to: selfcompassionsolutions.com
Rainer Beltzner FCPA FCA FCMC ICD.D
Rainer completed his formal MSC teacher training in 2014 with Kristin Neff, Chris Germer, Steve Hickman and Michelle Becker and is recognized as a “Certified MSC Teacher” through the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Center for Mindfulness. Rainer is also recognized as a Certified Mindfulness Teacher. In his role as Senior Faculty at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and similar organizations, he has delivered the MSC training program over 25 times in in-person as well as live on-line formats. Rainer serves on the Board of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) along with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff.
He is a seasoned business professional and retired KPMG partner who, over the past five 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.
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.
Michael Apollo BMOS RP
Michael Apollo is an experienced mindfulness facilitator, registered psychotherapist, and former Program Director of the University of Toronto’s Mindfulness Meditation certificate program. Michael founded MGC, a corporate consulting firm that has been delivering mindfulness training for over a decade to executives and knowledge workers in the finance, healthcare and technology industries. Michael has completed over 33 international long-term meditation retreats with 10,000+ hours of meditation practice and holds an advanced level certification from the University of California San Diego and the University of Toronto in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Michael is faculty at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies with a special focus on workplace mindfulness, digital MBCT/MBSR program development and professional training. Michael is passionate about advancing the field of mindfulness and is founder of Canada’s premiere mindfulness conference A Mindful Society held in Toronto, Canada.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in Buddhist practice and study since 1997, sitting retreats in Asia and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. He has been mentored by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, where he is now enjoying teaching retreats. Pascal teaches in North America and in Europe. He is a co-founder of True North Insight and one of TNI’s Guiding Teachers. His depth of insight, classical training, and creative expression all combine in a wise and compassionate presence. In addition, his warmth and humour make Pascal a much appreciated teacher.
Amanda Beaman C.Psych
Amanda Beaman is a registered clinical psychologist and has been practicing in Toronto since 2008. She has worked in a variety of clinical and academic settings including hospitals, family health teams, universities, and private practice. She completed her doctorate at Concordia University, in Montreal Canada, and her clinical training at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in the mood, anxiety, and work-stress clinics. Amanda has provided training for students, interns and healthcare professionals to deliver evidence-based treatments such as CBT. She completed her MBSR training through the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto. She is also a certified yoga instructor. She brings a holistic approach to her clinical practice and is passionate about the potential role that mindfulness-based interventions can play in building resiliency in the workplace.
Becky Curran MSW RSW
Christine Bilinski RP
Cassandra Cornacchia MSW RSW
Cassandra is a Registered Social Worker/ Psychotherapist with a Master of Social Work and has been facilitating Mindful Self-Compassion Programs with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies since 2018. In addition to this, she is a Mental Health Practitioner with Inkblot Therapy, New Moon Psychotherapy and facilitates support groups with Wellness Together Canada. In her work, she utilizes her specialized training in Mindful Self-Compassion, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Somatic Embodiment and Regulation Strategies, Internal Family Systems, CPT and Eco-Therapy. Her approach is rooted within Anti-Oppressive, Anti-Racist, Decolonizing, and Trauma-Sensitive theories and practices. She recently published a poetry book called Moment’s of Metamorphosis which shares her own story of cultivating a mindful and compassionate presence for healing. Cassandra has a heartfelt passion for teaching Mindful Self-Compassion because of the impact it had on her own life, and looks forward to meeting you one day in an upcoming program!
Markus Bohlmann PhD
Markus Bohlmann, PhD, is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher through the Center of Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC), USA. He is also certified in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) through the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the University of Toronto, where he has also completed the Foundations of Applied Mindfulness Meditation and the Applied Specialization in Mindfulness Meditation Certificate programs. Further, Markus is the translation coordinator for CMSC, overseeing the global translations of the MSC program, and he is the team leader of the LGBTQIAP2S+ affinity group of Circles of Practice, a public meditation offering by CMSC. Markus also serves on CMSC’s DEIB committee (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) to promote the inclusion of minorities and those facing past and present oppression and discrimination. You can reach Markus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Lee Copeland MD MBA FACEP
Pawan Singh MSW RSW
Profession: Registered Social Worker
Pawan Singh is a registered social worker and mental health therapist with training in trauma. She has been working for over a decade with individuals and groups in the mental health field, as well as practicing mindfulness personally for the past 25 years.
