I also offer for hire in person Mindulness (with yoga and meditation) Workshops/programs/retreats for anyone 2 yo and up!
In terms of costing I work on a sliding scale depending on clients financial resources. (Payments can be paid online through paypal or Republic Bank of T&T online banking, or in person at the bank).
Please Note: My services are for “anyone” interested in psychotherapy and mindfulness and is open to people of all or no religious background. It is for anyone looking to heal mental illnesses or enrich their personal or spiritual path.
The psychotherapy methods I practice are backed by neuroscience. Neuroscience research has discovered that mindfulness practices such as meditation has been shown to result in structural brain changes, which may help explain how the practice effectively addresses psychiatric symptoms. People taking part in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy learn how to train their minds, it works with the neuroplasticity of the brain modeling the psyche to achieve deep levels of relaxation, self-observation, and emotional regulation. These psychological techniques are from a 2500 year old tradition, which current science has shown to change the brain, shape behavior for the better, and offer intuitive insights about how to live life more fully.
From Buddhism comes the practice of mindfulness meditation together with a highly sophisticated understanding of the functioning of the mind in sanity and in confusion. These understandings are woven into a precise language and an intimate method of working with others known as “Contemplative Psychotherapy.” The root teaching of Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology is the notion of “brilliant sanity.” This means that we all have within us a natural dignity and wisdom. Our basic nature is characterized by clarity, openness, and compassion. This wisdom may be temporarily covered over, but nonetheless, it is there and may be cultivated.
Practitioners of Contemplative Psychotherapy become experts at recognizing sanity within even the most confused and distorted states of mind and are trained to nurture this sanity in themselves and in their clients.
An integral part of being a Contemplative Psychotherapist is having a mindfulness meditation practice. Many psychologists have identified the ability to truly “be with” one another as the most important gift a psychotherapist has to offer to a client in psychological pain. The ability to be with others comes from being able to be with oneself no matter what state of mind one may be experiencing: vivid emotions, confusing thoughts, or quiet peacefulness.
This translates into a therapeutic relationship that is characterized by deep insights, accurate empathy, and corrective experiencing.
Virtually every effective therapy teaches mindfulness. Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy goes beyond the profession’s focus on pathology to include positive growth and development. It offers a framework for integrating wisdom and insights from Buddhist/Mindfulness literature, psychological literature, and one’s own personal practice into therapeutic work. It is designed to deliberately focus a person’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental.
This type of therapy allows people to develop insight into their own psychological functioning and to develop skills to respond to thoughts, emotions, and impulses. It provides insights into the nature of the mind and the causes of suffering. People develop the capacity to be mindful, to be with and clearly see their own experience and patterns, explore them as they arise in the moment, and then they can experiment with doing things differently. It teaches skillful ways of navigating one’s inner landscape, which may produce stress, inattention, anxiety, and depression. It helps people find a path towards flourishing, and along with that, and very important, is the development of an awakened wisdom of their own open heart, and how to work with this in day to life and within the capacity of human relationships.
No one person is the same, each client presents with a fascinating mind influenced by society, genes, childhood attachment, and life experience, hence my extensive training in understanding the mind and actively seeking psychotherapeutic methods to attend to my clients psychological state.
Cognitive Psychotherapy (CT) was one of the first methods I was trained in during my first Master’s and it still holds therapeutic relevance today especially when combined with mindfulness. This type of therapy was developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck and is based on the theory that thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all connected, and that one’s distorted cognitions/thinking patters are the driving force behind mental health symptoms. Thus an integral part in healing mental illness is cognitive restructuring in which the therapist guides clients to identify and then modify distorted thinking patterns that may lead to emotional distress and problematic behaviors. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an extension of (CT) to include teaching clients the skill of modifying problematic behaviors.
Mindfulness research presents that mindfulness is a clinically based skill that lead to long-term behavior change, hence the development of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdales. (MBCT) is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program and was designed to help clients experiencing mind and chronic depression. It combines the ideas of (CT) with meditative practices and attitudes bases on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this method lies on clients developing insight into the inner workings of their mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship with them.
In my experience practicing (MCBT) with patients is vital in teaching them how to manage and gain power over their symptoms, however it has limitations when practiced alone due to the fact that the origination of these unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviours are not fully addressed. Thus the importance of an wholistic clinical assessment of a client’s psychological state, and addressing the traumas including war, sexual abuse, chronic stress, and attachment wounds that may contribute to the presentation of mental health symptoms/illness.
This is where the significant clinical relevance of trauma therapy interventions including Somatic/Body Psychotherapy come in to the practice of psychotherapy. Another mentor of mine is the work of pioneer psychologist Dr. Peter Levine who developed Somatic Experiencing (SE) as a treatment method targeted to overcome the negative effects of trauma. (SE) uses specially designed exercises to help clients reconnect to their body and feelings.
Dr. Levine teaches that it is not necessary to relive an old trauma in order to process it, but rather to renegotiate it. He states, “renegotiation allows us to create new channels for the stuck energy so it can complete its movement and course of action’ (quote from my course with him “healing Trauma”). He teaches that transforming trauma involves our instincts, emotions, and intellect all working together.
Another Somatic Psychotherapy approach I learned is Hakomi (Mindfulness- Based Somatic Psychotherapy) from my mentor and therapist Melissa Grace. Hakomi is a psychotherapy technique that integrates the somatic and verbal to create a powerful experiential process for the clients. It provides a direct, yet safe access route to the unconscious “blueprints” and implicit memories that guide our lives without our knowledge. Once conscious, these are available for neural re-wiring, memory re-consolidation, and transformation.
