About Valerie

I have a Masters of Social Work degree and have worked in a variety of settings including wellness counselling, health care, palliative care, intimate partner violence and child welfare. I am an Assistant Professor teaching within the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University. I have a keen interest and have completed training in recognizing and responding to compassion fatigue / empathy fatigue through Tend Academy. I am an experienced mindfulness teacher having studied/trained in various modalities. Throughout my career I have continued to explore ways to bring mindfulness into my practice. It has been both a personal and professional life-saver. 

I provide trauma-informed care meaning that I recognize the signs and responses to trauma and work to avoid re-traumatization of clients. I also look at the systemic issues that lead to experiences of oppression and trauma. 

In order to create space where clients can feel supported, heard and understood, I am committed to life long-learning and exploring new approaches and practices to best be of service. I am in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. 

I have completed my yoga teacher training in The Flow Movement Method.

Fun facts

I live with my beloved, who happens to be my best friend, and my adorable dog who regularly teaches me about living in the moment.
I love to kayak and spend time in nature.
I aspire to perform a stand-up comedy routine… somewhere… one day… dreaming it in!

Mindfulness specific training

• Mindful Self Compassion Trained Teacher, The Centre for Mindful Self Compassion
• Compassion Cultivation Training, Compassion Institute
• Mindfulness Retreat for Educators, Thich Nhat Hahn Foundation
• Promoting Mindful Practice in Medical Education and Practice, Center for Experiential Learning, University of Rochester
• 16 Guidelines for Life, The Centre for Compassion and Wisdom
• Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
• Radical Acceptance Training, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
• Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society
• Meditation: Advanced Practice and Teacher Training, Samagra
• Mindfulness Meditation in Clinical Practice, Centre of Gravity, Leading Edge Seminars
• Transformative Mindfulness Self-Healing, Lamp on the Path
• Five Tibetan Yoga Facilitator, Lamp on the Path
• Reiki First and Second Degree, Usui Method of Natural Healing
• Listening to the Body: Principles and Tools of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health
• Solo workshops with other teachers including Roshi Joan Halifax, Dan Siegel, Shauna Shapiro, Rick Hanson, Deepak Chopra, Davidji, David Simon, Shinzen Young, Byron Katie

Choose Wellness

Talks and presentations, organizational support, individual counselling, mindfulness and meditation, teaching, workshops and retreats

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