Pawan trained in facilitation of the Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPMTM) course in 2015 and, more recently, in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at Brown University, USA. She started working with the Centre for Mindfulness in Toronto in September 2023. Pawan is a strong believer in the contribution of mindfulness practice to health enhancement and healing.
Currently, Pawan works at the Family Counselling Centre in Sarnia, Ontario and offers mindfulness courses and psychotherapy in private practice. Since COVID restrictions began, she started to offer mindfulness courses online.
Prabh is an experienced mindfulness facilitator who has been working and facilitating programs with the Centre’s Community Program since 2020. Prabh has trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Stress Management and Resilience Techniques (SMART – UBC Okanagan School of Education), and in Mindfulness pedagogy.
Andréanne Elie MD FRCPC
Andréanne has been a psychiatrist for 20 years. She has been meditating for 15 years. She is based in Montreal. She leads MBCT groups in hospital settings (since 2010) and at Mindspace clinic in Montreal (since 2016). She is a faculty member at Université de Montréal where she leads mindfulness groups for medical students. She has completed teacher training and certification in MBCT. She is also trained in CBT.
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 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. www.normanfarb.com
Jeremy Finkelstein RP
Jeremy Finkelstein is a Registered Psychotherapist and the founder of Mindful Living, a psychotherapeutic mindfulness-based meditation group for beginners and MBCT/MBSR graduates and a mindfulness-based facilitator for Mindfulness Everyday and The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. He has done facilitator training through the University of Massachusetts medical school and The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. At The Centre, Jeremy facilitates MBSR and MBCT and leads silent retreats and introductory workshops. With Mindfulness Everyday, Jeremy facilitates The Mindful Edge: Stress Reduction and Life Strategies for Teens.
Joe Flanders PhD OPQ
Dr. Joe Flanders is the founder and director of MindSpace Wellbeing in Montréal. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Psychology from McGill University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Dr. Flanders is an assistant professor (professional) in the McGill University Psychology Department. He is a licensed psychologist and a member of the Quebec Order of Psychologists. At MindSpace, he offers Mindfulness–Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to individuals, groups, and organizations. Dr. Flanders works with clients in English and in French.
Rachael Frankford MSW RSW
Rachael Frankford, MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker in private practice and founder of New Pathways Therapy Centre for Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy in downtown Toronto. She created the Mindfulness Training for Emotional Resilience (MTER) program, which is a brief, trauma informed approach to introducing mindfulness skills for emotion regulation. Rachael is interested in creating mindfulness programs that are accessible to a broad and diverse mental health population and supporting front line health care workers to teach trauma sensitive mindfulness skills.
Amanda Guthrie ND RP
A mindfulness teacher since 2011 with extensive experience, Amanda (she/her) is a certified facilitator of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery.
Amanda enjoys teaching mindfulness programs to people experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, cancer and chronic illness. She values creating a safe and welcoming environment for all mindfulness participants.
Amanda is an Approved MBCT Mentor with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the University of San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.
In addition to her work as mindfulness faculty, she has a private practice as a naturopathic doctor and registered psychotherapist, focused in mental health. www.wholehealthtoronto.com
Jacquie Dover RN, BScN, MHSc
Jacquie Dover (she/her) is a registered nurse and MBSR teacher. Jacquie has facilitated MBSR, other mindfulness programs, and mindful yoga in online and community settings.
Jacquie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a Master of Health Science degree in Health Promotion. She also has a graduate certificate in Evaluation for Social Change and Transformative Learning. Jacquie is a Certified Applied MBSR Facilitator through the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. She is also a Certified MBSR Teacher through the Mindfulness Center at Brown University School of Public Health.
Jacquie was initially drawn to mindfulness practice to support her own healing journey. She is honoured to share these practices with others.
Alaina Johnston BA, MSW, RSW
Alaina is a Registered Social Worker, with a BA in psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, a BSW from McMaster University, and an MSW from Ryerson University. She presently is a practicing psychotherapist working in primary care collaborating with family physicians to assess, and treat their patients’ mental health needs . Alaina is extremely interested in the link between mind and body, the neuroscience of mood and mental health, and is continually taking new courses and trainings to improve her own quality of life and those of her patients’. Alaina’s journey with Mindfulness started in 2011 when she took a mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) course at the Center to help her deal with the stressors and anxiety that her very busy career was having on her. She immediately started her training to become a MBCT teacher with the Center for Mindfulness Studies, due to the positive impact that mindfulness has had on her own life. She is now teaching MBCT groups with the Center, in addition to facilitating MBCT groups for the patient and clients she works with in both her private practice and in primary care.
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.
Tom Heah OT Reg (BC)
Tom Heah works as an occupational therapist with Vancouver Coastal Community Mental Health and Substance Use Program, and has a private practice in Vancouver, B.C. He is a faculty and mentor in MBCT and MBSR with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, and a mentor/advisor with the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. He has completed certification through UCSD in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and a year-long Training in Mindfulness Facilitation program at UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Since 2006, Tom has developed and facilitated mindfulness-based courses for people who have mental health and substance use issues, chronic pain, and neuromuscular conditions, health care professionals, college students and the general public. As a clinical faculty with the School of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia, he is involved in research and preceptorships with students, and has also lectured on mindfulness in mental health at the Masters of Social Work program at the University of British Columbia.
Angie Kingma OT Reg. (Ont.) RP
Angie Kingma is a Registered Psychotherapist, Occupational Therapist and MBCT Teacher with over 22 years of experience working in a variety of mental health and chronic pain settings. Angie has received extensive MBCT and Mindfulness Teacher training over the years through University of California San Diego (UCSD), The Centre for Mindfulness Studies and The University of Toronto. She has completed the Advanced MBCT Facilitation Certificate through the Centre, certified by the University of Toronto. She loves delivering Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs to a variety of populations (including clients with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, as well as teachers/educators and hospital clinicians) and being a mentor to newer MBCT teachers. In addition to being on faculty here at the Centre, Angie owns a private practice called Mindfulness for Health and teaches Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM) teacher training through U of T / NeuroNova Centre. You can learn more about Angie at 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.
Leysa Cerswell Kielburger MA
Leysa is completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her research aims to address issues and concerns relevant to populations that are underserved or marginalized in mental health care. She specializes in community-based mental health care and the delivery of culturally-grounded, evidence-
Allison McLay BA DCS RP
Allison is a registered psychotherapist with a practice in assessment and counselling for over 30 years, working in social services, university and private practice settings. She has been facilitating mindfulness-based groups, including MBCT and MBSR, for over 13 years. Allison has been with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies since its inception, coming to provide professional training and mentoring for those seeking certification to deliver Mindfulness-Based Programs. Over the last few years, she has been engaged in curriculum development and mentoring for projects designed to train front-line social service workers in the delivery of mindfulness-based wellness and treatment programs to marginalized youth and adults. Most recently she co-authored a mindfulness workbook for youth to be published by New Harbinger in 2022.
Christine Grace McMulkin MSW RSW MSc
Christine Grace McMulkin is a certified, seasoned, and revered Mindful Self Compassion Teacher, a Mindful Self Compassion Teacher Trainer, and a Self Compassion Focused Therapist.
Christine delivers Mindful Self Compassion programs through the Center for Mindful Self Compassion, the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, within her role as a Mental Health and Wellbeing Counsellor in a Medical Centre Family Health Team, and within Christine Grace and Community.
The MSC programs offerings Christine delivers include: the full MSC 8-week program, Live Online MSC (LOMSC), Self Compassion for Healthcare Communities (SCHC), and Kristin Neff’s newly created Fierce Self Compassion (FSC) program. Christine also taught the Teaching Self Compassion Online (TSCO) workshop.
An MSC Teacher Trainer, Christine supports MSC Teachers in Training through the Live Online Teacher Training (LOTT) program, as a Practicum Teacher and as a Mentor to beginning Teachers as they deliver their first MSC program.
Deep devotion to her personal practice continues to be foundational to Christine’s well-being. Through navigating times of personal change and challenge, she has learned and lives the importance of being with ourselves in kinder, gentler, and emboldening ways.
As well as the practices of Mindfulness and Self Compassion, Christine is supported by beach walks at dawn, singing soulful songs, dancing with carefree abandon to some old-fashioned rock and roll, hikes with a beloved golden retriever, heartfelt and laughter filled moments with family and friends, and endless cups of tea. The kettle is on. Christine welcomes connecting with you.
Raha Mirian MA RP
Raha Mirian is a Psychotherapist in private practice, with over 15 years of experience in meditation and mindfulness. She specializes in mindfulness-based trauma-informed therapy, with a particular focus on complex trauma. Her extensive training extends to psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, mindfulness, attachment-based, and somatic therapies. She holds various certificates including in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, as well as Advanced Certification in Trauma and Dissociation.
Raha provides individual psychotherapy, leads DBT and MBCT groups, as well as offers professional consultation. Her dedication to promoting a high standard of trauma-informed care has extended to creating and delivering professional development workshops to mindfulness facilitators and front line workers.
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.
Gwen Morgan MA MSW RSW
Gwen is a Certified MBSR and MBCT teacher and Approved Mentor in both MBSR and MBCT with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the University of San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. She has extensive experience offering groups in medical and community settings. Her own training began with the 7-day Intensive with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli and she has trained with many senior teachers over the years. She has been a teaching assistant in the 6-day MBSR intensive for professionals and is involved in training professionals and community peer leaders at the Centre. She facilitates both MBSR and MBCT programs and works with staff in the Community Program to offer mindfulness to marginalized peoples. She designed Finding Balance, MBSR for diabetes and is certified in Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT). Gwen is a Social Worker focusing on promoting wellness when living with chronic illness.
Rose Mina Munjee RP
Rose Mina Munjee, PhD Cand., RP, MPS, BMATH, MBA, AMM-Mind
On Faculty at Centre for Mindfulness, CMSC, UCSD and Certified in MBSR, MBCT, MSC
Sessional Lecturer, New College, University of Toronto, BPM330 – Mindfulness-Informed Interventions for Mental Health
Helen Munt BSW, RSW
Thanh-Lan Ngô MD MSc FRCPC
After training in medicine and psychiatry at the Université de Montréal, Dr Thanh-Lan Ngô completed a 2 year specialist training in cognitive-behavioral therapy at the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Center and a Masters degree in CBT with a specialisation in mood disorders and psychosis at King’s College London (UK). She is certified with the Canadian Association of CBT and has a certificate in MBCT facilitation (levels 1 and 2) from the Centre for Mindfulness Studies/University of Toronto. She is Chief of the Mood disorder program at the Hôpital du Sacré Coeur de Montréal, a teaching hospital affiliated with the Université de Montréal, where she has facilitated CBT, family focussed therapy for bipolar disorder and MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) groups since 2003. She also co-leads DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) and mentalisation groups. She has worked in inpatient, outpatient and collaborative care settings.
Thanh-Lan is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the Université de Montréal where she is co-director of the CBT training module. She teaches workshops in CBT and mindfulness based interventions in Canada and the US. She is co-author of a textbook on CBT (“La thérapie cognitivo-comportementale“, by Louis Chaloult, Thanh-Lan Ngô, Jean Goulet et Pierre Cousineau, published by Chenelière), provides CBT treatment protocols on www.tccmontreal.com and was guest editor at “Santé Mentale au Québec” for a special issue on “Psychiatry and Mindfulness“.
Read her bio in French.
Melissa Nigrini M.Ed RP
Melissa Nigrini specializes in adult education and experiential learning, with over 20 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating education programs and curricula. Melissa has been a mindfulness meditation practitioner for over 15 years and is a certified facilitator of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery and SMART Education. At the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, she is a facilitator, trainer and mentor, as well as curriculum and faculty development lead. She is a senior instructor in the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program at University of Toronto. She also designs and facilitates mindfulness programs for organizations.
Elaine Orsini RP
Elaine is a Registered Psychotherapist, teacher and meditator. Elaine has received her MBSR Facilitation Certificate from the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Elaine is certified in teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and trained in teaching Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) as well as introductory mindfulness workshops.
Suzanne Paquette MD
Suzanne is a psychiatrist in an adult hospital affiliated outpatient clinic where she is also in charge of the collaborative mental health care service. She is trained in CBT, DBT and MBCT and has a serious and regular meditation practice since more than 20 years. After teaching MBCT to groups since 2010 and teaching mindfulness to medical students as a clinical teacher at University of Montreal for the past year, she recently qualified as an MBCT mentor with The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.
Shawna Perlin MD
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.
Rhea Plosker MC, MASc, RSW, RP
Rhea Plosker RSW RP is a Registered Social Worker, Registered Psychotherapist, and leadership coach working in private practice in Toronto, Ontario. She meets requirements for a clinical supervisor as defined by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Rhea has facilitated more than 40 MBSR, MBCT, and MBCT-Cancer groups. She designed and co-facilitates Mindfully Managing Anxiety and Uncertainty, an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group program. Rhea is an instructor with George Brown Continuing Education and a program leader with Wellspring Cancer Support.