Past Life Regression Therapy is a psychospiritual process that uses focused trance/hypnosis to uncover unresolved memories/conditioning from a past life/childhood, that heal the mind, body and soul.
Throughout your past lives/childhood you may have experienced numerous physical, psychological and emotional traumas, some of which may have a profound effect on the quality of your current life. Whether you believe that your hypnotic experience are memories of a past life or symbols from the subconscious mind, regression therapy is a powerful, exhilarating, and life changing tool for growth, so there is no need to question the validity of the experience. Combined with psychotherapy, it can provide you with healthy tools to build healthy relationships, relax, enhance creativity and self esteem, and empower your life, leading to inner peace, joy and love in the present. Anxiety, fear, anger, depression, chronic pain and somatic complaints are a few issues that can be resolved during a past life regression. As the teacher I trained under, Brian L. Weiss (author of Many Lives Many Masters) stated “as you understand your true nature and your true purpose, your life will be permanently transformed and then you can begin to transform the world.”
Mindfulness is directing your attention to the present moment, with open-minded acceptance.
The training of attention to the here and now is essential in mindfulness, due to the tendency of being sucked in by mental stories/obsessive thinking versus connecting with your direct experience. Mindfulness exercises such as meditating on the breath are a form of training in attention. Thus meditation practiced skillfully is the sustenance and foundation of mindfulness.
The training of compassion is equally important to the training in attention, it puts the ‘how’ into mindfulness practices. We pay attention to the present moment with open-minded acceptance, which includes warmth, a wanting to understand, gentleness, kindness, and an open heart.
Mindfulness training offers people the opportunity to step into the power of self-awareness, which leads to the ability to “see” old wounds, to cope with difficult emotions and states of mind, to discover one’s wisdom and clarity, and to cultivate a compassionate and kind relationship with oneself, which is carried out in one’s relationship with others.
The experience of self-awareness includes realizing the full range of your inner world, understanding how your mind works, and learning about your relationship to yourself, others, and the world.
My students and myself included, report an experience of being fully genuine and alive, appreciating the world around you, and an awakened sense of humor. I call these the side effects along with the experience of being clear, centered, and connected with an awakened heart.
We begin to develop mindfulness through the formal practice of meditation and then we can extend this into informal practices, which are using the mindful virtues in our everyday life and during stressful situations.
Neuroscience research indicates that mindfulness training alters the structure and function of the brain in ways that appear to be linked to improved concentration, enhanced capacity to manage emotions, and the ability to skillfully respond.
The health benefits include:
My sessions offer an experiential view of the meditation practices and mindfulness teachings rooted in the ancient tradition of the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, including the view that unconditional wisdom and compassion are the very ground of one’s being. Sessions include meditation instruction, presenting the teachings, and discussion.
Sessions are for anyone interested in meditation and mindfulness and open to people of all or no religious background. They are for anyone looking to enrich their personal and spiritual path.
Yoga is the union of mind, body, and spirit. My yoga classes include pranayama (breath work), asana (postures), and meditation (mindfulness) to help unify all aspects of one’s being.
The Pranayama part of the practice involves breathing techniques which awaken Prana/ life force energy.
The Asana part of the practice involves moving the body in and out of a variety of postures, synchronizing them with the breath and holding them with a sense of awareness of the physical and energetic aspects of one’s being.
The Meditation part of the practice involves holding attention to one’s experience with openness, honesty, and compassion.
A yoga practice facilitates personal transformation with endless positive and beneficial effects:
Physical health/fitness: “all” the muscles are utilized in a very definite and deliberate way; the body is toned and strengthened from head to toe, systematically and evenly, promoting a healthy body weight, complexion, and posture. Every cell of every organ is invigorated, the nervous system is balanced, lung capacity increased, and all the other systems of the body are restored.
Psychological harmony: increased awareness of one’s actions, attitudes, emotions, and thoughts, which may lead to increased self-worth.
Emotional balance: promotes feeling uplifted, and relaxed, with an improved ability to cope with stress.
Spiritual insight: there can be a renewed sense of peace and contentment in one’s being.
Yogis tend to be radiant with a glow of vitality and aliveness that is more attractive and more valuable than the cosmetic industry.
“A truly beautiful body is one that manifests and exudes a powerful inner harmony and integrity.”
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga is a somatic/body psychotherapy technique that moves beyond talk therapy by bringing the body actively into the healing process. Therapists help clients to cultivate an attuned relationship to their bodies through specific breathing, mindfulness, and movement practices. It is a modified version of a typical yoga class taught in the west, tailored to treat trauma. It was developed in collaboration between yoga teachers and clinicians at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, led by yoga teacher David Emerson, along with medical doctor Bessel van der Kolk. At this time, Van De Kolk is one of the pioneers in trauma and addiction. He has done research on the efficacy and positive physiological effects of yoga being skillfully being used to treat trauma. This type of therapy has been offered to wide populations, including men and women, teens, veterans, and many others.
Master of Arts in Buddhist Psychology and Contemplative Psychotherapy
Master of Science in Mental Health Therapy
Bachelors of Arts in Psychology
Associates of Arts in Psychology
Certified Yoga Teacher by Yoga Alliance and European Yoga Alliance
Certified Past Life Regression Therapist by Brian L. Weiss
Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher