Hello and Welcome to my Blog

For many years I have been interested in mindfulness and mental health.   As a body oriented psychotherapist and yoga teacher, I believe that mindful awareness and connecting to the body is the path to mental wellness.

My interest in mindfulness and movement started while living in Japan where I studied the martial art of Aikido.   Later, I became  a student of Zen at the San Francisco Zen Centre where I studied for three years.  This time served as the foundation for my interest in bringing the wisdom of these ancient traditions into the secular modern world.

Fast forward a number of years later and I am still studying mindfulness, but in a different way –  as a busy parent and psychotherapist working in a private practice.  My professional path as a clinical social worker has led me to discover ways to integrate insights from mindfulness and yoga practice into psychotherapy.

This is blog a about the intersection between mindfulness, neuroscience and mental health.  It is about practical strategies to keep a healthy mind and what we can do to take care of body/mind connection.  I will share my reflections on teachings from psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism, yoga any other resources that inspire my psychotherapeutic work.

My belief is that there are many paths to mental wellness. For lasting change to come about there needs to be a fundamental shift in our bodies and as well as our minds. Neuroscience is showing that by training our neural pathways we can change the wiring of our brains to function and feel better.

We hear a lot about the problems with the stigma of mental illness but not enough about how we can understand it from a point of view the is not stigmatizing.  Looking at mental illness from the lens of a dysregulation model is a compassionate way to make sense of it.   Therapy from this perspective is more about learning how to self regulate and rewire the brain for better functioning, which we can all benefit from, regardless of diagnosis.

My hope is that by sharing my musings on a broad range of topics related to mindfulness and mental health that it will be my contribution to addressing the problem of stigma and helping us to see mental health in a way that makes sense.  Too many people have continue to suffer because of the continuing stigma of mental illness, even though it is a very common and real experience.  By sharing my thoughts, I hope that it will give people a new language to speak about their own experiences from a more compassionate perspective.

Policies and Guidelines

This blog is being developed as part of a course I am taking for U of T called Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media.    I will be posting once a week and publishing weekly on Sundays, and more if there is inspiration to add to the blog.

I welcome comments from readers who would like to offer feedback and especially those who would like to offer input on what inspires them to maintain their own mental wellness, be it through mindfulness practice, meditation, yoga, or any other activity that promotes mindful awareness and healthy mind states.

Comments should be made with an intention of creating community and offering compassion and kindness to others.  Any comments not made in this spirit will be deleted.

As a therapist, I cannot answer any specific questions about people’s mental health in this blog and will only write about general mental health issues.   I maintain my code of ethics as a social worker and member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers in the writing of this blog in that I will not share any personal information about clients.