A Mind Body Approach

How I Got My Best Training

Although I received my doctoral training in counselling psychology from Boston University in 1993 and became a Registered Psychologist in 1994, it wasn’t until later that I got my best training as a practicing psychologist.

That’s when I was fortunate to discover brain-wise, body-based therapies.

Not only do these therapies offer better and faster results for anyone going to therapy – in my opinion – they give us, both therapists and clients, a process that creates permanent healing.

You see, at some level most problems in therapy stem from deficiencies in the ability of the nervous system to regulate stress and emotions. When self-regulation is restored to the nervous system (which is the goal of self-regulation therapy) – a wide range of problems disappear, or at least are made more manageable.

There was a catch though…and though neuroscience theory hinted at it, the reality didn’t hit home until I got this kind of therapy myself.

Here’s what happened…

The more my nervous system got regulated, the faster my clients improved …or to put in another way…as my heart opened…my clients got better, faster!

There’s a saying among therapists that expresses an inherent limitation in therapy:

“The client can only go as far as you have gone yourself.”

It means that a therapist’s ability to go as deeply as necessary into the client’s emotions largely depends  on how comfortable the therapist is with his or her own emotions.

So while I strive to get the best clinical training I can find,  it’s equally as important to pursue my own emotional development. For that is the best way I know to ensure that I deliver the best therapeutic experience I can, for you.

Early Training – Highlights

Doctorate Counselling Psychology at Boston University School of Education, Massachusetts, 1989 – 1993.

Masters in Counselling Psychology  at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto in 1986

Pre-Doctoral Practicums –  Center for Family Development in Boston, Massachusetts; Career Counselling Centre at the University of Toronto.

Clinical Residency – Student Counselling Centre at the University of British Columbia, 1993-1994.

I have extensive experience in the treatment of a wide variety of clinical issues, including PTSD, anxiety-related problems, bereavement (including pet loss), depressions, relationship concerns, problems related to low self-esteem, as well as family-of-origin issues.

I use a number of treatment techniques depending on the needs of my clients. Although my primary approach is brain-wise and body-based, I will utilize psychodynamic or emotion-focused techniques when appropriate.

In 2001, I was certified as a practitioner in Self-Regulation Therapy by the Canadian Foundation for Trauma Research and Education (CFTRE).

I served a two-year term on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Education (Published a Special Issue on Cooperative Learning).

Teaching Experiences:

George Brown College in Toronto (Psychology) and  Boston University (Research Methods).


  • College of Psychologists (#1163)
  • Canadian Psychological Association


Revenue Canada Surrey Tax Centre – Becoming Emotionally Stronger, September 25, 2014.

Training and Continuing Education

  1. Understanding Polyvagal Theory: Emotion, Attachment, and Self-Regulation, Richard Simon Ph.D, Stephen Porges Ph.D.
  2. Bringing a Polyvagal Perspective into Therapy: How to Safely Navigate Emotional Storms, Deb Dana, LCSW.
  3. Harnessing the Polyvagal System to Help Clients with Anxiety, Depression, and Anger, Dafna Lender, Jon Baylin, Ph.D.
  4. Opening the Heart: How to Deepen the Experience of Therapy, Janina Fisher Ph. D.

Affect Regulation Theory: A Clinical Model Dr. Dan Hill, Online program from CSAR, 2017.

Overcoming Shame and Self-Loathing Dr. Janina Fisher, Online PESI Video Presentation. December 2, 2016.

The Body Keeps Score Online PESI Video Presentation, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. October 26, 2016.

Psychotherapy 2.0 Webcast by Sounds True, hosted by Diane Poole Heller, September 18-30, 2016.


Postive Neuroplasticity: Using the New Brain Science for Maximum Therapeutic Outcomes
Lies, Deception, Infidelity, and Jealousy: The Deep Pits That Destroy Couples’ Connection
The Clinical Application of Polyvagal Theory in Therapy
Psychotherapy and Mind-Body Medicine: From Immunology to Neuroscience
Deepening Presence in a Distracted World
The Impact of Who We Are on What We Do: Attachment and Enactment in Psychotherapy
Going Beyond Trauma Therapy to Find Love & Happiness
Co-Mindfulness, Compassion and the Courage to Connect: Cutting Edge Corrective Experiences That Restore Secure Attachment Capacities
Inclusive Therapy: A Gentle Way to Dissolve Resistance, Reduce Ambivalence to Change, and Increase Therapy Results
The Double Flame” Reconciling Intimacy and Sexuality
Tailoring Mindfulness” Fitting the Practice to the Person
An Interpersonal Neurobiology Approach to Trauma and Its Treatment

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) A Revolutionary and Transformative for Permanent Healing of PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse and More! Dr. Frank Andersen. PESI Online Video Training. December 11, 2015.

Brainspotting, The Brain-Body Based Therapy for Treating Trauma. Dr. David Grand. PESI Online Video Training. October 2, 2015.

Neuroscience and Healing 8 Hour Online  Series with the Zur Institute. December 28, 2014.

25 Advanced Strategies to Promote Positive Emotional Habits by Dr. John Preston. Vancouver, BC. December 3, 2014.

Neuroscience in Everyday Practice by Dr. Cozolino. 6 Hour Online  Series with Psychotherapy Networker. December 24, 2013.

4th Annual Healing and Treating Trauma, Addictions and Related Disorders Conference. Richmond, BC. December 6, 2013.

The Transformation of Emotional Suffering: Neuroplasticity & Attachment at Work in AEDP. Presented by Diana Fosha, Ph.D. and Benjamin Lipton, LCSW, Vancouver, BC, February 24-25, 2012.

Attachment and Arousal Regulation in the Healing of Trauma. Presented by Merete Holm Brantberg, Bodynamic Analyst, October 1-14, 2012.

DARe – Healing Early Attachment Wounds: Embracing the Authentic Self. Presented by Diane Poole Heller. November 10-13, 2011 Vancouver, BC.

Unraveling Trauma: Body, Mind and Science. Conference Presented by the National Body Psychotherapy Association, San Francisco, California, October, 22-25, 2010.

New Frontiers in Trauma Treatment. Presented by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Coquitlam, BC, April 3-4, 2009.

Personality and Spirituality: Attachment, Attunement and Trauma. Presented by Ian Macnaughton, PhD., Vancouver, BC, February 8-9, 2008.

Psychotherapy from the Inside Out: The Brain of the Mindful Therapist. Presented by Daniel Siegel, M.D., New Westminster, BC, November 8-9, 2007.

1st Annual International Somatic Experiencing Conference with Peter Levine Ph.D., Stephen Porges, Ph.D., Maggie Phillips, Ph.D., Robert Scaer, M.D., Diane Poole-Heller, Ph.D., and Vander Kolk, M.D. Berkeley, CA October 24-26, 2007.

Neurobiology of Emotional Development and Affect Regulation (3.5 hours). Seminar with Allan Schore, PhD., Seattle, WA, August 25, 2007.

Trauma, Healing and Transformation: Medical Trauma, Car Accidents and Falls, Dr. Robert Scaer M.D. and Danaan O’Lahey M.A. Vancouver, BC, April 14, 15, 16, 2007.

Psychotherapy from the Inside Out: The Brain of the Mindful Therapist, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Psychotherapy Networker Teleseminar, February 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8, 2006.

Affect Regulation: Factors Affecting Development and Therapeutic Implications, Dr. Susan Bradley, The Early Years Pre-Conference 2006, Vancouver, BC, February 2, 2006.

The Challenge of Engagement: A Moment to Moment Approach to Experiential
, Dr. Diana Fosha, Psychotherapy Networker Teleseminar, January 13, 20; February 3, 10, 17, 24, 2006.

Neurobiology and Attachment Theory in Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy for the 21st Century, Dr. Allan Schore, Seattle, Washington, January 13-14, 2006.

Straight Psychologist Gay Client: Sexual Orientation and Psychological Care, Dr. Randy Paterson, November 19, 2005.

The Psychophysiology & Treatment of Pain Syndromes, Drs. Lynne Zettl & Edward Josephs, CFTRE, September 24, 2005.

The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton, April 29, 2005.

Self-Regulation for Couples, Drs. Lynne Zettl & Edward Josephs, Kelowna, BC, March 18, 19, 20, 2005.

PIPA & Your Practice, Dr. Larry Waterman & Bill Trott. October 8, 2004.

Understanding Psychopharmacology, The Basics and Beyond, Dr. John Preston, Psy.D., April, 17, 2004.

SRT and Psychological Anatomy Integration Course, CFTRE, May to August, 2003.

Psychiatry, Medicine and the Movies Conference at Sea, The Clinical and Educational Application of Film in Mental Health and Medicine. March 17-21, 2003.

Trauma, Dissociation & Attachment Conference, Canadian Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation and Edgewood Clinic, Vancouver. June 2002.

Psychological Anatomy: Developmental Neuromuscular Integration Course, CFTRE, April / May 2002.

The Psychophysiology & Treatment of Pain Syndromes, Nov. 16, 2001

The Psychobiology of Relationships: Attachment, Intimacy & Trauma, Sept. 29, 2001.

The Psychophysiology of Addiction & Recovery, April 20, 2001.

Early Development and the Neurobiological Basis of Psychopathology, Feb. 24, 2001.

The Psychophysiology of PTSD, Sept. 9, 2000.

Trauma and the Triune Brain Lecture Series, Canadian Foundation for Trauma Research & Education, Lynne Zettl, Ph.D., & Edward Josesphs, Ph.D.:

Self-Regulation Therapy, Advanced Training, Canadian Foundation for Trauma Research and Education:
Module # 1, Motor Vehicle Accidents and Other High Impact Trauma, March 9-11, 2001;
Module # 2, Medical and Dental Trauma, May 4-7, 2001;
Module # 3 Rape, Assault and Sexual Abuse, June 22-24, 2001;
Module # 4, Working with Global Activation, Sept. 21-23, 2001.

Anxiety, Professional Development Group, Sally Winston, Ph.D., Nov. 21, 2000.

Somatic Experiencing Foundation Level, Lynne Zettl Ph.D., Sharon Stanley, Ph.D.
Module # 1, June 22-25, 2000;
Module # 2, Oct. 5-8, 2000;
Module # 3, Nov. 30- Dec. 3, 2000.

Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy, Group Seminar, Veronica Kallos-Lilly, Ph.D., 8-week course Spring, 2000.

Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy, Sue Johnston Ph.D., 1999.

Anxiety: Comprehensive Assessment & Integrative Therapy, Professional Development Group, Sally Winston, Ph.D., 1999.

Summer Emotions Institute, Les Greenberg Ph.D., Toronto, Ontario, August 9-12, 1999.

Introduction to Clinical Hypnosis, Cdn Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Jan.30-31, 1999.

Management of the Suicidal Individual, Kirk Strosahl, Ph.D., BCPA Conference, November 21, 1998.

Working with Emotions, International Academy of Cognitive Behaviour, Les Greenberg, Ph.D., October 9-10, 1998.

The Immune System, Mind Matters Seminars, Nicolas Hall, Ph.D., March 13, 1998.

Stress and Disease, Mind Matters Seminars, Michael Meany, Ph.D., October 18, 1997.