Mindfulness-based, trauma-informed counselling

Understanding the mind-body-spirit connection using ancient philosophies and Western psychotherapies to heal and thrive

Whether our minds remember or not, our bodies remember. The Western approach is to separate the mind and body and we treat them as distinct entities. We have been socialized to fix rather than understand. We treat ourselves as projects at best, trying to improve to meet elusive standards. At our worst, we self-sabotage. We internalize a sense of not-good-enoughness and undeservingness that makes us push away the good things or sabotage them.

Eastern philosophies, specifically Buddhism can give us a framework that helps us understand ourselves, others, and the world at-large.

Here are some concepts that we will draw upon in our work together:

Interconnectedness: In contrast to the Western view that separates the mind from the body, and the self from others and the planet, interconnectedness helps us become integrated whole beings. We learn to recognize the profound unity of all facets of our being and existence. We heal as integrated beings, unified in mind-body-spirit. We understand that our trauma comes from seeing ourselves as separate. In returning back to the principle of interconnectedness, we cultivate a deeper understanding of interconnectedness with ourselves, others, and the natural world. This integrated approach promotes greater self-awareness, empathy, and environmental stewardship, leading to profound transformation and well-being for ourselves and the broader community.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness, a central concept in Buddhism, involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. In our work together, we will integrate mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and body scans to help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. This awareness can facilitate healing by fostering self-understanding and reducing reactivity to trauma triggers. These same techniques will help you trust yourself more and establish a better relationship with yourself and others.

Nature of Self: Buddhist philosophy offers us a unique perspective on the nature of self, emphasizing impermanence, interconnectedness, and the absence of a fixed, independent self. This understanding can help us recognize that our identity and experiences are fluid and evolving, which can be empowering for those of us struggling with trauma-related shame or identity issues.

Suffering and Compassion: Buddhism teaches us that suffering is an inherent part of human existence but can be alleviated through compassionate action and wisdom. Trauma-informed counseling rooted in Buddhist principles seeks to alleviate suffering by cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. This involves acknowledging and validating one's pain while fostering resilience and hope.

Embodiment: What our minds forget, our bodies remember. Unlike traditional Western approaches that often prioritize verbal processing, mindfulness, and trauma-informed counseling place greater emphasis on embodied practices. This includes techniques such as grounding exercises, movement, and somatic (body-based) techniques, which help you reconnect with your body and process trauma on a physical level.

Cultivating Presence: Central to mindfulness-based approaches is the cultivation of presence or "being with what is." This involves learning to tolerate discomfort and uncertainty without needing to escape or suppress difficult emotions. By developing a non-reactive stance toward internal experiences, clients can learn to regulate their emotions more effectively and build resilience in the face of adversity.

Western psychotherapies that we will integrate in our work:

EMDR and Brainspotting: These modalities are both trauma-focused and work with the body's natural ability to heal. EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation (such as eye movements) to process traumatic memories, while Brainspotting identifies and releases stored trauma by focusing on eye positions that correspond to areas of distress in the brain. These techniques help clients access and process traumatic memories and emotions.

Parts work: This therapy helps us identify and work with different aspects of the self. These parts can represent different emotions, beliefs, or protective mechanisms. By integrating parts work with mindfulness, clients can learn to approach their internal parts with curiosity and compassion, fostering self-awareness and inner healing.

By drawing on diverse modalities and perspectives, I support you in accessing your innate capacity for resilience, self-awareness, and transformation.

About the service:

Counselling is a regulated profession in Ontario. Ekta is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers (OCSWSSW) and the Ontario Associaton of Social Workers (OASW). This part of the services provided are under the registered business Unity Counselling. A receipt is provided to each therapy participant and they can claim it from their extended health benefits if social work services are covered for them.

Book your FREE consult: unitymindfulness.janeapp.com