Rhea has a passion for improving accessibility to mindfulness-based programs, both online and in-person. She supported the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in adapting and designing program curricula for online delivery, and trained facilitators to transition online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rhea holds certificates in CBT for Anxiety and Depression, Solution Focused Therapy, and is a Certified Intuitive Eating counsellor. She also has extensive training and supervision in the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Narrative Therapy. Rhea has recently completed the following mindfulness training programs and retreats:
Embodying Metta Retreat (True North Insight 2021)
Compassion and Wisdom: Meditative Training for Professional Caregivers (True North Insight 2021-2022)
Buddhist Psychology Training (Spirit Rock 2022)
Living Dharma Program (Spirit Rock 2022-2023)
Love and Death-Opening the Great Gifts (Upaya Zen Center 2023)
Wellspring Cancer Support-The Healing Journey Level 1 Facilitator Training (2023)
Social Work and psychotherapy is Rhea’s second career, following a corporate career as an engineer, technology executive and consultant. You can learn more about Rhea at www.inspirationsolutions.com.
Hricha Rakshit OT Reg. (Ont.) RP
Hricha Rakshit is a Registered Occupational Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist. She had completed her MScOT degree at University of Toronto in 2006 and subsequently pursued a career in mental health spanning over 14 years in leading mental health facilities like Ontario Shores, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and St. Michael’s Hospital. She is presently employed as a Group Therapist within the Mental Health program at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Hricha has vast experience in providing manualized and principle-driven cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Mindfulness based Cognitive therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) in her practice. She has completed her training for providing supervision for psychotherapy practice for registered Occupational Therapists in Ontario and is a member of the Psychotherapy Committee within the Ontario Society of Occupational therapists (OSOT). She is serving on the board of directors at the Gerstein Crisis Centre and is a non council member at the “ Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee” at the College of Occupational Therapists (COTO). She is also a status lecturer in the Occupational Therapy Masters Degree Programme at the Dept of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science at University of Toronto. She is also active member of the College of Occupational therapists (COTO), the College of Registered Psychotherapists (CRPO) and Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT)
Blakie Sahay OT Reg. (Ont.), Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher
Profession: Occupational Therapist, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Director of Education and Clinical Services
Blakie Sahay (she/her) BA, BscOT., MEd., is an occupational therapist, certified mindfulness meditation teacher and certified mindfulness based program facilitator and trainer. She holds advanced certifications in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and has additional training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and various trauma-informed approaches. Blakie has additional training in trauma informed & trauma sensitive mindfulness approaches, anti-racism training and anti-oppression therapy practice.
At the Centre for Mindfulness Studies (Toronto, Canada), Blakie not only facilitates a variety of mindfulness-based group programs, delivers professional development programs and mentors new mindfulness facilitators-in-training she is also the Director of Education and Clinical Services. She is also a Certified Mindfulness Teacher – Professional Level, International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) and an Accessible Yoga Ambassador (accessibleyoga.org).
Blakie provides tailored mindfulness-based workshops for various organizations and businesses from local libraries, mental health organizations to universities and large corporations. Blakie has a private occupational therapy practice working with youth with concurrent mental health and substance use issues who are at risk of homelessness. She also works with a private therapy practice working with youth and adults with emotion dysregulation and self-harm assisting them to reduce their suffering through various mindfulness and therapy approaches. She has extensive experience working with veterans and active duty military personnel with mental health, trauma and/or addictions challenges. She is part of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies.
Joanna Shapiro MD CCFP
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.
Elaine Smookler RP
Profession: Registered Psychotherapist
Elaine Smookler is a Registered Psychotherapist, teacher, public speaker, writer and performer. Elaine is the Inner Wisdom columnist for Mindful magazine (mindful.org) and she has taught mindfulness as part of the curriculum at University of Toronto Medical School. Elaine’s video workshop “Get Started With Mindfulness” is available through Mindful.org and she teaches the project management course, The Mindful Way Through The Creative Process for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. For over twenty years Elaine 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 presents stress management programs, online talks and support to American corporations through eMindful and in-person mindfulness programs, coaching and psychotherapy to a wide variety of clients. www.elainesmookler.com
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
Wendy Stanyon RN EdD
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.
Karen Sutherland MSW RSW
Karen holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, and has specialist training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) amongst other therapeutic modalities. The personal benefit of participating in an MBCT 8-week program while she was in graduate school in 2012 lead her to professional training in Mindfulness Based Interventions and she now both delivers MBCT programs and works at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies as the director of client services.